Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger No. 115 by Andrew Ferguson – The Massive Fall Edition – Whsiky News

Malt Messenger No. 115 – The Massive Fall Edition

4 New KWM Exclusive Single Casks

A New Virtual Tasting and Loads of Other New Bottlings

As we head in to the busiest two months of the year here at KWM, things are a little different than in past years. Normally the last few days of October and first two weeks of November are chalk full of Master Class Tastings and Whisky Festivals at KWM, followed by our annual pre-Christmas sale. I don’t need to tell you that this year is far from normal…

Due to the pandemic, and travel bans, there are no distillery principals or brand ambassadors visiting from Scotland or other countries this year. There won’t be one, let alone two Fall Single Malt Festivals, and even our Fall Super Sale, originally scheduled it for November 13-15, might need to be delayed…

The reason we might need to postpone the Sale is that we are still waiting on 3 products to complete the KWM 2020 Whisky Calendar. We factored Covid-19 in to our plans this year, ordering more whiskies than needed as a buffer, and requesting them two months earlier than we would have normally. What we failed to factor in, and couldn’t possibly have foreseen was a Port Strike in Montreal. It has been causing 4-8 weeks delays on all kinds of liquor products.

So, if the final pieces we need to complete the Calendars arrive early next week, we will likely have to push the sale so that we can finish building the Calendars to get them out the door ASAP. If they don’t arrive by that time the Sale will go ahead starting on the 13th and we will hopefully have the Calendars completed the following week.

Take all this and add to it the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we are looking at a perfect storm of unpredictability. So I am asking for patience. If you ordered a KWM 2020 Whisky Calendar please be patient – we will get it to you as soon as we possibly can. The delay is completely out of our control.

If you have been patiently waiting for our Fall Super Sale, please be patient, we still don’t know when, or exactly how we are going to host it. We are working on that plan now, but will be pushing as much of it online as possible.

And finally, if you have items here at the store that you would like packed for pickup before November 20, please request packing now. Even if you are also waiting on a Calendar. If the perfect storm plays out as it looks like it might, we will likely have to pause all packing to manage the sale and complete the Calendars.

There is an avalanche of new whiskies and products to tell you about in this Malt Messenger, but before we get to them, we have a new Virtual Whisky Tasting to tell you about. We have teamed up with Eau Claire Distillery, and the World’s foremost expert on Canadian whisky, Daving de Kergommeaux, to hold a launch tasting for Eau Claire’s 4th Single Malt as well as the recently released Rupert’s Whisky. Evan will moderate this tasting hosted by Davin and Caitlin Quinn, Eau Claire’s Master Distiller. More details below!

We have 4 new KWM exclusive single casks to tell you about… 3 of which have already arrived in-store. We have just received our first ever single cask from the Speyburn Distillery; also a first for Canada, to the best of our knowledge. The Speyburn 2004 KWM Cask 277 is a thick, honeyed and fruity 15 year old whisky,. We only purchased half the cask, and I’m now regretting not taking the whole thing…

From The Whisky Agency we have two new partial casks of whisky “Distilled at a Secret Speyside Distillery.” The TWA Secret Speyside 1991 KWM Cask is a 28 year old, believed to come from Balvenie Distillery, and it wasn’t teaspooned… Matured in a Refill Hogshead, it is a tropical fruit bomb, bottled in the nick of time, perilously close to 40%. The TWA Secret Speyside 1994 KWM Cask is a sherried 25 year old rumoured to be from Glen Grant Distillery. It is richer and more muscular in-style, reminiscent of Macallan.

We are also expecting our 9th KWM exclusive single cask of Kilchoman in the next few weeks. The Kilchoman 12 Year KWM Bourbon Cask, is the oldest whisky from the distillery yet to come to Canada, and it is a stunner… More details on all four new KWM casks can be found below.

In addition to our casks, we have received a boat load of new whiskies from The Whisky Agency, and are also expecting more than a few new Kilchomans in the week ahead. From The Whisky Agency there are more than a dozen new single malts and even a couple of Cognacs. From Kilchoman there is the very dark 2020 bottling of Sanaig which is in-stock, as well as 4 new limited editions arriving soon.

There are also new whiskies from Two Brewers, Canadian Club, Bladnoch, The Boutique-y Whisky Co and Glenmorangie. Although there are a lot of interesting things, the Bladnoch might be the most interesting. The 5 recently arrived expressions are the first official releases of this whisky ever to come to Canada.

In the returned department we have some sought after whiskies from both Arran and Nikka. From Arran we have the 18, 21, Sherry Cask “The Bodega” and the Wine Finish Trilogy in the new packaging. From Nikka we have single malts from Yoichi and Miyagikyo.

On the arriving soon side of things we have a pile of stuff from the Boutique-y Whisky Co., including 3 bottlings and 7 Gift Packs/Advent Calendars. Worth noting on these the ETA is late November, again due to the port strike.

Finally, as the cool weather descends and Covid-19 numbers head in the wrong direction, please consider ordering online and taking advantage of Curb Side Pickup and Free Delivery in the City of Calgary (for orders over $50). We will continue to limit the number of customers in-store to 6, even as the temperatures dip. If you want to shop in-store please consider coming during off peak times, earlier in the day, especially Mondays and Tuesdays.

Lots to digest in this Malt Messenger!

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.


Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

In This Edition:

  1. NEW VIRTUAL TASTING – Eau Claire with Davin DeKergommeaux
  2. Our New Speyburn 2004 KWM Exclusive Cask
  3. Two New KWM Exclusive Whisky Agency Casks
  4. Coming Soon: Kilchoman 12 Year KWM Bourbon Cask 338
  5. Coming Soon: New Kilchoman Whiskies
  6. A Boat Load of New Releases From The Whisky Agency
  7. Introducing: Vallein Tercinier Cognac
  8. Introducing: Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Release 23
  9. Introducing: Canadian Club 43 Year
  10. Introducing: Glenmorangie Cadboll Estate 15 Year
  11. The Bladnoch Official Bottlings Are Finally Here
  12. Evan’s SMWS Corner – October
  13. Coming Soon: New Boutique-y Whiskies
  14. Coming Soon: New Boutique-y Calendars & Gift Packs
  15. Malt Whisky Yearbook 2021 Has Arrived!
  16. Nikka Single Malts Back In-Stock
  17. Sought After Arran Whiskies Back In Stock
  18. Some Very Very Good Deals On Whisky
  19. KWM Cask Update

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

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New Virtual Tasting: Eau Claire with Davin de Kergommeaux & Caitlin Quinn 

A Range of Whiskies & a Whisky Book Included in This Virtual Tasting!

Eau Claire Whisky Launch with Davin de Kergommeaux & Caitlin Quinn – Thursday November 26, 7PM – Davin de Kergommeaux, the foremost expert on Canadian Whisky, and Eau Claire Master Distiller Caitlin Quinn will be our special guests for an Eau Claire Whisky Virtual Launch Tasting. We will be helping Eau Claire launch their new Rupert’s Whisky as well as the 4th Batch of Eau Claire Single Malt. The tasting consists of 4 Eau Claire whiskies, more than enough for 2-3 people to responsibly share. It also includes a copy of Davin’s most recent book, “The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries”, which he wrote with Blair Phillips. Tasting sets will be available for pickup on or after November 9. A zoom code will be e-mailed 2-3 days prior to the event. Space is limited, so sign up early and often! – $60

This tasting includes:

·         1x 750ml bottle of Eau Claire Rupert’s Whisky

·         3x 50mls of Eau Claire’s Single Malt Whisky (Batches 2, 3 and 4!)

·         1x Copy of The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries by Davin de Kergommeaux and Blair Phillips

Register in-store, by phone at 403-283-8000 or online!

Our New Speyburn 2004 KWM Exclusive Cask 

Our First Ever Cask from Speyburn, and Best We Can Tell, The First in Canada!

Our first ever exclusive bottling of Speyburn, is a 2004 vintage, ex-Bourbon Barrel, bottled in 2000 at 15 or 16 years of age. Only 108 bottles are coming to KWM, filled at 52.5%. This is but a half cask of Speyburn, we probably should have bought the whole thing in retrospect, but the ones we have a lovely, and shouldn’t last long.

Speyburn 2004 KWM Cask 277 – 52.5% – 15 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: thick with honey, stewed fruits and juicy malt; blueberry pie warm from the oven, candy apple and poached pear; grilled pineapple and fig jam; toasty with a gentle earthiness. Palate: thick, honeyed and very creamy; warming waves of juicy malt, fruit and syrup roll over the tongue; more candied apple, warm blueberry pie and grilled pineapple; Manuka honey, cane syrup and fig jam; soft toasted oak and decadent spices; Milk Duds and Caramilk bars. Finish: long, warming, spicy and coating; fading layers of fruit, chocolate and honey. Comment: thick, honeyed and fruity this a lovely single cask, with no rough edges and plenty of character; I’m seriously regretting not taking the whole thing…” – $150

Two New KWM Exclusive Casks from The Whisky Agency 

Secretly, these whiskies might be from Balvenie & Glen Grant!

Our friends from The Whisky Agency have some new bottles out, and they have been trickling in to the store over the last few weeks. We are obviously most excited about our two KWM exclusive casks… They are both secret Speyside single malts, with one of them believed to be from Balvenie and the other Glen Grant. But who really knows? To add a special touch, we selected some archival photos of Calgary for our labels exclusive labels.

Our New KWM Exclusive TWA Labels:

  1. The Whisky Agency Speyside 1994 KWM Cask – 48.7% – 25 Year – Sherry Butt – Believed to Be Glen Grant – My Tasting Note: “Nose: rich, spicy and nutty with dried fruits; maple syrup and fig jam; doughy, fruit flan and juicy oranges; mango dusted in pepper and spiced pears; soft leather, tobacco leaf and chocolate. Palate: thick, rich and spicy; more dried fruits, leaning towards dates, prunes and more fig jam; some tropical fruits too, again with a spicy kick; firm leather, dark bakers chocolate, juicy tobacco and earthy spice: clove, fennel and anise; barrel aged maple syrup, sticky toffee pudding with treacle sauce and classic Christmas cake sherry tones; are you not entertained?! Finish: drying and nutty with more dried fruits, leather, chocolate and tobacco; long, rich and layered. Comment: this is a big sherried single malt; old school sherry on the heavy-muscular side of things; reminds me of Macallan but rumour has it this whisky is more likely to be from the oldest distillery in the town of Rothes…” – $260+gst – 72 Total Bottles
  2. The Whisky Agency Speyside 1991 KWM Cask – 40.8% – 28 or 29 Year (tbc) – Believed to be Balvenie – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft, silky and floral it is oozing tropical fruit notes; tinned pineapple, ripe mango and apricot jam; honeydew melons and greengages; candied lemon and Strawberry Twizzlers; waxy with French vanilla, salty Marcona almonds and Baklava. Palate: soft, thick, coating and creamy; lush with vanilla, honey, agave nectar and bags of fruit: more mango, pineapple, apricots and greengages; more candied lemon, quince paste and more Strawberry Twizzlers; very waxy, floral and toasty with more salty Marcona almonds and subtle peppery spices. Finish: long, coating, creamy and waxy; floral with sweet vanilla and more layers of fruit. Comment: subtle, decadent and elegant, it is packed with tropical fruits; I have to confess my bias, this is my jam, oxidized old refill cask whisky; in this case bottled in the nick of time.” – $300+gst – 90.08pts Whisky Base (Whisky Fassle appears to have bottled part of the cask)

Coming Soon: A New Kilchoman Cask 

The First 12 Year Old Kilchoman to Come to Canada!

Our 9th exclusive single cask of Kilchoman is the oldest whisky from the distillery yet to come to Canada. Filled in to an ex-Bourbon Barrel, Cask 338, on July 10, 2008, and bottled August 3, 2020, at 12 years of age and 53%.

Kilchoman 12 Year KWM Bourbon Cask 338 – 53% – July 10, 2008 – ex-Bourbon Cask – August 3, 2020 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honeyed, waxy and toasty with bright citrus fruits; butter poached scallops drizzled with lemon and smoked mussels; firm but delicate peat with hay just before the harvest and salted caramel; dried apricots and grilled pineapple. Palate: velvety toasted oak and singed lemon peel make way for juicy barley, butter poached scallops and mussels; a touch tarry with more salted caramel, apricots, grilled pineapple and apples baked with cinnamon; as the earthy spices build it also becomes more and more lush with buttercream icing and clotted cream; the peat is soft, ashy and oily with a bright salty coastal flourish dusting over some faint tropical fruits. Finish: long, coating, warming and complex; the fruits slowly fade along with the sweet vanilla, salted caramel and gentle oily peat. Comment: this is Kilchoman in mid stride, and it is something to behold; I can’t wait to see this spirit at 18 and 25 years of age… Kilchoman has been laying the groundwork for excellence since day one and it is increasingly producing some of the best whiskies not only on Islay, but in Scotland; this is another stunning cask, and I’m honoured that they agreed to bottle it for us!” – $195

New Kilchoman Coming Soon 

And a Curious One That is Already Here!

There are four new Kilchomans due in the weeks ahead, but another has been under our noses for a while now, and we didn’t even see it… Kilchoman is a small distillery, and like a lot of small distilleries there is more batch variation between core bottlings than would be the case at larger distilleries. This is because the batches for their bottling runs are considerably smaller than those of the big guys. It is one of the joys for fans of distilleries like Springbank, who’s 10 and 15 Year olds sometimes varry considerably in style from batch to batch. But even that aside we were stunned by the recently arrived bottling of Kilchoman Sanaig, which is darker even than the Loch Gorm. Loch Gorm is fully matured in Oloroso Sherry, while Sanaig is matured in a mix of Sherry & Bourbon casks. The sherry notes drive the styles of both Loch Gorm and Sanaig, but you would expect the Loch Gorm to be darker, and this time, its not… I really need to get out a tasting note on the new batch of Sanaig!

Kilchoman Sanaig – 46% – Matured in Oloroso Sherry & ex-Bourbon Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Fragrant heather, raisins, pear and orange peel with waves of stoned fruits, mixed spices and rich peat smoke. Palate: Over ripe plums, red cherries and hints of citrus give way to rich barbeque peat smoke, toffee, oak and dark chocolate. Finish: Mouth-coating mixed fruit, caramel, cinnamon and clove with layers of brown sugar, spices, peat smoke and lasting sweetness.” – $95

Here are the four Kilchoman’s due in the weeks ahead. The first is a new PX Sherry Finished cask bottled for Alberta by importer Gold Medal Marketing. I’ll have a tasting note up on it shortly. The other 3 are limited releases, and all of them are limited to 1 per customer. Some of them may not hit the floor… But if you miss out on one or more of them, there are a number of other great Kilchoman bottlings available.

  1. Kilchoman 7 Year PX Finish Alberta Cask – 56.7% – 2013 Cask 201 – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich spices, cinnamon with peat smoke, cooked fruits and citrus. Palate: Peat smoke, sweet toffee, pears, dried fruits and dark chocolate. Finish: Long and clean with layers of PX Sherry sweetness and rich smoke.” – $145+gst
  2. Kilchoman 100% Islay 10th Edition – 50% – 9 Year – 39 Bourbon Barrels & 2 Oloroso Sherry Butts – Producer Description: “The 100% Islay 10th Edition was distilled from our 2007, 2009 and 2010 barley harvests before being matured in 39 bourbon barrels and 2 oloroso sherry butts for a minimum of 9 years.” – Producer Tasting Note:Nose: Floral notes with citrus sweetness, light peat smoke and apricots. Palate: Prunes, cinnamon and cooked apples & pears with hints of fresh smoke. Finish: Waves of mildly spiced peat smoke, lasting sweetness and rich sherry notes.” – $128+gst – Limit 1 Per Customer
  3. Kilchoman Fino Sherry Matured – 46% – Fino Sherry Butts – Producer Description:  “The Fino Sherry Matured is a limited edition and our first global release of this cask type. The whisky has spent its full maturation in fino casks previously used by Bodega Miguel Martin in Spain, 11 fresh butts and 1 refill butt. Fino differs from this by being a drier, more saline type of sherry which gives Kilchoman whisky layers of fragrant green apple, balancing beautifully with the citrus sweetness, cooked fruits and maritime peat smoke of our spirit. This release follows on from other limited-edition expressions using experimental cask maturations from Kilchoman, full term maturations in port, madeira, sauternes, red wine and STR cask types, amongst others.” – $130+gst – Limit 1 Per Customer
  4. Kilchoman Machir Bay Cask Strength Festive Edition 2020 – 58.6% – Released for the “Festive Season”. It is quite simply Machir Bay, but at Cask Strength! – Producer Description: “On Islay, even the sheep celebate the festive season. There’s nothing better on a dark wintery night than a large dram of cask strength Kilchoman. So this year we’ve decided that rather than reducing Machir Bay to our standard 46% abv bottling strength we’ll release a limited number of bottles at cask strength; 58.6% abv. That should keep out the cold!” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Lemon zest, vanilla and distinct coastal influence give way to floral intensity, juicy peaches, pears, and wafts of rich spices. Palate: Bursts of tropical fruit and dried sultanas, warming smoke and waves of honey, malt, butterscotch and rich sweetness. Finish: Sherry-soaked fruit, cracked black pepper and sea salt. Long-lasting with layers of citrus sweetness and maritime peat.” – $100+gst – Limit 1 Per Customer

A Boat Load of New Releases from The Whisky Agency 

Single Malts Galore

There are two groups of whiskies from The Whisky Agency. The first are the Spring 2020 releases, for which only 8-24 bottles of which came to Canada:

  1. The Whisky Agency Arran 2002 – 49.2% – 17 Year – Barrel – $290+gst – 89.65pts Whisky Base
  2. The Whisky Agency Irish Single Malt 2003 – 51.9% – 16 Year – Bourbon Barrel – 82pts Whisky Fun: “Colour: pale straw. Nose: pure grass! Very much one of these light and gently austere profiles which is all about cut grass, chopped herbs, lemon peel, wet plaster, fabrics, sunflower seeds and the faintest wee buttery note. Super-fresh and very pleasantly summery – if a tad simplistic. With water: even leaner, drier and more austere now. Notes of fur, cream crackers, chalk, white flowers and talcum powder. Mouth: there’s a surprising richness on arrival that wasn’t at all betrayed by the nose. There’s a more assertive texture of cooking oils, some buttery flavours, cookie dough, vanilla cream, cactus flesh and white chocolate. Very appealing. With water: again it becomes drier and leaner with water. More cereal driven, buttered toast, more sunflower seeds, cooking oils and lemon rind. Finish: a tad short but clean, crisp and dry with notes of sunflower oil and oatcakes. Comments: It’s funny how these youngsters are ridden with this very specific grassiness, while the older ones reek of exotic fruits. I wonder at what point and by what alchemy the former evolves into the latter? SGP: 441 – 82 points.” – $340+gst – 85.83pts Whisky Base
  3. The Whisky Agency Irish Single Malt 1998 – 51.3% – 21 Year – Bourbon Barrel – 87pts Whisky Fun: “Colour: gold. Nose: a fascinating kind of halfway house between those two styles. All on runny honeys, glazed pastries, heather flowers, gentle notes of hessian, duster cloth and canvass. There’s also these quite rich characters of putty, rapeseed oil and pollen. A style unto its own and quite distinct from many of these other Irish doing the rounds these days. I find it impressively complex and compelling – almost old highlands style in some ways. With water: a tad more whacky, gloopy and oily. Some hints of cheese curd, farmyard, oily sheep wool, mineral oils and shoe polish. Really quite an industrial / mechanical style. Mouth: Here the Irish accent really sings! Much more towards light sootiness, old metal polish, oily rags, old toolboxes, copper coins, steel wood, sunflower oil, pot pourri and lighter notes of waxed canvass. You can really spot some shared DNA with these very old pure pot still bottlings of things like Redbreast and Green Spot from the 60s and 50s. In the background you also get wee glimmers of dried mango which nods to these more recent exotic stylings. With water: drier but still retaining this oiliness of texture and weight in the mouth, along with this rather mechanical profile. More metal polish, camphor, green herbs, light menthol tobacco notes and chamois leather. Finish: good length and featuring some impressively funky overripe exotic fruits, olive oil, aniseed and a little plain fresh white bread. Comments: Very unusual, really harks back to quite a specific old school Irish style I would say. Is this pure pot still? You certainly get that impression from all these mechanical, oily and weirdly flabby fruit qualities. Anyway, worth trying if it crosses your path, it’s quite the entertainer. SGP: 651 – 87 points.” – $500+gst – 89.38pts Whisky Base
  4. The Whisky Agency Irish 1990 – 48.5% 29 Year – ex-Bourbon Barrel – 88pts Whisky Fun: “Colour: light gold. Nose: Not the immediate fruit bomb as expected. This one is more on fresh linens, breads, lime zest, wild flowers and tiny wee glimmers of camphor, glazed pastries, white stone fruits and kumquat. Develops an extremely elegant and fragile honeyed quality after a few minutes. Some putty, chalk, limestone and motor oil with a scattering of mixed seeds too. Something of a departure I would say, but still quite beautiful. Mouth: there are fruits but it’s really more tart green fruits such as apple, gooseberry and star fruit. Then nettles, cat piss, New Zealand sauvignon and pine resin. Also some rather grassy olive oil, more toasted seeds, brown bread, sourdough and mineral oil. Definitely a more austere example from these vintages but you still feel there’s a rather expressive and outlandish core personality on display here. The texture is also nicely gentle and buttery. Finish: medium and on pollens, bay leaf, green herbs, bitter lemon, olive oil and wee camphory touches. Comments: Really could be a glass of cask strength sauvignon blanc with all this crisp, nettley greenery on display. Another one for summery afternoons with a good book. Quite a different beast if you’re expecting one of these more overt fruit bombs. I would hazard this is more Cooley than Bushmills, but don’t quote me!” – $810+gst – 90pts Whisky Base
  5. The Whisky Agency Ledaig 1995 – 48.5% – 25 Year – Hogshead – 87pts Whisky Fun: “Colour: straw. snapped twigs along with a very gentle kind of ‘green’ bonfire smoke that comes through wispily and elegantly. Also lemon cough drops, anthracite embers, Marmite on brown toast, some crushed pink peppercorns and things like lanolin, sourdough starter and orange vitamin tablets fizzing in soda water. Light, bright, elegant and nicely complex. There’s also this sense of yeastiness which feels rather like a Tobermory accept encroaching upon this pretty gentle Ledaig. Which seems too often be the case with 90s Ledaigs. Mouth: indeed, it’s not a particularly peaty one. This is more on wet rocks, crushed aspirin, wet grains, raw cereal, fresh butter with chopped chives and parsley, plain toast, ink, carbon paper and lemon barley water. Cleaves close to the raw ingredients which is always good, but also has that elegant veil of age. And the mouthful has a robustness that carries everything nicely. More soft yeasty tones, grass, freshly muddled herbs, some mouthwash and more of these gentle lemony notes. Finish: good length but rather light and cereal driven, also some olive oil, sunflower seeds and hints of canvass and new leather. Comments: A tad whacky but also pretty charming and, most importantly, clean and never straying far from the raw ingredients. Indeed, the whole thing feels very natural. Although, I would say this is something of a departure from other Ledaigs from the mid-90s or earlier, most of those remain very ‘unlikely’ in my experience; perhaps time is the key ingredient with this baby. SGP: 453 – 87 points.” – $400 – 89.17pts Whisky Base
  6. The Whisky Agency Secret Highland Single Malt 1985  – 47% – 34 Year – Hogshead – 90pts Whisky Fun: “No one, absolutely no one, is saying that this is Glenmorangie, but between us, I believe the gentleman on the label looks a bit like Dr Bill, no? Colour: gold. Nose: more oak influence, obviously, so rather less of Glenmo’s usual tense purity (when no one’s murdered it). We’re rather reminded of a softer old Speysider, such as an early-to-mid 1970s Glen Grant or something like that. Overripe apples, acacia honey, then anything from a beehive, especially wax, a little grated coconut, various herbal teas (chamomile first), while it would then rather display tiny waxy spices, sunflower oil, camphor, shoe polish, old embrocations, old cigarettes (forgotten old pack in a drawer)… I find it really complex, with no aroma really standing out. Mouth: excellent, with a tiny smokiness at first sips (re-racking in an ex-peater cask at some point?) but that would fade away, leaving room for an ‘English five O’clock tea’ (with heartfelt apologies to all our friends in Scotland), scones, earl grey, biscuits, marmalade, milk chocolate, citron jelly, Cointreau, Mandarine Impériale, touch of mint once again, touch of earth… Finish: medium, soft, pretty much on ‘a tea in the Sahara’. With roasted pine nuts inside! Jammy citrus back in the aftertaste. Comments: excellent, complex, very elegant. SGP:551 – 90 points.” – $625 89.57pts Whisky Base

The second group are new TWA Joint Bottlings with Importer Heads & Tails (We will fill in more details, tasting notes and reviews on these as we can):

  1. The Whisky Agency Heads & Tails Secret Orkney 2007 –  53.2% – 12 Year – Bourbon Hogshead – Highland Park – $160+gst
  2. The Whisky Agency Highland Park 2003 – 51.9% – Bourbon Hogshead – $258+gst
  3. The Whisky Agency Heads & Tails Secret Highland 2007 – 47.8% – $160+gst
  4. The Whisky Agency& Heads & Tails Secret Highland 2000 – 49.7% – Rumoured to be Clynelish – $260+gst
  5. The Whisky Agency Heads & Tails Glen Elgin 1998 – 47.9% – Sherry Butt – $300+gst
  6. The Whisky Agency Heads & Tails Croftengea 2007 -51.3% – Bourbon Barrel – $188+gst
  7. The Whisky Agency Heads & Tails Tormore 1988 – 42.1% – Bourbon Barrel – $400+gst
  8. The Whisky Agency Heads & Tails Speyside 1996 – 51.8% – Possibly Burnside – $250+gst
  9. The Whisky Agency Heads & Tails Allt-a-Bhaine 1993 – 48.7% – Bourbon Barrel – $290+gst
  10. The Whisky Agency Heads & Tails Speyside 1994 – 49.8% – Bourbon Barrel – $275+gst 
  11. The Whisky Agency Heads & Tails Orkney 1998 – 51.7% – 21 Year – Bourbon Barrel – $285+gst
  12. The Whisky Agency Heads & Tails Ledaig 2001 – 52.7% – Bourbon Barrel – $305+gst
  13. The Whisky Agency Heads & Tails Blair Athol 1988 – 47.7% – $495+gst
  14. The Whisky Agency Three Rivers Tokyo Secret Islay 2013 – 52.9% – 6 Year – Sherry Hogshead – Rumoured to be Bowmore – $158

Introducing: Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Release 23 

With Luck & a Bit of Time I’ll Get This Peated Sherry/Port FInish Tasted Soon!

Release 23 from Two Brewers is a lightly peated single malt finished in both sherry and port casks. Bottled under the “Special Finishes at 46%.

Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Release 23 – 46% – Lightly Peated/Finished in Port & Sherry – Producer Description: “”~60% of the blend was a single mash, 25% peated, ex-bourbon aged, but finished 20 mos. in port barrels. The balance was a simple ‘classic’ blend finished 14 mos. in Sherry barrels. The port/peat brings a dryer oaky astringency, and the sherry is subtle across the center of the palate.” – My Tasting Note: “Nose: thick, honeyed and syrupy; waxy and exploding with tropical fruits; guavas, kiwis and tinned pineapple; gristy malt, subtle peat smoke and gentle toasted oak; late candied fruits, milk chocolate and soft leather. Palate: rich, thick and toasty; Jujubes, leather and firm earthy peat; more gristy barley, crisp spices and dark bakers chocolate; the tropical fruits struggle to poke their heads out from under the peat, sherry and port, but they are there. Finish: drying, smoky and spicy with more leather, dark chocolate and toasted oak. Comment: good but could it have been better? the great expectations given by the nose were dashed on the plate and finish; I fear this one would have been more expressive without its dalliance with port and sherry… but still a good dram!” – $103

Introducing: Canadian Club 43 Year 

The Speakeasy… The Third Release in the Chronicles Series!

The 3rd release in the Canadian Club Chronicles range is, gasp, a 43 Year, and is from the same parcel of casks as the 40, 41 and 42 year olds. Called “The Speakeasy”, it is bottled at 45%. The series is rumoured to include 44 and 45 year old extensions.

Canadian Club 43 Year – 45% –  Producer Description: “During Prohibition, when the sale of alcohol was outlawed, many bars and taverns were forced ‘underground’. This led to patrons who were planning a night out to whisper or ‘speak easy’ about these establishments. It was Canadian Club® that became the whisky of choice in exclusive bars based on its reputation for quality and authenticity. In fact, CC became the #1 smuggled whisky in the U.S. and the original ‘club whisky’ in North America. With this 3rd release, we celebrate a true original – Canadian Club – creating memorable moments for over 160 years.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: Toasted oak with hints of brown sugar and rich leather. Flavour: Nutmeg spiciness and light hay notes balanced with a subtle sweetness and a touch of dried fruit. Finish: a warm and lingering sweet oak finish.” – $290

Also still available:

  1. Canadian Club 41 Year – $300+gst
  2. Canadian Club 42 Year – $275+gst

Introducing: Glenmorangie Cadboll Estate 15 Year 

A Limited Edition Estate Barley Bottling!

The Cadboll is Glenmorangie’s first single estate whisky, made from barley grown on its Cadboll Estate. Matured exclusively in first fill ex-Bourbon Barrels before bottling at 43%.

Glenmorangie Cadboll Estate 15 Year – 43% – ex-Bourbon – Producer Description: “Our first single estate whisky created at the Distillery’s home from grain to glass. For this limited edition, the whisky’s barley was grown only in the fields of the Cadboll Estate which surround our Distillery, for a spirit of unique creaminess. Aged for 15 years and matured exclusively in first-fill American oak bourbon barrels, this single malt brings an intense oak depth and a rounded smoothness.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Intense and crunchy, with lots of oak, peanut brittle, malty or biscuity notes, and hints of crème brûlée. After a while, some orange oil and lemon zest. Ripe pear emerges, along with a subtle hint of menthol. A splash of water opens the floral nature of the whisky with hints of jasmine, rose and honeycomb. Palate: A voluptuous, creamy texture leads into an explosion, of soft, rich, sweet flavours: heather honey, butter candy, white chocolate, pears, apricots and mandarin segments, along with a balancing eucalyptus or menthol note. Finish: The flavour lingers for a long time, with more sweet mandarin orange, gentle toasty oak and vanilla.” – $148

The Bladnoch Official Bottlings Are Finally Here 

The First Official Releases from The Lowland Distillery Ever to Come to Canada!

They should have been here more than a month ago, but… #PortStrike.

This Lowland distillery has been closed more often than not over the last 30 years, and its production rather inconsistent. I made a visit to see the distillery in the late 2000s, where I was graciously met by the then owner Raymond Armstrong, a builder from Northern Ireland. Raymond had bought the distillery in 1994, a year after it had been closed by Diageo with the unusual caveat that it not be used for whisky production.

I can personally attest that Raymond was quite a character, and I’m not sure why he bought a distillery he was prohibited from operating. By 2000 Armstrong, with the help of the local council, had convinced Diageo to let him resume distillation and after some refurbishments the spirit started flowing in December, the first production since 1993. Cash flow appeared to be a persistent problem for the distillery under Raymond Armstrong, and production well below its potential. In 2009, citing increased costs production ceased and in 2014, the distillery was liquidated.

In 2015 the Bladnoch Distillery and several thousand casks of maturing whisky were purchased by Australian David Prior. He enlisted Burn Stewart veteran Ian McWilliam to get the distillery back on its feet again, and then hired Nick Savage who had been serving as Macallan’s Master Distiller. Production has been steadily increasing since it reopened and a visitor center was expected to open this year.

The new official bottlings have been trickling around the world over the last few years, and are finally set to land in Canada this Fall. The first official releases of Bladnoch, ever to come to Canada!

We have received the following Bladnochs:

  1. Bladnoch 10 Year – 46.7% – ex-Bourbon Casks –  Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Delicate floral with notes of honey and refreshing citrus. Palate: Parma violets with fresh apples and hints of wood spice. Finish: Sweet mouth coating leads to a refreshing finish” – $95
  2. Bladnoch Samsara – 46.7% – Matured in ex-Bourbon & Wine Casks – Producer Description: “Samsara means “rebirth” alluding to the rebirth of the Bladnoch distillery with its extensive modernization. Commemorating this rebirth, a whisky that has been matured in ex-Bourbon and ex-California Red wine casks for 10 to 14 years. A combination which is not very common and very particular with the red wine influence. All American oak.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Vanilla cream, floral with fresh cut apples. Palate: Thick vanilla fudge, sweet floral grass. Finish: Rich, mouth coating, leading to refreshing citrus.” – $118
  3. Bladnoch Adela 15 Year – 46.7% – Oloroso Sherry – Producer Description: “An all Oloroso Sherry matured 15 year old whisky. Scotch enthusiasts, especially Oloroso Sherry fans, will want to add this to their whisky collection. 100% Oloroso Sherry matured whisky. Adela is Latin for “rich and noble”, alluding to the style and character of this whisky.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich raisins, sultanas, with hints of orange peel and wood spices Palate: Raisins and sultanas, rich fruit cake, sweet cinnamon and chocolate. Finish: Rich and long with a slight dryness” – $175
  4. Bladnoch 17 Year – 46.7% – Bourbon & Wine Casks – Producer Description: “Originally filled into ex Bourbon casks in 2001, our Bladnoch 17 Year Old was disgorged and re-filled in red wine casks for vibrant, complex flavours.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Rich red cherries, subtle oak spices with sweet cinnamon. Palate: Deep dark cherries with gingerbread, dried fruits and warming cinnamon. Finish: Medium to long, with slight dryness and hints of pepper.” – $160
  5. Bladnoch Talia 25 Year – 49.2% –  Producer Description: “Honouring Bladnoch’s traditional style, this malt is brought together using a blend of three different woods, ex Bourbon, ex Sherry, ex Whisky(Refill?) and finally finished in brand new American Oak” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Quite rich and malty. Orange peel, honey with spicy toasted vanilla and grassy notes. Palate: Soft, rich and tongue coating. Spicy honey, gingerbread, a hint of Seville orange and sweet vanilla oakiness. Finish: Lovely balanced oak, lightly drying and spicy.” – $560+gst

Evan’s SMWS Corner

A Recap Of The SMWS Canada October Outturn, Plus A Few Other Recent Highlights.

October was an eventful month for KWM in regards to many things, including the SMWS. Andrew and I had our online recap of the October Outturn, and we also ran an SMWS tasting built around the older SMWS Membership kits. New, blue SMWS membership kits are on their way to replace the tried and true green kits that served as introductions to the SMWS for many of us!

The bottles listed below are still available as I write this. If you have any questions on these or other SMWS bottlings that KWM has stock of, feel free to drop me a line!

Twitter and Instagram: @sagelikefool
Instagram: one part of @kwmwhisky

The October 2020 SMWS Outturn

  • 82.22 – SUNSHINE AFTER THE RAIN    might just be the first Glencadam SMWS bottling to hit Canada! On the nose: mint, sage, lemons, chamomile. On the palate: Juicy with a spicy zing to it. Nutty notes like pistachios and macadamias along with pear puree and a peppercorn-like heat.. The herbaceousness on the nose gives way to to the fruitiness and spice on the palate. The clean, structured style of this one impresses me. I find it reminiscent of official Glencadam bottles, but having it at cask strength is the way to go!
  • 59.59 – Ahh, Teaninich. I have been really enjoying any Teaninich I have tasted over the past few years. SPOCK’S EARWAX does have some wax notes to it –  but at least it doesn’t smell Vulcanized. It is also missing the green and grassy notes I get a lot of the Teaninich’s I have had. Illogical! The nose evokes creme brulee, tapioca, creamy mango bubble tea plus a dash of citrus and mint. The palate shows starts soft but builds up to a wonderful juiciness. Mango, pineapple and fruit cup syrup all jump to the fore. I cannot tell a lie: The whisky is soft and doesn’t have a very long finish, but man is it delicious.
  • 37.131 – Back to Scotch – this time from Cragganmore Distillery. I had to look up the first word in the name for TARANTELLA TONGUE DANCING. Tarantella apparently is a rapid southern Italian dance or piece of music for said dance that is written in a quick 6/8 time. Sounds like this should be an interesting strike to the palate then! Firstly, the nose evokes a lot of the STR cask the whisky was finished in with plenty of polished wood and fruit notes such as mandarin oranges, cherries, and ripe bananas. On the palate I don’t personally get the dance, but I do get the intermingling of cask char, fruity wine notes and orange marmalade. It is sweet up front with some nice wood spice notes. I can’t really pick it apart more than that at the moment so I will just say if you are a fan of STR casks, you should check this one out.
  • 29.257 – I am almost afraid to talk about this one. It is a 21-year-old single cask Laphroaig, so it be two things at the very least: expensive and good whisky. The SMWS Canada put this bottle in front of the tasting panel for the Alberta Beverage Awards and what do you know! It tied for Best in Class in the Whisky Category. How good is it though? Is OUT OF LEFT FIELD worth the money? I have a mortgage and three young kids, so my mind says no. My nose however wants to be stuck in a glass containing this whisky 24/7. Soft coastal peat, cooked pineapple, dates, cherries, Fisherman’s Friend lozenges, railroad ties, lemon meringue pie, and Parma Violets. The palate liquid smoke, char-grilled pineapple, fresh blackberries, chamomile tea, lemon honey ginger tea, black liquorice tea, and a dash of salt. To me, it is surprising that this was finished for more than a year in a first fill Oloroso cask. The clean sherry is there but it never manages to overpower the whisky within. This is a great bottle because of that.
  • Battle Axe –  This is a peat and Islay-driven blended malt bottled at 50% ABV. The youngest whisky in the blend is 8 years old. The nose is oily, salty and smoky with citrus notes. It makes me think of Caol Ila of the hop. On the palate I get the same, but with plenty more going on such as sweet coconut water, honey, banana chips, vanilla ice cream, and dark chocolate on the finish. This is another very well-but together blend from the SMWS.
  • 16.41 – This is the second peated Glenturret that we have seen from the SMWS Canada. The first surprised many with the style of peat this Highland distillery evokes; It definitely is not coastal. For me, the nose is full of dense chocolate fudge, fresh coffee grounds, and black forest cake. The palate spins out more fruit and sweet notes than the nose with marshmallows melting in hot chocolate, or perhaps between the sandwich of graham cracker and chocolate in a s’more. Apple pie, and the savoury and sweet notes of sauteed mushrooms on steak. The combination of dark earthiness and sweet notes work very, very well.

There you go! those are my notes on the October Outturn. Not enough for ya? Here are a few other recent bottlings that are worth a look:

  • BEACHCOMBER – This is my favourite of the SMWS Blended Malts I have tasted so far. It combines the rustic yet fresh and coastal notes of Campbeltown whisky with the fruit, vanilla and wax of a Highland malt. It is fabulous, and we were lucky enough to get a bunch of it! If you haven’t tasted this yet, you should considering it is only $115 for a bottle.
  •  48.110 – SOOOOTERNES! – If you enjoy Sauternes cask finishes, you need to check this one out. Whisky from Balmenach has bold spice and fruit notes on its own, and those work nicely with the cask finish here.
  •  89.10 – GLOVE BOX SONATA IN B MINOR – This appeared back in  April, and I am honestly surprised the sherry fans out there haven’t scooped it all up yet. It is not your typical sherry bomb, being from a refill butt. however it is very intriguing whisky and also not expensive at $124!
  • 13.65 – PEPPERY PEARS AND PRALINE – This Dalmore appeared back in May, and like many non-official bottled Dalmore I think it leaves people confused. That is because it is not dumpy and sherry cask-heavy! It is Dalmore as it should be, and all the more beautiful for it. Check it out!

Coming Soon: New Boutique-y Whiskies

Peat, Sherry and a World Blend!

There is some blurring of lines between the various ventures owned by Atom Brands, and the retailer, Master of Malt, who used to own them. They are all owned by a much bigger parent company today, so I hope MOM won’t mind that I am quoting their tasting notes. At least until I can find time to do my own… These Sam Simmons (aka Dr. Whisky – Atom Brands’ Head of Whisky) inspired bottlings are due to arrive soon. Just as soon as the unions at the Montreal port see fit to let them go, that is:

  1. Aerolite Lyndsay – 46% – ex-Bourbon, Sherry and Quarter Casks – Master of Malt Tasting Note: “Nose: Lots of maritime peat, with notes of iodine intertwined with honey sweetness, paprika, salted caramel and old bookshelves. Palate: Smoke returns alongside mint dark chocolate, espresso and new leather, with honey and soy sauce mixed together. Finish: Boiled mint sweeties, liquorice allsorts, bonfire smoke and toffee penny, with a pinch of salt.” – $70
  2. Darkness 8 Year Single Malt Scotch – 47.8% – Matured in ex-Bourbon / Finished in Sherry Octaves – Master of Malt Tasting Note: “Nose: Candied orange peels, chocolate peanuts, cooking spice warmth and some dried cherry. Palate: Amaretti biscuits, subtly toasty hints, powerful raisin and prune, just a touch of earthy oak lingers. Finish: Slightly oily with a hint of smoke, though chocolatey hints persist.” – $76
  3. World Whisky Blend – 41.6% – Created from whiskies made in Scotland, Canada, Ireland, Sweden, USA, Switzerland, Netherlands, Taiwan, India, Italy, Germany (Bavaria), France, Japan and Finland. – Master of Malt Tasting Note: “Nose: Notes of freshly baked bread, lots of honey and a smidge of orange marmalade, supported by slightly tart stewed apple with a sprinkle of brown sugar. Palate: Warming and spicy, with more of that floral honey and baked crumble topping, alongside crunchy, underripe apple and pear. Finish: A prickle of spice, toffee and vanilla pod linger alongside a slightly mineral note.” – $53

Coming Soon: New  Boutique-y Calendars & Gift Packs 

Great Whisky Sets – Arriving Late in November!

Like a lot of things this fall, the arrival of these is tied up by the port strike in Montreal. Last I heard there was no firm ETA for when they would be shipped to Alberta. The hope is sometime late in November, which means the Calendars may not arrive in time for Advent…

The Boutique-y Whisky Company are the inventors of the Whisky Advent Calendar. And though we love the wax dipped bottles and their beautiful labels, we still have a bias towards our own KWM Whisky Calendar…

There is some really cool stuff here, and the prices are reasonable, especially for the Gin Advent Calendar, which somehow went down in price again this year. We are close to pre-selling out of it. Many of these gift packs are filled with 30ml bottles, with the exception of the Retro Gin Fridge and Greatest Hits Volume 1, both of which have 50mls. The Retro Gin Fridge and Holiday Whisky Calendar were both short shipped, and we don’t know how much to expect.

  1. Drinks by the Dram Regions of Scotland Set – 5x30ml – This popular wee gift pack features 5 30ml wax sealed single malt whiskies, one from each of the 5 recognized Scotch Whisky Regions… if you believe in such things! – Producer Description: “A product designed for the category curious and spirits explorers. The perfect set for someone looking to try something different without committing to an full bottle, someone looking to try variety, or the perfect gift for a fellow spirits enthusiast. “- $55
  2.  Drinks by the Dram Japanese Whisky Set – 5x30ml – “A product designed for the category curious and spirits explorers. The perfect set for someone looking to try something different without committing to an full bottle, someone looking to try variety, or the perfect gift for a fellow spirits enthusiast. The perfect gift 5x30ml drams in a kraft box inside a decorative card sleeve.” – The list of whiskies is on the KWM Website. – $62
  3. That Boutique-Y Whisky Co. 12 Dram Set – 12x30ml – “This ever popular 12 whisky set, put together by That Boutique-y Whisky Company makes a great gift. 12 30ml single malt Scotch whiskies in a handsome box. A great option for those not wanting to commit to a full Advent Calendar’s worth of whisky! ” We love that Sam and Dave are featured on the box this year… though I don’t know there is 2m between them! – $110
  4. That Boutique-y Whisky Co. Greatest Hits Vol. 1 – 10x50ml – Producer Description: “A unique, all year round gifting offering which encourages trial of multiple whiskies, exploration of taste and discovery of the wider category Give the gift of discovery with a selection of delicious whisky from around the globe. The perfect premium gift for friends or family – a unique addition to any record collection!” – The list of whiskies is on the KWM Website. – $170
  5. That Boutique-y Holiday Calendar – 24x30ml – Producer Description: “A spectacular Advent Calendar filled to the brim with nothing but whisky! Enjoy super single malts Scotch whiskies, brilliant blended malts and even some American whiskies, all in the Christmas countdown.” – $175+gst *THIS ITEM MAY HAVE BEEN SHORT SHIPPED – NO GUARANTEE WE ARE GETTING IT!


Malt Whisky Yearbook 2021 Has Arrived 

The Only Annual Whisky Book You Need!

Our favourite annual whisky book is back. The 2021 edition of the Malt Whisky Yearbook has been thoroughly updated, filling nearly 300 pages. It has detailed descriptions and histories of all of Scotland’s single malt whisky distilleries, new, old and many closed ones too. There are also profiles of single malt distilleries from around the world, including Canada. Noted whisk(e)y writers such as Charles MacLean, Joel Harrison, Ian Winiewski, Neil Ridley, Gavin D. Smith and Johnny McCormick have also contributed articles. There are also profiles on five whisky icons: Colin Ross, Frank McHardy, Jim McEwan, Michael Urquhart and Dennis Malcolm.

This is the best annual whisky book there is, full stop!

Malt Whisky Yearbook 2021 – $34+gst

We still have copies of last year’s edition, and they are 50% off!

Malt Whisky Yearbook 2020 – Was $34 – Now $17+gst (Save 50%)

Nikka Single Malts Back in Stock 

Miyagikyo & Yoichi Back in Stock!

We used to have to limit these legit Japanese Single Malts to a bottle per customer, fortunately stocks seem to have improved a little. They still won’t last long, but it is kind of fun to have some actual made in Japan whisky on the shelf!

  1. Nikka Miyagikyo NAS Single Malt – 45% –  Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Full-flavoured, rich. Initially, concentrated iris notes hint at the extreme intensity of the nose. It then develops aromas of malted barley, exotic fruit (banana), liquorice and camphor. Notes of burnt wood and ash progressively settle over the aromatic palette. Long after, white flowers and beeswax make an appearance. Palate: Firm, lively. Malted barley is at the heart of the palate, coated in herbaceous, liquorice, spiced (ginger, cinnamon) and chocolate tones. Very elegant, the mid-palate also delivers plenty of energy and as it draws to a close, fresh tobacco leaves and coconut intertwine to create a natural symphony of aromas. Finish: Long, soft. It evokes the scent of wilted roses. Fine tannins balance its tangy character (lemon, grapefruit). It lingers on notes of tobacco, spices (cardamom, ginger), toasted nuts and stewed fruits (apple, damson). The final nose reveals exotic notes (lychee).” – $92+gst
  2. Nikka Yoichi NAS Single Malt – 45% –  Producer’s Tasting  Note: “Nose: Full-bodied, smooth. A mellow peat softly coats the aromatic palette at first, growing more powerful with time, as smoke, soot and salty notes transcend the initial nose. The aromas then evolve towards candied citrus fruit (lemon, orange), black liquorice and spices (nutmeg, ginger), and opens up with roots and dried twig aromas. Heady and floral (carnation, iris), it grows increasingly complex. Palate: Firm, powerful. A well-balanced attack gives equal footing to aromas of peat, smoke, spices, fresh fruit (melon, kiwi) and nuts (almond, walnut), which it delivers in spades. The mid-palate starts off with chocolate notes, but the peat soon takes the lead once again. Finish: Long, silky. Extremely mature, it overflows with ripe fruit (pear, Mirabelle plum, apple). The peat starts taking on an herbaceous and malty character, while the salty flavours gives the finish plenty of depth and coastal freshness. The final nose offers menthol, spicy (coriander, dill) and earthy (leather, chestnuts) notes.” – $92

Some Sought After Arrans Returning on Wednesday 

Arran 18 Year, 21 Year, Bodega Sherry & the Wine Finishes!

We used to have Arran all to ourselves, at least locally, but it seems the word is out. We’ve been telling everyone who’ll listen that Arran is one of the best value propositions for years. In the last year we’ve had to be a little quicker on the draw, and grab what we need before it sells out. Even with that we’ve been out of Arran 18 and 21 for months. The good news is they are back along with the trio of Wine Cask Finishes–in the new packaging–and the highly sought after Sherry Cask “The Bodgea.”

  1. Arran 18 Year – 46% – Matured in First Fill & Refill Sherry Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose:  Orchard fruits with syrup and toasted oak. Palate: Caramelised orange, dark chocolate, baked peaches. Finish: Sweetness, Spice, Citrus, Baked peaches.” – $130
  2. Arran 21 Year – 46% – Matured in Sherry Casks –Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet spices and hazelnut. Palate: Ginger and dark chocolate. Finish: Sweetness, Spice, Bitter orange, Citrus, Dark chocolate, Satisfying.” – $195
  3. Arran Sherry Cask “The Bodega” – 55.8% – Matured in Sherry Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Toffee, sweet spice and fruit. Palate: Ripe fig and cherries. Finish: Dark chocolate, Mandarins, Ripe figs.” – $85

  1. Arran Amarone Cask – 50% – Finished in Amarone Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Cherry, turkish delight, chocolate. Palate: Poached pears, touch of cranberry and honey. Finish: Sweetness, Pears, Turkish Delight, Cherries, Dark chocolate.” – $80
  2. Arran Port Cask – 50% – Finished in Port Wine Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Cinnamon, baked apples. Palate: Vanilla spice, ripe citrus & dried fruits and nuttiness. With a splash of water more depth of mandarin citrus with fudge and honeyed notes. Finish: Spice, Bitter orange, Chocolate, Cherries.” – $80
  3. Arran Sauternes Cask – 50% – Finished in Sauternes Wine Casks – 50% – Finished in Sauternes Barriques – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Honey sweetness and citrus. Palate: Richly honeyed and backed with a lifting zestiness which slides into spice and zingy salt. Once the dram opens out, vanilla and sultana stand out followed by notes of toasted oak. Finish: Sweetness, Honey, Apricots, Melon, Honeysuckle.” – $80



Some Very Good Deals on Whisky 

While Supplies Last!

Well we had a good run with the Tamdhu 15 Year. It has been a KWM exclusive for the last 5-6 months, and as they say with all good things, they come to an end. We need to rebalance our inventory now that it is no longer exclusive, so for the next two weeks the Tamdhu 15 Year will be 20% off. We also have some great deals on Caol Ila, Talisker and Tomatin, courtesy of the importer. If we get a deal, you get a deal…

  1. Caol Ila 15 Year Unpeated 2016 – 59.1% – Distilled in 2000 – Refill American oak casks and European oak Sherry Butts – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Opens with marmalade laden buttery toast, milk chocolate and fresh orange notes, before red cherry, strawberry and raisin comes through. Lashes of vanilla and a suggestion of spearmint, too. Palate: Leads with more of that creamy chocolate, fruity yoghurt and honey. Peach is in there too, and in with all the oiliness is a pine like quality. Finish: Yoghurt covered almonds with some liquorice and, yes, some distant smoke.” – Was $190 – Save 25% – Now $142.49
  2. Caol Ila Stitchell Reserve – 59.6% – Unpeated Caol Ila – NAS – Refill American Oak, Rejuvenated American Oak – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet caramel, fresh cut grass and ferns to start, with resin, sweet sappy wood and pine needles. Water adds in a hint of darker sugars (black treacle?) and a wisp of smoke. Palate: Sweet and green with a dark wood smokiness. It’s surprisingly rich and dark in flavour, with liquorice and honeyed biscuits, as well as shot through with fresh herbal notes. Water makes the darker notes more noticeable, with liquorice, plums, raisins and cinnamon spice contributing to a grown up fruitcake feel. Finish: Demerara syrup, damp dark wood and light touches of appley fruit.” – Was $185 – Save 25% – Now $138.74+gst
  3. Talisker Storm – 45.8% – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Powerful, fresh clean and growing in complexity like a gathering storm. Sweet maltiness with ripe red berry fruit moves to smoke, brine and an explosion of pepper. Palate: Mellow and rich, then very spicy: a pure, tongue coating sweetness joins a nutty smokiness to embrace those spicier notes. Finish: Drier and of medium length, with a lasting, smooth aftertaste, in which light peaty burnt embers can be found.” – Was $98 – Save 25% – Now $73.50+gst
  4. Tamdhu 15 Year – 46% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: dark chocolate shavings, fruity tobacco and Christmas cake; sticky toffee pudding in treacle sauce and cream; candied orange peels, medjool dates and soft new leather; cedar shakes and toasted oak. Palate: sweet, fruity and savoury; a bold sherried single malt in the classic Christmas cake sense; maple syrup, fruit compote and more treacle sauce drizzled on sticky toffee pudding; with a side of fresh cream; silky with more dark chocolate, candied nuts and crisp spices; cinnamon, nutmeg and clove on honey baked ham; more candied orange, apricot jam and quince paste; rich, decadent, layered and smooth. Finish: long coating, decadent, fruity and elegant; bold sherry with a smooth edge; dark chocolate, maple syrup, spices and loads of dark fruits: raisins, dates and figs. Comment: a bold, old school sherried single malt; classic Christmas cake, syrupy and decadent with crisp spices, leather, tobacco and dark chocolate.” – $145+gst
  5. Tomatin Contrast – 46% – 2x375ml Set – Producer Description: “This limited release presents a unique opportunity to directly compare the effect of Bourbon and Sherry casks on whisky distilled in specific years at Tomatin Distillery; 1973, 1977, 1988, 1991, 2002 & 2006. Having selected and vatted casks from the same six years in both types of casks, our Distillery Manager, Graham Eunson, has created two incredible whiskies and an exceptional tasting experience. – Fully matured in Ex-Bourbon Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: Golden syrup and honey. Lemon & lime. Almond and macadamia nuts, vanilla and custard. Palate: Sweet vanilla custard and lemon sponge. Pineapple chunks, raspberries and icing sugar. Finish: Sweet, fresh and mellow.” – Fully matured in Ex-Sherry Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: Toffee-apple crumble, Christmas pudding, raisins and treacle. Palate: Cinnamon and cloves, peppercorns. Thick cut marmalade. Finish: Oily, spicy and chewy.” – Was $210+gst – Save 35% – Now $136.50+gst

KWM Casks Update 

Going, Going, Almost Gone!

These whiskies are not long for the store. We take a lot of pride selecting casks, and we know our customers put a lot of trust in the bottles we put our name on. We don’t take that for granted. Some of these might survive until the sale later this month, others might not!

  1. Jefferson’s Ocean KWM Single Barrel Bourbon – 45% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: dark chocolate, salted caramel and soft oaky vanillans; citrus Jujubes and powdered sugar on freshly baked almond paste filled croissants; dark spices, fruits and more salty tones emerge with patience. Palate: thick, toasty, oily and decadent; very fruity, more citrus Jujubes, pear eau de vie and fresh peaches; salted caramel returns with some nutty candied pecan notes; some dark chocolate and maple smoked bacon too. Finish: silky, toasty and nutty with more, juicy citrus, salted caramel, candied nuts and dark chocolate too! Comment: this is my kind of Bourbon, elegant and very complex; I don’t want to pigeonhole it as a Scotch-drinkers Bourbon, but it is definitely more in that vein than not!” – $123+gst – Only 2 Bottles Left!
  2. Berry’s Mystery Speyside 1995 KWM Cask – 23 Year – Refill Sherry Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: brandy soaked cherries, ripe plums and fig jam; loads of creamy floral vanilla, bright tangy Manuka honey and juicy orange pith; decadent and velvety. Palate: sweet, creamy and coating with great body; the whisky starts slow and rapidly ballons on the palate like a soft, plush, velvety sponge; loads of orchard fruits: brandy soaked cherries, dried apricots, ripe plums and more fig jam; the floral vanilla, tangy Manuka honey and juicy oranges are still there with some decadent spice and soft earthy leather. Finish: fresh, fruity, floral and creamy; the orchards fruits linger long with floral vanilla and more decadent spices. Comment: it takes a lot to get me excited about Glenrothes, especially sherried Glenrothes, but this is excellent; the distillery’s signature floral-citrus character shines through, buttressed by juicy orchard fruits, rich honey and vevety vanilla; I hope BBR never turns the taps off, they keep offering us amazing casks; no frills, no fancy bottles, just great tasting and amazing value whisky!” – $170+gst – Only 5 Bottles Left!
  3. The Whisky Agency Secret Speyside 1994 KWM Cask – 48.2% – 24 Year – Sherry Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: deep, dark, nutty and very sherried; unsweetened bakers chocolate, prunes and bacon grilled figs; a touch of rubber and jammy fruits; damp tobacco, firm new leather and dried berry fruits: cranberries, cherries and Glosset Raisins. Palate: big, rich, spicy and sherried; very nutty, big Oloroso sherry tones, walnut liqueur and more firm leather, tobacco and dark bakers chocolate; latex tubing and a struck matches; more bacon grilled figs and prune juice before Dutch licorice and cloves. Finish: long, coating and very sherried; drying and nutty with dark fruits, spices and a whiff of gun smoke. Comment: this is a big, sherried beast; tarry with a very nutty, dark and spicy profile; there is a touch of sulphur, so this one is not for disciples of Panama Jim; but those who like their sherry cask whiskies big, bold and dark who don’t mind a touch of struck matches, will love this; a dram for after a day of shooting clays!” – $260+gst – Only 5 Bottles Left!
  4. Teeling 16 Year KWM Cask – 56.4% – First Fill ex-Bourbon Barrel – My Tasting Note: “Nose: butterscotch ice cream, creme caramel, clotted cream and Jujubes; very floral and decadent, with prominent soft citrus notes; a touch on the waxy side before more exotic fruits emerge: cantaloupe and melon, banana chips, mango and papaya with cracked pepper sprinkled on top; soft malty tones and nougat. Palate: soft, creamy, floral, decadent and very fruity; an explosion of fruits: first white fruits, then melon with citrus hard on their tail; ripe mango and papaya, again with a spicy black pepper hit; lush vanilla, honey, clotted cream and butterscotch ice cream; late malty notes of chewy barley; still floral, warming and a touch toasty. Finish: long, coating, warm and toasty; the decadent, fruity and floral tones linger long, fading in to gentle spices and sugars. Comment: this is the Irish whiskey you are looking for, and wow, what a fruit bomb it is; Teeling has such an incredible variety of casks maturing in their warehouses; the Scots must rightly be very envious; but will all that selection we opted for something classic!” – $150 – Only 14 Bottles Left!
  5. Kilchoman 2011 KWM Cask 770 – 56.8% – 7 Year – ex-Bourbon Barrel – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honey, candied lemon, butter cream icing and chocolate marzipan; gentle ashy peat, scallops pan seared in butter and delicate fruits: honeydew melon, dried apricots and nectarines. Palate: starts light but quickly builds with the decadent oak, crisp peat and spices holding centre stage; more honey, butter cream icing and chocolate marzipan; firm maritime smoke, a touch of tar and silky peat oils; more soft fruits, lots of lemon-citrus, more honeydew melons, apricots and nectarines; on the spices front: fennel seeds and licorice root. Finish: soft, elegant and decadent with fading spices, peat and most prominently, soft delicate fruits. Comment: Kilchoman is after Arran, our second most bottled single malt, when it comes to KWM Casks; here is another fine example of why that is the case; the whisky, even at a young age is complex, elegant and bursting with fruit; we decided to go a little younger this time, compared to our last two casks, both of which were ten years of age; peat heads will be happy about that!” – $160+gst – Save 20% – Only 30 Bottles Left
  6. SMOS Glenburgie 21 Year KWM Cask – 49.9% – ex-Bourbon Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: decadent, honeyed and floral; big citrus tones, mango and cantaloupe; nutty, almond paste filled croissants and polished oak; vanilla extract and rosehips. Palate: soft, creamy and coating with a burst of bright fruits and floral tones; waxy with more polished oak; still nutty, it is thick with lush creamy vanilla, honey, marzipan and warm almond paste filled croissants; juicy orange, ripe mango and cantaloupe; even a bit of Crema di Melone. Finish: very long, thick, waxy and coating; it stays fruity, floral and toasty right to the end. Comment: it’s been almost a year since we selected this cask, and while my memory of its selection is hazy, sampling the finished product is proof that we have something very special here; at 21 years of age this malt is lush, floral and very fruity; it is a banger at $175, and very more-ish!”  – $175+gst – Only 25 bottles left!

Free City-Wide Delivery in Calgary & Other Deals! 

Free Delivery in Calgary for Orders Over $50, and Loads of Deals To Be Had!

As with many other small and independent businesses in the city, we are getting creative to continue serving our customers and keeping the business going. We have taken precautions in-store to ensure the health and safety of both our staff and customers. Details on that below! We are also offering options to continue serving those of you in quarantine or who are taking extra precautions with regards to social isolation.


– 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.


– 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!


– 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.

We will do our best to answer and process as many phone orders as we can. Call us at 403-283-8000. We are offering some great deals too. More on that below, see the bottom of the Malt Messenger!

Customers are still welcome to come in to the store to pick up orders as well as browse and purchase in-store. We are routinely disinfecting commonly touched surfaces and have hand sanitation stations around the store.

Let us know how we can continue to help and serve you in these challenging times!

Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger! 

Contact & Disclaimers 

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store.

All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change and don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.


Andrew Ferguson
Owner & Scotchguy
Kensington Wine Market
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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