Archive for June, 2021

The Good Dram Show – Episode 420 ‘Mackmyra’ – Swedish Whisky News

Welcome to this weeks episode of the show in which I’ll be reviewing the latest release in the Moment series, the Brukswhisky DLX along with a few Moment bottlings from the past. I hope you enjoy it!

The Epicurean Launches Two New “Wood Series” Single Cask Bottlings – Scotch Whisky News

The Epicurean Launches Two New “Wood Series” Single Cask Bottlings 

Douglas Laing & Co has today released both a Ruby Port Finished and Tawny Port Finished Lowland Malt Scotch Whisky as part of The Epicurean Wood Series.

The Epicurean’s fourth and fifth specialist Single Cask releases are bottled at a high alcohol strength of 48% and are proudly offered without chill-filtration. The 100% natural, rich colour of the spirit in each edition has been imparted by the Ruby Port or Tawny Port seasoned Single Cask used for maturing the award-winning Lowland Malt. With this innovative series, The Epicurean seeks to demonstrate that flavour is created throughout the Whisky-making process but most significantly during the interaction between the spirit and the wood when it is in the oak cask.

For both bottlings, The Epicurean Malt was first matured in premium American Oak before being re-racked into a hand-selected Ruby Port Single Cask or Tawny Port Single Cask for a second maturation period of more than twelve months. The result is a full-bodied Malt with layers of complexity and character.

Both the Ruby Port cask and Tawny Port cask originate from the Douro Valley in northern Portugal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the world.

Cara Laing, Director of Whisky, who hand-selected the casks commented: “The Epicurean is a master of versatility, his wonderfully fresh and vibrant Lowland character lends itself beautifully to experimentation with different wood finishes. The deep colour presented in each of these releases speaks for the intense flavour of the spirit. The Ruby Port Finish boasts an explosion of flavours including spices, milk chocolate and tangy raspberries; and The Tawny Port Finish embodies the vibrant taste of juicy pears, red wine and sweet almonds. We are delighted with the result of these bottlings and can’t wait to innovate with the next release in The Epicurean Wood Series.”

Packed in a premium gift tube, The Epicurean Ruby Port Finish Limited Edition and The Epicurean Tawny Port Finish Limited Edition are expected to retail at £59.99/€70 from good specialist retailers. 

About The Epicurean:

Facebook: @DLTheEpicurean
Instagram: @theepicureanwhisky

A marriage of Single Cask Single Malts, only from the Lowland region of Scotland, The Epicurean is characterised by his fresh, zesty and grassy flavour profile. The multi-award winning Scotch Whisky belongs to Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malts -“the Ultimate Distillation of Scotland’s Malt Whisky Regions” – also encompassing Timorous Beastie Highland Malt Scotch Whisky, Scallywag (Speyside), The Gauldrons (Campbeltown), Rock Island (from the Islands) and Big Peat (Islay). 

About Douglas Laing:

Twitter @DLaingWhisky
Facebook: @douglaslaingwhisky
Instagram: @dlaingwhisky

Douglas Laing & Co. is a leading independent Scotch Whisky distiller, blender and bottler specialising in the selection and release of Single Cask Single and Small Batch Malt Scotch Whiskies.

The company was founded by Fred Douglas Laing in 1948 and is still owned and run by the Laing family – Fred Laing Jr and his daughter Cara Laing.

The company philosophy is to bottle the way the distiller intended – at a high strength and without chill-filtration to preserve the robust and unique character of the Whisky. Douglas Laing’s industry reputation and many awards is testament to this ethos.

Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malts, the Ultimate Distillation of Scotland’s Malt Whisky Regions, encompasses The Epicurean Lowland Malt Scotch Whisky, Timorous Beastie (Highlands), Scallywag (Speyside), The Gauldrons (Campbeltown), Rock Islands (Islands) and Big Peat (Islay). Beyond its Blended Malts expertise, the award-winning Douglas Laing portfolio also includes Provenance, Premier Barrel, Old Particular and Xtra Old Particular, collectively known as the firm’s “Exceptional Single Casks”.

New Balblair 2005 & Benromach 2010 at The Whisky Exchange – Scotch Whisky News

We are always on the look out for great whiskies, and when we find something we especially like, we grab it exclusively for our customers. Here we have a pair of single casks from Scotland that we absolutely loved – a fruity Balblair and a softly smoky Benromach.

They’re both great drams, exclusively available from The Whisky Exchange.


Benromach is a hidden gem on the north edge of Speyside, with its softly smoky character offering something a little bit different. This single first-fill-bourbon-cask whisky cuts right to the distillery’s heart: gentle smoke, chocolate and juicy apples.




This bourbon-cask-matured Balblair shows a side of the distillery’s character often hidden beneath layers of sherry – fresh orchard fruit and a touch of the tropical. Melon and apple are slathered with vanilla cream in this summery dram.



The Whisky Exchange Elixir House, Whitby Avenue, Park Royal, London NW10 7SF, UK.

Aged Malts from Redacted Bros.: 10-Year Islay and 19-Year Blended Beauty – K&L Scotch Whisky News

A Pair of Stunning Aged Malts from “Redacted Bros.”
Highly limited gems not long for our shelves…

No one is quite sure how the Dornoch Distillery’s Thompson brothers, Simon and Phil, gain access to such incredible, old stocks from Scotland’s best distilleries at such unbelievable prices, but the secret is out on the quality. Their “Redacted Bros.” label is now a go-to source for some of the most unique and best-priced aged spirits in the market. The two bottlings on offer today are proof positive of the versatility, value, and incredible character in this line. The Caol Ila 10 Year Old Refill Hogshead is an utterly pure, age-stated expression of this Islay icon, and the 19 Year Old Blended Malt Sherry Cask gives a resounding testimonial on how good the style can be when the right juice is involved. Built from spirits no younger than 19 years (with most significantly older and likely named Macallan, Glenrothes, etc.), it’s an undeniable collector’s item at under $80. Scotch whisky fans should stock up though, because we expect these gems to move as fast as anything else from the Thompsons, if not faster.

*These items are expected to arrive for pickup or delivery by late summer 2021

2010 Caol Ila 10 Year Old “Redacted Bros.” (Thompson/Dornoch) Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) (Pre-Arrival) ($59.99)

We couldn’t be prouder to be partnered with the Thompson brothers to bring their incredible hand-selected, independently bottled, single-cask single malts to the US market while we wait for their own spectacular single malts to mature. The brothers have made connections with all the major suppliers of good quality malt throughout Scotland, so while many new independent bottlers are paying high broker premiums for access to interesting stock, the boys up at Dornoch seem to have access at incredibly reasonable prices to solid blue chip stocks. We’re not entirely sure if that’s because of their good relationship with distillers or if their bootstrap business model allows them to operate with much leaner margins, but we tend to see incredible value and quality in each bottling. This fabulous cask of Caol Ila, unmuddled by overly active oak, is the perfect expression of purity from this Islay stalwart. Expect vibrant aromas of ocean breeze, citrus oil, smoky malt, and a creamy note that balances the wild seaside flavors. On the palate, plenty of kick with an oily texture—juicy and rich—tangy lemon peel, crunchy oyster shell, and a salty peat smoke throughout. A stupendous value for a wonderful malt that never disappoints.

2001 Blended Malt 19 Year Old “Redacted Bros.” (Thompson/Dornoch) Sherry Cask Matured Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) (Pre-Arrival) ($79.99)

This unbelievable cask of blended malt is very mysterious. Supposedly sourced from Edrington stocks, the vintage date represents the age of the youngest spirit in the blend and much older malts are likely included. So, this should be a blend of Macallan, Glenrothes, Glenturret, and any number of other distilleries, married in a sherry butt and for some insane reason not used in any of the group’s numerous blended products. The low proof may be the result of some reduction during blending, although the richness and complexity would imply that the lower proof may be the result of older spirit being included. In either event, this represents some of the most exciting stock we’ve come across in years and offers a nicely balanced, highly mature example of why blending malt is an absolutely wonderful idea! Particularly when those blending it forget to use it and sell it to our friends for next to nothing.

Shelter Point’s Newest Whisky Release “Double Barrel Batch 6” – Canadian Whisky News

Double Barreled Batch 6 Dark and Decadent

Our sixth Double Barreled whisky is a special collaboration with Vancouver Island’s renowned Coastal Black Winery. We hand selected 6 of our finest Single Malt whisky casks and finished them in French oak wine barrels, previously home to Coastal Black’s Blackberry Wine. Aged in our American oak for 5 years, and 1 year in Virgin American Oak and then finished for 99 days in flavorful French oak, Shelter Point Double Barreled Whisky is a sensational marriage of spirits.

The Tasting notes (Provided by our newest team member Pat Dunlop):

Nose: Blackberry pie, stewed plums, redcurrant jelly, vanilla & oak
Palate: Dark fruits (blackberries, black currant) & even darker chocolate, orange segments & gentle baking spice
Finish: A slightly spicy and drying finish with mixed fruit and nuts.

Double Barreled Batch 6 is available in a 750ml ($85) and 375ml ($45) and both sizes can be purchased online at

ralfy review 882 Extras. – Why many malts are bottled like blends – Scotch Whisky News

ralfy review 882 Extras. – Why many malts are bottled like blends.

Malt Messenger No. 123 by Andrew Ferguson – A Treasure Trove of New & Exciting Whiskies – Whisky News

I hope this message finds you well. Summer is upon us, and the whiskies keep trickling into the shop. But before we get to that, a quick word on Covid-19, and Fall Tastings, which are somewhat connected.

It looks like Alberta, and Canada, have turned a corner on Covid-19, and I’m sure I’m not wrong in hoping it is for good! Among the things we have missed most due to the pandemic, is hosting in-store tastings and offering samples to customers visiting the store. I’m sure we will be able to resume offering samples to customers in-store in the months ahead. In-store tastings too will resume, but not likely until the New Year.

Protecting the safety of staff and customers has been our foremost concern over the last 15 months, and will continue to guide our policies and actions in the months ahead. I am proud of how my team has handled themselves over this difficult time. All of us have had at least one, if not both of our shots. I’m also grateful for the patience, understanding, and support of our customers, friends, and neighbours over these long months.

We will continue to balance protecting everyone’s safety with offering the highest quality of service we can. This will include, amongst other things, relaxing the number of customers we allow in-store at any given time, as well as lifting, eventually, the requirement to wear a face covering. I can’t say for sure when the latter will be, but foremost in our decision will be the comfort and safety of our customers and staff. We’ve gone 15 months without a single staff member catching Covid-19, and so we will take our time in letting our guard down.

As for in-store sitdown tastings, they will not likely return to KWM until February of 2022. It is possible this could change, but there are three reasons why we will not be rushing back into hosting them. Firstly, we had to cancel $50K worth of events at the start of the pandemic, and accordingly, I don’t want to get the cart ahead of the horse. Secondly, our tasting room has become a logistics and fulfilment area. Far more of our business is pick-up and delivery than ever before, and it will be hard to give up this space prior to Christmas. Finally, the virtual tastings have been well received, and the feedback we’ve received from customers is that they enjoy doing them from the comfort of their own homes. Not to mention the reduced risk, and the opportunity for customers outside of Calgary to take part in the tastings too.

The in-store tasting will return, but virtual tastings will see us through the end of 2021. And they will continue to be a part of our tasting program moving forward.

Our 2nd Teeling Cask, a 15 Year Armagnac matured whiskey, will be here next week! We’ll be sure to share the details with you when it arrives, but what I can tell you right now is that it was matured in an Armagnac cask, and it is another tropical fruit bomb!

In case you missed the last Malt Messenger Bulletin, our new Kilchoman 14 Year MS Society YYC Cask has arrived. It is the oldest whisky from this distillery ever to come to Canada, supplanting our 12 Year KWM Cask! $25 from every bottle sold will be going to the MS Society of Canada. More details below.

But this is not the only new Kilchoman cask to fill you in on. The distillery’s Alberta importer, Gold Medal Marketing, has bottled a Kilchoman 8 Year 100% Islay “Alberta Cask.” Details below.

We also opened up a slew of new virtual whisky tastings, which we mentioned in the last Malt Messenger, and many of them are filling quickly. They will see us through the end of July, after which we are going to slow things down for a bit. We will be using the month of August to plan for the fall. Details on all of our upcoming tastings can be found below or on our tasting page.

There are loads of other new whiskies to fill you in on too. We have 7 new whiskies from the Cadenhead Original Collection, including a couple of very sherried offerings. From Elixir Distillers, we have another round of Single Malts of Scotland, and 7 new whiskies from the new “The Whisky Trail” line. From Douglas Laing, there is the Big Peat Peatrichor (the 2021 Feis Isle bottling) and 3 XOP single casks, including 2 Port Ellens!

There are also a number of new releases from The Whisky Agency, almost 20 to be exact, and they look very interesting. There are also some newish-Cognacs from Vallein Tercinier. They’ve actually been here for a wee while, but they are very cool, and they are getting some phenomenal reviews.

We have also at long last finally received the Arran Explorers Series Drumadoon and a bit more of the Arran 25 Year. Neither are expected to last long!

Everything in this newsletter can be ordered/purchased online, so please do so if you can. I take Sundays off, so if you email me rather than order online, you might miss out!

As always, in the event of a discrepancy in price, the point of sale at KWM will be taken as correct. Please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions or comments. But be patient, I may be head down working on our new website, which will be launching next month.

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


Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market


1. Upcoming Virtual Tastings

2. Introducing: The Kilchoman 14 Year MS Society Calgary Cask

3. Introducing: The Kilchoman 100% Islay Alberta Cask

4. New Whiskies from Cadenhead

5. New Whiskies from Exilir Distillers PT2.A – SMOS

6. New Whiskies from Exilir Distillers PT2.B – The Whisky Trail

7. New Whiskies from Douglas Laing

8. New Whiskies from The Whisky Agency

9. New Heads & Tails Whiskies from The Whisky Agency

10.   Arran 25 Year & Explorers Series 4 Drumadoon


We will be taking a bit of a breather in August, as far as tastings go. But we are going full out through the end of July… Most of our tastings are getting close to sold out, but there are still some spots left!

Canada D’Eh: Shelter Point Distillery

·     Date: Tuesday, June 29

·     Time: 8 PM

·     Cost: $25

·     Pick-Up Date: Available Now

·     Only 7 spots left!

With Canada Day approaching, we thought we’d shine a little extra light on some of our favourite Canadian Distilleries. We’re teaming up with our friends Jacob and Leon at Shelter Point to put on a virtual tasting of some of the finest whisky made in Canada. Our range will include 7 15ml samples of Shelter Point Whisky: The Collective, Smoke Point Batch 2, Double Barrel Batch 5, and The Forbidden, as well as some soon-to-arrive releases: Smoke and Oak, Ripple Rock & the 3rd and final KWM Rye (Alberta Distillers) Cask!


SMWS Canada July 20201 Outturn Tasting

·     Date: Thursday July 8

·     Time: 8 PM

·     Cost: $55

·     Pick-Up Date: Available Now

We’ve had enough interest to open a second bottle and expand the tasting… and you won’t want to miss this Outturn tasting. It includes a special bottle, from a distillery we rarely ever see!

Join the KWM whisky team for a virtual tasting of the July 2021 Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada Outturn. Registrations are limited to 2 per Member. The tasting will consist of 7 15ml samples from the July 2021 Outturn. The tasting will be hosted on Zoom at 8 PM on Thursday, July 8 at 8 PM. Samples will be available for pickup at KWM on Monday, June 21. They can be delivered in Calgary, subject to availability for a $10 fee, but we suggest picking them up in person or at the curbside. A Zoom code will be emailed out approximately 24 hours before the tasting.


Highland Park: We’re Not in Scotland Anymore… Are We?!

·     Date: Thursday, July 15

·     Time: 8 PM

·     Cost: $65

·     Pick-Up Date: Available Now

·     Only 5 Spots Left!

While looking for tasting ideas we were surprised to discover that a couple of the Highland Park-themed whisky pairs were still kicking around. Highland Park went heavy on the Viking themes about a decade ago, the pinnacle of which was Light & Dark, Fire & Ice. We thought it might be fun to revisit these curiosities, along with a couple of friends. Join us for a dissection of Highland Park whiskies including Ice Edition 17 Year, Fire Edition 15 Year, The Dark 17 Year, The Light 17 Year, Valknut, Valfather, 18 Year, and an 18 Year IB single cask. 8x 15ml samples. 8P M, Thursday, July 15.


Really Rare & Old: Things Andrew Wants to Try

·     Date: Thursday, July 22

·     Time: 7 PM

·     Cost: $300

·     Pick-Up Date: Available Now

·     Only 10 Spots Left!

If you think Andrew looks excited in the photo above, imagine him with the range below in front of him!

We’re back with another baller range of whiskies the big guy is dying to try. The Covid-19 pandemic hit just days before we were supposed to host our first-ever Rare & Old Whisky Festival. We were gutted to have to pull the plug, but it was the right decision, and it will likely be next winter before we return to sit-down in-store, let alone festival-style tasting… but we’ve still had some fun, and will continue to. There are more than a few old and rare whiskies we want to taste, and we know we are not alone in this. The first “Rare & Old: Things Andrew Wants to Try” tasting was a hit. So we are following it up by taking things to a whole other level, with “Really Rare & Old: Things Andrew Wants to Try”. This time our range includes: XOP Port Ellen 35 Year, XOP Blacks Glenrothes 30 Year, North of Scotland 50 Year & Teaninich 45 Year, as well as the official Rosebank 30 Year, Johnnie Walker Bicentenary Blend & Arran 25 Year. In all nearly 250 years of whisky worth north of $13K+gst, including 2 closed-ish distillery drams. 7 PM Thursday, July 22. Includes 7x15ml samples.


Kilchoman Virtual Tasting with Anthony Wills

·     Date: Saturday, July 24

·     Time: 5 PM

·     Cost: $35

·     Pick-Up Date: Available Now

·     Only 2 Spots Left!

We are usually fortunate to welcome Anthony Wills of Kilchoman at least once a year for a tasting in-store. But due to Covid-19, it’s been a wee while. Since he last visited our shores, we’ve launched a 12 Year Kilchoman KWM Cask, and we’ve just received a Kilchoman 14-Year-old cask, bottled for the MS Society. So we are long overdue for a tasting and thrilled that Anthony has agreed to join us live from Scotland for a virtual Kilchoman tasting. In all, we have set aside a range of 8 Kichoman whiskies for the tasting: Machir Bay, Machir Bay Cask Strength (sold out), Sanaig 2021, Loch Gorm 2021, Fino Sherry Matured (sold out), 100% Islay 2020 (sold out) and the two casks: 12 Year KWM Cask and 14 Year MS Society YYC Cask. 5 PM, Saturday, July 24. 8x 15ml samples.




As many of you know, the Kensington Wine Market is the title sponsor of the MS Calgary Whisky Festival. January 2021 would have been our 10th Annual event, but for obvious reasons, we had to pull the plug. Over the last few months, we hatched an idea with our good friend Andy Dunn of Gold Medal Marketing, to select and bottle a cask of whisky, as a fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada’s Calgary chapter.

Another good friend of KWM, Kilchoman Distillery’s Anthony Wills, offered something incredibly special… a 14-year-old Kilchoman. This is, by 2 years, the oldest Kilchoman ever to come to Canada. The next being our Kilchoman 12 Year KWM Bourbon Cask 338. The Kilchoman 14 Year MS Society YYC Cask arrived in-store this week, and we are selling it for $225+gst, with $25 from every bottle sold going to support the MS Society of Canada.

Kilchoman 14 Year MS Society YYC Cask – 53.4% – Bourbon Cask 78/2006 – Distilled: May 5, 2006 – Bottled March 15, 2021 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft, doughy and fruity with hints of spruce and beach bonfires; butter-poached scallops drizzled in butter and salty lime-mezcalritas; coconut icing on vanilla cupcakes; seaspray on a warm summer day. Palate: big, bold and earthy with a teetering balance of chewy malt, tarry peat, salty maritime tones and juicy citrus; more lime mezcalritas, lemon drizzled scallops and coconut icing; Dutch licorice, spruce tips and distant beach bonfires to round things out. Finish: long and warming with mildly medicinal tarry peat, loads of citrus, scallops and clean smoke. Comment: compared to our current 12 Year KWM Cask this 14-year-old is both bolder with respect to peat and tar, and brighter with respect to its citrus fruits; both are lovely, but completely different animals.” – $225 – $25 per bottle to the MS Society!


Kilchoman’s Alberta importer, Gold Medal Marketing, also bottles its own “Alberta Casks” from time to time. The latest is my favourite Kiclhoman style, 100% Islay. The 100% Islay Kilchomans are produced from barley grown and malted on the distillery’s estate. They are the only farm to bottle whiskies produced in Scotland.

Kilchoman 8 Year 100% Islay Alberta Cask – 57.1% – Distilled 1/24/2103 – Bottled 26/2/2021 – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Creamy sweetness with salted caramel, fruit salad and floral smoke. Palate: Lemon tart, maple syrup with layers of smoke and sweetness. Finish: Long, clean finish with lasting floral character.” – $152


The second release of Cadenhead Original Collection whiskies is set to hit our shelves next week. They are definitely getting creative in their compositions, but there are some interesting and curiously dark treats on offer. WM Cadenhead is Scotland’s oldest independent bottler, and KWM has been proudly working with them for more than a decade!

1. Cadenhead Original Ardmore 8 Year – 46% – 50% Sherry / 50% Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Old Fashioned cocktail, smoked bacon crisps, sweet fruit notes with a hint of smoke. Palate: Blood oranges, old leather furniture, pipe tobacco Finish: Sweetness continues with soft campfire smoke” – $99

2. Cadenhead Original Benrinnes 11 Year – 46% – 40% PX Sherry, 20% Rum & 40% Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Buttered gingerbread, hot Christmas pie, orange marmalade. Palate: blackcurrant sweets, red apples, black olives. Finish: Stewed fruits, candy canes, slight hints of spearmint.” – $118 – 87pts Whisky Base

3. Cadenhead Original Bunnahabhain (peated) 7 Year – 46% – Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Brine, medicinal notes, lobster creels. Palate: Soft smoke, cured ham, poached pears. Finish: Flax oil, salted peanuts, smoke continues but doesn’t overpower.” – $99

4. Cadenhead Original Craigellachie 12 Year – 46% – 65% Refill Sherry Butts & 35% Fresh Madeira – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Peaches, toffee sauce, demerara sugar. Palate: Cherries, plums, date and walnut cake. Finish: Icing sugar, biscuit base, BBQ donuts.” – $115

5. Cadenhead Original North British 35 Year – 46% – Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Pineapple juice, honeycomb, custard powder. Palate: Butterscotch, green apples, white chocolate. Finish: Rich shortbread, white grapes, melted butter.” – $295

6. Cadenhead Original Tomintoul 14 Year – 46% – Refill Sherry Butts – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Fruitcake, honey, budding gorse. Palate: Chocolate orange, walnuts, alcohol soaked sultanas. Finish: Salted caramel, slightly hoppy, stewed apples.” – $138

7. Cadenhead Original Tullibardine 27 Year – 46% – 70% Bourbon & 30% Rum – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Nose: Mango, papaia, lime shavings. Palate: raspberry ripple ice cream, cinnamon, kumquat. Finish: Pineapple, coconut, caramelised sugar.” – $240



While you can’t have too much of a good thing, it doesn’t hurt to spread them out from time to time… Accordingly, we held back a few Single Malts of Scotland releases, from last month, so we could sprinkle them out at a later date. The following are arriving next week.

1. SMOS Ben Nevis 1996 Cask 1641 – 48.9% – 23 Year – Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Syrupy fruit notes of dates and figs waft in, followed by dry deciduous wood. Next arrives balsamic-roasted parsnip and carrot, followed by the fragrant dustiness of dried flowers from an old book. Palate: Juicy mandarin sorbet and a squeeze of bergamot coat the palate. There is some creamy white chocolate and just-brewed red lychee tea, followed by a hint of strawberry ice cream and patchouli rounding off the flavour. Finish: Stewed plum and blackberry compote linger with the spicy-sweet pickle of peppermint cand.” – $300 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

2. SMOS Blair Athol 2006 Cask 2620 – 54.6% – 14 Year – Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: A loaf of brown soda bread, quite darkened on the crust, is spread thickly with tart rhubarb jam. Musky aromas of thyme and saffron combine with milk-chocolate-covered digestive biscuits. A shadow of soft pear drifts beneath. Palate: the tart quality evident on the nose emerges on the palate as fizzy jellies and under-ripe strawberries. Pineapple-and-lemon ice lollies mingle with fruit salad chewy sweets. Finally, nuttiness reappears in the form of an apple-and-cinnamon oat bar. Finish: Tangy pomelos and a smattering of pine nuts last on, with the hint of a sweet red pepper and a few vegetal green tea leaves following behind.” – $105

3. SMOS Ledaig 2005 Cask 900177 – 57.8% – 14 Year – Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: fresh-yet-heavy at first, abundant in burnt grass and charred fruit. An amalgam of English breakfast tea with only a dash of milk, pear syrup and smoked pancetta leaves an impression of the flavours to come. Palate: More sweetness on the palate than on the nose – at first, fruit chutney with sweetened yoghurt. Cigarillo smoke evolves into oven-baked fairy cakes. Finally, the palate becomes both luscious and tart, like balsamic vinegar. Finish: Spiciness makes an appearance with a dusting of ground cardamom and cumin. The earthy sweetness of apple-and-cinnamon muffins leaves its impression, accented by the smoke from a smouldering bonfire” – $150 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

4. SMOS Teaninich 2008 Cask 715790 – 60.4% – 11 Year – Refill Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Freshly-cut hay appears instantly, with an accompaniment of juniper berries lending an earthy sweetness. Elderflower drizzle cake and a juicy kiwi generously sweeten, while a flurry of crunchy autumn leaves contributes more rustic aromas. Palate: Sweeter on the palate than on the nose, with a silky quality, akin to butterscotch sauce and muscovado syrup. Bitterness elbows in, in the form of grapefruit juice – but when held longer on the palate, this is replaced by the creamy succulence of lucuma fruit ice cream. Finish: The earthy sweetness evident on the nose reappears and lingers – this time, its maple syrup drizzled on crispy granola. A warming tanginess rests on, with raw heather honey and yoghurt-covered cranberries.” – $100



We introduced The Whisky Trail range from Elixir Distillers to Canada last night with a tasting hosted by Elixirs Global Brand Ambassador Julie Hamilton and Lilly Tetu the Export Manager. The range was a hit, and a few of the whiskies are in short supply, and won’t last long… I especially enjoyed the Glenrothes, Invergordon, and Ardmore 1998!

1. Whisky Trail Ardmore 2009 Cask 707920 – 59% – 10 Year – ex-Bourbon Barrel – Video Games Label – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: A vanilla ice cream on a windy beach – with flake. Sherbert lemons and freshly-clipped seaside golf courses are joined by beach bonfires. Palate: Tropical notes of papaya and passionfruit breakthrough, followed by burnt bread crust. Caramel brittle leads on to the smoke of an open fire on an autumn day, followed finally by a hint of smoked paprika. Finish: Rose lemonade stays on, with juicy barbecued fruit and rich fig jam, finished out by the vegetal influence of a few bay leaves.” – $88 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

2. Whisky Trail Ardmore 1998 Cask 750789 – 51.4% – 20 Year – Hogshead – Classic Cars Label – Producer Description: “Nose: A vanilla ice cream on a windy beach – with flake. Sherbert lemons and freshly-clipped seaside golf courses are joined by beach bonfires. Palate: Rich, rounded and sweet. Apples and pears roasted over a beach barbecue with candied lemons, sweet peat and savory woodsmoke. Finish: Finish: Lemons and incense slowly fade to leave sweet vanilla and soft smoke.” – $198

3. Whisky Trail Ben Nevis 1996 Cask 1684 – 54.3% – 23 Year – Hogshead – Video Games Label – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: There is a certain forgotten intensity evident – like a bedroom in an old house, left closed up for decades. This blends with yuzu fruit, strawberry sherbet, and floral Turkish delight. Palate: The nostalgic sweetness of blueberry jelly beans is contrasted against a background of hot chili powder, funky miso, and crumbly digestive biscuits. Finish: Wood char lingers on, with amaretti di Saranno, ripe citron melon, and a smattering of fresh split peas.” – $280 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

4. Whisky Trail Cambus 1990 Cask 93596 – 52% – 29 Year – Hogshead – Video Games Label – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Aromatically grassy, with sugar-coated butter biscuits and brioche. Creamy citrus undertones follow – lemon-and-white chocolate truffles. There is an intense dustiness, like an old wooden box from a forgotten attic. Palate: Candy apples, covered in hazelnuts, lead on to vanilla essence, crystalized pineapple and chocolate-covered honeycomb. Very light chamomile tea adds a floral note. Finish: Quite mellow and slightly grassy – lentil -and-beetroot crisps, sweet mead, nutmeg, and sticky almond syrup.” – $225

5. Whisky Trail Glen Elgin 2007 Cask 801516 – 56.4% – 12 Year – Hogshead – Classic Cars Label – Producer Description: “Nose: Dried raspberries and strawberries scattered over fluty marshmallows and Turkish delight. The fresh, green, earthy aromas of cornflowers and freshly-cut grass express the classic springtime profile of this distillery. Palate: The fruit has been reduced to jam, spread between the layers of a Victoria sponge cake. More fruit follows: apricots and cantaloupe melon. Bowls of porridge are served with honey and a dusting of cinnamon. Finish: Freshly-milled barley, golden syrup, and banana slices give a soft, warm finish to this dram.” – $98

6. Whisky Trail Glenrothes 1989 Cask 18169 – 46.1% – 30 Year – Hogshead – Classic Cars Label – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Solid, old, waxed oak floors, velvet armchairs and a bowl of exotic fruit. Old books on newly-polished wooden shelves lead to an elegant spread of saron buns and oatcakes dusted with cinnamon and sprinkled with chopped mint. Palate: Dried mango slices and pineapple rings are tinged with a hint of menthol. A drop of water enrichens the texture, giving beeswax richness and flavour. Sweet Madeira, toasted brioche and sunflower seeds follow. Finish: A long and complex finish of coconut and mint, develops with soft woody tones and a little pine resin astringency.” – $430 – 89.67pts Whisky Base

7. Whisky Trail Invergordon 1987 Cask 88799 – 52.7% – 32 Year – ex-Bourbon Barrel – Video Games Label – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: A slice of pear-and-almond cake appears. Next, a spicy-sweet note, like cayenne pepper sprinkled on honey-glazed sweet potato wedges. The freshness of crisp paper mingles with wilting lilies. Palate: Bursting with tonka beans at first, leading onto a flaky maple-and-pecan pastry. Caramel notes of lucuma fruit blend with intensely sweet strawberry candy floss. Finish: Star anise rests on, with the dusty quality of dark chocolate coins, all rounded out by the citrusy tang of dried lemon slices.” – $235


From the Douglas Laing side of things, we have a new Feis Isle edition of the Big Peat, called Peatrichor. In addition, we have 5 XOP bottlings, four of them XOP Blacks. We were supposed to see the XOP Port Ellen 35 in the fall last year, but better late than never, I suppose. Four of the whiskies will appear in Really Rare & Old: Things Andrew Wants to Try on July 22, 2021. Only 16 spots left!

1. Big Peat Peatrichor 2021 – 53.8% – “Producer Description: “We are delighted to unveil Big Peat’s “Peatrichor” Limited Edition for Summer 2021! Bottled at a natural cask strength of 53.8% alcohol, Big Peat’s latest bottling celebrates the Islay rainfall – after all, today’s rain is tomorrow’s Whisky! The word Peatrichor (or petrichor) describes the earthy scent produced with rain falls on dry earth / soil.” – $98

2. XOP Port Ellen 35 Year – 54.3% – Sherry Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: shows a wonderfully smoky character alongside burnt brown sugar and cured meats. Palate: full of mocha, cocoa, BBQ smoke and stewed dark fruits. Finish: goes on and on with rich spices, peat and treacle.” – $3500 – 90.33pts Whisky Base

3. XOP Black Port Ellen 1979 – 49.6% – 40 Year – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Like a gently burnt scone initially, followed by the softest peated barley and brown sugar. Palate: Shows an eclectic mix of fudge, spices, chewed leather, more subtle peat and a saline quality with late coal dust and ash.” – $5800

4. XOP Black Teaninich 1975 – 41.6% – 45 Year – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Caramel developing to peaches, chocolate chip cookies and honey’d barley. Palate: Sweetly vanilla’d,with buttery biscuits, hints of ginger and cinnamon. Finish: Floral notes linger alongside spice, waxy oranges and pastry.” – $1700


We have some exciting new whiskies in from The Whisky Agency. They aren’t the most inexpensive independent bottlings, but it is hard to argue with the quality of the liquid. Always consistently high. Oh, and the labels… insert bite lip gif!

1. Whisky Agency BenRiach 1997 – 50.7% – 23 Year – Sherry Butt – $415 – 88.21pts Whisky Base

2. Whisky Agency Blended Malt 2001 – 45.8% – 19 Year – Sherry Butt – $195 -86.36pts Whisky Base

4. Whisky Agency Glenrothes 1989 – 44.4% – 31 Year – Hogshead – $545 – 90.63pts Whisky Base – 88pts Whisky Fun

5. Whisky Agency Glenrothes 1996 3 Rivers – 49.4% – 23 Year – Hogshead – $335 – 89.20pts Whisky Base

7. Whisky Agency Secret Grain 1973 – 50.4% – 46 Year – Sherry Butt – $550 – 89.83pts Whisky Base

8. Whisky Agency Speyside 1973 – 45% – 47 Year – Hogshead – $1050 – 91.92pts Whisky Base – 90pts Whisky Fun

9. Whisky Agency Tomatin 1999 – 52.4% – 21 Year – Hogshead – $330 – 87.92pts Whisky Base

10. Whisky Agency Tomatin 1990 – 48.9% – 30 Year – Hogshead – $675 – 90.58pts Whisky Base – 89pts Whisky Fun

11. Whisky Agency Tormore 1988 – 47.1% – 32 Year – Hogshead – $500 – 89.08pts Whisky Base



The Whisky Agency’s Canadian importer, Heads & Tails’ Igor Kossov, does a lot of its own bottlings. We are receiving 9 new ones. They are listed below with a few details and a few words about each courtesy of Igor!

1. Whisky Agency H&T Ardmore 1997 – 48.7% – 22 Year – Bourbon Hogshead – Igor Says: “Very fruity, malty, not overly peated, last my choice for peated malt nowadays!” – $275

2. Whisky Agency H&T Blended Malt 2001 – 46.4% – 19 Year – Sherry Butt – Igor Says: “very tasty, drinkable blend, not over sherried, old-style elegant.” – $187

3. Whisky Agency H&T Caol Ila 2007 – 52.9% – 13 Year – Bourbon Hogshead – Igor Says: “Very clean.” – $240

4. Whisky Agency H&T Glenrothes 1995 – 48.5% – Sherry Hogshead – 25 Year – Igor Says: “Excellent sherry, not boring, complex, lots of dried fruits!” – $320

5. Whisky Agency H&T Irish Whiskey 2002 – 48.7% – 18 Year – Bourbon Barrel – Igor Says: “Mango /papaya etc galore with typical Irish spice notes.” – $275

6. Whisky Agency H&T Ledaig 2008 – 52.1% – 12 Year – Bourbon Hogshead – Igor Says: “Typical “tennis rubber shoes ” – very popular style.” – $190

7. Whisky Agency H&T Longmorn 2008 – 56.6% – 12 Year – ex-Bourbon – Igor Says: ” Typical, malty, fruity, old school Longmorn, love it !” – $208

8. Whisky Agency H&T Secret Speyside 1998 – 50.3% – 22 Year – Sherry Butt – Igor Says: “Fruity and powerful very interesting!” – $245


Ok, so 23 and 25 years is not exactly ancient when it comes to whisky, but the Arran Distillery is only a little more than 26 years old, making this some of the oldest whisky they have. We received a small amount of the 25 Year earlier in the year. This little top-up was a pleasant surprise, courtesy of another market which, for some reason, didn’t see fit to take it… yes, please!

Arran 25 Year – 46% – Distilled 1995 – The initial maturation was in a mix of 35% ex-Sherry & 65% ex-Bourbon casks and finished 12 Months in 1st Fill and Refill Sherry Hogsheads. – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich oak with a gentle nutmeg note. Sweeter aromas of baked ripe figs, sultanas and black cherries. Palate: Fruit cake with toasted almonds and cinnamon. The juicy zestiness of oranges and mandarins mellows perfectly with manuka honey, muscovado sugar, baked apricots and an interesting white pepper note that provides even more complexity. Finish: Creamy and spicy with dark chocolate, walnuts and dark fruits compote.” – $540 – Limit 1 per customer!

Arran 23 Year Explorers Series Drumadoon – 49.5% – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: A burst of sweet apple with an underlying maltiness – a classic expression of well-aged Arran. The sweet notes linger and are enriched by baked pastry and a dusting of icing sugar (think Apple Strudel). Rich and nutty in the background, bringing to life the influence of the casks used. Palate: An initial wave of sweetness followed by spice; Spiced apple, cocoa powder and star anise. Flavours of dark chocolate and raisins also start to develop, creating a beautiful balance between Arran’s signature style and sherry cask maturation. Finish: A long and warming finish, reflecting the sweetness and spice found on nose and palate. A dram that will leave you wanting to pour another!” – $250 – Limit 2 Per Customer!

*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.*

The Kensington Wine Market | 1257 Kensington Road NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 3P8 Canada

Heaven Hill Distillery Announces Release of Five Brothers Bourbon – American Whiskey News

Heaven Hill Distillery Announces Release of Five Brothers Bourbon

Small batch pays homage to five Shapira brothers, launches with grand opening of Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience

BARDSTOWN, KY – Heaven Hill Distillery announced today the release of Five Brothers Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. A small batch blending of five ages of Bourbon, Five Brothers Bourbon pays homage to the courage, dedication and solidarity of the five Shapira brothers who started it all in 1935.

Five Brothers Bourbon is comprised of Heaven Hill’s traditional Bourbon mashbill aged from five- to nine-years-old to represent each founding brother. Bottled at 90 proof to reflect the initial proofs of Heaven Hill releases in the early stages of the distillery, the new small batch is a callback to the beginnings of Heaven Hill’s award-winning portfolio. Unique to the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience and select Kentucky retailers, visitors can also experience a taste or cocktail at the Five Brothers Bar & Kitchen in the new visitor center unveiled on June 14. Sweet and smooth with notes of vanilla and sugar cookie, the finish is long yet subtle making for an easy sipper.

“In 1935, my father and his four brothers invested in a speculative venture that today is the largest family-owned and operated distillery in America, Heaven Hill Distillery,” said Max L. Shapira, Heaven Hill President. “With patience and perseverance, they built the foundation for the nationally acclaimed American Whiskey portfolio we enjoy today and a legacy built on consistent quality and innovation.”

The most striking detail of the premium bottle is the face label feature of a black and white photo of the five Shapira Brothers when they were in their 20’s and early 30’s: David, Ed, Gary, George, and Mose. The beautiful packaging also showcases complimentary nods to the 1930’s with vintage paper face and back labels, an Americana color scheme, and a classic navy and gold tax strip to seal the cork. Five Brothers Bourbon is available in 750ml for $59.99 at the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience.

ABOUT HEAVEN HILL DISTILLERY: Founded in Kentucky by the Shapira family in 1935, Heaven Hill Distillery continues its legacy as one of the foremost American Whiskey producers. Heaven Hill has cultivated the traditions and history of America’s Native Spirit with its fierce independence, passionate family ownership, dedication to quality, and thoughtful innovation. Today, Heaven Hill Distillery maintains over 1.9 million barrels aging in 63 warehouses throughout Nelson and Jefferson Counties. It is home to an award-winning collection of American Whiskeys including Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon, Pikesville Rye Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye Whisky, Parker’s Heritage Collection, and Old Fitzgerald along with its extensive Bottled-in-Bond label collection. Heaven Hill Distillery currently holds the title of 2020 Whisky Advocate Whisky of the Year, the second Whisky of the Year for Heaven Hill Distillery in the past four years. In 2019 Heaven Hill Distillery was named San Francisco World Spirits Competition Distillery of the Year, Best in Show Whisky, and previously held the titles of 2018 San Francisco Spirits Word Spirits Competition Best Bourbon, 2016 Whisky Magazine Distillery of the Year. For more information, please visit

Heaven Hill reminds you to “Think Wisely. Drink Wisely.”

Whisky Hammer June 2021 Auction Ends Soon – Whisky Auction News

Our June auction is now LIVE!

Place your bids from Friday 18th June until Sunday 27th June.

Every month, we present an incredible selection of whiskies and other fine spirits to our members right across the globe. You will find everything here from limited edition releases and vintage bottles to whole casks of rare whisky. There is certainly something for everyone – whether you are looking to collect, invest or enjoy!

Midleton – Silent Distillery Collection (1st & 2nd release)

Ichiro’s Malt – Seven of Clubs “Card”

Brora – 40 Year Old (1972) Cask Strength

Macallan – 1988 (Fine & Rare)

Selling whisky? Why not arrange the pick-up of your bottles using our global courier service? If you’re based in Scotland, you might want to arrange the personal collection of your bottles. Wherever you’re based in the world, we will make getting your bottles into our monthly auction as simple as possible. Get in touch with the Whisky Hammer team now by dropping them a message at

News at the Cutting Edge From Glencairn Crystal Studio – Whisky Glass News

News at the Cutting Edge From Glencairn Crystal Studio

We hope this newsletter finds you all safe and well and returning to some sense of normality.

This year we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of Glencairn Crystal Studio and can’t believe it’s been four decades since a young, fresh-faced Raymond Davidson set the company up back in 1981. We’re still a family run business now with Raymond’s son’s Paul and Scott at the helm and family values remain at the heart of everything we do. We consider our customers, clients, suppliers and everyone we work with to be our extended Glencairn family.

So here we are with our our latest news, whilst sending you all our very best wishes for a happy and healthy summer.

40 Years of Glencairn Crystal

Raymond started Glencairn Crystal in 1981 having previously worked for Honeywell as an environmental test engineer, then moving to a sales career for Crown Paints and Matchbox Toys. However, it was during his role at Edinburgh Crystal after this that he came to realise that decanters had a vital role to play in the whisky and spirit world. He decided to set up his own company to use pioneering innovation and craftsmanship to design and create the finest glassware available in the industry.

Four decades on, our company is known for the world’s favourite whisky glass; the Glencairn Glass – however we’re also incredibly proud of our international reputation for the design and manufacture of high-end crystal and glassware.

Over the years we’ve had the honour of working on some incredible projects often for the world’s rarest and most exclusive spirits. We’ve designed, created and delivered crystal decanters to hold the world’s oldest whisky, oldest port and oldest rum. We’ve even embedded decanters with precious rubies and sapphires.
Throughout this year we’re releasing fascinating ‘behind the scenes’ decanter stories which truly ‘capture the spirit’ of what our talented craftspeople have achieved over the last 40 years, hosted on the Glencairn Crystal website, via our social media channels and also supported with podcasts featuring interviews with key figures in the spirits industry.

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