Kensington Wine Market’s
It’s been a very busy week since you last heard from your friendly Wine and Whisky Mongers at KWM. The new website has been up for a couple of weeks, and slowly but surely we are tightening all the nuts and bolts. Feedback has been very positive thus far, and we are working hard to continue polishing it up. There are still many photos and tasting notes to update, but we are plugging along.
We have been taking pre-orders for the KWM 2021 Whisky Calendar for a week, and it is already half sold out… It might help that we are offering our most generous early bird offer ever. If you purchase the Pre-Pay Early Bird option, by September 22nd, you will save $60 on the KWM 2021 Whisky Calendar. On September 23 the price will increase to $435+gst.
We have also just taken 5 new KWM Virtual Whisky Tastings live. They are mostly built around new releases, like the recent shipment of Cooper’s Choice. And in the case of Rare Malts Single Casks & Small Batch Bottlings, a number of the cool new releases you are about to read about below. Two tastings are worth special note, though spoiler alert, they are not inexpensive. Firstly, there is the Ultimate Bunnahabhain Tasting, which features 271 years of Bunnahabhain whiskies from a number of different producers. Then there is the Kinship Collection 2020 Tasting which will sample 6 old whiskies: a 28-year-old and five 30-year-olds from Islay and the Orkneys. And then there is the SMWS Canada 10th Anniversary Outturn Tasting… who can believe it’s been 10 years?! Details below.<
Boatloads to fill you in on in the New Whiskies Department. First and foremost we have just received a trio of Berry Bros. & Rudd KWM Exclusive Single Casks. There is a very tropical 25-year-old Tormore 1995, a very sherried 17 Year Orkney 2003 (cough Highland Park), and a very mysterious sherried and peaty 21-year-old “Blended Malt” 1999. Could this be a teaspooned malt? Possibly, but what we can say for sure is it is delicious, and we expect it to disappear quickly… More details and my tasting notes on all 3 casks can be found below.
We also recently received the Daftmill 2009 Summer Batch Release 2020. Daftmill is one of the most exciting new distilleries in Scotland, though it’s not all that new in reality, having been established in 2005. It just chose not to sell any of its production for the first 12 years… KWM is thrilled to be the only store in Canada with Daftmill Single Malt, and this new bottling is superb. I’ve had a chance to write up my own tasting note for it, and you will find that and more details below.
For those with a hankering for older Ileachs, there is a new Kinship Collection (2020 Edition) from Hunter Laing. I mentioned above that we will be opening one of these sets for a tasting on November 30. It consists of a 28-Year-old Ardbeg, and 30-Year-old bottlings of Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Highland Park (honorary Ileach?!), and Laphroaig.
A couple of unexpected treats have come our way courtesy of the Ardnamurchan Distillery: a limited edition and a single cask. The limited-edition, AD/04:21, was partially finished in Paul Launois Champagne casks. The single cask is a peated malt matured in ex-Bourbon and bottled exclusively for Canada… Alberta!
There is a new range of Bourbon and Rye whiskies from the New Riff Distillery in Kentucky. Best of all, you can sample most of them on September 28, in the Bourbon: Learning About New Riff tasting where Evan will be joined by Master Distillery Jay Erisman.
We also have new and returning whiskies from Kavalan, Amrut, Balblair, Tomintoul, anCnoc, Craigellachie, and Macallan.
Everything in this Malt Messenger is available for order or pre-order online and is linked. If there are no descriptions or photos on the website, we’ll get caught up soon.
Finally, our Fall Virtual Tasting Schedule begins with Glengoyne Distillery hosted by Gordon Dundas on Friday, September 17 (for which a couple of spaces have opened up). A few of our tastings have sold out, but there is still limited space in most of the September and October tastings. I’m most excited about the Feis Ile tasting which will feature predominantly older Islay malts, including a 1992 “Unnamed Islay” from Signatory, which is rumoured to be either Lagavulin or Ardbeg!
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, comments, or requests.
Kensington Wine Market
IN THIS EDITION
1. Three New KWM Exclusive Berry Bros. & Rudd Casks
2. Only 1 Week Left to Save $60 on the KWM 2021 Whisky Calendar
3. New KWM Virtual Whisky Tastings
4. My Tasting Note: Daftmill 2009 Summer Batch Release 2020
5. My Tasting Notes: On Some Other Recent Releases
6. Introducing: The 2020 Kinship Collection
7. Two New Limited Edition Ardnamurchans
8. Introducing: Kavalan Solist Madeira Cask
9. New & Returning From Amrut
10. Introducing: Balblair 17 Year
11. Introducing: Tomintoul Cigar Malt
12. The AnCnoc 16 Year 125th Anniversary is Back
13. Craigellachie 33 Year is Back Next Week
14. Macallans In-Stock
15. Other Up-Coming Tastings
NOT 1, NOT 2, BUT 3…
NEW KWM EXCLUSIVE BERRY BROS. & RUDD CASKS
They say when it rains, it pours. Well, it kind of feels that way with our latest haul from our friends at Berry Bros. & Rudd. We have a trio of new casks including our 4th “Orkney” Single Malt (Highland Park), which is the most sherried yet. We also have our first ever single cask of Tormore, a very tropical 25 Year, and a mysterious 21-year-old sherried and peated Blended Malt.
Berry’s Blended Malt 1999 KWM Cask – 53.6% – 21 Year – Sherry Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: syrupy, old-school sherry tones, ashy peat, and a cool gravelly minerality; Christmas cake, chocolate and dried mango; Corinthian leather, treacle sauce, and tropical fruits; simply beautiful. Palate: yes… following in the same veins as the nose this whisky is a beautiful example of an old school style sherried malt, with a touch of peat; more Corinthian leather, Christmas cake, medium-dark chocolate, and treacle sauce; the gravelly minerality is still there, as is the firm but balanced ashy peat and the fruits: mango, pineapple, and apricots. Finish: long and balanced with the sherry notes, ashy peat, and tropical fruits all fading slowly together. Comment: simply wow… I’m dying to know what this is made of… first instincts suggest maybe it’s another old “Edrington Blended Malt”, we’ve seen plenty of those; sherried Macallan and Highland Park married with some Islay whisky perhaps; we may never know; in any case it is old-school, and it is brilliant!” – $198
Berry’s Orkney Islands 2003 KWM Cask – 59.9% – 17 Year – Sherry Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: nutty with dark fruits, coal smoke, and sea breeze; big Oloroso sherry tones with notes of damp leather, dark bakers chocolate, and Cuban cigar tobacco; grilled dates, fig jam, and candied orange; marzipan coated in chocolate, floral heather honey, and classic gentle Orcadian peat. Palate: big, rich, and earthy; bold oloroso sherry notes lock antlers with firm peat; dark bakers chocolate, Cuban cigars, damp new leather, and Dutch licorice; more grilled dates, fig jam, and prunes; chocolate-covered espresso beans; the peat is earthy but balanced; candied orange, crisp spices, and savoury salty tones to round things out. Finish: rich, coating, and very sherried with more firm Orcadian peat; more leather, chocolate, licorice, and dark fruits. Comment: this is nothing like our last couple of Berry’s “Orkney” single malts, it is much more sherried and closer to the Highland Park house style; regardless this is a lovely expression, everything I wish the HP18 could be, and more!” – $180
Berry’s Tormore 1995 KWM Cask – 50% – 25 Year – Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: bright, toasty, and spicy with earthy tones; barley sugars, pine resin, and French roast coffee beans before the tangy fruits emerge: Five Alive, dried apricots and mango dusted in black pepper; French pastries dusted in powdered sugar. Palate: An explosion of flavours going in so many directions all at once it is hard to keep track of them; thick, honeyed and toasty with a touch of musty old oak (no surprise there); layered with fruits, more Five Alive, apricot jam and pushing into the tropical realm: papaya, pineapple and more mango dusted with pepper; it is decadent too, with clotted cream and creme caramel; decadent baking spices, barley sugar, and subtle piney tones. Finish warm, coating, silk, and rich; it stays decadent and fruity all the way to the end. Comment: something kept drawing me deeper on the nose, while the palate left me salivating for more; old Tormore can be magical, but it is very hit or miss; this one is a home run if I do say so myself!” – $250
ONLY 1 WEEK LEFT TO SAVE $60 ON
THE KWM 2021 WHISKY CALENDAR
“25 Days of Dram Fine Whisky”, aka the KWM Whisky Calendar is back for the 8th straight year. Once again the calendar will have a fresh new look, which we will be revealing in late September. This year’s calendar includes 24 50ml premium whiskies, a custom logo Glencairn glass, and a 100ml Scotch Malt Whisky Society whisky for Christmas Day. You can follow along on the KWM Blog starting December 1, or one of our various social media channels, as we introduce and discuss each day’s whisky. And there is more…
Last year, inspired by Covid and the rise of Zoom events, we held 5 Whisky Calendar Recap Tastings throughout the month of December. They were such a big hit that we knew we’d have to bring them back again this year. Accordingly, we will hold tastings for participants in this year’s Calendar on December 5, 10, 15, 20, and after Christmas on 29th. Each of them will cover the 5 prior day’s whiskies in the Calendar.
The whiskies this year include 3 KWM exclusive casks, a number of whiskies in their 20s, and more than a dozen distilleries and producers never before featured in any of our prior Whisky Calendars. We also worked hard to keep the pricing as reasonable as we possibly could this year, which wasn’t easy. Prices have been rising across the board, and supply chain issues have affected everything from the availability of glass and cardboard to delays in shipping and bottling. Never the less we are confident that we have put together another amazing product this year, and we know you are going to love it!
Best of all, if you select the pre-pay pre-order option, you will save $60. This option was very popular last year, and completely sold out 2020’s original production in just 2 weeks!
We anticipate the KWM 2021 Whisky Advent Calendars should be ready for pick up in early November. That is, as long as everything goes as planned (which, in the Covid Era, you can never be 100% sure of). But we’ve planned accordingly, and ordered early from all of our suppliers!
Two Options to Order the KWM 2021 Whisky Calendar
1. Pre-Pay Early Bird Special Offer – Select this option if you wish to save $60 on the regular price of $435, by prepaying now in full (please note this cannot be combined with other offers or discounts). You will be charged $375+gst when we receive your order. This offer will expire on September 22nd, or should we sell out.
2. Pay Later Pre-Order – If you want to reserve a KWM 2021 Whisky Calendar and pay the full price of $435+gst later, please select this option to submit your order, and you will not be charged until a few days before it is ready for pick-up.
NEW KWM VIRTUAL WHISKY TASTINGS
We have a pretty packed tasting schedule over the next two months, and we are now starting to roll out some November events. This is just the first 5 (technically 2 are in October…), and don’t be surprised if we slip in a few more!
· Date: Wednesday, October 6
· Time: 8 PM
· Cost: $40
· Pick-Up Date: Available September 20
It is hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since we helped launch the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Canada. Over the last decade, the Society has released over 800 whiskies to its Canadian members, and we’ve hosted well over 200 Outturn tastings at KWM. It has been quite a ride, to say the least… We hope you’ll join us for the Society’s 10th Anniversary Outturn tasting on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at 8 PM. As always your purchase limit is 2.We will sample 7 new releases, including a special bottling. *Tasting samples will be available for pick-up on Monday, September 20.
· Date: Tuesday, October 26
· Time: 8 PM
· Cost: $40
· Pick-Up Date: Available September 14
Having recently received a curious parcel of bottlings from Cooper’s Choice, we knew we’d have to build a tasting around them. For one, there are a pair of Secret bottlings, one each from the Lowlands and Islay, and the Ileach is believed to come from a distillery that rhymes with Lardbeg! Also from the Lowlands, a region we rarely talk about, there is the first bottling we’ve ever seen from the new (established 2015) InchDairnie Distillery… and adding to the intrigue it is a peated Lowland single malt! We’ll also be sampling a 25 year old Old Rhosdhu, an intriguing Blended Malt, a Caol Ila and a late teens Ardmore. Expectations are high for this rag tag bag of drams! 8PM Tuesday October, 26.
· Date: Tuesday, November 2
· Time: 8 PM
· Cost: $60
· Pick-Up Date: September 15
The allure of this tasting should be almost self-explanatory… It is a range of Rare and Limited Edition malts, that we are dying to share with you. We will be sampling the Daftmill 2009, Ardnamurchan Paul Lanois, Compass Box Menagerie, and Macallan 18 Year Sherry Oak as well as three brand spanking new KWM exclusive casks from Berry Bros. & Rudd: Orkney 2003 (Highland Park), Blended Malt 1999 (who knows what this is… and who cares? it’s awesome!), and Tormore 1995. None of the whiskies in this range have ever appeared in a prior KWM tasting, save perhaps the Macallan 18 Year Sherry Oak, and I’d wager it’s been at least 10-12 years since we’ve cracked a bottle of that! 8PM Tuesday, November 2.
· Date: Thursday, November 25
· Time: 8 PM
· Cost: $300
· Pick-Up Date: Available September 24
A few of our team here, independently noted that we have a lot of old Bunnahabhains right now, and I mean a lot. There are the 43 and 44-year-old Director’s Special bottlings, 40 and 42-year-old Signatory Vintage bottlings and the Port Askaig 45 Year (also a Bunna) is returning this Fall. Add to that a Boutique-y Bunnahabhain 27 Year and a Bunnahabhain 30 Year OB I tucked away for a tasting, because there wasn’t enough to sell, and we had 271 years of Bunnahabhain just begging to be tasted… we couldn’t let this opportunity slip by without having an Ultimate Bunnahabhain Tasting! 8 PM, Thursday, November 25.
· Date: Tuesday, November 30
· Time: 8 PM
· Cost: $200
· Pick-Up Date: Available September 30
It is likely someone will eventually purchase a full set of the Kinship Collection 2020 from us… but we won’t be selling two! That’s because one of those sets is going to get cracked for a tasting. How can it not?! The set is comprised of a 28-year-old Ardbeg and 30-year-old whiskies from Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Highland Park and Laphroaig. In all, it is 178 years of Islay malts & Highland Park. Reviews of the range are not so shabby either, averaging 90+pts on Whisky Base.
MY TASTING NOTE: DAFTMILL 2009
SUMMER BATCH RELEASE 2020
So, this is exciting. We’re the first store in Canada to get whiskies from Daftmill, and this is only the 2nd ever bottling from this distillery to come to Canada!
The 2009 Summer Batch Release was bottled in 2020, after 11 years, and at 46%. The release is limited to just 1785 bottles, with a tiny fraction of that coming to Canada. Matured in ex-Bourbon and First Fill Ex-Sherry. More details on our website.
Daftmill 2009 Summer Batch Release 2020 – 46% – 11 Year – Bourbon & Sherry – My Tasting Note: “Nose: thick, honeyed and fruity; there is something old-school about the nose, heading into lactic territory; dewy flours on a warm summer morning, soft melons and tart citrus; very decadent, a touch of leather and tobacco. Palate: bright, fruity and sweet with a velvety coating texture; more melons, citrus, and now some pineapple, apricot, and figs too; getting into tropical fruit territory; Creme Brule and dulce de leche; very creamy with floral vanilla and malted milk; a touch of chocolate, leather and tobacco as it evolves; subtle malt. warming spices and bakery tones. Finish: long, coating, and smooth with warming spices and more velvety oak; layered and elegant. Comment: this is quite simply a lovely whisky, and well worth the wait; it is old school with a lush, layered, and complex profile; what is most surprising to me is how subtle the malt is for its age; very well put together.” – $200 -89.92pts Whisky Base
MY TASTING NOTES:
ON SOME RECENT NEW ARRIVALS
A lot of the old and rare whiskies we get in need a bit of extra love, and deserve tasting notes written by what I hope is a trusted source… me! Here are my own thoughts on 6 recent arrivals, all of them lovely!
Boutique-y Bruichladdich Batch 20 27 Year – 42.9% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft, delicate and fruity; saltwater taffy, Starburst fruit candies and honeycomb; bright citrus, Jelly Bellies and a touch of subtle cheesy funk (Creme de Bourgogne?). Palate: still light, soft, and faintly cheesy; more saltwater taffy, Starburst and Jelly Bellies; honeycomb and beeswax with velvety toasted oak and malted milk; heading in the tropical direction; faint leather and notes suggestive of sherry with patience. Finish: still light, fruity and waxy; medium in length but complex. Comment: this is a dangerously drinkable refill cask matured Laddie, left to develop slowly in the cask for more than a quarter of a century; I’m a big fan of this oxidative style of whisky; in this case, we’ve ended up with a slightly cheesy and very fruity malt that you could drink all night long!” – $430
Boutique-y Bunnahabhain Batch 18 27 Year – 42.6% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: ooh, it’s starting off a bit old school; Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Eatmore and soft leather; Manuka honey, agave nectar, and tropical fruits: kiwis, papaya, and quince paste; fig jam and dates drizzled in honey. Palate: still old school, leather, chocolate, and spices with a faint hint of smoke; Eatmore, chocolate orange, and marzipan; the tropical fruits are still there, shunted to the side a bit by the soft sherry tones and darker fruits; it slowly builds shedding more and more layers as it goes. Finish: medium in length and pleasant with fading fruits, chocolate leather, and spices. Comment: this one is a bit of a sleeper, needing a bit of patience; those who stick with it are rewarded with an old school subtly sherried profile; a fine old malt, right in my wheelhouse!” – $400
Boutique-y Glentauchers Batch 10 44 Year – 41.1% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: ancient, waxy, antique-y, and old-school, in a word, divine; silky with oodles of tropical fruits, soft leather, Manuka honey, and balanced oak; kiwi, mango, papaya, cantaloupe in the fruit department; you can instantly tell this is old, but it is far from over the hill. Palate: magnificent; still old and antique-y, but also juicy with a velvety-waxy mouthfeel; fancy leather sofas, polished oak, Manuka honey, and bags of tropical fruits: more mango, papaya, kiwi, canteloupe and throw in some canned pineapple too; building oak spices and sugars. Finish: medium in length it stays lush, coating, complex and fruity; it leaves you thirsting for more. Comment: I figured it would be good, but it is in fact great; this is everything you want a nearly half-century-old Speyside whisky to be; reminiscent of some 40+ year-old G&M bottlings from decades past; magnificent stuff!” – $1275
Signatory Unnamed Islay 1992 Single Malt – 52.5% – 28 Year – Bourbon Barrels – My Tasting Note
Nose: clotted cream, marmalade, salted caramel, and dulce de leche with an infusion of fruity smoke; floral and perfumed with gentle peat; French croissants, marzipan, and fruit flan; this is tropical and antique-y. Palate: round, firm, and smoky; the earthy peat came in more firmly than I expected, dragging crisp spices behind it; on second sip the decadent creamy tones and fruits make their presence; more clotted cream, salted caramel, and old English butterscotch; candied orange, grilled pineapple, honeydew melon, and apricots; the peat is firm but not sharp, and is without a medicinal tinge. Finish: long, coating, and creamy with fading fruits and peat; like the nose, it has an antique-y feel to it. Comment: before we begin the speculation on what it is, I should clearly point out that this is quite simply a lovely dram, and a fine example of an older Islay malt; when we bought this, on spec, I figured it was Laphroaig, as we’ve seen a decent amount of comparably aged, undisclosed whisky from Laphroaig; but the rumour mill has it that this is likely either Ardbeg or Lagavulin; if I had to wager, based on the profile, and having compared it to some other twenty-something Ileachs, I guess it was Lagavulin… but most signs still seem to point to Laphroaig; but here is the real question, does it matter?!” – $665
SMOS Director’s Sp. Bunnahabhain 43 Year – 41.4% – Sherry Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: old and antique-y, shades of the Port Askaig 45 Year (another sherried old Bunna); dark chocolate shavings on cappuccino foam; subtly floral with delicate tropical fruit tones. Palate: it shines on the palate, old and antique-y, but far from over oaked; soft leather, dark chocolate shavings and licorice allsorts; a trace of treacle sauce and maple syrup but moving mostly in the tropical fruits direction: ripe mango, papaya and bananas just about to turn. Finish: soft, fruity and toasty it aresses the palate and leaves the mouth watering in anticipation of more. Comment: an exercise in subtlety and complexity it reminds me most of the Port Askaig 45 Year, just not quite as tropical; lots of layers to this elegant old malt.” – $1950
SMOS Director’s Sp. Bunnahabhain 44 Year – 42.4% – Sherry Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft with dumpy sherry notes, dark milk chocolate and creme caramel; almost impossibly delicate with notes of fig jam, toffee chews and candied orange peel; a touch earthy and floral to round things out with hints of Christmas cake. Palate: big, round and very fruity with more dark milk chocolate, Toffee-fe and creme caramel; grows on the palate, becoming richer with more fig jam, Christmas cake and fruity tobacco; earthy with soft spices the floral tops notes are somehow hanging on; nutty sherry and polished old leather. Finish: medium long and rewarding; Christmas cake, dark chocolate and fruity tobacco. Comment: like the 43 Year sister bottling, this one has shades of the Port Askaig 45 Year, but never quite matches up; this one is darker and less tropical than the 43 Year, and it is dangerously drinkable; the finish has me chasing the proverbial dragon…” – $2000
INTRODUCING: THE 2020 KINSHIP COLLECTION
The 2020 Hunter Laing Kinship Collection has just arrived. Only available as a complete set, the 2020 Kinship Collection Includes a 28 year old Ardbeg and 30 year olds from Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Highland Park and Laphroaig.
1. Ardbeg 28 Year – 50.1% – Distilled 1992 – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Salt-sprayed peat on the nose, with iodine, clove, cookie dough, heather honey, and cinnamon. Palate: Quite tarry on the palate, with medicinal notes, liquorice, camphorwood, and a touch of orange zest along with peat as on a sea breeze. Finish: It leads to a lemony, lingering, and effortlessly elegant finish.” – 90.33pts Whisky Base
2. Bowmore 30 Year – 58% – Distilled 1989 – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Dark fruit notes with light peat reek on the nose, alongside nutmeg, walnuts, figs and dates. Palate: Crispy bacon, sweet lemons, leather, prunes and tobacco on the palate alongside honeyed almonds, burnt orange zest and clove. Finish: Top-class Oloroso sherry-matured Bowmore depth and elegance.” – 89.5pts Whisky Base
3. Bunnahabhain 30 Year – 45.5% – Distilled 1989 – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Fresh lemon zest, ginger, almonds, nutmeg, malt filled grist bin, ozone on the nose. Palate: Markedly fresh and salivating arrival on the palate, subtle at first, growing with time encompassing citrus, brine and a sponge-cake sweetness. Finish: A beautifully delicate and elegant Bunnahabhain.” – 89.89pts Whisky Base
4. Caol Ila 30 Year – 42.4% – Distilled 1989 – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Honeydew melon on the nose with Maldon sea salt, smoked ham, bandages, candied almonds and Islay peat smoked. Palate: On the palate there is a gristy malty note, lime zest, Seville orange, new leather, fine tobacco and a typical Caol Ila ashiness leading to a wonderfully refined finish.” – 90.2pts Whisky Base
5. Highland Park 30 Year – 43.1% – Distilled 1989 – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Very heathery on the nose with earthy, mossy notes, malt biscuits in an old cupboard, candied lemon zest on a windy shore, faint hints of peat phenol. Palate: Continues on BBQ surf and turf and malty notes with highland heather honey. Finish: An intensity of flavours along with the complexity for which the distillery is famous.” – 89.5pts Whisky Base
6. Laphroaig 30 Year – 53.6% – Distilled 1990 – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Wet, smouldering Islay peat, iodine and tar on the nose. Palate: Rich and expansive on the palate with nutmeg, bandages, malty notes, new leather boots beside a peat fire and a touch of liquorice. Finish: The whole leads to a long, satisfyingly smokey finish – the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove.” – 90.86pts Whisky Base
Only available as a complete set.
The Kinship Collection 2020 – $8250+gst
TWO NEW LIMITED EDITION ARDNAMURCHANS
Well, these two have seemingly come from out of nowhere. The first is a limited edition and the second is a single cask bottled exclusively for Alberta! We did get a preview of the Paul Launois at our Ardnamurchan tasting in the Spring. The single cask has been bottled exclusively “Canada”, but whom are we kidding? We all know that means Alberta, and we are apparently the only market in the World to get its own cask! The whisky was made from unpeated barley, matured in an American oak ex-Bourbon barrel.
Ardnamurchan AD/04:21 Paul Launois – 57.6% – – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Jellied fruits give way to an Auld Alliance of fresh croissants with strawberry jam and warm Aberdeenshire butteries. Honeydew melon with nougat and vanilla ice cream. Palate: Strawberry tart, muscovado, and apple strudel with orange bitters and pink peppercorns on the finish.” – $190 – 86.88pts Whisky Base
Ardnamurchan AD/CK.358 07:15 – 59.3% – ex-Bourbon Barrel – Distilled 2015 – 30PPM – Concerto Barley – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: creamy and honeyed with citrus fruits; lush, floral and cheesy… Isle of Mull Cheddar perhaps, which isn’t far…; cedar shavings shelled peanuts and clean smoke; hemp ropes, wood sailing skiffs, and seaspray… Palate: big, bold and surprisingly smoky… this is a bit of a beast; creamy and honeyed, the buttery oak quickly makes way for earthy-ashy peat, tarry ropes, and salted caramel; there’s plenty of fruit there, loads of citrus, but also baked apple and poached pear, with more cheddar or even a bit of blue topped with honeycomb; lovely with lots of layers, now I’m getting into icing sugar and cupcakes. Finish: this is a whisky that comes roaring in, makes a statement, and then slowly fades away; the ashy smoke and toasted oak notes linger longest. Comment: this takes me back to sailing in my youth in the Maritimes on old wooden sailboats; it is also reminiscent of Longrow, Ardbeg, and on the nose even a young Brora; I expected it would be good, it is in fact even better! ” – $190
INTRODUCING: KAVALAN SOLIST MADEIRA CASK
This is only the 2nd bottling of Kavalan matured in Madeira to come to Canada, and it will be the last for a while; they don’t fill a lot of Madeira casks. Bottled at 55.6%.
Kavalan Solist Madeira Cask – 55.6% – Producer Tasting Notes: “Nose: Fresh fruits such as grapes and apples are met with sweet spices. Popping through the nose of rich baked red fruit are hidden toffee and vanilla, followed by hints of tobacco leaf and sweet cherries. Palate: Rich and creamy with apricots and melons, topped with white pepper, cinnamon sprinkles, and zesty cherries. Finish: A sweet and fruitful, well-balanced finish with touches of oak, spices, cinnamon sticks and caramelized sugars – with of course, a delightful Madeira cherry note on top.” – $280
NEW & RETURNED FROM AMRUT
The Amrut Cask Strength isn’t new, I suppose, but we haven’t seen it in a while. The Amrut Bagheera is new though, and it comes as a gift pack, so that’s fun!
Amrut Cask Strength – 61.8% – Indian Barley – American Oak – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Classic house style with glorious bourbon notes fused with the richest of barley statements; not entirely unlike caramelized biscuit dunked in coffee; oh, and a bit of spicy attitude, too. Taste: There we go with that unique bitter-sweet overture where the oaks and barley appear joined at the hip; lovely soft oils and then a sharp jolt of blood orange citrus, which is removed by something more buttery and delicate. Finish: Long, elegant with the most intricate of fades with the oaks showing various bourbon then buttery characteristics; there is a trace of dark sugar and cocoa to help it along its way.” – $105
Amrut Jungle Book Tie-In Bagheera Gift Pack – 46% – 99% Unpeated & 1% Peated Malt – Sherry Cask Finish – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Salted caramel in tandem with dark chocolate. There is an array of fruity notes presumably dried fruits with underlying oak tone. There is a hint of sandalwood and becomes floral with time. Taste: A fruity affair complemented by floral tones and the experience is very oily too. The middle ground is creamy and the sandalwood and wood phenols show their face but completely controlled by an underlying peat note. Finish: Sweet and dry peat finish.” – $140
INTRODUCING: BALBLAIR 17 YEAR
The Balblair 17 year is usually only available through Duty-Free, but that market’s misfortune is our gain, it would seem. 87.86pts Whisky Base
Balblair 17 Year – 46% – “Matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks, followed by first fill Spanish oak butts for exceptional depth and charisma.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Mature notes of bitter chocolate and juicy sultanas with a hint of antique polished wood. Palate: Root spices and thick honey complemented by bonfire night toffee apples. Finish: Vibrant with orange zest, candied fruit, and just a hint of wood smoke.” – $158
NEW BOURBONS FROM NEW RIFF
About New Riff, in the producer’s own words: “We are a new riff on an old tradition, that tradition or theme being Kentucky Bourbon. Founded in 2014 by Ken Lewis, a visionary Kentucky liquor retailer and entrepreneur, New Riff is led by a team of corporate refugees ranging from craft beer to politics and more. New Riff crafts a range of whiskeys—Bourbon, Rye, and eventually Malted Rye and a host of specialty recipes—as well as Kentucky Wild Gin. Our mission is simple: to someday be counted among the world’s great small distilleries. Becoming one of the great small distilleries of the world is a long term play, with no exact ring to win, or title to be declared.
We are independently owned by one family, and that independence, the freedom from outside pressures and interests has allowed us to make an unforeseen declaration for quality: for perhaps the first time since the inception of the Bottled in Bond Act in 1897, a Kentucky sour mash whiskey distillery has committed itself exclusively to that quality standard, the world’s highest. And we proudly lift that bar even higher by bottling without chill filtration. We stand behind this combination of classic American entrepreneurship and ingenuity; passion and knowledge born from one of the world’s great spirit regions; and a talented team individually committed to doing things the right way.
1. New Riff Bottled in Bond Kentucky Bourbon – 50% – High Rye Bourbon 30%, 65% Corn & 5% Barley – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Butterscotch rounding into fresh oak, with hints of vanilla and rye spice. Taste: Broad, fulsome mouthfeel, leading to a sweeter vanilla accent, before a gathering of rye spices (clove, cinnamon, mint, dark berry) into the finish. Finish: Long, rye-led finish, with brambly red-black fruits amid white pepper and clove.” – $98 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
2. New Riff Bottled in Bond Kentucky Rye – 50% – 100% Rye (5% malted rye) – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Spicy and detailed, showing mint, black pepper, and vanilla with hints of orange and oak. Taste: Cinnamon spice, vanilla and sweet toffee moving into a bold mouth feel with rich Rye spice, caramel and toasted oak. Complex flavors drink older than four-year-old. Finish: Bold Rye spice with vanilla buttercream and lingering brown sugar, plus a mineral-grassy Rye tone that fades slowly.” – $96 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
3. New Riff Single Barrel Barrel Strength Bourbon #2 – 51.8% – 65% Corn, 30% Rye & 5% Malted Barley – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Butterscotch rounding into fresh oak, with hints of vanilla and rye spice. Taste: Broad, fulsome mouthfeel, leading to a sweeter vanilla accent, before a gathering of rye spices (clove, cinnamon, mint, dark berry) into the finish. Finish: Long, rye-led finish, with brambly red-black fruits amid white pepper and clove.” – $108 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
4. New Riff Single Barrel Barrel Strength Bourbon #3 – 53.1% – 65% Corn, 30% Rye & 5% Malted Barley – SAME TASTING NOTE AS ABOVE – “While each Single Barrel owns its specific flavor profile, New Riff Bourbon generally shows big and spicy flavors. This is not a light, delicate, simple whiskey—we have crafted for robust and fulsome flavor from start to finish.” – $108 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
5. New Riff Single Barrel Rye #2 – 52.55% – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Well balanced between nougat confection and rye-derived spices such as black pepper, clove, grains of paradise and pink peppercorns. Taste: Broad, fulsome mouthfeel, a sweet-spicy-savory interplay developing into floral rose and red fruit notes. Finish: Fine length and detail, showing potent rye spices which last and last.” – $108 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
6. New Riff Single Barrel Rye #3 – 52.6% – SAME TASTING NOTE AS ABOVE – “While each Single Barrel owns its specific flavor profile, New Riff Rye generally shows quite intense and focused spicy flavors. This is not a light, delicate, simple whiskey—we have crafted for robust and fulsome flavor from start to finish.” – $108 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
7. New Riff Single Barrel Rye #4 – 52.3% – SAME TASTING NOTE AS ABOVE – “While each Single Barrel owns its specific flavor profile, New Riff Rye generally shows quite intense and focused spicy flavors. This is not a light, delicate, simple whiskey—we have crafted for robust and fulsome flavor from start to finish” – $108 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
RETURNING NEXT WEEK: AN CNOC 16 YEAR
We were surprised, but far from disappointed, to have been offered another clutch of this superb anCnoc 125th Anniversary bottling. Every time we’ve had it in it’s flown off the shelf, probably because everyone on the whisky team can’t help but romance it!
A throwback in style to the old 16 Year Old anCnoc that was part of the company’s core range until about 5-6 years ago, this special bottling of the 16 is bottled at 53.5% ABV. Aged entirely in ex-Bourbon casks.
And better yet, the price has dropped since we last had it in!
anCnoc 16 Year 125th Anniversary – 53.5% – ex-Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet vanilla, notes of coconut & butterscotch toffee. Taste: Citrus, faintly spice, vanilla & green apple fruitiness.” – $150
INTRODUCING TOMINTOUL CIGAR MALT
Bottled at 43%, this single malt was created by blending Oloroso sherry-matured and sherry-finished casks of Tomintoul, including some peated casks, to create a whisky capable of standing up to big cigars!
Tomintoul Cigar Malt – 43% – Producer Description: “The Tomintoul Cigar Malt is also referred to as Tomintoul Cigar Malt Parejo, because it has been created to be the perfect ‘Parejo’ (Spanish for “partner”) to the world’s finest cigars. The rich and sweet oloroso sherry notes, creamy malt profile and gentle peat smoke make this single malt the perfect accompaniment to savour alongside your favourite cigar or just to appreciate and enjoy by itself.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Bold and pronounced with aromas of dried fruits, sweet spices, pecan pie and subtle peat smoke. Palate: Sweet and rich with layers of chocolate raisins, butter toffees and brambles mingled with black pepper and smoky spices. Finish: warming and long with notes of mocha, maple syrup and toasted oak lingering on the tongue.” – $125
CRAIGELLACHIE 33 YEAR IS BACK!
The initial global release of this whisky is just 1700 bottles. Produced in a small batch, it has been bottled at 46%. Originally only released in Duty-Free markets, we had a case last year and we’re lucky to acquire another! 91.33pts Whisky Base
Producer Description: “The bottling has been aged for fully 33 years, and shows signs of some sherry maturation, ensuring a deep and complex flavour profile. This whisky is bottled at 46% ABV and without chill-filtration or colouration, meaning the drinker enjoys the full benefit of Craigellachie’s unique style and 33 years of maturation.
Craigellachie 33 Year – 46% – Producer Tasting Note: “Craigellachie 33 offers a muscular and intense palate, with notes of roasted pineapples, dark honey, thick vanilla custard, clove-studded orange rind, leather, raisins, toffee, pastry almond, beeswax, dark chocolate, overripe bananas, mint, apples, malty bread and butter, oats and peaches. A ludicrously complex and delicious dram.” – $1500 – 91.33pts Whisky Base
MACALLANS IN-STOCK – NOT FOR LONG
A few of these whiskies are only seen once or twice a year. All are limited to 1 per customer.
Macallan Rare Cask 2020 Release – 43% – Producer Description: “indulgent and highly sensorial whisky experience. Rare Cask is crafted from the finest and rarest sherry seasoned oak casks, unearthed by The Macallan Whisky Mastery Team using their knowledge, skill, passion, and creativity in their quest to seek out the extraordinary.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Soft notes of vanilla with rich raisin, followed by a sweet fusion of fresh apple, lemon and orange. Palate: An intense sweet raisin dominates before giving way to vanilla and dark chocolate, with layers of light citrus zest. Finish: Long, rich and velvety.” – $425 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
Macallan Estate – 43% – About the bottling: “Made from a single week’s distillation, from grains grown on the distillery’s estate, and matured in exclusive sherry seasoned Butts and Hogsheads. Bottled at 43%. The box features an inlay of hand-cut slate and is designed to reflect the area’s natural features.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Warm, comforting and homely notes of cinnamon. Wood spice and orange oil, opening into dried fruits with a sweet lemon, banana and caramel. Palate: Soft and warming with wood spice, opening into a dry oak flavour spiked with candied raisin and fresh fig. Moving into a sweet fresh orange and delicate fresh citrus. Finish: A sweet citrus twist.” – $325 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
Macallan 18 Year Double Cask – 43% – Producer Description: “The Macallan Double Cask 18 Years Old, a perfectly balanced single malt whisky matured for 18 years in both American and European sherry seasoned oak casks. Sherry seasoned American oak adds delicate vanilla to the subtle spice of European oak, delivering a whisky with a sweeter, warmer taste and character.
– Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Dried fruit, ginger and toffee. Rich orange with hints of clove and nutmeg. Palate: Rich raisin and sultana with notes of caramel, vanilla and ginger, balanced by wood spice and zesty citrus. Finish: Warm oak spice with ginger, turning to sweet orange.” – $450 – Limit 1 Per Customer
Loads of exciting new KWM virtual tastings to look forward to this Fall. It is possible we’ll add a few more October events to the schedule, and the November tastings will be announced in September.
All of the tastings feature 7x 15ml samples, unless otherwise indicated!
· Date: Friday, September 17
· Time: 5 PM
· Cost: $65
· Pick-Up Date: Available Now
· 3 spots available
It’s been a couple of years since we’ve seen our friend Gordon Dundas, Brand Ambassador for Glengoyne and Tamdhu Distilleries. And in the last year, they’ve rebranded the Glengoyne range, so we thought it was high time we invited him to join us for a virtual vertical tasting. We’ll be tasting Glengoyne Cask Strength as well as the 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, and 30-year-olds. 5 PM, Friday, September 17.
· Date: Friday, September 24
· Time: 5 PM
· Cost: $55
· Pick-Up Date: Available Now
· Only 12 spots left!
Adelphi Distillery Sales Director Connal Mackenzie will be our guest as we sample a range of whiskies from Adelphi Distillery Ltd. We have five independent bottlings from their Adelphi range, including bottlings of BenRiach, Breath of Speyside, Caol Ila, Glenborrodale, and Springbank. We also have a pair of single malts, from Adelphi’s Ardnamurchan Distillery to sample, including a peated single cask. We held back stock of all of these releases, so participants will get first crack at the bottles! 5 PM, Friday, September 24.
· Date: Saturday, September 25
· Time: 5 PM
· Cost: $80
· Pick-Up Date: Available Now
· Only 6 spots left!
We’ve just received a boatload of exciting new whiskies from the That Boutique-y Whisky Company, so we’ve cajoled our friend and Boutique-y Global Brand Ambassador Dave Worthington into joining us for a couple of tastings. Dave always puts on a good show, and just might be joined by Sam Simmons, aka Dr. Whisky… we never can be sure! Round I will include a mature range of malts including a closed distillery bottling. Specifically: Ben Nevis 22 Year, Caperdonich 22 Year, Glengoyne 19 Year, Inchgower 14 Year, Inchmurrin 20 Year, Irish Single Malt #1 14 Year and Tobermory 24 Year. 5 PM, Saturday, September 25
· Date: Tuesday, September 28
· Time: 6 PM
· Cost: $30
· Pick-Up Date: Target September 17
New Riff is coming to Kensington Wine Market (virtually)! We can finally showcase this Newport, Kentucky Distillery that has a big focus on Bottled in Bond and Single Barrel Bourbon and Rye Whiskey. Join Evan and special guest Jay Erisman – Distiller at New Riff – for an online guided tour through 6 samples of New Riff Bourbon and Rye Whiskey.
*Please note that this stating starts at 6 PM Calgary Time instead of our usual tasting time to accommodate our special guest, who will be joining us virtually from Kentucky.*
· Date: Thursday, September 30
· Time: 8 PM
· Cost: $100
· Pick-Up Date: Available now!
Our last virtual Feis Ile tasting in the Spring/Summer was a bit of a fiasco… we had to postpone it for months due to global shipping problems. And in the end, we were never able to feature a couple of the whiskies we had hoped to showcase. So we’re doing it again, but we’re taking our range up a notch. On the tasting docket this time: Boutique-y Bunnahabhain 14 Year, Boutique-y Bruichladdich 27 Year, Grace Ile 25 Year, Peat’s Beast PX, Peat’s Beast 27 Year, Signatory Caol Ila 2010 & Signatory Unnamed 1992 Islay Single Malt. 8 PM, Thursday, September 30.
· Date: Friday, October 15
· Time: 5 PM
· Cost: $65
· Pick-Up Date: Available now!
· Only 8 spots left!
We’ve just received a boatload of exciting new whiskies from the That Boutique-y Whisky Company, so we’ve cajoled our friend and Boutique-y Global Brand Ambassador Dave Worthington into joining us for a couple of tastings. Dave always puts on a good show, and just might be joined by Sam Simmons, aka Dr. Whisky… we never can be sure! Round 2 will include a pair of teaspooned “Blended Malts” believed to be 25-year-old Balvenie and 24-year-old Glen Scotia. In addition to that we’ll sample Bunnahabhain 10 Year, Glen Elgin 22 Year, Glen Garioch 29 Year, Tobermory 12 Year and an unnamed 10 Year Islay Single Malt. 5 PM, Friday, October 15
· Date: Friday, October 22
· Time: 8 PM
· Cost: $55
· Pick-Up Date: Day of the tasting! Friday, October 22
Abi knows Wine.
Evan knows Whisky.
What would happen if they switched roles?
For this tasting, Evan will select and talk about samples of wine while Abi will take charge on the whisky side, choosing three samples as well. Worlds will collide on this wine and whisky tasting. Which choices will come on top?
Included in the tasting kit:
– 3x 1.7 oz / 50 ml samples of wine
– 3x 0.5 oz / 15 ml samples of whisky
– A few small Halloween-themed snacks for pairing.
This offers enough of a sample size for all the singles out there. Those of you making a date night out of it might want to purchase two kits.
*Because the wine is a bit more perishable than the whisky, we will not be pouring it into sample bottles until the day of the tasting. Samples will not be ready for pickup until the day of the tasting*
· Date: Thursday, October 28
· Time: 8PM
· Cost: $275
· Pick-Up Date: Available now!
· Only 8 spots left!
* Different whiskies than those pictured above… same shit-eating grin on Andrew’s face!
The concept here is pretty simple, even if the price tag appears eye-watering… there are a lot of rare and old things Andrew wants to try, and if he’s interested in them, there’s a good chance you might be too! For this round, we have a couple of closed distillery bottlings and an otherwise mature old selection of things. You’ll taste Caperdonich 2000, Clynelish 1995, Jura 1992, Mosstowie 1979, Highland Malt (Clynelish) 42 Year, Glentauchers 44 Year and Glenlivet 1973. An assortment of whiskies from Gordon Macphail, Signatory, and That Boutique-y Whisky Company, which would set you back close to $12K. There are some really cool whiskies in this tasting, you won’t want to miss it! 8 PM, Thursday, October 28.
Physical distancing is made easy with curbside pickup. Order online or by phone, wait for confirmation your order is ready then call us when you are out front.
We are proud to offer Free City Wide Delivery on all orders over $100 Monday-Friday! Orders under $100 are subject to a flat rate $10 deliver fee. We are expecting high demand for delivery after the sale so please be patient!
Mon – Wed 10AM – 8PM
Thurs & Fri 10AM – 9PM
Sat 10AM – 8 PM
Sun 11PM to 6PM
*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.*