Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger No. 130 by Andrew Ferguson – Whisky News!

Things are really heating up here at KWM. The final pieces of the Whisky Calendar are finally in our hands. We expect to have the first Calendars ready for pick-up beginning Monday. Please wait until you are contacted before coming into the store to pick-up.

If your calendar(s) need to be packed for pick-up, it will likely take us a day or two longer to get to them. Again, we will be in touch, when they are ready for pickup.

If you haven’t already reserved your KWM 2021 Whisky Calendar, time and supply are both running out… less than 50 of the 562 Calendars we are producing this year are still available for purchase!

The new whisky releases are coming almost faster than we can keep up. I’ve said it before, and will likely say it again, shipping is pure chaos right now and things are coming in bunches, waves, and torrents.

Before we get to all the glorious new things we have to tell you about, and there are a lot of them, a quick note on a pending perfect storm of busyness heading our way.

In a classic example of Murphy’s Law, we will be building the KWM Whisky Calendars in the week leading up to our annual pre-Christmas Super Sale. That’s right, we have a huge sale coming up November 12-14.

We were delayed completing the Calendars by an error on the palette manifest, which had nothing to do with the whiskies needed for the Calendar… by nearly 2 weeks. This means we will be scrambling to get Calendars for out-of-town customers built and packed as quickly as possible. We expect that will take at least a week.

Please note that over the next 10 days, between the Calendars and the Sale we will be slammed. As with the last couple of sales, we will not be packing anything for pick-up during the sale.

There is going to be a bulge, a surge of requests for packing, and there will be a wait. We only have so much stuff and so many hours in the day. We always try to do better than we quote, but the wait could be 7-10 days. At the best of times, when it is slow, we ask for at least 5 business days’ notice for packing, to make sure we get things done on time. So please be patient!

If you have bottles waiting for pick up and are waiting on a KWM 2021 Whisky Calendar(s) too, I would suggest requesting to have the bottles packed now. We generally don’t pack Calendars and bottles in the same box anyway. If you make a request to pack a Calendar and bottles when you receive notice that the Calendars are ready, please note your packing job will be done after we pack all other pickups of Calendars only. Our goal is to get the Whisky Calendars out in time for advent. All other packing requests will likely have to wait longer.

This is a worst-case scenario, but I like to be upfront about things, in the hope that we can exceed the expectations we set.

This Malt Messenger has taken the better part of a week to pull together. Rather than wax poetic about everything that’s coming, I’ll let you browse it at your own leisure. There is a lot, so take your time and try not to drool on your keyboard!

Everything in this Malt Messenger is available for order or pre-order online and is linked. There may not be descriptions or photos on the website for all new products, but we’re working to get caught up as soon as possible. In the meantime, there are details for you below.

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 (but online ordering works too).


Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market


1. Two New Virtual Tastings

2. Surprise… Another Daftmill Release!

3. The Glenfarclas 185th Anniversary is Here!

4. Two New Compass Box Whiskies

5. New & Returned Whiskies From Gordon & MacPhail

6. New Whiskies from Elixir Distillers

7. Port Askaig 45 Year Returns

8. Rosebank “The Roses” 21 Year Fascination Ballot

9. New Whiskies & a Rum from Adelphi

10.                SMWS Recap

11.                Coming Soon: From Bruichladdich

12.                Introducing: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt New Edition

13.                Introducing: Creag Dhu

14.                Macaloney’s Caledonian Searaidh Braiche

15.                Boutique-y/Drinks by the Dram Gift Packs Arrive Next Week

16.                Upcoming Tastings

17.                Currently On Sale


We have two awesome new tastings to tell you about, for Eau Claire Distillery and the Dewar’s brand. The Eau Claire tasting is the launch of their Batch 5 single malt, and will feature a vertical tasting of not only batches 1-5, but also a sample from the KWM cask still maturing at the distillery! The Dewar’s tasting will be highlighted by the superb Double Double range… if you haven’t tried these blends, you simply must!

Eau Claire Vertical Single Malt Tasting

·     Date: Friday, November 19

·     Time: 8 PM

·     Cost: $25

·     Pick-Up Date: November 4

Our friends at Eau Claire Distillery have asked us again to help them launch their latest single malt release (Batch 5)! Who are we to say no to such an honour?

Eau Claire’s Caitlin Quinn (Master Distiller) & Marty Gunson (Sales Manager) will be our special guests as we sample:

Eau Claire Single Malts Batch 1 through 5, Rupert’s Whisky, and a very special bonus dram: a sneak preview of a KWM exclusive single cask!

Dewars: Not Your Grandpa’s Blend Anymore

·     Date: Friday, November 19

·     Time: 7 PM

·     Cost: $30

·     Pick-Up Date: November 17 (possibly sooner)

In 2019 Dewars released their Double Double range. It is nothing to do with Tims, and it doesn’t involve 2 each of cream and sugar. It is a range of whiskies: 21, 27 and 32 years old, developed by Dewars’ current master blender, Stephanie Macleod. The whiskies are created using a 4 stage aging process for added “smoothness”. Whatever the alchemy, the results are impressive. We will be sampling this trio, along with the new trio of 8 year old Dewars: Caribbean Smooth (rum cask), Portuguese Smooth (port cask) and Illegal Smooth (mezcal cask). To top off this very smooth tasting, we’ll also be sampling the Dewar’s 25 Year, a Duty-Free expression. We have held back stock of the Dewar’s 27 and 32 to give participants in the tasting an opportunity at a bottle!

What we can say for sure, is this is not your Grandpa/Grandma’s Blended Scotch anymore, and even the Zohan would agree this tasting will leave you feeling silky smooth! 7 PM, Tuesday, December 7.


This is a pleasant surprise: another Daftmill release, which we were not expecting. It is also one of the biggest releases of Daftmill we’ve seen, 6000 bottles, filled at 46% after maturing 12 years in First Fill ex-Bourbon barrels. 88.25pts Whisky Base!

Daftmill 2008 Winter Batch Release – 46% – First Fill ex-Bourbon – My Tasting Note: “Nose: silky and waxy with almond paste and candied lemon; decadent, Sauternes and Icewine; Manuka honey, lemon meringue, and white chocolate Hershey’s Kisses; aged cheddar and honeycomb; apricot jam and tropical fruits; elegant floral top notes. Palate: soft, floral, and buttery with loads of fruits; still waxy, more aged cheddar and honeycomb; a touch of Sauternes and Icewine, apricot jam, and lemon meringue; salty Marcona almonds, firm toasted oak and gentle wood spice; white chocolate and macadamia nuts. Finish: long, lush, coating, and creamy; cheesy, fruity and decadent with white pepper. Comment: another cracker; cleaner than some of the other releases we’ve seen, without the sherry more of the natural spirit character can shine through; give it time to breathe and it will open like a flower!” – $199.99 – Limit 1 Per Customer


To celebrate their 185th Anniversary, the Glenfarclas Distillery has created a special multi-vintage bottling, just as they did for their 175th Anniversary. Only 6000 bottles have been released globally, bottled at 46%. It has an 88.8pt score on Whisky Base! 88pts Whisky Fun

My tasting note is below, but I can sum it up for you… it is elegant, approachable, and it has the maturity of a whisky approaching or in its 20s.

Glenfarclas 185th Anniversary – 46% – Sherry Casks – My Tasting Note: “Nose: sherried, doughy and buttery with a velvety top note; Christmas cake, blueberry pie (like the old 21…), apple strudel, and Mexican donuts; maple butter, soft dunnage tones, and then tropical fruits. Palate: lush, layered, and balanced; more maple butter, soft leather, Christmas cake, and nutty sherry tones; bright tropical fruits atop a bed of creamy vanilla; still doughy: the blueberry pie is still there though slightly al dente, more MacDonald’s apple pie, and strudel; soft spices and gentle earthy tones. Finish: decadent, fruity, and coating with warm spices; medium in length, but pleasant and layered it leaves the palate salivating for more.Comment: this is dangerously drinkable, quite complex, and rather elegant; mentioning that it is a “multi-vintage” creation doesn’t do this justice because there is a backbone of maturity here; I poured myself an extra measure of this to be sure, but I am, so I’ll add one final compliment… old school… this is an old school Glenfarclas!” – $170


We have a couple of new whiskies to fill you in on from our favourite Blenders of Scotch Whisky, Compass Box.

Orchard House is a new core range Blended Malt, composed primarily of whiskies procured by Compass Box as new make spirit, and matured in the firm’s own casks.

Canvas is a limited edition Blended Malt with a curious twist. 10% of the blend is Tomatin matured in Vino Naranja orange wine casks.

1. Compass Box Orchard House Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – 46% – Producer Description: “What is more universally delicious than ripe fruit? Even the greatest chefs have been known to serve a simple dish of strawberries or a single, perfect peach as a dessert. Orchard House gathers together some of the fruitiest malts Scotland has to offer, including whiskies from the Linkwood and Clynelish distilleries; what’s more, we have sourced many of these whiskies as new spirit and laid them down in our own oak casks. This, our monument to fresh fruitiness in Scotch whisky, has been many years in the making.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Aromas of apple and pear dominate, with hints of pineapple, lemon and lime zest, and Earl Grey tea. Take a sip and note the malty and gingery flavours. These are soon joined by honey, wild strawberries and vanilla shortbread.” – $68

2. Compass Box Canvas Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – 46% – Producer Description: “This is an exceedingly colourful and vibrant Scotch whisky, thanks to a parcel of single malt re-racked into experimental barrels for three years. Seasoned with Vino Naranja (Spanish fortified wine infused with orange peel), these unusual casks bring new shades of deliciousness to Canvas with their chocolatey richness and sticky marmalade fragrance.” – Producer Tasting Note: “The gloriously waxy and citrusy nose is followed by forest honey and vanilla shortbread notes on the palate. Flavours of nutmeg, cardamom and chocolate intertwine in the long-lasting finish.” – $170 – Limit 1 Per Customer!



Let’s start with the new whiskies. There is some cool stuff here, including a 25-year-old Distillery Label Linkwood. Most of the whiskies are from G&M’s Connoisseurs Choice range, bottled at cask strength.

There is a pair of Glenburgies, a trio of Caol Ilas (2 of them from 1988), single casks from Ardmore, Mannochmore, Glentauchers and Tomatin. At most, we are getting between 6 and 12 bottles of each, so many of them are limited to 1 per customer.

1. G&M Distillery Label Ardmore 1999 – 43% – 18/19 Year – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Warming spice – cinnamon and clove, complement rich sherried fruit. Sweet toffee apple aromas come to the fore, with a subtle hint of smoke, brown sugar and an undertone of vanilla. Palate: Soft and creamy. Raspberry jam and apple flavours lead to gentle notes of cracked black pepper. An undertone of dried tobacco develops alongside subtle oak with a citrus zest edge. Finish: A light and smooth finish with lingering dried red fruits.” – $175

2. G&M Distillery Label Linkwood 25 Year – 43% – First Fill & Refill Sherry Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose Hints of baked apple, stewed raisin, and cinnamon enhance rich Sherry influences. Sweet liquorice aromas develop enhanced by light floral nuances. A polished oak edge remains. Taste: Sweet and spicy; date, prune, and raisin flavours complement warming pepper. Hints of cinnamon and clove add spice. Tangy blackcurrant notes mix with sweet cherry jam and candied citrus fruit. Finish: A nutty edge balances the lingering oak notes.” – $350

3. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Ardmore 1998 – 55.5% – 22 Year – Refill American Oak Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Light citrus and crystalized violet aromas gives way to soft honey. Vanilla develops accompanied by milk chocolate and toasted almonds. Taste: Flavours of grapefruit and Brazil nuts leads to orange peel. A hint of cured meats develops alongside subtle white pepper. Finish: A medium-bodied finish with lingering green apples and spice.” – $255

4. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 2007 – 59.7% – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: cured meat aromas are balanced by ripe green apples and cocoa powder. Fruitcake notes develop with hazelnuts and autumnal spice. Taste: Stewed fruit and honeycomb give way to rich cinnamon. Cracked black pepper comes to the fore alongside malted biscuit and sweet smoke. Finish: A full finish with dark chocolate, toasted oak and bonfire embers.” – $160

5. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 1988 – 51.4% – 31 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich vanilla aromas with delicate notes of lemon peel lead to baked apple. Taste: Intensely sweet; stewed fruit flavours combine with crackled black pepper and rich encompassing smoke. Finish: A smooth finish with lingering bonfire ash.” – $1475 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

6. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 1988 – 52.7% – 32 Year – Refill American Oak Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet baked apple and rich cured meats give way to an undertone of vanilla. Dried tobacco notes lead to sweet smoke and a hint of ripe pineapple. Taste: Bonfire embers and malted cereal are accompanied by a light menthol edge. Soft mint notes develop alongside dry leather and a hint of cracked black pepper. Finish: Short finish with soft smoke and a hint of liquorice.” $1300 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

7. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Glenburgie 1998 – 57% – 22 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Treacle aromas complement toffee apples and rich brown sugar. Raspberry sorbet comes to the fore alongside subtle orange peel. Taste: Soft white pepper flavours lead to smooth cinnamon and baked apples. Candied orange and sweet strawberry licorice gives way to hazelnuts. Finish: A full finish with lingering spice and fruit.” – $275 – 87.93pts Whisky Base

8. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Glenburgie 1996 – 55.3% – 24 Year – Refill Bourbon Barrel – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich vanilla and coconut aromas lead to dried pineapple. Notes of milk chocolate develop alongside lemon sherbet and mild cashew nuts. Taste: Black pepper and ripe green apples are balanced by rich honeycomb. Grapefruit zest comes to the fore with subtle undertones of sweet tobacco. Finish: A full finish of lingering spice, citrus and toasted oak.” – $305 – Limit 1 Per Customer! – 88.44pts Whisky Base

9. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Tomatin 1993 – 58.7% – 27 Year – First Fill Sherry Puncheon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Aromas of stewed raisins and ginger give way to rich vanilla fruitcake notes develop with toffee and lemon zest. Taste: Fresh flavours of strawberry and orange marmalade are followed by black pepper. Brazil nuts come to the fore with banana bread and milk chocolate. Finish: A medium-bodied finish with light spice and aniseed.” – $430 – Limit 1 Per Customer! – 90.67pts Whisky Base

And now for those which have returned:

1. G&M Distillery Label Linkwood 15 Year – 43% – First & Refill Sherry Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Fruity and fresh, dry Sherry, ripe strawberry, and raspberry aromas highlighted by a light lemon-citrus edge. Tangy orange marmalade develops and combines with warm cinnamon and toffee. Taste: Initially intensely sweet; mellowing with time and the gentle and warming spice flavours of cinnamon and clove. Creamy white chocolate develops and entwines with a juicy tangerine edge. Finish: Medium and rounded with fresh herbal tones and a slightly drying cocoa powder edge.” – $125

2. G&M Distillery Label Mortlach 15 Year – 43% – First & Refill Sherry – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Distinctly malty initially with fresh aromas of a woodland hedgerow. Delicate Sherry notes linger and weave with rich indulgent toffee, sweet liquorice, and orange marmalade. Taste:  Reminiscent of a Black Forest cake; the initial sweetness develops into fruity blackcurrant jam, maraschino cherry, and creamy vanilla. Freshly peeled orange notes add a fresh lift. Finish: Well rounded; hints of candied citrus fruits and oak complement the lingering malty edge.” – $125

3. G&M Distillery Label Mortlach 25 Year – 43% First & Refill Sherry – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich and full; Sherry and orange marmalade notes combine with stewed dates and prunes. Underlying herbal aromas surface and transform into brown sugar with gentle toffee highlights. Taste: Pronounced Sherry influences join crème brûlée, orange marmalade, sultana, and raisin flavours. Hints of mature oak appear whilst an aniseed edge underscores dark chocolate notes. Finish: Medium with lingering charred oak and cocoa powder.” – $320


We have new whiskies from our friends at Elixir Distillers, including bottlings under the Reserve Cask, Single Malts of Scotland, and The Whisky Trail. I’ve tasted a few of them, and surprise, surprise, they are lovely…

Let’s start off with some good value whisky, an 11-year-old Blair Athol, from the Reserve Casks range, Parcel 5.

Reserve Cask Blair Athol 11 Year – 48% – 2009 – 5 ex-Bourbon Hogsheads – My Tasting Note: “Nose: malty, buttery and floral; milk chocolate, Marcona almond, oatcakes, and shortbread; Wine Gums, citrus fruits and melons; white chocolate, decadent spices, and pralines. Palate: thick, toasty and decadent with firm oaky spices; more white chocolate, almonds, oak cakes, and shortbread; floral and slightly waxy with more citrus fruits and Wine Gums. Finish: floral, toasty, and decadent; coating and creamy with more spices. Comment: big Bourbon tones, with a rye-like spiciness; this is great value, warm, creamy, floral, and toasty; it may not be cask strength, but at 48% it drinks well!” – $100We have three new releases from the Single Malts of Scotland arriving this week. Unfortunately, we don’t have tasting notes for them just yet, but we have bottle shots and Whisky Base scores… also I’ve tasted the Clynelish!

1. SMOS Caol Ila 13 Year Cask 320254 – 55.6% – 2007 – Hogshead – $140 – 88.25pts Whisky Base

2. SMOS Clynelish 10 Year Cask 800206 – 60.3% – 2010 – Barrel – My Tasting Note: “Nose: Honey Nut Cheerios and beeswax; fresh latex paint and a touch of window putty; malt, moulding clay and white fruits: apple and pear. Palate: soft, floral and waxy with lovely honey tones and fresh fruit; traces of latex paint, moulding clay, and juicy malt; Jujubes and Wine Gums moving into candy apple and pear drops; lush, coating and creamy. Finish: long, warming, bright and fruity; still honeyed, waxy, and malty. Comment: ticking all the boxes, this is everything you want a 10 year old Clynelish to be; and the strength, 60.3%… forget about it… this is crushable!” – $130 – 88pts Whisky Base – Limit 1 Per Customer!

3. SMOS Ledaig 16 Year Cask 82 – 54.4% – 2005 – Barrel – $230 – 90pts Whisky Base – Limit 1 Per Customer!

We also have some exclusive new whiskies from the Whisky Trail line!

We are also waiting for tasting notes for these, so in the interim, we have photos and cask details. And I’ve managed to write a tasting note on the Linkwood.

1. Whisky Trail Glenburgie 21 Year Cask 751398 – 56.7% – 1998 – Hogshead – $240 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

2. Whisky Trail Girvan 30 Year Cask 167852 – 56.1% – 1989 – Hogshead – $230

3. Whisky Trail Linkwood 10 Year Cask 312699 – 55.5% – 2010 – Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: Jujubes, coffee grounds, and toasted oak; treacle, Turtles, and decadent spices; candied orange, melon liqueur, and marzipan. Palate: big, rich, and sherried; leather, chocolate Turtles, treacle, and Christmas cake; a touch nutty, more Jujubes, dried fruits, and candied orange. Finish: medium in length, warming and spicy with fading toasted oak, decadent spices, and soft fruits; late floral tones. Comment: young and a touchy spirit-y, but balanced with soft sherry tones and lots of fruits; on the finish, you can find just a trace of the thick pillowy floral tones you sometimes see in young Longmorn.” – $110


This ancient Islay single malt is exclusive to KWM. Bottled from a marriage of 5 sherry butts and bottled at a precariously low cask strength of 40.8%. Believed to be Bunnahabhain, the whisky scored 90pts from Whisky Fun in 2014, but in 2019 he upped his score to 91pts, which I still feel is low. This is old-school tropical whisky!

Producer Description: “Matured in five sherry butts, this expression was distilled in 1968 and bottled at a cask strength of 40.8%. Port Askaig 45 Year Old is an old Islay style that is almost completely lost today. Fruit-driven, with next to no smoke and with an abundance of tropical fruits such as mangoes and papayas, this is a very rare whisky and one to be savoured.

Port Askaig 45 Year (cough Bunnahabhain) – 40.8% – Sherry Butts – My Tasting Note: “Nose: old school antique-y sherry notes, barrel-aged maple syrup, treacle sauce and bags of tropical fruits; waxy with over-ripe bananas, mangoes and papaya and agave nectar; candy apple with soft old leather and tobacco; assorted Jelly Bellies and Starburst fruit candies. Palate: still old-school; very rich, sherried and fruity but balanced and elegant; more maple syrup, cola cubes and treacle sauce; the Starburst fruit candies and assorted Jelly Bellies are still there as are the waxy over-ripe tropical fruits: mango and papaya, grilled pineapple, and flambeed banana; dark milk chocolate, delicate spices and light roast coffee beans; cold tea dregs with Demerara sugars it becomes increasingly spicy, but still balanced. Finish: long and fruity, the whisky stays decadent and gently spiced as it slowly fades; coating with more cold tea dregs; a touch of minty mojitos too. Comment: this is a beautiful old malt, very much in the antique-y style; old school and very fruity sherry without suffering any of the ravages of time; is there a faint trace of smoke, I’d need an even more generous serving to be sure!” – $3400


We might just hold one of these back for a future tasting…

From the Producer: “The fifth release in Elixir Distillers’ Rosebank Roses series, Fascination is a 21-year-old single malt which, like the others in the collection, has been released to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This single malt is a combination of spirit distilled in both 1990 and 1991, matured in ex-Madeira casks and American oak barrels for 21 years. Citrussy aromas of candied citrus peel and fresh lemon are joined by rye bread, white chocolate, sherbet pips and mint on the nose, complemented by notes of green apple, sugared almonds, custard and vanilla cream throughout the palate.”

Rosebank 21 Year Fascination – 49.5% – Tasting Note by Billy Abbott, The Whisky Exchange: “Nose: Candied citrus peel, zingy fresh lemon, yeasty rye bread and crunchy barley sugar. Sweet-shop notes of white chocolate mice, sherbet pips and mint fondant develop, along with a background of vanilla cream, toffee and butter icing. Palate: The sweet icing notes lead, with white chocolate, crispy sugared almonds and lemon cream following. Gentle oak spice notes develop with a touch of anise and sour apple skin. The sweetness builds again, with mint fondant and barley sugar joined by light, creamy, custard notes. Finish: Oak spice, cooling mint and sweet cream. Aniseed heat builds before dying back to reveal polished oak.” – $1800 – 90.27pts Whisky Base – Limit 1 Per Customer!


The latest selection of Adelphi releases is, as always, limited. Single casks spread over the globe don’t tend to cover a lot of ground, but we are happy to get what we do!

1. Adelphi Private Reserve Cask Strength Peated – 57.6% – Sherry & Bourbon Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Straw in colour and showing a medium bead. “The nose opens with grassiness, Rose’s lime cordial, glacier mints, dill, Gimlet cocktail, kiwi fruit and minerality. Drams in the herb garden! On the palate, we have a little funk, hessian sacks, horse stables, cheese rind and fresh leather. A cooling mouthfeel, with a lengthy, maritime finish. Seriously good.” – $68 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

2. Adelphi Blair Athol 2008 – 56.5% – 12 Year – First Fill PX Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Matured exclusively in a first fill PX Sherry Butt, chestnut in colour and showing very good beading. On the nose we first discover licorice, cola cubes, Madeira, and red laces. This opens into over-ripe fruit, sandalwood and cloves. “e palate is brimming with engine oil, Lea and Perrins, mint Matchmakers, chocolate brownies and the slightest hint of rubber. A #ne dram indeed with a lengthy #nish.” – $190 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

3. Adelphi Breath of the Isles 2007 – 58.3% – 14 Year – Refill Oloroso Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “A vatting of re#ll Oloroso Hogsheads, this is copper-gold in colour and displays a moderate bead. A bright, alluring nose redolent of apple pie, fresh ginger, heather honey and beach debris. “e well-balanced palate is chock full of crunchy nut corn$akes, pumpernickel bread, salted popcorn, mocha and a tangle of seaweed. A long, beautifully harmonious #nish completes this dram in style. Wonderful stuff!” – $192 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

4. Adelphi Caol Ila 2013 – 58.4% – 8 Year – Refill Bourbon Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “The product of a single refill Bourbon Hogshead, with the colour of barley water and a moderate bead. This is a clean, citrus-forward Caol Ila. “The nose is laden with lemon peel, swimming pool aromas, hospital wards and enticing cigar smoke. A hint of smoked cheese perhaps. “e palate displays great clarity with minerality, oyster shells, salinity, creosote, chimney soot and bonfire embers combining very effectively. A medium, satisfying finish.” – $192 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

5. Adelphi Dalmore 2007 – 54% – 14 Year – Refill Oloroso Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Matured exclusively in a refill Oloroso Hogshead, this is copper gold and has a very good bead. On the nose we have earthy miso paste, savoury meatiness, beef jerky, sticky ribs and a whiff of machine oil. The palate is extremely well-textured. There is rounded creaminess in the form of sweet meringue, backed up by herbaceous longevity. Touching all points on the tasting compass, this is a dram to savour.” – $232 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

6. Adelphi Glen Garioch 2011 – 58.5% – 9 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Fully matured in a refill sherry butt, Vin Jaune in colour and showing a medium bead. An inviting nose kicks o! with coconut cream, bounty bar and stem ginger before opening into white pepper, nougat and tobacco tin. The palate is a cracking all-rounder with Irn-Bru bars, gorse slower, medicine cabinet, tangerine and pink peppercorns. A dry, spicy finish compliments this whisky perfectly.” – $182 – Limit 1 Per Customer!

7. Adelphi Teaninich 2010 – 58.8% – 11 Year – First Fill Oloroso Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Fully matured in a first-fill Oloroso butt, this is mahogany in colour and has a medium bead. On the nose, we discover Dr. Pepper, Indonesian cubeb, mushrooms, honey roast parsnips, rowan jelly and oregano. “e palate continues the tanginess with cola bottles, waxy old books, cumin and cured meats. The rich finish herbaceous and lengthy.” – $186 – Limit 1 Per Customer!




Lovers of coconut and polished oak should pay attention to this Dailuane. It delivers a waxy, viscous palate with plenty of floral and fruity notes to go along with the sweet and spicy oak.

9.201 – MAJOR SWEETIE Truth be told I am not the world’s biggest Glen Grant fan. I find many indie bottlings from the distillery tend to get too dunnage heavy for my liking, especially those in the mid 20s age-wise. Major Sweetie ticked all the right boxes for me with wonderful fruit notes and a touch of musty, dusty and waxy notes without going over the top.



Remember that bottle I mentioned that was titled and tasting noted by some crazy Canucks? Late night pantry raid is that bottle! Kelly and Rob were kind enough to send us advance samples of this whisky, asking the whisky staff at a few SWMS partner stores to write up their own name and tasting notes for it.

In September I was over the moon to find out my suggested bottle name and most of my tasting notes were used for this bottling! It is truly a bucket list item for me that I never thought I would check off, but here we are. I also managed to sneak a bit of Canadiana in there with a reference to Hawkins Cheezies!

Full note below:

SMWS Canada’s retail ambassadors tasting note: “Bleary-eyed and peckish you stare into the depths of the pantry in search of a midnight snack. Pushing past aromas of chamomile tea bags, Galliano liqueur and half-used packets of Ichiban soup flavouring, you pull out a box of Bran Flakes, dried raspberries and honey. Before closing the door, you taste a few random items to verify their freshness: Jelly Bellies, salted liquorice, dried apricots, a milk chocolate bar, golden raisins, candied ginger and yogurt-covered pretzels, sugar-coated fennel seeds and a half-finished bag of Hawkins Cheezies.

Sated and ready to go back to bed, you open the fridge in search of filtered water. Behind sliced shallots and almond slivers, you notice the forgotten pan of raisin walnut butter tart squares. You should have looked in the fridge first. After 12 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead this was transferred to a 1st fill Sauternes barrique.”


I am honestly surprised we still have bottles of this Longmorn left to sell. Anything that is out in a sherry cask is difficult to hold onto these days, and this mix of Distillery juice and spice plus the red fruit and wines notes works very well.


Tullibardine seems to be hitting its stride both in its official bottlings like the 15 year and some of The Murray series of batch strength releases as well as indie bottlings like this. SCRAMBLED HEATHER takes the distilleries malt-forward style and adds a lot of complexity in a tightly wrapped package.


We have seen a very small amount of SMWS Old Pulteney of the past 5 years, and bottles like this show how much of a travesty that is. Salty, savoury and sweet all at once from one of the few distilleries that pulls that off without peat on a regular basis.



This is the ONLY one of the 7 bottles from October to still be available and it is no slouch. Young Linkwood can be very expressive, full of floral, fruit and fresh ginger (and even lemongrass!) notes. This bottle delivers that and more!


The November Outturn just dropped this AM. It was sampled Wednesday night by the KWM team, along with special guests Rob & Kelly. There is stock left of most of the whiskies, with the exception at the time of writing of the Glen Scotia. You can view the November Outturn here! The KWM November SMWS Tasting can be watched here!


First up a trio of Octomores:

1. Bruichladdich Octomore 12.1 – 59.9% – 5 Year – First Fill American Oak – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: Opens on zesty citrus freshness and earthy peat smoke. Vanilla sponge cake and barley sugars with rich malt sweetness. Coconut and chocolate, vanilla and caramel follow, and as the aromas open further cinder toffee and layers of Peat smoke and honey come to the fore. Taste: Peppery and sweet on the palate, with a texture of warm golden syrup. Honey and peat smoke then fired oak chips and peaty apricot jam open. Anther sip brings malted barley sugars and straw, heather flower, and a nutty nougat sweetness. A mineral sandy note sits on the palate and brings through a dry phenolic earthy smoke and hints of orange zest and pear drops. Finish: The finish brings salted caramel with floral and herbal notes. Honeysuckle, primrose and then gentle peat smoke, as ever, the note that drifts on the longest.” – $275

2. Bruichladdich Octomore 12.2 – 57.3% – 5 Year – American Oak Finished in Sauternes Casks – 129.7ppm – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: Beautiful notes of melon, honey and smoked almonds initially. Toasted oak and earthy smoke are held back by layers of fruit and honey. There is orange peel, peaches, ripe sweet melon, a lemon and honey combination all wrapped in a malted grain sweetness. Dried apple and pear drops come next with a wave of peat smoke and toasted oak, releasing earthy and pine resin notes. Taste: Lusciously soft and sweet as the fruit sweeps across the palate, lemon zest and vanilla pods come to the fore with melon and orange blossom. Another sip highlights the structure the French oak brings with caramel, baking spices and a touch of dryness carrying the smoke and the malt sweetness. Always the presence of ripe fruit drizzled in syrup speaks of the influence of the Sauternes casks. Finish: On the finish, a salty lemon tang arrives as the fruit and oak fade a little. That lovely earthy peat smoke moves in to dominate the finish and stamp the Octomore DNA all over this dram.” – $240

3. Bruichladdich Octomore 12.3 Islay Barley – 62.1% – 5 Year 75% ex-Bourbon & 25% First Fill PX Sherry – 118.1ppm – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: OAroma: Light sherry notes of fig, raisin and dates with charcoal, boot polish smoky notes set the tone for this dram. Light, fresh citrus honey notes from the spirit, intense floral notes of honeysuckle and orange blossom burst from the glass and then dark toffee, milk chocolate and vanilla from the oak add depth to the aromas. Smoked grain, seaweed, linseed oil and tobacco come as the whisky continues to open. Taste: Peppery nasturtium flowers, dark chocolate, earthy peat smoke and those sherry fruits rush across the palate at first. The Peat smoke and the dried fruit dominate and then comes the barley sugar and charred oak, releasing those rich toffee and tobacco notes. Sweet pastry and toasted grain then more sooty earthy peat smoke. Finish: Charcoal, soot and dried figs. Salted lemons and bitter chocolate.” – $315

The 9th Edition of Bruichladdich mysterious Black Art Series is a 29 year old… It is almost impossible to believe that 1992 was 29 years ago!

Bruichladdich Black Art 9.1 – 44.1% – 29 Year – 1992 – Undisclosed Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: Breathtaking. Tropical fruits, coconut, tobacco, spicy oak and flamed pine branches. With a little time, the whisky opens up seductive notes of mango, melon, sweet honey, orange zest, grilled pineapple and ripe strawberries, fresh from the field. The subsequent scent combination of coconut, ginger, buttery shortbread, vanilla pudding and a hint of tobacco promises a delightful drinking experience. Taste: The viscous texture of this dram and its depth are out of this world! Wood, tobacco, brown sugar as well as chocolate and coconut form the perfect basis for extremely intense fruit flavours. With a little water, this unbelievable complexity comes into its own even more. Finish: Incredibly long-lasting with seemingly endless notes that are reminiscent of apricot, mango, baked banana, sweet toasted oak, honey and vanilla.” – $770



You may have heard that the Japanese are getting a bit more rigorous with respect to the classification of Japanese whisky. It used to be common practice, even for the big companies like Suntory and Nikka, to include imported whiskies in their Blends and Blended Malts. These include Nikka’s famous Taketsuru Pure Malt (Blended Malt). Nikka owns Ben Nevis Distillery, and 70% of its production is shipped to Japan as new make for Nikka whiskies.

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt (100% Japanese Edition) – 43% – Producer Description & Tasting Note: “This is an expression launched in 2020, with a refined formula and a new label design to represent the brand. While remaining a smooth and well-balanced blended malt, the formula further showcases an exquisite balance between elegant softness and deep complexity along with rich mouthfeel and smokiness.” – $80

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt (Old Edition) – 43% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: floral, fruity and decadent; lots of fruit both tropical and citric, vanilla pods and soft oak spices; there may be a faint hint of smoke and sea salt but overall it is creamy and fruit. Palate: oh there’s some peat, but it is in balance with sweet fruity notes, the whisky is exceptionally creamy, loads more vanilla, some honey and spices; the fruits are there in abundance, some citrus but mostly melons (midori) and tropical fruits (kiwi and guava); there are some coffee notes too and developing darker spices. Finish: light, clean, and fruity with some darker spice and a hint of salty peat smoke. Comment: this is amazing value, excellent whisky and a great price point!” – $96


Bottled by the team behind Daffy’s Gin, Creag Dhu is a mystery Speyside Single Malt, bottled to raise awareness about Scottish Peatlands. Peatlands are vital to Scotland’s ecology, and also work as an important carbon sink.

Producer Description: “Creag Dhu is a very traditional whisky made by our master distiller Chris Molyneaux in partnership with a Speyside distillery using time-honoured Scotch whisky distilling techniques that have not changed for centuries. We age our whisky for a minimum of eight years.”

Creag Dhu Single Malt Whisky – 40.2% – 8 Year – European Oak Sherry Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Medium-bodied, with notes of date and walnut cake, spicy caramel, and Oloroso sherry. A beautiful note of malt, with toffee apple and a touch of smoke.” – $76


The first every sherry matured single malt from Victoria Caledonian has some colour… that got us intrigued. Full-term maturation in Olorosso (that’s right, Oloroso with a second ‘s’ for emphasis & PX Sherry STR (shaved toasted & re-charred) casks. My tasting note is on the KWM site.

Macaloney’s Caledonian Searaidh Braiche – 46% – Oloroso & PX Sherry STR Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “This classic sherried single malt spirit has a rich body and creamy mouthfeel. The plums, raisins, tropical fruit and wood spices are complimented by structured tannins and oak, that ultimately yield to a background of juicy malt barley. The finish and development are complex with a hint of sea salt and symphony of sherry and tropical fruit notes.” – $108



There is a treasure trove of goodies coming from our friends at Atom Brands this year, from Drinks by the Dram, That Boutique-y Whisky Co. The ETA for everything is late October!

Rather than take up a lot of space here, the details and photos for these are on our website. Click the product name to view them:

1. Drinks by the Dram Regions of Scotland Set – 5x30ml Wax Dipped Single Malts, 1 each from Scotland’s 5 Whisky Regions – $50

2. Drinks by the Dram Japanese Whisky Set – 5x30ml Wax Dipped Japanese Whiskies from Nikka, Yoichi, Miyagikyo & Mars (unless the whiskies have changed in the interim) – $65

4. Boutique-y Whisky Scotch Tasting Set – 4x50ml Boutique-y Whiskies in the 10-12 Year Range. – $52

5. Boutique-y Whisky Premium Scotch Set – 4x50ml Boutique-y 1–27 year old Whiskies from Ledaig, Inchmurrin, Cameronbridge & Burnside – $86

7. Drinks by the Dram Irish Whiskey Collection – 12x30ml Irish whiskies bottled with hand-dipped wax seals. – $83

8. That Boutique-y Whisky 12 Dram Set – 12x30ml -. Award-winning expressions and rare drams await you during the holidays or all year round with the removable sleeve. – $120

If the details for any of the above on the website don’t match perfectly, please be patient, we are doing our best to clean that up.


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!

The Ultimate Bunnahabhain Tasting 271 Years

Date: Thursday, November 25
Time: 8 PM
Cost: $300
Pick-Up Date: Available Now

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.


Here are some of the most highlights for our ever-evolving list of deals:

Glencadam 15 Year – $117.99 – SAVE 20%
Glenrothes 12 Year – $72 – SAVE 25%
Glenrothes Whisky Makers Cut – $95 – SAVE 20%
Macallan Double Cask 12 Year – $98 – SAVE 20%
Mackinlay’s Shackleton – $69 – SAVE 40%
Tamdhu 15 Year – $138 – SAVE 15%

But there is much more than that on sale, at present nearly 40 whiskies!

Browse all the deals here!


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!


Store Hours
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.*