Malt Messenger Bulletin by Andrew Ferguson Late May 2020 Part Two – Whisky News



In Case You Missed It: Berry’s Orkney Islands 1998 KWM Cask 21 Year

We have a New KWM Exclusive Cask of Highland Park!

It’s here, our 2nd Berry’s Orkney Islands (aka Highland Park) Cask!

Our last Orkney Island Cask from Berry Bros., an 18 Year, sold out in less than 2 months. We don’t expect this 21 year old to last much longer… Distilled in 1998 and matured in a Refill Hogshead, Cask Ref 17. 342 total bottles, bottled at 53.0% exclusively for Kensington Wine Market.

Berry’s Orkney Islands 1998 21 Year KWM – 53.0% – Refill Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: creamy, honeyed and floral with delicate fruits; dried apricot, juicy orange, baked apples and grilled pineapple; soft, ashy, earthy smoke and toasted oak; chewy malt and candied ginger. Palate: soft, creamy, floral and smoky with juicy fruits; buttery with more baked apples, grilled pineapple and dried apricot; soft muddy peat, salty maritime tones and clean ashy smoke; toasted oak and crisp spices: cinnamon stick and licorice root; white chocolate, almond paste and baked French pastries; creamed heather honey, Earl Grey creme brule and butterscotch pudding. Finish: creamy, juicy and floral with clean smoke; buttery, oily and very fruity with more pastries; long, lush and layered. Comment: as with our last Berry’s Highland Park, this one will not appeal to those who are looking for something like the distillery bottled 18, 21 or 25 Year; especially the most recent releases; but that misses the bigger point, which is that this honeyed, lightly peated and very fruity malt is quite simply sublime.” – $160

In Case You Missed It: the Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength #2  

It is official, “Ferg in Front of the Store” is Officially Half Sold! 

360+ Bottles Sold In Just Over Two Weeks

Though it has only been with us for exactly two weeks, today, the Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength #2 “Ferg in Front of the Store” is already half sold, with 300+ of the 600 bottles having already found homes… Our 4th KWM exclusive Glenfarclas Cask Strength bottling, not a single cask, but rather a batch of their 15 Year, bottled for KWM at Cask Strength. We don’t get to pick or approve the bottling, we just have to trust them that it will be good. So far they have a perfect batting average, 4 for 4! Our last Glenfarlcas KWM Cask Strength, the 21 Year “Ferg in the Spey”, sold out in 8 weeks. We are calling this new bottling, which features our fearless leader (not my words), the “Scotch Guy”, standing in front of the iconic entrance to our shop: “Ferg in Front of the Store”… it is the second release in the “Andrew’s Ego Collection”… we are already working on the 3rd release, due next year, a 25 Year!

Glenfarclas 15 Year KWM Cask Strength #2 – 56.6% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: big, rich and spicy; chocolate covered espresso beans; licorice Fisherman’s Friends, cinnamon sticks, candied ginger and firm new leather; candied nuts, mincemeat and earthy Oloroso sherry; dark chocolate with a touch of chili oil. Palate: big, round, rich and spicy; loads of soft, coating toasty oak; more candied nuts and loads of spices: cinnamon sticks, candied ginger, candied fennel seeds and salty licorice chews; orange peel and mincemeat, moving in the direction of Christmas cake; underneath the weight of the drying, spicy sherry more exotic fruits linger; melons, mango, papaya and grilled pineappe; more chocolate covered espresso beans, dark chocolate with chili oil and Cuban cigar tobacco. Finish: long, drying, coating and rich; this is full throttle sherry from start to finish; warming but balanced, elegant and dangerously drinkable. Comment: unlike our single casks, we don’t have the opportunity to pre-screen our Glenfarclas Cask Strength bottlings; but they are now 4 for 4, and have yet to disappoint; they keep offering us generous layups just begging to be slam dunked!” – $110

KWM Virtual At Home Whisky Tastings 

A First Stab at the Temporary New Normal!

For months we’ve been receiving requests about hosting virtual tastings while we live through social distancing. While we liked the idea, frankly the last 8 weeks were just too crazy for us to even wrap our heads around the idea. We are finally settling in to a new groove, and able to start looking at ways to connect with our customers and friends. We are still not sure of any regulations around pouring samples from full bottles for at home tasting, and until we have guidance from the AGLC we can’t look at that, but…

We have a great selection of 50ml bottled whiskies at KWM, and a gift pack ripe for conversion into Virtual At Home Whisky Tastings. To start we have put together 4 tasting lineups, 3 of which are now open for registration. If there is demand and interest in these, we will roll out the 4th tasting and maybe some others in the weeks ahead.

These tastings will be sold, much like our traditional tastings, at a set price. You can register in-store, online or by phone. Each tasting includes 5 whiskies. Participants can pick up their whiskies in-store, or request delivery (please don’t wait until the last minute). A few days before the tasting participants will be contacted with details on how to attend the tasting virtually. All are limited to between 20 and 24 people, and available on a first serve basis.

Here are our first, KWM Virtual At Home Whisky Tastings:


  1. Elements of Islay Sherry Virtual Tasting – Thursday June 4, 8PM – 5x 30ml – The Elements of Islay tasting kits are perfect for a Socially Distanced at Home Tasting… The Sherry Edition contains five 30ml bottles of Elements of Islay whisky, four of them at cask strength. The tasting will include Elements of Islay Peat, Bn7 (Bunnahabhain), Cl11 (Caol Ila), Lp9 (Laphroaig) and Pl5 (Port Charlotte). – $55 – *9 Spots Remaining*

  1. Mature, Rare & Interesting Malts  Virtual Tasting – Thursday June 18, 8PM – 5x50ml – You don’t often see older whiskies in 50ml format, but we have put together a range of whiskies 18 to 22 years of age. There is also a curious wild card in the range, a mature NAS whisky at cask strength. Our range: Glenfarclas 21 Year, Glen Scotia Victoriana, Loch Lomond 18 Year, SMOS Ben Nevis 1996 KWM Cask and the Tomatin 18 Year. – $75 *ONLY 4 SPOTS REMAINING*

  1. Peat Freaks Virtual Tasting – Thursday June 25, 8PM. – 5x50ml – A celebration of all things peated, just before we head into the hottest months of the year. We will sample 5 whiskies, all from 50ml bottles including: Ardbeg An Oa, Ballechin 10 Year, Black Mountain Fumees, Kilchoman 2011 KWM Cask 770 and the Shelter Point Smoke Point. – $50 *11 Spots Remaining*

SAVE 25% on the Spirit of Hven Tycho’s Star  

A Very Interesting Peated Single Malt from Sweden!

We got a deal, so we are passing on the Savings! This is a lovely lightly peated Swedish single malt from the tiny island of Ven (Hven) in the Øresund strait between Sweden and Denmark. The island is most famous for its association with Tycho Brahe, the Danish Astronomer who as Lord of the island had its residents build two observatories for him. The Hven Distillery produces Tycho’s Star single malt from heavily peated Pale Ale malt. The spirit is matured in a mix of American and French oak. The whisky is natural colour, unchill filtered and bottled in wax sealed 500ml beaker bottles.

The whisky is very good, I really should get a tasting note out on it… I paid a visit a couple of years ago and was very impressed by their operation! They also happen to produce and excellent Gin, limited edition releases of the whisky, and other spirits.

Sprit of Hven Tycho’s Star Single Malt – 41.8% – American & French Oak – Producer Tasting Note: “Without water: the whisky shows fruitiness, coated by a mild, balanced and very clear smokiness. The scent of barley is complemented by notes of coconut and almonds. The taste is fresh with distinct smokiness and straightforward maltiness, the sweetness from the American oak is well balanced with the stringency of the French oak. With water: the whisky uncovers the soft balanced notes of the barley mash-bill, the chocolate malt becomes more evident and the smoke and peat a bit rounder. The fruitiness matures a fraction and moves to ripe apples and hints of liquorice. There are notes of honey and fudge together with sweet wine aromas and wet wood jetty. The taste is well balanced with medium long aftertaste, an enticing smokiness combined with an oiliness shows that the whisky has not been chill filtered and the round maturity really comes from the cask maturation.” – Regular $120 – SAVE 25% – $89.99+gst (while stocks last)

SAVE 20% on the Cotswold Single Malt  

English Floor Malted Single Malt – Made Slowly with Local Barley!

We got a deal, so we are passing on the Savings! The Cotswolds Single Malt is made from 100% locally grown floor malted barley which is slowly distilled after a long fermentation. Owner Dan Szor while showing me around the distillery a couple of years ago gave me one of the most succinct explanations for why a long fermentation is so important. Using a banana as a point of reference he asked “when does a banana smell its most fragrant? When it is turning black and on the verge of rotting. Rotting fruit gives off the fruitiest esters!” The whisky is matured in first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels and reconditioned ex-Red Wine Casks.

Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky – 46% – Matured in American Oak and Reconditioned ex-Wine Barriques – My Tasting Note: “Nose: warm, buttery, almond paste filled croissants; big orange citrus and Scottish shortbread cookies; beer nuts and maple glazed almonds; malty and herbaceous. Palate: round, chewy and very malty; the barley really shines on the palate; the whisky is young but the spirit very elegant; more orange and nutty almond tones along with both shelled and sugared peanuts; there is a touch of leather on top of a base of creamy vanilla. Finish: light and short in length, but pleasant. Comment: this is a young single malt that shows oodles of promise; can’t wait to see how this evolves over the next couple of decades!” – Regular $82.99 – SAVE 20% – $66.39+gst (while stocks last)

SAVE 25% on American Rockies & Feed YYC! 

$5 from Each Bottle to go to the Calgary Food Bank!

Looking for your next Bourbon, for sipping neat, on the rocks or for an Old Fashioned?

American Rockies Bourbon has been discontinued by the producer,  and they  are blowing it out. As always, we are passing the Savings on. Not only is this Bourbon 25% off, but we will also donate $5 from every bottled sold to the Calgary Food Bank!

From the people who brought you Canadian Rockies, American Rockies is a Small Batch Bourbon bottled at 44%. We believe the Bourbon is sourced from a Wyoming Whiskey distillery that we happen to be quite fond of.

 American Rockies – 44% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: dough, dill-y and woody; smells like a High School woodshop; shelled peanuts, butter tarts and aromatic bitters; peppery with some doughy oatmeal-raisin notes. Palate: sweet, fruity and spicy, with loads of wood-shop tones; fresh, fruity and toasty; more oatmeal-raisin cookie dough, peppery spices and oaky tannins; Demerara sugar and aromatic bitters before warm butter tarts. Finish: fresh, doughy, fruity, sweet and spicy; can’t get over the oatmeal-raisin cookie dough and Demerara mixed with bitters combo… Comment:  very fresh for an American whiskey, lots of layers, with the oak restrained nicely.” – Was $70 – SAVE 25% – Now: $52.49 & we’ll donate $5 of that to the Calgary Food Bank!

Free City-Wide Delivery in Calgary & Other Deals! 

Free Delivery in Calgary for Orders Over $50, and Loads of Deals To Be Had!

As with many other small and independent businesses in the city, we are getting creative to continue serving our customers and keeping the business going. We have taken precautions in-store to ensure the health and safety of both our staff and customers. Details on that below! We are also offering options to continue serving those of you in quarantine or who are taking extra precautions with regards to social isolation.


– We are offering free delivery for orders over $50 placed online or over the phone, and will do our best to deliver within 72 hours.


– Place an order, we’ll let you know when it is ready. Call us when you are out front or parked in the back lot and we’ll bring it out. Simple as that!


– Want to send someone a care package? All gifting options are still available. Quarantined parents and closed schools qualify as a “wine emergency”. Gift cards are also available and can be used over the phone.

If you are able, please submit your order online. We will answer any questions you might have before finalizing and processing your order. You are not automatically billed when you submit your order.

We will do our best to answer and process as many phone orders as we can. Call us at 403-283-8000. We are offering some great deals too. More on that below, see the bottom of the Malt Messenger!

Customers are still welcome to come in to the store to pick up orders as well as browse and purchase in-store. We are routinely disinfecting commonly touched surfaces and have hand sanitation stations around the store.

Let us know how we can continue to help and serve you in these challenging times!

Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger! 

Contact & Disclaimers 

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store.

All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change and don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.


Andrew Ferguson

Owner & Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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