MALT MESSENGER NO. 121 by Andrew Ferguson “THE THERE IS LOTS OF COOL STUFF ARRIVING SOON EDITION” – Cool Stuff Whisky News

MALT MESSENGER NO. 121

THE THERE IS LOTS OF COOL STUFF ARRIVING SOON EDITION

As some of you well know, we celebrate our Birthday Sale every year, in mid-May. We’re turning 29 years old this year, which means our 30th Anniversary is not far off!

We are of course excited, but, as with last year, we are faced with a tough decision. Last year we put off the Birthday Sale until June as we were all still feeling our way through the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, and adjusting precautions almost daily.

Covid-19 numbers are now at record levels in Alberta and especially Calgary. Even in the best-case scenario (which I believe to be unlikely), the number of active cases will still be uncomfortably high in two weeks. We want to push ahead with the sale, but I don’t think it is responsible for us to encourage in-store shopping and lineups at this time.

In the last couple of weeks, my staff has been yelled at twice by members of the public not wanting to wear masks. These were not people with bonified exemptions, just folk who don’t like the restrictions. I understand as much as anyone, how long the last year has been, and the disruption restrictions have had on people’s lives. Patrons of our store need only wear a mask while they are in the shop. My staff and I have to wear masks for our entire workday. We don’t set the rules, but we are expected to encourage customers to respect them. I know people are frustrated and tired, but it is neither fair nor appropriate to take out that frustration on the front line, retail, and service sector employees who are just trying to do their jobs.

For the month of May, I encourage everyone to strongly consider shopping online and to take advantage of curbside pick-up and our offer of Free Delivery in Calgary for orders over $100. You are still welcome to shop in-store, with one exception I’ll address in a moment, but you may be asked to wait in line, and you must wear a mask.

Circling back to our Annual Birthday Sale, it will still go ahead from Thursday, May 13 through Sunday the 16th. But, we will not be allowing any in-store shopping. The sale will be exclusively online, and for those not web-savvy, by phone!

So save the date, for our Online Only 29th Birthday Sale, which is May 13-16!

There is a lot to fill you in on in this Malt Messenger. We have some exciting new tastings, new arrivals, and a boatload of other whiskies arriving soon. There is a lot here, so let’s start with the tastings.

We have added five new Virtual Whisky Tastings to the Events Calendar. Evan is doing a Brown Forman Bourbon Tasting on May 14 with Brand Ambassador Calin Manuel, and I’ve added an Independent’s Day tasting for the newly arrived Cooper’s Choice bottlings. Other upcoming and soon to be available tastings include:

·     KWM Casks

·     Elixir Distiller’s Old & Rare

·     Introducing: The Whisky Trail

We have just received an amazing new Two Brewers KWM Cask, which we split with the Alberta Scotch Society. This is the first-ever private bottling done by Yukon Brewing & Distilling, which is cool in itself. We’ve been really impressed with their whiskies over the last few years, and while we don’t want to gloat, we think our cask is the finest whisky we have yet to try from the Whitehorse distillery!

Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Release 25 has also just arrived, and it is no slouch either. A peated-wheated single malt, which nicely balances the sweet fruity spirit with peat, oak, and the touch of wheat. We have also just received our 2nd KWM exclusive Tomatin Cask.

We also have some cool new releases from Cooper’s Choice, including a supposedly teaspooned Macallan which dare not speak its name! There are some new American whiskies, including a couple of Bourbons and a single malt from Vapor Distilling of Boulder Colorado. They are bottled under the Boulder Spirits label.

Most of this newsletter is dedicated to a raft of exciting things we are expecting in the weeks and months ahead. For most of the last year, due to unprecedented demand, I’ve only been able to deal with new products as they arrive, rather than getting out in front of them, which is my preference.

They say the best defence is a good offence. Well, I’m trying to apply that principle to a swack of new whiskies we are expecting in the next month or so. Usually, people start requesting sought-after items as soon as they see the products popping up on our site. We end up inundated with requests before we can even get the word out about what’s coming and how limited some of it is, and I lose more hair… but not this time!

Before you start placing requests online or by email, please take the time to carefully browse through the whole newsletter, and try to limit the number of individual requests or orders placed. send me just one email with your requests. Basically, try to keep the FOMO we all experience with new whisky releases in check…

Then we get into the meat of really cool things expected to arrive over the next 2-8 weeks. There are a lot of issues with shipping right now, so it is hard to be more specific than that. But, rather than try to deal with all of them when they arrive, we are going to try and get out ahead of them. Some of them are limited, and if demand is greater than supply, we will draw names.

So what’s coming?!

We have a pile of stuff from our friends at Elixir Distillers. Think Single Malts of Scotland, Elements of Islay, Port Askaig, and a new one I am especially excited about… Islay Violets! Some of these whiskies are tighter than others, and we will draw names for them if needed.

We also have a selection of Glenfarclas Family Casks we bought based on vintage and the reviews. There are just 1-3 bottles each available of most of them, but we did go a little heavier on a few. In all, we have 11 vintages from 2003 stretching back to 1978.

Also in the Coming Soon category, a pair of new Single Farm Origin bottlings from Waterford. Arriving in June/July, they are the first-ever releases of Hook Head and Lakefield, both 1.1s. We also have a small allocation of the Compass Box Magic Cask arriving in the weeks ahead. As with many other whiskies. it will be limited to 1 per customer.

Please don’t hesitate to email me with any requests, questions, or comments. Some of these products are listed online, many are not. While I am trying to encourage more online ordering, rather than email requests, some of these products are not yet showing online.

As always, in the event of a price discrepancy, the point of sale at KWM will be taken as correct.

Sincerely,

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

IN THIS EDITION

1. New KWM Exclusive Two Brewers Cask

2. New KWM Exclusive Tomatin 2006 Cask

3. New & Up-Coming Virtual Whisky Tastings

4. Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Release 25 Is Also Here!

5. New Whiskies From Cooper’s Choice

6. Finlaggan Cask Strength is Back!

7. Introducing: Boulder Spirits from Vapor Distillery

8. Bunnahabhain 12 Year is Back!

9. Coming Soon: New Whiskies from Elixir Distillers Pt.1a – Old & Rare

10.                Coming Soon: New Whiskies from Elixir Distillers Pt.1b – Islay Violets 33 Year

11.                Coming Soon: New Whiskies from Elixir Distillers Pt.1c – The Single Malts of Scotland

12.                Coming Soon: New Whiskies from Elixir Distillers Pt.1d – Islay Whiskies

13.                Coming Soon: New Whiskies from Peat’s Beast

14.                Coming Soon: Two New Waterford Single Farm Origins

15.                Coming Soon: Glenfarclas Family Casks

16.                Coming Soon: Compass Box Magic Cask

NEW KWM EXCLUSIVE TWO BREWERS CASK

Our first ever exclusive single cask bottling from Two Brewers was split with the Alberta Scotch Society. Distilled October 13, 2013, from a mash of peated malt, the whisky was matured 8 years in ex-Bourbon before bottling on January 14, 2021, at 58%. The malt was peated somewhere between 25 & 50PPM… It is a stunner, but sadly there are just 84 bottles!

Some Geeky Details – the more the better!

1. Mash 022 – September 25, 2013

2. 100% heavily peated malt from Bairds in the UK

3. Fermented with Brewers Yeast and Safdistil C70, OG 20.6 P; FG 10/02/13 -0.2 P.

4. Distilled on October 13, 2013.

5. Filled into a #3 char fresh ex-Bourbon Barrel, #169, on October 14, 2013, at 66.3%.

Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt KWM Cask – 58% – ex-Bourbon – My Tasting Note: “Nose: Chocolatey Mint Girl Guide Cookies, Smores and Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups; gooey, juicy malt and firm earthy peat; underneath all that dried apricots, baked apples in cinnamon and singed orange rind. Palate: loads of chocolate, vanilla, chewy peated malt, and more Girl Guides Chocolatey Mint cookies; Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait, Turtles, and Smores; still gooey and decadent; more apricot, baked apples in cinnamon and melons; decadent spices. Finish: long, coating, and layered; more chocolate temptations, soft fruits, and spice; deft juicy peat. Comment: wowawiwa… this is stunning stuff; easily the best bottling of Two Brewer’s I’ve ever had, and I’m not just saying that because our logo is on it; very fruity, malty and developed with loads of peanuts, chocolate, caramel, and mint. – $140

NEW KWM EXCLUSIVE TOMATIN CASK

When asked what “must visit distilleries” people should be sure to hit when in the Highlands and Speyside area, I almost always list Tomatin. Aside from the facts they are some of my favourite whisky-folk in Scotland, and also make some excellent whisky, Tomatin is also one of the most interesting distilleries in Scotland. It was at one time the largest malt whisky distillery in the country and its site high in the Cairngorm mountains is enormously outsized for its needs today. It is also unashamed of its rough edges, a proud working distillery, which contrasts nicely with the picturesque and carefully manicured visitor centers of the better-known distilleries.

We have just received our second KWM exclusive single cask of Tomatin. We picked it last August, and due to Covid, Brexit and shipping challenges it has only just arrived. There are just 297 bottles, at a very good price!

Tomatin 2006 KWM Cask 33283 – 57.1% – 14 Year – Recharred American Oak Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft, doughy and toasty; vanilla, white chocolate, almonds, and citrus: lemon, lime and orange rinds; wine gums; decadent and floral with chewy malt. Palate: thick, honeyed, and coating; it is warming with Demerara sugar, vanilla extract, and crisp decadent spices; more juicy malt and loads of citrus; more wine gums and strawberry Twizzlers. Finish: medium in length, soft, coating, and spicy; fading honey, vanilla, citrus, floral tones, and toasted oak. Comment: decadent, juicy, and refreshing, this is a lovely addition to our stable of KWM exclusive whiskies; it is also excellent value!: – $118NEW VIRTUAL WHISKY TASTINGS

All of our virtual whisky tastings include a range of 15ml samples, sealed for your protection and labeled according to AGLC regulations. The estimated pick-up date is provided for each tasting. Our preference is for pick-up (either in-store or curbside), but they can be delivered within Calgary-city limits for a $10 fee, or shipped within Alberta (packaging and shipping extra). A zoom code will be emailed for each tasting a day or two prior to the event.


Bourbon from Brown-Forman with Calin & Evan

·     Date: Friday, May 14

·     Time: 8 PM

·     Cost: $30

·     Pick-Up Date: Available Now!

Brown-Forman is one of the first families of Bourbon and American Whiskey, operating the iconic Woodford and Old Forester Distilleries in Kentucky and of course the fabled Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Tennessee. Virtually join Evan and Brown-Forman’s local Advocacy & Engagement Manager Calin Manual for a taste through a six-strong line-up of Brown-Forman’s Brands. The six 15ml samples tasted will include Old Forester Whiskey Row 1920, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel – Barrel Strength, and the very hard-to-find Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Series 16!

*SAMPLES READY FOR PICK-UP!

**Half Sold Out!


Independents Day: Cooper’s Choice

·     Date: Thursday, May 27

·     Time: 8 PM

·     Cost: $50

·     Pick-Up Date: Available Now

We just received a shipment from Cooper’s Choice, and there are some very interesting things. Cooper’s Choice is not as well known as some other independent bottlers, but they offer some of the best value in Scotch Whisky. We also love that they bottle at either cask strength or 46%. Our range includes a mysterious, sherried, teaspooned 19-year-old “Speyside” single malt, a 19 year old Bunnahabhain and a Miltonduff 13 Year finished in an Imperial Stout Cask… Add to this a trio of great value single Scotch grain whiskies, including a seldom-seen Dumbarton, and we have a rather enticing range. Includes seven 15ml samples.

*SAMPLES READY FOR PICK-UP!

**3/4 Sold Out – Only 11 spots left!

KWM Casks – The First Half of 2021

·     Date: Tuesday, June 8

·     Time: 8 PM

·     Cost: $35

·     Pick-Up Date: TBC (Target May 18)

We’ve received some very cool single casks this year. Normally we’d offer samples for interested parties in-store, but sadly circumstances have not allowed for that this year. What to do? One of our staff suggested we hold a virtual tasting, highlighting our new KWM exclusive casks. So we’ll be pouring our new casks from Benromach, Old Pulteney, Two Brewers, Tomatin, Teeling (if it gets here in time), Kilchoman and our 25 Year Glenfarclas Cask Strength. In all, we will sample 8 KWM exclusive single casks, carefully selected by your friends at KWM! 8 PM Tuesday, June 8.


Independents Day: Feis Isle 2021

·     Date: Tuesday, June 15

·     Time: 8 PM

·     Cost: $45

·     Pick-Up Date: TBC (Target May 25)

We have some very cool Islay whiskies arriving soon, which got us thinking, we’re long overdue for a KWM Feis Isle (Islay Festival) Tasting. It will have to be virtual this year, but the range won’t disappoint, including the Port Askaig 12 Year Autumn Release, Elements of Islay Bn8, Cl13 & LP11 as well as the Peats Beast PX Finish & 27 Year. In all we’ll sample 7 whiskies (15ml samples of each) from the Queen of the Hebrides, none of them ever before featured in a KWM tasting! 8PM Thursday, June 15.

Elixir Distillers Old & Rare with Oliver Chilton & Celine Tetu

 

·     Date: Saturday, June 19

·     Time: 5 PM

·     Cost: $175

·     Pick-Up Date: TBC (Target June 1)

Elixir Distiller’s Head Blender & Business Manager Oliver Chilton will be our special guest, along with International Sales Manager Celine Tetu, as we sample our way through a range of truly Old & Rare whiskies. We’ll wet our lips with Clynelish 22 Year, Imperial 28 Year, Glenrothes 30 Year, Bowmore 33 Year, and a pair of Bunnahabhains’ 43 and 44 years of age. Participants will also be able to sample a 21 year old Rosebank, and have the first crack at the tiny amount of bottles available. The tasting includes 7x 15ml samples. 5 PM Saturday, June 19.

Introducing: The Whisky Trail with Julie Hamilton & Celine Tetu

·     Date: Friday, June 25

·     Time: 5 PM

·     Cost: $45

·     Pick-Up Date: TBC (Taget June 7)

We will be joined by Elixir Distillers Brand Ambassador Julie Hamilton, and International Sales Manager Celine Tetu, as we introduce a new range of independent bottlings with really cool labels, The Whisky Trail. We are starting out with 7 whiskies from the Retro Cars and Video Games labels. Our range will include single cask bottlings of Ben Nevis 1996, Cambus 1990, Glen Elgin 2007, Glenrothes 1989, Invergordon 1987, and a pair of Ardmores’ from 2009 and 1998. Participants in the tasting will not only be the first people in Canada to sample these whiskies, but they will also have the first opportunity to purchase the bottles. Friday, June 25, 5 PM.

*We will be donating $15 per ticket to the Brenda Stafford Center, a local women’s shelter.

TWO BREWERS YUKON SINGLE MALT RELEASE 25 IS ALSO HERE!

Bottled at 43%, Release #25, is a 7 year old “Peated” and wheated single malt. Initially matured in virgin oak for one year, the whisky was then transferred to ex-Bourbon casks for the remaining maturation. More stock arriving on Wednesday!

Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Release 25 – 43% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: doughy, fruity and decadent; juicy malt with just a hint of clean peat smoke; apples, pears, apricot, and peaches; floral with vanilla and lavender; a faint ashiness with a touch of wet gravel. Palate: round, bright, and very malty; notes of cereal, granola, and Honey Nut Corn Flakes; juicy with more white and stone fruits; still doughy with honey and vanilla; still mineral with flinty-gravelly tones; late clean smoke. Finish: clean, ashy peat smoke with soft fruits, vanilla, and honey; rather more-ish. Comment: there is something about adding peat to the mix which can hide imperfections; in Two Brewers case it helps restrain the sweet-fruity notes; the wheat also seems to lighten the body and weight; a lovely release, but not quite as good as our new KWM Cask!” – $105 

NEW WHISKIES FROM COOPER’S CHOICE

There are a couple of cool things from Cooper’s Choice this time around. Unfortunately, we were not shipped the requested new release of the Golden Grain, but we did get 4 new very well-priced single grains. The Dumbarton is one we don’t see too often… The Miltonduff is also rather curious, finished in an Imperial Milk Stout Cask!

I’m sure the one which will be most in-demand is the Family Silver 19 Year. We requested 90 bottles, in the end, we only received 42. The whisky is rumoured to be teaspooned Macallan… We can’t know that for sure, but it is as good a story as any!

1. Cooper’s Choice Family Silver 2001 – 44% – 19 Year – Sherry Cask – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: rich, Jamaican ginger cake, sherry, delicious spices and fruit. Palate: big sherry notes, dates, all spice, ginger and raisins with dark chocolate.Finish: more sweetness and spices. Softest trace of wood smoke on the tail.” – $172 – 87.62pts Whisky Base – Limit 1 Per Customer!

2. Cooper’s Choice Miltonduff 2007 – 51.1% – 13 Year – Imperial Milk Stout Finish – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: coffee notes and brown sugar. Delicious roasted grains. Palate: big, rich and complex with caramel and burnt malt. More sweetness. Finish: Good length with more roasted coffee beans and malt.” – $120

3. Cooper’s Choice Dumbarton 2000 – 58.5% – 20 Year – ex-Bourbon Cask – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: coconut and vanilla with marzipan and a touch of coffee. Palate: Bourbon notes with marshmallows and pastries. Finish: cedar spice. Late sweetness with a hint of brazil nuts.” – $168

4. Cooper’s Choice Girvan 1990 – 49.5% – 30 Year – ex-Bourbon Barrel – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: oaky vanilla and fudge. Coconut with Bourbon notes. Palate: more mouthwatering creamy coconut and vanilla. Baked pastry with marshmallows and pencil shavings. Finish: more vanilla and oak. Late fruits.” – $200

5. Cooper’s Choice North British 1987 – 45% – 32 Year – ex-Bourbon Barrel – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: delicious sweet vanilla and coconut notes. Palate: cereals and sweet spices. Like an old Bourbon with pencil shavings and more coconut. Light caramel sweetness and spice. Finish: oaky vanilla.” – $214

6. Cooper’s Choice Strathclyde 1993 – 52.5% – 26 Year – ex-Bourbon Cask – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: sweet vanilla and butterscotch. Coconut and pencil shavings. Palate: delicious sweet Bourbon notes with gentle spice and fruit. Delightful coconut burst with touch of pine straw, toasted marshmallows and more sweet vanilla. Just beautiful. Finish: A fabulous old grain. Mouthcoating and moreish.” – $191

 

 

INTRODUCING:

BOULDER SPIRTS FROM VAPOUR DISTILLERY

Established in 2015, in Boulder Colorado, by Scottish born and bred Alastair Brogan, who serves as master distiller. The distillery produces whiskey and gin, in a copper pot still made by Forsyth in Scotland. The Bourbons are curiously malt heavy, at 44%. Maybe not so surprising given they were made by a Scotsman! We are expecting a trio of whiskies from the distillery this week.

 

Boulder Bourbon – 46% – Virgin American Oak Barrel – Producer Tasting Note: “Woody aromas of cedar, popcorn, roasted pecan, & banana cake with a round, dry medium body & a warming, medium-length cinnamon Danish finish. A bold craft whiskey that offers tasty notes of sweet cinnamon pastry.” – $76

Boulder Bourbon Sherry Cask Finish – 47% – Virgin American Oak w/ Sherry Cask Finish – Producer Tasting Note: “Spiced fruitcake, mulled wine, velvet-esque mouth-feel.” – $88

Boulder American Single Malt Peated – 46% – Virgin American Oak Cask – 100% Scottish Peated Malt – Producer Tasting Note: “Earthy, yet faint, peat smoke permeates throughout. Rich mouth-feel, woodsy, and intriguing. This is one of very, very few peated malt whiskeys aged solely in virgin oak.” – $94

 

BUNNAHABHAIN 12 YEAR BACK IN-STOCK!

The Bunnahabhain 12 Year is back in stock, and it is still a great value!

A few years back Bunnahabhain bumped their strength up to 46.3%, bottling it without colouring or chill-filtering. This is the entry-level bottling of the Bunnahabhain Distillery, known as the “Gentle Giant of Islay.” Bunnahabhain’s whisky is generally unpeated, bucking the trend of most Islay distilleries, though it does also produce peated malts. Bunnahabhain is the anchor whisky of the Black Bottle Blend.

Bunnahabhain 12 Year – 46.3% – Bourbon & Sherry Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Fresh and aromatic, fruity floral with hints of dried fruit and a subtle prevalence of smoke. Palate: Light with fruit notes, nutty flavours with a sweetness and slight hints of vanilla and caramel. Finish: Lingering, beautifully rich and full-bodied.” – $75

COMING SOON: NEW WHISKIES FROM ELIXIR DISTILLERS PT.1A – OLD & RARE

We have two new 40-something Bunnahabhains arriving in the weeks ahead, bottled under the Director’s Special series. The rare is personally selected by Elixir Distillers owner Sukhinder Singh!

SMOS Director’s Special Bunnhabhain 43 Year – 41.4% – 1975 – Refill Bourbon Hogshead – Whisky Exchange Note: “A single-cask release of Bunnahabhain from the Single Malts of Scotland, bottled as part of the Director’s Special range. This was distilled back in 1975 and aged for 43 years in a single refill-bourbon hogshead. Over the years, its strength has naturally dropped, concentrating its flavour. The result is a soft and fruity whisky that shows the delicacy of Bunnahabhain’s normally boisterous spirit.” – 89pts Angus @ Whisky Fun & 89.5pts Whisky Base – Limit 1 Per Customer

SMOS Director’s Special Bunnhabhain 44 Year – 42.4% – Whisky Exchange Note: “A 44 Year Old Bunnahabhain single malt from indie bottler Elixir Distillers, matured in a single cask for more than four decades before being bottled as part of its Director’s Special range. Aromas of plum wine, caramel sauce, quince, marshmallows and gingerbread mingle with wildflowers and sweet tea on the nose. The palate offers notes of fresh peppermint, damp oak, tangerine, heather honey, mango and tobacco that linger in the finish.” – $2000 – 91.67pts Whisky Base – Limit 1 Per Customer

COMING SOON: NEW WHISKIES FROM ELIXIR DISTILLERS PT.1B – ISLAY VIOLETS 33 YEAR

This 33 year old Islay single malt is supposed to be a mystery malt, but one taste and you’ll know this has to be from Bowmore. It is bottled at 46.2% from a parcel of whisky originally matured in American oak and finished in ex-Cognac casks. This floral-lavender style of Bowmore can be divisive but has its fans, including our owner Andrew. But as Billy Abbot from the Whisky Exchange has pointed out (see his tasting note below), this is “an example that might turn more people to the distillery’s floral side.” It has an impressive score of 89.85pts Whisky Base, especially for the style…

To say we’re excited about this release would be a gross understatement. Not everyone loves lavender heavy Bowmore, but we think you’ll love this one! And the packaging…

Islay Violets 33 Year Islay Single Malt Whisky – 46.2% – Matured in American Oak / Finished in ex-Cognac Casks – Tasting Note by Billy Abbott, The Whisky Exchange: “Nose: Waxy with the expected violet notes, both floral petals and green leaves. Sweet barley sugar and parma violet notes develop, with chamois leather, candied lemon and lavender syrup to follow. Zestiness builds, with singed orange peel joining the lemon, along with burning rosemary twigs. Palate: The classic floral notes lead on the palate, with lavender and sweet violet joined by Love Heart candy, sultanas and a hint of mint. Waxy petal notes develop, along with vanilla toffee, soft spice and a touch of damp earth hiding at the back. Finish: A final burst of violet fades to leave candied lemon, green grass and toffee. Comment: A famously divisive style of Bowmore, and an example that might turn more people to the distillery’s floral side. If you’re on the fence, this is the dram to turn you, with excellent floral and citrus balance, and a gentle undertone of smokiness. It tastes exactly how you’d expect from reading the label…” – $625

 

 

COMING SOON: NEW WHISKIES FROM ELIXIR DISTILLERS PT.1C –

THE SINGLE MALTS OF SCOTLAND

We have both single cask and small batch bottlings from the single malts of Scotland range arriving soon. Let’s start with the single casks, which are very well priced for the age and quality of the whiskies. We’ve never been let down by the SMOS range!

Single Malts of Scotland (SMOS ) Single Casks:

1. SMOS Glen Elgin 13 Year Cask 9800010 – 56.3% – 2006 – ex-Bourbon Barrel – Whisky Exchange Note: “A 2006 Glen Elgin single malt from indie bottler Elixir Distillers, matured in a single barrel for 13 years before being bottled in October 2019 as part of its Single Malts of Scotland series. Aromas of crunchy apples, Amalfi lemons, tarragon and paprika fill the nose. The palate offers notes of custard cream biscuits, stewed pears, cinnamon swirls and vanilla ice cream that linger in the finish.” – $100 – 87pts Whisky Fun – Limit 1 Per Customer!

2. SMOS Glenrothes 30 Year Cask 18166 – 48.5% – 1989 – Hogshead – Whisky Exchange Note: “A 1989 Glenrothes single malt from indie bottler Elixir Distillers, matured in a single hogshead for three decades, before being bottled in January 2020 as part of its Single Malts of Scotland range. Aromas of vanilla pod, golden syrup, wood chips and rosemary ciabatta fill the nose. The palate offers notes of clove, grapefruit liqueur, sawdust, black tea and mint, with hints of dark chocolate and coffee in lingering in the finish.” – $475 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

3. SMOS Linkwood 12 Year Cask 804457 – 54.5% – 2007 – Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Orchard-fruit notes of pears, crabapples and peach eau-de-vie. The cask has allowed plenty of aromatic new-make character to remain, overlaid with elderflower blossoms and churned butter. Palate: Follows nicely from the nose – extraordinarily bright, with tarragon, garden mint, rocket and a glass of crisp white wine. The fruit has transformed into lemon and lime peel, contrasting with fresh malted barley. Finish: Slightly chalky with a vanilla sweetness. Pink grapefruit sorbet and white pepper allow this lively dram to finish on a high note.” – $96 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

4. SMOS Teaninich 12 Year Cask 301262 – 57.5% – 2007 – Refill Sherry Butt – Whisky Exchange Note: “A 2007 Teaninich single malt from indie bottler Elixir Distillers, matured in a single refill butt for 12 years before being bottled in November 2019 as part of its Single Malts of Scotland series. Aromas of magnolia blossoms, dandelion, wild grains and buttermilk pancakes fill the nose. The palate offers notes of homemade vanilla custard, lime zest, green tea and orange.” – $110 – 86.5pts Whisky Base – Limit 1 Per Customer!

The SMOS Reserve Casks (Small Batch Releases):

1. SMOS Reserve Casks An Orkney Distillery 13 Year Parcel No.4 – 48% – 3 Sherry Butts – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Cedar wood and homemade strawberry-and-vanilla jam combine with smoked chimney cake and chocolate-covered raisins. Just-cut lumber lends an earthy sweetness to the aroma. Palate: Sticky honey is drizzled on sherry trifle, while next, refreshing cranberry juice and oozing strawberry fondant come to the forefront. A little bit of clove spice blends with a penny toffee. Finish: Orange zest and liquorice appear towards the end, along with a syrupy sweetness. Smooth-yet-spicy 50% cocoa chilli-chocolate leaves a lasting impression.” – $105 – 88.32pts Whisky Base

2. SMOS Reserve Casks A Speyside Distillery 10 Year Parcel No.4 – 48% – Marriage of 3 Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Rum-and-raisin ice cream, served with pecan pie and caramel brittle. Aromas of caramelised plums and freshly-baked redcurrant scones mingle with the freshness of crisp paper. Palate: Cloves and mince pies, with a dusting of icing sugar, greet us on the palate. Boiled fruitcake, drizzled with acacia honey, fills the senses. This is then joined by dried cranberries and liquorice-and-mint tea. Finish: Warming and sweetly intense: allspice, agave syrup and dates. Echoes of velvet falernum and almond extract rest at the back of the palate.” – $85 – 87.45pts Whisky Base

COMING SOON: NEW WHISKIES FROM ELIXIR DISTILLERS PT.1D – ISLAY WHISKIES

1. Elements Of Islay Bn8 – 58.4% – American Oak & Ex-Sherry Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Dark orange chocolate, under-sugared peach jam and shredded lemon verbena. Rounded out by nutty, mature cheddar. Palate: Smoked paprika and cumin spice marries with tart sweetness: apple drops and slightly burnt pear upside-down-cake. More pepperiness with crunchy ginger-nut biscuits and a drop of star anise oil. Finish: Weathered leather, raw cacao nibs and the prickle of Pimento pepper, toned down with Danish butter cookies.” – $74 – 1 Per Customer

2. Elements Of Islay Bw8 – 51.2% – 16 Year – Bourbon Barrels & Sherry Butts – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Grapefruit mixed with brown sugar. A hint of charcoal smoke with baked lemons developing into richer, more pronounced tropical notes of under-ripe mango drizzled with lime juice. Palate: Old-fashioned chocolate limes. Citrus and salt blend together and further richness is delivered by papaya and kiwi. Buttered samphire lends a coastal feel. Finish: A dry, herbaceous finish lingers with wave after wave of kiln smoke.” – $210 – 1 Per Customer

3. Elements Of Islay Cl13 – 54.6% – 9 Year – Hogsheads & Sherry Butts – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Spicy pork on the BBQ with notes of smoked paprika, cracked black pepper and lime juice. Hot chocolate with chilli powder and caramelised hazelnuts, accented by sea-spray freshness. Palate: Slightly oily with spices, green pepper and rustic salt-and-pepper crisps. A sweetness develops, with dusty chocolate and freeze-dried raspberries wrapped in wood smoke. Finish: The spice lingers, accompanied by a dry, salty tang.” – $75 – 1 Per Customer

4. Elements Of Islay Lp11 – 52.2% – 15 Year – ex-Bourbon Barrels – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Tamarind, dates and molasses. Sausages sizzling in the frying pan. Coal smoke with classic medicinal notes – carbolic soap and bandages. Palate: Barbecued coastal notes married with Cox apples, celeriac and chilli spice. Salty maritime brine and homemade tomato sauce on a juicy burger straight from the grill. Finish: Charcoal, charred toast from a farmer’s loaf and stewed orchard fruits.” – $240 – 1 Per Customer

5. Port Askaig 12 Yr Old Autumn Edition 2020 – 45.8% – Refill Bourbon Hogsheads & Sherry Butts – Producer Description & Tasting Note: “This limited edition Port Askaig bottling (9,000 bottles produced) is a tribute to the wonderful flavours of Islay, from a distillery on the north-east coast of Islay, close to the village of Port Askaig. A blend nine refill American oak hogsheads, five Oloroso sherry butts and three solera sherry butts has been used to create this flavourful single malt with a medley of smoky, fruity and coastal notes. To fully showcase its distinct Islay character, this whisky is non chill-filtered and bottled at 45.8%.” – $100

COMING SOON: NEW WHISKIES FROM

PEAT’S BEAST

Peat’s Beast is an Islay Independent Bottler, founded by Whisky Industry insiders in 2011. The 5 whiskies below are slated to arrive at KWM in the next few weeks, and are from undisclosed Islay distilleries. One of the whiskies, the 34 year old, is almost certainly from Bowmore, while the 27 year old is rumoured to be from… Islay. Both have excellent reviews.Peat’s Beast Islay Single Malt – 46% – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: A rugged fusion of sea spray, bonfire smoke, damp earth and spicy cinnamon immediately arouses the senses. These powerful aromas of peat moss and wet grass must be fully respected before seductive notes of crushed pear, apple and freshly baked bread provide the perfect finish to this memorable melody. Taste: Strong and bold with plenty of backbone and structure as this great monster unfolds its fiery fangs on your palate. This is not for the faint-hearted. Take a generous mouthful with a biting wind blowing furiously in your face. Hold it long in your mouth allow the thick tar, peat smoke and creamy licorice to penetrate every part of your tongue. Time will tame it.” – $72

Peat’s Beast Islay Single Malt Batch Strength – 52.1% – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Elegant and refined. Soft delicate honey notes are entwined with vanilla spice, creamy caramel and cinnamon. Then suddenly… the growl of bonfire smoke, sea spray, cardamom and tar rope hits you. The beast is awake! Taste: You can feel its immense power as it pours onto your palate like a violent thunderstorm. You need to brace yourself. Its “natural strength” is untamed and ferocious. Yet, seconds later – this beastly peaty, fiery spirit is soon soothed by the warmth of your tongue. Almost immediately a calmness, a stillness pervades as seductive notes of moist banana cake, thick treacle, mocha with whispers of sweet pineapple, ginger and cumin finally come into play to give you an unforgettable aftertaste. Everyone has a little beast in them – this one more than most.” – $82

Peat’s Beast Batch Strength PX Finish – 54.1% – FInished 9 Months in Pedro Ximenez Sherry – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Damp smoke, peat, TCP, seaweed then morphing into sweet syrupy burnt sugar notes from the Sherry cask. Taste: So we have the familiar hints of peppery peat smoke, damp burnt bracken and the salty notes of seaweed. But Peat’s Beast Sherry gives you more. There are subtle sweet notes of dates and figs with the sweet hues of Spanish Sherry; an absolute juxtaposition between dry peat smoke and rum and raisin ice cream, a quite sublime dram. On the palate a real peat bite but wrapped in a gorgeous warm coat of dates, figs, hints of clove and vanilla. The peat fire stays at the back of the throat but there are strong notes of chocolate, sweet rum and raisin ice cream, burnt caramel. Incredibly long finish.” – $105 – Exclusive to KWM

Peat’s Beast 27 Year Islay Single Malt – 50.1% – American Oak Casks – Rumoured to be Laphroaig – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Generous, bold and powerful, the hand of time has fully crafted this gentle giant as a spectrum of enticing nuances reveal its iconic credentials; ginger spice, Madagascan Vanilla pod, Autumn leaves bonfire smoke and freshly baked banana bread. There is also a seductive interplay of roasted walnuts, thick black toffee, bitter chocolate and liquorice that lingers gently on the aftertaste. Taste: Complex yet intriguing, as a multitude of enticing flavours makes their presence felt. It makes you smile involuntarily, the way a distinguished whisky of this exceptional calibre does with its many fine attributes. Age, along with the gentle hand of “Mother Nature” has truly crafted and moulded this noble Islay single malt to perfection. Like all great things, it must be given time to take in these noble qualities of aged mulled wine, moist Christollen cake, smoked Old English marmalade and treacle tart. However, another level of exuberance quickly follows on with generous flavours of apple tart tatin, thick marzipan, old balsamic and espresso coffee. A hint of sun kissed raisins, over-ripe Cayenne pineapple and Bakewell tart drenched in maple syrup completes this aged masterpiece. Comment: Truly, a compelling portrait of beauty.” – $380 – Exclusive to KWM – 89.55pts Whisky Base

Peat’s Beast 34 Year Islay Single Malt – 47.1% – Finished in Cognac Casks – Almost Certainly Distilled at Bowmore – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Divinely decadent with a sophisticated coffret of enticing aromas which immediately makes their presence felt, reverberating seductive nuances of Scottish Heather honey spread over hot buttered toast, Turkish Delight, Doyenne du Comice pear skins and Swiss White chocolate. There is also an exciting vibrancy of caramel fudge, Cape gooseberries, Ogen melon and Vanilla panna cotta slowly unfolding in the background. A gentle kiss of peat smoke and American white oak ebbs away softly on the drydown. Taste: What a stunner! What a beauty! It walks the line between power and finesse and after 34 long years this is not surprising. This magnificent single Islay malt demands and should receive full concentration, respect and reverence as it reveals so many rich treasures of delight – salted caramel, sticky toffee pudding, lime marmalade and frangipan. Broad shouldered and well built you must give this aged icon plenty of time on the palate to fully tease out those extra layers of fig cake, liquorice stick, manuka honey and ginger spice. There is just a faint whisper of grapefruit acidity and saline persistency to round off this nugget of liquid gold.

$595 – Exclusive to KWM – 88.94pts Whisky Base!

COMING SOON: TWO NEW WATERFORD SINGLE FARM ORIGIN SINGLE MALTS

Two new single farm releases from Waterford will be here in June or July. Might be we need to wrangle another tasting when they come.

Waterford Single Farm Origin Hook Head 1.1 – 50% – 3 Years, 8 Months, & 25 Days – ex-Bourbon (46%), Virgin American Oak (22%), ex-French Wine (15%), & Vin Doux Naturel Casks (17% / Mostly Marsala & Some Sherry) – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Earthy maltiness & fresh soil, citrus peel, breadcrust, clove, white pepper, caramel, milk chocolate, salted popcorn, barnyard, oak green foliage. Taste: It’s a spice bomb up front; with cloves, white pepper, salted caramel, liquorice, ginger biscuits, lemon zest, & chilli chocolate. Finish: Dry, but it leaves a lasting oiliness that holds the spiciness for a long time.” – $102

Waterford Single Farm Origin Lakefield 1.1 – 50% – 3 year, 7 months, and 28 days in a mix of ex-Bourbon (46%), Virgin American (23%), ex-French Wine (15%) & Vin Doux Naturel Casks (16% / Port & Marsala) – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Warm custard, bread baking, red apple, milk chocolate, dried flowers, butter cream, pine needles. It reminds me of waiting to eat a rhubarb & apple tart fresh from the oven with custard & cream to hand. Taste: A gentle clove to start that leads into proving bread & malted biscuits, in the middle a pepperiness that travels back my tongue then honeydew melon & pears. Finish: It doesn’t, it meanders along like a tributary to the start of a great river.” – $102

COMING SOON: GLENFARCLAS FAMILY CASKS

There are some Glenfarclas Family Cask bottlings arriving in May. Most of them are from the Summer 2020 Release. Our last Glenfarclas Family Cask shipment was mostly pre-sold, but there was a lot of interest in bottlings from some 90s vintages and the early 2000s. So we ordered some in, hopefully enough that we can put on a Family Cask tastings… more to come on that!

There is at least 1 bottle of each of the whiskies below, some of them are in a bit bigger quantities, but for most, there are just a handful available. ETA is sometime in May, or early June!

A quick reminder, when Glenfarclas says the cask is a 4th Fill Butt, they don’t necessarily mean 4th fill, rather that they may not know how many times it has been filled. Could be 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Fill! Also, the photos are not all shot by the same source, so the actual colour may vary somewhat.

1. Glenfarclas Family Cask 1990 – 55.2% – 29 Year – Summer 2020 – Cask 5122 – Sherry Butt – $1150 – 92.33pts Whisky Base

2. Glenfarclas Family Cask 1991 – 56.3% – 29 Year – Summer 2020 – Cask 211 – Sherry Butt – $1050 – 89.67pts Whisky Base

3. Glenfarclas Family Cask 1992 – 55.9% – 27 Year – Summer 2020 – Cask 2904 – Sherry Butt – $650 – 89.67pts Whisky Base

4. Glenfarclas Family Cask 1992 – 53.5% – 26 Year – Winter 2018 – Cask 5984 – 4th Fill Butt – $635 – 89.86pts Whisky Base

5. Glenfarclas Family Cask 1998 – 57.9% – 21 Year – Summer 2020 – Cask 7635 – Sherry Butt – $470 – 89.22pts Whisky Base

6. Glenfarclas Family Cask 2001 – 56.5% – 18 Year – Summer 2020 – Cask 3384 – 4th Fill Butt – $435 – 85.71pts Whisky Base

7. Glenfarclas Family Cask 2003 – 58.3% – 17 Year – Summer 2020 – Cask 102 – Sherry Butt – $415 – 90.66pts Whisky Base

COMING SOON: COMPASS BOX MAGIC CASK

The whisky is built around a parcel of whisky matured in First-Fill ex-Bourbon Casks from the closed Imperial Distillery (92%), with the balance of the malt (8%) coming “magic casks.” The magic whisky is rumored to be a young single malt from an undisclosed Speyside distillery which is “famous for the robust character of its whiskies.” This robust young malt was re-racked into first fill Oloroso-seasoned butts, which had proven rather promising in an experiment.
Compass Box Magic Cask – 46% – Producer Tasting Note: “Aromas of marmalade and chai tea spices, with hints of plum. Ripe,golden dessert apples dominate the luscious palate, supported by an oaky richness. Flavours of toffee and cocoa powder are also conjured up.” – $240 – Limit 1 Per Customer! – Visit our website for more details.

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*All Prices Quoted here are subject to change and do not include GST. In the case of pricing discrepancies, the price at our point of sale will be taken as correct.*

 

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