News

The Whisky Shop “Lockdown savings on winter warmers!” 🥃 – Scotch Whisky News

Lockdown savings on winter warmers

Stock up and stay home: we’ve slashed prices on a selection of winter warmers to see you through the next lockdown.

Whether you’re replenishing your whisky cupboard after Christmas, or sending a friend a ‘thinking of you’ dram – we’re offering a selection of your favourite whiskies at a fraction of the price, delivered safely to your door.

Grab these prices before they go!

Shop our Whisky Sale ›

Distillery Focus – Isle of Arran Distillery at Hard To Find Whisky – Scotch Whisky News


Known as “Scotland in miniature’ for its diverse environment and stunning scenery, The Isle of Arran has become one of Scotland’s most popular destinations for whisky enthusiasts. This remote island was once home to over 50 illicit distilleries that lay beyond the reach of the exciseman. The Island’s whisky industry was revived with the construction of the Arran Distillery which officially opened in 1995.

Arran is one of Scotland’s last remaining independently owned distilleries, producing whisky that is typically unpeated, sweet, smooth and fruity. A diverse portfolio includes a wide range of cask finished whiskies, higher age statement bottlings, cask strength releases, and peated whisky bottled as Machrie Moor.

Arran – Single Malt Scotch 10 Year Old Whisky
46% ABV | 70cl

Arran’s signature whisky. The multi award winning 10 Year Old Arran showcases the rich, sweet, fruity aromas and flavours that are characteristic of whiskies from this exceptional Island distillery. Matured primarily in ex-Bourbon casks, with a smaller proportion on 1st fill and refill Sherry hogsheads.

£39.95

SHOP OUR FULL ARRAN RANGE AT HTFW

Impex Beverages “Whisky Advocate Top 20 List Four Years in a Row!!!!” We’re Blown Away – Whisky News

Making it to the Whisky Advocate Top 20 list four years in a row, what an honor!!!!

Why is this such a great honor you might ask?

Well, their “Top 20 is a selection of whiskies worthy of your attention. The list includes great values that might otherwise be overlooked, whiskies that are best in class for their style, and highly accomplished bottles you should be looking for. Most importantly, each of these whiskies generates excitement and marks a highlight across a year of tasting.”

“An important step in gauging the true merit of these whiskies is blind tasting review by a panel of international reviewers. The review panel tasted the eligible whiskies in a series of blind tasting flights to arrive at the final list. The panel did not know the identity of the whiskies being tasted—not their producer, country of origin, age, nor price. The average rating from the blind tasting panel supersedes the original Buying Guide rating. The individual reviewer rating will remain noted in the Buying Guide for the record. The final decision for placement considers average score, price, and availability.”

This flagship bottling from the core range of M&H Distillery has been turning heads since its launch.  This 46% abv expression truly is an instant classic.

Tomer Goren, head distiller at Milk & Honey Distillery in Tel Aviv, excels at warm climate Single Malt production under the intensity of the Mediterranean sun. His ethos is beautifully captured within this kosher-certified flagship bottling, matured in Bourbon and shaved, toasted, and re-charred (STR) casks. It exudes a nose of golden syrup, vanilla, marshmallow, jasmine, dried apple, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper. Flavorful and juicy, the palate has satisfying depth, with caramel, vanilla, shortbread, honey, and orange, daubed with vivaciously spicy black pepper. —Jonny McCormick

We also wanted to take a look back at our amazing whiskies that made it to their list the last few years.

A 48% abv 92 point peaty palate pleaser from Japan, this Matsui marched into the mainstream like a great wave.

The 2018 Kilchoman Loch Gorm at 46% abv earned 91 points and this praise from Gavin Smith:

Penderyn Celt at 43% abv earned 91 points and these words from Jonny McCormick

Scoring 90 points, this 42.8% abv rice whisky from Japan got this review.

But why and how does Whisky Advocate choose the whiskies that make the list?

In their own words:

“Each year, Whisky Advocate Buying Guide reviewers collectively sample hundreds of whiskies. These include rare and extremely limited releases, as well as new and emerging labels that will find their way to shelves across the nation. To determine our Top 20, we begin by looking only at whiskies that rated “outstanding” (90 points or higher on Whisky Advocate’s 100-point scale). However, the Top 20 is not simply a collection of our highest-rated whiskies, because many of those are so limited they would be impossible for most readers to locate or purchase. Therefore, in addition to quality (based on score), our selection also prioritizes value (based on price) and availability.”

Now back to this year…

We couldn’t be more excited about M&H Classic making it to the Top 20 for 2020!

Notably, since the core range launched earlier this year we have seen quite a few amazing mentions in publications across the US.

12/8/20 Liquor.com “Everything You Need to Know About Kosher Spirits”

12/1/20 Insidehook.com/Yahoo Finance “Expand Your Horizons with 7 Great Bottles of New World Whisky”

12/1/20 RobbReport  “9 Superb Whiskies Made in Unexpected Places, From Mexico to India”

11/16/20 Departures.com (AMEX)  “The World’s Lesser-Known Whiskey-Producing Regions You Need to Know About”,

11/5/20 Imbibe 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

November 2020 Hemispheres Magazine (United Airlines) “Holy Spirits”

10/12/20 Jewish News of Northern California “Israeli Whisky comes to Bay Area”

9/7/20 New York Times Front Burner “A Nip for that New Year’s Toast”

9/6/20 David Broza and Friends Live from NYC The Bowery Electric Concert

9/2/20 The Nosher “Israel’s First Single Malt Whisky is Now Available in the US”

September 2020 New York Beverage Media “Whiskey: What’s New”

8/7/20 RobbReport/Yahoo Life “Israel’s First Whisky Is Coming to America”

Here is Tomer and Tal going through the other Milk & Honey expressions, in case you are curious about the magic they make.

And since you stuck around so far, here is a little teaser for you!  They are coming out with their Apex series (hitting US soil in Q1 2021), which is all about crazy combinations and delicious innovation.

We are so excited to see what these folks will produce next!

Will it make it to next year’s Top 20?  Only cask-aged time will tell.

If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please don’t hesitate to email us at office@ImpExBev.com.

Distillery Focus – Glenfiddich Distillery at Hard To Find Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

William Grant and family started building his distillery in 1886 and named it Glenfiddich which is Gaelic for ‘Valley of the Deer’. Towards the end of the next year the first drop of spirit fell from the copper stills. During the prohibition in 1923, Glenfiddich was one of only 6 distilleries still running in Scotland. In the later half of the fifties, Glenfiddich built its own cooperage and in the early sixties came up with their recognisable triangular bottle design.

In 1963 Glenfiddich was the first Single Malt to be promoted outside Scotland – previously consumers were only used to drinking blended whisky. Glenfiddich has gone from strength to strength and is now the world’s best selling Single Malt Whisky and has won more awards than any other Scotch Whisky distillery.

Their best selling 12 year old single malt is soft, fresh and delicate, and a classic example of a gentle Speyside Single Malt Whisky. Older expressions typically use a higher proportion of ex-Sherry casks, becoming richer and more complex with age.

Shop the range at HTFW

Balblair with, in true Highland Spirit – a free 15YO 5cl at Tyndrum Whisky – Scotch Whisky News

BALBLAIR 12YO, ORDER NOW AND RECEIVE A FREE MINIATURE OF 15YO

We’ve teamed up with the amazing people at Balblair to offer you this deal, order the Balblair 12YO and we’ll send you a 5cl Miniature of the 15YO to sample at your leisure!

Balblair 12YO

With free 5cl Miniature of 15YO, a perfect opportunity to taste the flavoursome older sibling!

Balblair 15YO

Never mind the sampling, dive right in and order the 15YO today!

Explore the Balblair Range

The Green Welly Stop
Tyndrum
CRIANLARICH, PERTHSHIRE FK20 8RY
United Kingdom

The Whisky Exchange Blog Review of 2020 – Whisky News (2020)

 

The Whisky Exchange Blog Review of 2020

Well. That was definitely a year. But hidden in among the various trials and tribulations of 2020 there were a load of excellent drink-related things, and, optimists that we are here at The Whisky Exchange, it’s time to celebrate them. So, without further ado, it’s time for the now-traditional (even if we did miss last year) TWE Blog Review of the Year – 2020 edition.

A quiet start

The beginning of 2020 was rather sedate, with a focus on low and no-alcohol alternatives (as well as some great alcoholic classics) in our excellently/questionably named No-Low-Status Quo feature. Burns night appeared towards the end of January, as it does every year (keep an eye on the blog for this year’s tips, coming soon) and we rolled quietly into spring. This year’s Rosebank RoseGrace – (still three more to come) appeared on the website and disappeared just as quickly, with a St Patrick’s Day themed Irish Whiskey focus following in March.

Then things went a bit weird.

Lockdown Blues

With the UK’s pandemic lockdown beginning in late March, things changed very quickly for us at The Whisky Exchange. With most of the team working from home – with the majority not having been back to TWE HQ since – we started looking into ways of bringing our drinks family from across the UK and around the world together.

The Specialty Drinks packing team got to work filling boxes with supplies for drinks industry people struggling during the pandemic.

First, we turned to the bars of London. Since The Whisky Exchange started, we’ve been making sure that they’ve had the best spirits available at all times, and with their business disappearing overnight when they were forced to close, we decided to help. With many staff furloughed or laid off, Speciality Drinks – our trade wing – joined forces with Edrington-Beam-Suntory to create wellbeing packs for folks in the drinks trade who needed a helping hand: boxes of staples to fill gaps in their cupboards. This carried on through the year, wrapping up – for the time being – in November 2020, with more than 6,500 packs sent around the UK.

We then turned to the bars themselves, and, working with a selection of the UK’s finest establishments, put together a selection of make-it-at-home cocktail packs and ready-to-drink cocktails to let you recreate their signature drinks in your own kitchen – Bring the Bar Home. We had 13 packs complete with recipes and videos from bars ranging from the classic Rules and Blue Bar at The Berkeley Hotel, to modern London institutions like Trailer Happiness and Laki Kane, as well newcomers like Coupette and Kwānt. With a share of the proceeds from each pack going back to the bar who created it, the scheme helped out while the bars pivoted into running their own at-home deliveries.

You can watch it all on Tv

Having worked with our industry friends, our attention turned to our customers – you. With lockdown in full force, we wanted to find a way of continuing to share our love of great drinks, and jumped feet first into the virtual world.

It started with our virtual tastings. Every week from May to October, with a couple more in December, we ran an online tasting, with tasting packs available to buy from The Whisky Exchange website, and an interactive Zoom room open for anyone who had one.

Rum By Flavour was our first tasting, back in early May…things have come on a long way since then.

We also streamed them live on Facebook, so that anyone could join in. You can find 23 of them on YouTube in our Virtual Tastings playlist, and there are even a few packs left on the website if you want to join in.

But it didn’t stop there…

A Virtual Whisky Show

With an in-person Whisky Show impossible, we went online. And then expanded things. And then expanded things again. In the end, our plan for a 2.5 day show bloomed into a week long event with more than 400 talks and tastings, all delivered online.

The hosts

Hosted by a three-headed hydra of booze – Bubbles, barley and beer: head buyer Dawn Davies, writer Dave Broom and me – with assistance from WhiskyCast‘s Mark Gillespie, we covered everything from sustainability to inclusivity, with stops at distilleries around the world, chatting with the people behind the drams. And we drank some great whiskies, available as tasting packs to try at home – we even still have a few left if you want to join in.

Exclusive Drinks

We started the year by wrapping up our 20th Anniversary with a final selection of exclusive birthday bottlings – we had more than 50 special bottlings through our big birthday year.  Anniversary over, we continued to put out great whiskies, rums and more, all exclusive to us.

Each bottle from this year’s Whisky Show releases had a unique label, part of a larger design created for each of the three whiskies.

From the increasingly legendary Redbreast 1989 30 Year Old Port Cask – still a few bottles left, but it won’t last long – to our Whisky Show bottlings – Whisky: An Ever-Changing World – and a whole host of great whiskies.  We’ve got more coming in the new year, and the first bottlings are already arriving…watch this space.

Along with the exclusives, we also launched our own new line of whiskies – The Whisky Exchange Single Casks. Specially selected by co-founder Sukhinder Singh, they give us a chance to showcase some of the best casks he has hiding in warehouses across Scotland.

Anything else?

Lots…

We kicked off our Meet the Maker series with interviews across the worlds of whisky.

We celebrated World Whisky Day with a day of interviews with whisky makers around the world, all streamed on Facebook – you can catch up with our World Whisky Day playlist if you missed it.

The launch of Waterford caused a stir in the whisky world, with founder Mark Reynier – formerly of Bruichladdich – and his terroir-forward approach inspiring debate. I jumped in with my take – Waterford: Terroir and Teireoir, and the first releases shot off the shelves.

..and we announced our Whisky of the Year – thank you to everyone who helped out by voting. The awards will be back in Autumn.

What next?

After the weirdness of 2020, we aren’t sitting still in 2021.

Our virtual tastings will be back soon – keep an eye on the blog for updates, as we’ll have a full program appearing over the coming weeks. On top of that, expect virtual Whisky Show: Old & Rare, and a combination of physical and virtual fun (government guidelines permitting) for and Whisky Show. Planning for Whisky Show is in full swing and tickets are on sale now – head to the Whisky Show website to find out more.

We’ve put 2020 to bed, and 2021 is ripe for filling with great drinks and fun times. We’ll hopefully see you all soon, either in person or online. Either way: Happy New Year.

The English Whisky Company “We remain open online” – English Whisky News

SHOP ONLINE

The English Whisky Co. St George’s Distillery Harling Road Roudham , Norfolk NR16 2QW

 

Happy New Year from Dekanta – Japanese Whisky News

From our family to yours, we’d like to wish you joy and success in 2021.

Discover the famous whisky from one of Japan’s most renowned distilleries.

 


Dekanta

2-49-7 Minamiikebukuro Toshima-ku, Tokyo,

The Whisky Exchange Malt of the Month – Elements of Islay Oc3 – Scotch Whisky News

Malt Messenger Bulletin – New Year – New Virtual Tastings! – Whisky News

Kensginton Wine Market’s Whisky E-Newsletter

Malt Messenger Bulletin

New Year – New Virtual Tastings!

Friends,

A belated Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Joyous Holiday Season to all!

It’s been almost exactly a month since the last Malt Messenger, but it feels like months have transpired. December was busy, very busy, crazy in fact, quite possibly the busiest month we have ever had, which is saying something. In the last Malt Messenger, I promised that our annual last-minute Christmas Gift Guide would be out mid-month. If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard much from us over the last few weeks, it’s because the Christmas rush was even busier than what we had expected.

The Malt Messenger Christmas Gift Guide was started but never completed. There simply wasn’t time, but even if there were, you know that old saying about not pouring gasoline on a fire? Well, it certainly applies here. We made the decision to delay the release of some of our 2021 virtual tastings and a few newly arrived products so we could focus on getting through Christmas. It has been a crazy month within a bizarre year; full of change and challenges, but we did it. This is in no small part because of the support from our customers and community. But it is also because of the extraordinary efforts of our team!

We’ve been fortunate as overall it has been a good year at KWM. We’ve managed to keep our staff safe and we have been able to continue operating and serving you our friends, customers and community. We know others have not been so fortunate, especially other small businesses, charities and those who count on them. So we also made a point of increasing our support for organizations like the Calgary Foodbank and Brenda Strafford Society.

Thank you for your continued support of our business, and all the other small businesses in Kensington, Calgary, or wherever you live. Thank you for adapting with us to the challenges imposed by Covid-19 this year, by wearing a mask, patiently waiting in line, ordering online or picking up at the curbside. Thank you for being patient, courteous, understanding and for helping us keep everyone safe and healthy. Thank you for helping us make the best of 2020 and most of all thank you for making us feel part of an integral community!

Wishing you and yours a Safe, Healthy and Very Happy New Year… see you in 2021!

As always, please let me know if you have any comments, questions or requests. In the event of a discrepancy in price, the Point of Sale at KWM will be taken as correct.

Sincerely,

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

In this Edition

1. New Virtual Whisky Tastings

2. Our Glenfarclas 25 Year KWM “Ferg in Homage to George Grant” is Here!

3. Introducing: Dumangin Whisky

4. Springbank Single Malts Are Available Once More – But For How Long?

5. Two 25-Year-Olds From Diageo On Sale

Sincerely,

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

NEW VIRTUAL WHISKY TASTINGS

In mid-December, the AGLC finally put forward a policy change allowing us to pour samples for the purpose of virtual tastings. We had been lobbying and advocating for this change for months, half a year in fact. We had loads of tasting ideas waiting in the hoper, but the store was too busy to roll them out. Plus, there are logistics to consider, including ordering thousands of sample bottles, labels, and tamper-proof tops, plus the time and organization required in filling the bottles.

You will see more and more tastings rolled out as the month of January progresses. Some of these tastings, like our very exciting Ardnamurchan Launch Tasting with Connal Mackenzie, are with bottled 50mls. Others like our SMWS December and January Outturn Tastings are with filled sample bottles. Some will be a mix. The flexibility will allow us to do a lot of fun things!

·     A Zoom link for each of the tastings will be emailed 24-48 hours prior to the tasting.

·     A pick-up date for the samples is indicated for each tasting!

·     Tasting samples can be delivered in Calgary city-limits for a $10 fee, which will be waived for orders over $100.

·     Date: January 7, 2021@ 8PM

·     Cost: $50.00

·     Pick-up: Available Now!

NOW OPEN TO NON MEMBERS (Until Jan 5)! – Join the KWM whisky team for a belated virtual tasting of the December 2020 Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada Outturn, which featured a couple of whiskies that disappeared very quickly. There are just 40 spots open for this tasting, and they are limited to one per member. No exceptions. The tasting will consist of 15ml samples of each of the 7 whiskies from the December Outturn. The tasting will be hosted on Zoom at 8 PM on Thursday, January 7.

*LIMIT 1 TASTING PER MEMBER/CUSTOMER!

SMWS January 2021 Virtual Outturn Tasting

·     Date: Thursday, January 14, 2021 @ 8PM

·     Cost: $40.00

·     Pick-up: Available Now!

NOW OPEN TO NON-MEMBERS – Join the KWM whisky team for a virtual tasting of the January 2021 Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada Outturn. Registrations are limited to 2 per member. No exceptions. The tasting will consist of 15ml samples of each of the 7 new releases from the January Outturn. The tasting will be hosted on Zoom at 8 PM on Thursday, January 14.

*LIMIT 2 PER MEMBER/CUSTOMER!

Ardnamurchan Single Malt Virtual Launch Tasting with Connal Mackenzie

·     Date: Saturday January 16, 2021, @ 5PM

·     Cost: $55.00

·     Pick-up: Available Now!

We are thrilled to have Connal Mackenzie Sales Director for Adelphi Distillery as our special guest for the launch tasting of Ardnamurchan Single Malt. Connal will lead participants through a range of 4 single malts from a 4x50ml Ardnamurchan Gift Pack:

1. Ardnamurchan Single Malt 46.8%

2. Ardnamurchan 2015 Peated Bourbon Barrel 59.2%

3. Ardnamurchan 2015 Peated Oloroso Hogshead 59.5%

4. Ardnamurchan 2014 Champagne Finish Single Cask 57.9%

·     Participants in the tasting will also be given the opportunity to purchase a bottle of the Ardnamurchan Single Malt Batch 01.

Bourbon or Bust

·     Date: Monday January 18, 2021 @ 8PM

·     Cost: $35.00

·     Pick-up: Wednesday, January 14th

Evan, our resident Bourbon lover, has been chomping at the bit to run an online Bourbon tasting. Log in and taste your way through some of Evan’s recent favourites – and a few he has not-so-patiently been waiting to open and taste himself! Five bottles will be sacrificed for the shared enjoyment of all who pay to participate. The tasting will consist of 7 15ml samples. A Zoom link and password will be emailed to all registered participants 24-48 hours before the tasting.

KWM Casks Recap Tasting

·     Date: January 22, 2021 @ 8PM

·     Cost: $55.00

·     Pick-up: Sunday, January 10

We’ve launched some pretty cool single cask whiskies over the course of the last 9 months. In normal times we would have put them into a tasting or two, but we are not in normal times. Thankfully, the AGLC has changed the rules and is allowing us to pour samples for the purpose of virtual tastings, so we’re going to recap 7 of the great KWM exclusive whiskies we’ve launched in 2020. The tasting will consist of 7 20ml samples including our new Glenfarclas 25 Year KWM “Ferg Hommage” bottling, our 12-Year-old Kilchoman and the two new Whisky Agency mystery Speyside whiskies. 8 PM Friday, January 22

Dumangin Whisky with Gilles Dumangin

·     Date: January 23, 2021 7PM

·     Cost: $50.00

·     Pick-up: Monday, January 11

Gilles Dumangin is best known for his fabulous Champagnes and his award-winning Ratafia Champenois (a fortified wine). But Gilles also loves whisky, and he’s been a busy chap… Gilles sourced whisky from a number of distilleries around the World, and then finished it, in Champagne, in his own Ratafia seasoned casks. We think he’s on to something… We’re are thrilled to have Gilles join us live from France for a virtual tasting of six of his whiskies, as well as his Ratafia. This tasting includes 6x20ml samples of the whiskies and a 50ml of the Ratafia Champenois. 7PM Saurday January 23.

Boutique-y Whisky Roulette Double Header with Dave Worthington

·     Dates: February 13, 2021 5PM & February 27, 2021 5PM

·     Cost: $160.00 (2 Tastings & 7 Whiskies)

·     Pick-up: Monday, January 11

The boys are back with another Botique-y Double Header tasting. This time we will be tackling the “Boutique-y Greatest Hits Collection Vol. 1” in a virtual trans Atlantic game of spin the bottles (the Greatest Hits Collection Spins). The tasting will take part over 2 nights, Saturday February 13, 5PM MT and Saturday February 27, 5PM MT. On each night we will sample 5 of the 10 50ml bottles in the Greatest Hits Collection, selected at random. Call it Whisky Roulette or Spin the Bottle… We will also sample two bonus drams each night, 28ml samples filled by KWM of 4 other Boutique-y whiskies. Dave Worthington will be our guide, and with a little luck Sam Simmons will crash the party. 5PM Saturday February 13 & 5PM Saturday February 27.

THE KILT HAS LANDED: THE GLENFARCLAS 25 YEAR KWM “FERG IN HOMAGE TO GEORGE GRANT”

This is our 6th exclusive bottling of Glenfarclas, and the 3rd in what has become known as the “Ferg Series.” The Ferg Series started with the Glenfarclas 21 Year KWM Cask Strength aka “Ferg in the Spey”, which was itself inspired by a bottling called Ferd in the Spey.

We followed that up earlier this year with the Glenfarclas 15 Yea KWM Cask Strength #2 “Ferg in Front of the Store.” This bottling tied in to the “Ferg in the Spey” with some inspiration from the bottling for a shop called Robbie’s Drams, which featured the front of their business.

Continuing in this vein I wanted the third bottling to be even more whimsical or if you prefer, ridiculous, than the first two. It takes its inspiration from an advertisement for Glenfarclas circa 10 years ago featuring a reclining George Grant in kilt with a selection of whisky in front of him. This has long been one of my favourite images of anything to do with whisky. So…

So it is with great pleasure, and probably a lack of humility or shame, that I introduce you to the third KWM exclusive bottling of Glenfarclas in the ‘Ferg Series,’ “Ferg in Homage to George Grant!” I’ve taken George’s place and in front of me are the five previous KWM exclusive Glenfarclas bottlings: the 1997 Family Cask, the 25th Anniversary 25 Year Cask Strength, the first 15 Year Cask Strength, the 21 Year Cask Strength “Ferg in the Spey” and the 15 Year KWM Cask Strength #2 “Ferg in Front of the Store.”

One of our customers said, and I quote: “the Glenfarclas 25 YO Ferg Edition bottle bears one of the most magnificent labels that was ever made for a whisky. ;)” Another referred to it as “Lounging Ferg” and suggested it might secretly be an homage to a lounging Burt Reynolds in his prime. Either way, it is just a bit of fun… and as I’ve said before, my ego is bigger than just a trilogy!

The whisky is not a single cask, nor is it cask strength, but rather it is a bottling of Glenfarclas 25 Year at 50%, rather than the usual 43%. It is exclusive to KWM, and there are just 300 bottles.

Glenfarclas 25 Year KWM “Ferg in Homage to George Grant” – 50% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: bread n butter pudding, fig jam and mincemeat pie and Christmas spices; candied orange peel with green mangoes, grapefruit and lime zest; earthy with chocolate, leather and tobacco. Palate: big, rich and fruity; loaded with dark and tropical fruits: more pineapple, mango and papaya; dark chocolate, leather and tobacco; more Christmas cake-y than mincemeat; fig jam, medjool dates drizzled with honey and treacle sauce; thick, oily and coating the spices provide a firm backbone of cinnamon, clove and anise. Finish: long, coating and spicy with a delicate warmth; very sherried but balanced with more of all of the above. Comment: unlike our single casks, with which we are very choosy, we don’t get to pre-sample our Glenfarclas exclusives; but in return, we get something special that is also very good value; thankfully they have once more teed up something lovely for us; five for five; if you can see past the silly label, you’ll find much to love here!” – $275

INTRODUCING: DUMANGIN WHISKY

These may be some of the most interesting independent bottlings we’ve seen in a while. They are produced by our friend Gilles Dumangin, who’s better known as a Champagne maker. We’ve been working with Gilles’ Champagnes for as long as I’ve been working at KWM. Dumangin is a small family owned Premier Cru Champagne producer located in the Montagne de Reims. In addition to Champagne, Dumangin is one of the most respected producers of Ratafia Champenois, a fortified wine.

In addition to being a Champagne maker, Gilles is also a connoisseur of Whisky. He’s managed to blend his business and his passion with the release of whiskies he’s finished in his own Ratafia Champenois casks. The idea started over 20 years ago when he sampled the legendary Glenmorangie 1984 Tain L’Hermitage Finish. He’s done something similar here sourcing whisky from Scotland, the US, Wales and the Netherlands, which he has finished in his own Ratafia casks in France.

In addition to the whisky, we also sell Dumangin’s Ratafia Champenois.

Ratafia Champenois – % – Is a fortified wine from the Champagne region of France typically made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Brandy or a nuetral grape spirit is added to the grape juice before fermentation. Gilles Dumangin, a fourth generation Champagne producer (Champagne Dumangin), made his first Ratafia Champenois in 2002 with a very specific idea in mind: to make the fruit sweat. To achieve this, he decided to use a Fine Champenoise (PGI) rectified with a very high alcohol content. The Ratafia has a lovely tawny colour and rich, complex dried fruit flavours. Gilles recommends serving it with melon, cheese and chocolate desserts. – $65

Because of our relationship with Gilles Dumangin, we have been offered a small quantity of six of theses whiskies. You can tell Gilles is a proper Whisky Anorak (Geek), as he has bottled all his whiskies at 46%, without chill-filtering and no added colour. Only 24 bottles of each have come to Canada, exclusively to KWM. They are as follows:

1. Dumangin Balcones 2014 Texas Whisky – 46% – Finished 12 Months in Ratafia Champenois – My Tasting Note: “Nose: oily and spicy with dark fruits; if I hadn’t known this was a single malt I’d have suspected rye from my first impressions: rye bread and big dill notes; quince paste and grape extract; singed orange peel and brown sugar… Old Fashioned territory; dried hay bales and freshly coopered oak. Palate: there those intense spicy notes again… more rye bread, more dill, and so oily… I would totally have guessed this was rye blind; the spirit is complex, layered and very enticing; there is a smokiness I can’t quite put my finger on, Cuban cigar tobacco and salted Dutch licorice; Demerara sugar and more orange notes, both candied peels and orange bitters. Finish: long, drying and spicy; still in the rye notes wheelhouse with the softness of a malt spirit. Comment: love it… this is like a finely crafted cocktail in a whisky; nice balance, lots of layers; youthful but complex.” – $195

2. Dumangin Bourbon Whiskey – 46% – 28.5% Rye – Finished 8 Months in Ratafia Champenois – My Tasting Note: “Nose: brandy soaked cherries dipped in chocolate; Snickers and crème caramel; flambéed banana, dried cranberries and tarte tatin; vanilla and toasty oak beneath. Palate: toasty, and nutty with shelled peanuts; the rye spices from the mashbill are at the fore with vanillans and toasted oak trailing; the Ratafia finishing has added Wine Gums and the brandy soaked chocolate cherries; more tarte tatin and fresh dill. Finish: warming, spicy and dominated by the toasted oak, shelled peanuts and spicy rye backbone; later some fruits. Comment: not your classic Bourbon, but reminiscent of some others we’ve had finished or matured in wine casks; I might have left this a little longer in the Ratafia barrel… but its good, and I’m not a Bourbon guy!” – $140

3. Dumangin Cambus 1993 Single Grain – 49.9% – 26 Year – Finished 9 Months in Ratafia Champenois – My Tasting Note: “Nose: decadent, honeyed and silky with quince paste and bright fruits; orange and grapefruit pith, strawberry jam and cooked raisins. Palate: soft, toasty and very fruity with some subtle earthy dunnage warehouse tones; more quince paste, fig and strawberry jams and grape-y fruits; more orange and grapefruit with building spices; clean, fruity and toasty. Finish: light and silky smooth but with good length; fresh, toasty and fruity with soft spices. Comment: I was least excited about trying this one, partly because it is a grain (damn bias) but unfairly so it would seem, as it is a great start; the Ratafia cask has added a lovely character to the spirit, without pushing the whisky over the top; it is light, fruity and elegant.” – $320

4. Dumangin 100% Dutch Rye (Zuidam/Millstone) Whisky – 46% – Finished 6 Months in Ratafia Champenois – My Tasting Note: “Nose: jammy from the word go: strawberry jam, quince paste and marmalade; pumpernickel bread and oily rye spices; candied fennel and Panda brand licorice; toasted oak and vanilla bean. Palate: big, rich, fruity and spicy; the rye whisky coast your mouth in silky oils while the Ratafia has added fruity notes of strawberry jam, marmalade and yes quince paste (seems to be a theme here with Ratafia); charred oak, toasted almonds, more French vanilla and drying spices: candied fennel, anise and a touch of clove. Finish: warming, with the oily spirit continuing to caress the palate; late spices and some dark chocolate. Comment: this is among my favourites here, which is not such a surprise… Patrick van Zuidam aka Millstone is a fine distiller, and rye whisky is bold enough to work with the Ratafia cask; really like this one, dare I say I love it!” – $138

5. Dumangin Mystery Okney (Highland Park) 2007 – 46% – 12 – Finished 7 Months in Ratafia Champenois – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honeyed, milky, waxy and fruity: Starburst candies right off the bat, melons, mango and Sun-Maid Raisins; Strawberry Twizzlers too. Palate: soft with chewy malt, gentle ashy peat and soft milky mouthfeel; the waxy-creamy oak tones roll in with white chocolate, Malted Milk bard and more waxy Starburst fruit candies and Twizzlers; the soft honeyed ashy peat comes back to the fore after a few passes; salty, I didn’t catch it at first, but the maritime notes are there. Finish: long, coating and creamy with lingering soft ashy peat, sea salt, honey and more waxy indulgences. Comment: once again the Ratafia cask has a light touch on the spirit; while it has the classic creamy honey and subtle peat which Highland Park is famous for, I think I would have been hard pressed to identify this blind as being from Highland Park distillery; very balanced for a 12 year old.” – $115

6. Dumangin Penderyn Welsh Single Malt Whisky – 46% – Finished 18 Months in Ratafia Champenois – My Tasting Note: “Nose: crème brulee and grape KoolAid; Hubba Bubba, grape extract and quince paste; silky leather and firm spices eventually make way for some grassy malt. Palate: rich, fruity and very spicy; grassy but chewy malt with some delicate tropical fruits struggling to pop up: mango and pineapple; the grape notes are there, more Hubba Bubba, but after a strong coffee and quince paste with cloves; firm leather and tobacco leaf; late Dutch licorice and fennel seed. Finish: dominated by spice; the grape and malt notes are still there, but the long warming finish is lorded over but hot cinnamon, fennel seeds, clove and Dutch licorice. Comment: comes across almost like a dark sherried single malt, spice heavy, but without the nuttiness; a decent malt, but not my favourite of the six!” – $145

SPRINGBANK HAS RETURNED… AT LEAST FOR A SHORT WHILE

Due to a combination of rising popularity and dwindling supply, Springbank Distillery bottles have become more difficult to come by over the past two to three years. We have seen our ability to keep what used to be regularly available bottlings from of both Springbank and Killkeran Single Malt Scotch challenged because of this. A new shipment of the Springbank 10 Year, 15 Year and 18 Year have arrived, but they likely won’t last long. Accordingly, we have limited how many of each of these bottles can be purchased by a single customer. If you haven’t yet, you might want to grab a bottle while you can!

1. Springbank 10 Year – 46% – Matured in 40% Sherry & 60% Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Orchard fruit (pear) with a hint of peat, vanilla and malt. Palate: Malt, oak, spice, nutmeg and cinnamon, vanilla essence. Finish: Sweet, with a lingering salty tingle.” – $91 – Limit 2 Per Customer

2. Springbank 15 Year – 46% – Producer Tasting Note:Nose: Demerara sugar, dark chocolate, Christmas cake, almonds, toffee, oak. Palate: Creamy, raisins, dark chocolate, figs, marzipan, brazil nuts and vanilla. Finish: Oak and sherry notes sustain and mingle with hints of leather.” – $130 – Limit 3 Per Customer

3. Springbank 18 Year – 46% – – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Lemon meringue pie, pear skin, olive oil, almonds and digestive biscuits. A typical Kintyre coastal brininess comes to the fore. Palate: In the background; dried bananas, coconut shavings and butterscotch. The more prominent; carrot cake, treacle and freshly squeezed limes engulf the palate. Finish: Very delicate; liquorice, gingerbread and Madagascar vanilla. Closely followed by mint, trinity cream and vanilla milkshake.- $220

A FEW MORE DEALS

Diageo seems to be clearing their house of old stock these days… at least locally. You might have noticed we had a large number of Diageo whiskies on sale earlier this month. That’s because they were being cleared out. They seem to be trying the same trick on the premium level too… But maybe if they had priced them reasonably in the first place, we wouldn’t find ourselves here, some of them were still priced out to lunch, even when discounted, but the Strathmill and Pittyvaich seem to be the most reasonably priced to me.

1. Strathmill 25 Year Old – 52.4% – Refill American Oak – $520 Currently 25% off for $390

2. Pittyvaich 25 Year Old – 49.9% – Refill American Oak – $525 Currently 25% off for $393.74

STAY HOME… WE’LL DELIVER!

We Are Offering Some Great Deals

&

Free City-Wide Delivery for Orders Over $50

FREE DELIVERY – 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.

CURBSIDE PICKUP – 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!

GIFTING – 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.

www.kensingtonwinemarket.com

We will do our best to answer and process as many phone orders as we can. Call us at 403-283-8000.

COVID-19 Precautions at KWM

To protect our staff and customers we have implemented some policies!

Please do not enter the store if:

·     You have returned from Outside of Canada in the last 2 weeks, or you live with someone who has!

·     You are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with or suspected to have contracted COVID-19.

If the above applies to you, please order online or by phone and we can deliver!

Precautions we are taking in-store:

·     All of our staff are wearing masks, and we’d appreciate if you would do so too!

·     We are only allowing 6 customers in the store at any given time.

·     We have hand sanitizer throughout the store for the use of customers and staff.

·     We kindly ask that you do not to pick up products unless you intend to purchase them.

·     We are frequently disinfecting commonly touched surfaces and high contact areas within the store.

·     We are also not accepting cash payment at this time.

·     Staff are frequently washing and disinfecting their hands.

·     We have cancelled all in-store tastings.

·     We are monitoring our staff for symptoms.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all try to navigate this challenging time!

403-283-8000

888-283-9004

Store Hours

Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Mon – Wed: 10am – 8pm

Thu – Fri: 10am – 9pm

Sat: 10am – 8pm

*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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