I hope this finds you well, and that you enjoyed the last long weekend of summer. It is hard to believe that we are more than a week into September, that the kids are back in school, Fall is just two weeks away, and winter is coming…
Like many of you, I’m trying to soak up what’s left, but I also love winter. I love the snow, the crisp clean air, the dark skies at night, skiing, fat biking, and sitting by the fire with a dram or two.
It is easy to put the cart ahead of the horse, though, especially after the glorious largely smoke-free summer we’ve enjoyed. Besides, before we can start fretting about Winter, we have the Fall season to get through, and that means new whiskies, and whisky tastings to look forward to.
We are busily working away at pulling together our Fall Tasting Schedule. It wasn’t quite ready for inclusion in today’s Malt Messenger, so it will have to wait until next week’s edition, along with a number of other things. But in the meantime, keep an eye out on our tasting page, where you’ll start to see new events popping up in the days ahead.
In the meantime, we have a Malt Messenger that is positively bursting at the seams with new whisky news. It includes our second KWM exclusive single barrel Bourbon of 2022, from Kentucky Spirits Limited, aka KSL. The team is especially excited about it…
We also have a raft of new and returned whiskies from Gordon & MacPhail, as well as new whiskies from That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Hunter Laing, Two Brewers, Alberta Distillers, Bladnoch, Ardnamurchan, Edradour and New Zealand!
We also have a ballot on a rare old whisky, though we dare not speak its name…
As always there is a lot to digest in this Malt Messenger, so take your time. It takes a lot of time to pull together the descriptions and tasting notes for all these whiskies, and while we could just send out a list with photos and prices… but that really isn’t our style. So we’ve tried to keep the lid on many of these things until we were ready to tell everyone all at once. There is too much panic and pandemonium in whisky these days, so we are going to try to slow things down a little… Slow Whisky/Whiskey… that should be a thing!
As always, in the event of a discrepancy in price, the point of sale at KWM will be taken as correct. Online ordering and in-store purchasing are always our preferences, but if you must, feel free to send me an order by email.
Kensington Wine Market
In This Edition
1. A Few Things To Look Out for Next Week!
2. New Exclusive Bourbon: Kentucky Spirits KWM Barrel Bourbon
3. New Whiskies from Gordon & MacPhail & Benromach
4. Returned Whiskies from Gordon & MacPhail
5. New Whiskies from That Boutique-y Whisky Company
6. New Whiskies from Hunter Laing
7. New Whiskies From Two Brewers
8. Introducing: Reifel Rye
9. Bladnoch is Back: New & Returned Whiskies
10. Other Assorted New Whiskies
11.Ardbeg 25 Ballot
12.Other Upcoming Tastings
A FEW THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR NEXT WEEK!
Today’s newsletter could have been a lot longer, and even though I know many of you will read this from start to finish anyway, the line still has to be drawn somewhere…
That said, here are a few teasers from the next Malt Messenger, which should be out early next week:
1. Glenfarclas – We are launching a 30th Anniversary single cask next week… that’s right, a Family Cask… feel free to search the website if you can’t wait to learn more!
2. KWM 2022 Whisky Calendar – We are going to start taking pre-orders… it has taken more time and effort than usual to pull it off this year, but we will!
3. Tastings – Our Fall Tasting Schedule will go online, though you may see a few tastings pop up over the coming days. It will include both in-person events and virtual tastings!
4. Ballot – There will be another ballot in the next MM… but we’ll keep tight-lipped on exactly what until then.
And of course much, much more!
NEW EXCLUSIVE BOURBON
KENTUCKY SPIRITS LTD. KWM BARREL BOURBON
That’s right, we have another KWM cask single barrel Bourbon!
Distilled in Paris, Kentucky by Kentucky Spirits Limited. Barrel #31 was picked by the KWM Whisky staff. Made from a mash bill of 75% Corn, 21% Rye, and 10% Malted Barley, it was filled into a standard charred virgin American White Oak 53-gallon barrel on November 25th, 2018. It was aged for 3 years and 6 months before being bottled exclusively for our shop at a cask strength of 60.4%. 228 bottles total.
Kentucky Spirits Ltd. KWM Barrel Bourbon #31 – 60.4% – 75% Corn, 21% Rye & 10%* (Bonus percent! All thanks to the generosity of KSL!) Malted Barley – Evan Tasting Note: “Nose: Toffee apple, Cracker Jacks mixed with kettle corn, sawdust from cutting up two by fours, cotton candy, dried pears, and a touch of Kirsch liqueur. Palate: Ever had a Fruit and Nut bar made with chili pepper-infused dark chocolate? Neither have I – but I am guessing it would taste like this. Big spice and chocolate notes up front lead into a creamy palate bursting with dried apples, peaches, and apricot notes. Buttered corn on the cob with a dash of chili powder and black pepper. Finish: Creamy and spicy and warming with Juicy Fruit gum on the fade. Comment: Enticing nose. Spicy and creamy palate. A deliciously fun Bourbon! It seems to be feast or famine when it comes to sourcing single-barrel Bourbon right now. We went an unacceptable amount of time bereft of a Bourbon bottle with our store name on it – and now we are lucky enough to have two delicious picks between this and our barrel of Woodford Double Oak!” – $105
NEW WHISKIES FROM
GORDON & MACPHAIL and BENROMACH
We have some exciting stuff from Benromach and Gordon & MacPhail, so don’t lock your eyes on the word Ledaig and just keep moving! There is a new release in the Benromach Contrasts range, highlighting Cara Gold barley.
1. Benromach Contrasts: Cara Gold Malt – 46% – 11 Year – First-Fill ex-Bourbon – Produced from lightly peated Cara Gold malt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Perfumed and sweet with passionfruit, lychee and lime complemented by a hint of malted biscuit. Palate: Smooth and sweet flavours of pineapple, apricot and subtle pepper lead to toasted malt and a hint of butterscotch. Finish: Vibrant and fruity with sweet smoke.” – $95 – Limit 2 Per Customer!
2. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Dailuaine 2008 – 59.4% – 13 Year – First Fill Sherry Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: festive spice aromas combine with hazelnut and stewed raisins. Taste: Black pepper gives way to rich forest fruit flavours and butterscotch. Finish: a full and long finish or lingering figs.” – $125
3. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Glenburgie 1995 – 53.6% – 25 Year -Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: aromas of ripe apple and butterscotch combine with zesty lime. Palate: creamy and smooth flavours of orange fresh mango and pineapple. Finish: A medium finish with lingering menthol.” – $375 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
4. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Glen Grant 1998 – 53.6% – 23 Year – Refill Sherry Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: sherry aromas complement sultanas and dark chocolate. Fruitcake aromas develop alongside Seville orange peel and roasted coffee beans. Taste: Smooth flavours of stewed red berries and baked apples lead to subtle mint leaves. Citrus fruit comes to the fore accompanied by treacle toffee. Finish: A medium-bodied and long finish with lingering toasted almonds.” – $325 – Limit 1 Per Customer… there is only 1 bottle!
5. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Glentauchers 2006 – 57.6% – 15 Year – Refill Bourbon Barrel – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Orange and malted biscuit aromas are balanced by white pepper. Taste: Smooth lemon and lime zest gives way to flavours of toasted almond. Finish: A slightly dry finish with citrus fruits.” – $118
6. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Ledaig 2004 – 54.6% – 17 Year – Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Cured meat gives way to vanilla, zesty lime and rich smoke aromas. Palate: Sweet apricot and tropical fruit flavours lead to chili spice. Finish: A citrus edge leads into intense smoky flavours on the finish.” – $220 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
7. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Miltonduff 1989 – 52.9% – 31 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Cloves and stewed fruit aromas give way to soft clementine zest. Subtle fruitcake notes complement treacle leading to a hint of beeswax polish. Taste: Smooth and sweet flavours of baked apples and medjool dates are followed by grapefruit orange marmalade develops, balanced by black pepper and subtle toffee notes. Finish: A full finish with lingering spice, fruit and mature oak.” – $1200 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
8. G&M Distillery Label Ardmore 2000 – 46% – 21 Year – Refill Sherry Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Juicy blood orange and candied apple aromas combine with a subtle hint of vanilla. Smoke features prominently alongside tart grapefruit and lemon peel. Palate: Smoky bonfire embers complement baked apple and sweet orange zest. Light and spicy; black pepper develops alongside flavours of milk chocolate with an undertone of aniseed. Finish: A light and medium-bodied finish with lingering smoke and cocoa powder.” – $178
9. G&M Distillery Label Glentauchers 2007 – 46% – 14 Year – Refill Sherry Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Sherry notes complement rich milk chocolate and a subtle hint of vanilla pod. Fresh orange peel and fragrant cinnamon combine with sweet Medjool dates. Palate: Smooth on the palate with stewed apples accompanying nougat and roasted almonds. Treacle toffee notes come to the fore alongside a light touch of white pepper. Finish: The finish is sweet with lingering spice, dried banana and toasted oak.” – $105
10. G&M Private Collection Mortlach 1974 – 50.9% – 46 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Citrus aromas, lemon and lime compliment sweet desiccated coconut. White chocolate notes develop alongside soft dark honey and nougat. Taste: Sweet honeycomb flavours combine with soft apple crumble. Finish: Vibrant fruity pears and peaches give way to mature oak and lingering toasted hazelnuts.” – $3000
RETURNED WHISKIES FROM
GORDON & MACPHAIL
We’ve seen the 3 below before, though in the case of the Glenburgie 21, the last edition was at 43%, and not 46%. The Convalmore is a closed distillery bottling, and we were lucky to score a handful of additional bottles. The Glen Grant 1953 Mr. George Legacy 1, was a special bonus surprise… All are limited 1 per customer and none are expected to last long.
1. G&M Distillery Label Glenburgie 21 Year – 46% – Refill Sherry Butts – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Notes of brown sugar covered stewed raisins mingle with hints of roasted hazelnuts. Delicate floral aromas are complemented by sweet vanilla and freshly cut dry hay. Taste: Full and fruity; stewed apple, cinnamon, and clove flavours come to the fore initially. Ripe summer berries emerge and combine with fresh mint highlights and refined toasted malt undertones. Finish: Long with lingering charred oak and a subtle herbal undertone.” – $200 – Limit 1 Per Customer!
2. G&M Private Collection Convalmore 1975 – 47.9% – 45 Year – Refill Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Citrus aromas, lemon and lime compliment sweet desiccated coconut. White chocolate notes develop alongside soft dark honey and nougat. Taste: Sweet honeycomb flavours combine with soft apple crumble. Finish: Vibrant fruity pears and peaches give way to mature oak and lingering toasted hazelnuts.” – $3000 – 93.5ts Whiskybase – Limit 1 Per Customer!
3. G&M Glen Grant 1953 Mr. George Legacy 1 – 59.4% – First-Fill Sherry Butt – 67 Year – Producer Description: “Filled in 1953 this spirit from Glen Grant Distillery has been matured by Gordon MacPhail in a first fill Sherry butt made specifically to complement the liquid. ‘Mr George’, as he was fondly known by those who knew him best, was Mr George Urquhart, second generation of the family that owns Gordon & MacPhail. A true pioneer, Mr George was instrumental to the success of Scotch whisky, particularly single malts. “Mr George travelled widely, keen to showcase single malts from distilleries all over Scotland, matured in his own casks. This exceptional whisky is a fitting tribute to his pioneering spirit.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: Soft aromas of beeswax polish give way to stewed fruit and toasted hazelnuts. Subtle orange peel complements rich ginger notes. Taste: Autumnal spice and riple plum flavours combine with light blackcurrant undertones. Treacle comes to the fore alongside a light touch of fresh mint. Finish: A full bodied and long finish with lingering fruit, spice and a delicate hint of bonfire embers.” – $9,499.99 – Only 1 Bottle!
NEW WHISKIES FROM
THAT BOUTIQUE-Y WHISKY COMPANY
We have three tranches of cool stuff from our friends at That Boutique-y Whisky Company: whiskies from a range of North-West European Distilleries; some random single malts; and a quartet of cool blends!
North-West Euro Distilleries
“Welcome to our Norwest-Euro Express! This is a whistle stop journey of nine whiskies from across Scandinavia, and North West Europe!
There are five brand new whisky labels from the pen of Emily Chappell, and this collection includes our first ever whisky produced in Austria, and our first Buckwheat spirit too. We can’t label this whisky, because Buckwheat isn’t a grain, although it is known as a ‘pseudocereal’. It’s actually a grain-like seed, and not related to wheat at all. It’s actually related to sorrel and rhubarb!”
Only 12 bottles of each have come to KWM, and we will be pulling together a tasting soon!
1. Boutique-y Broger Batch 1 6 Year – 62.3% – Austrian Single Malt – Heavily Peated Malt – French Limousin Oak – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Big! Farmyard funk and peaty tar. Hints of dark pipe tobacco, Black rubber, and liquorice, Underneath though, caramel, BBQ sauce, and sandalwood. Palate: Oily and chewy. Woodsmoke and chimney soot, hard rubber, liquorice root, and an underlying sweet citrus note.” – $115 500ml
2. Boutique-y Eddu Batch 1 14 Year – 47.9% – French Single Malt Buckwheat Spirit (not a legal grain for whisky) – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Honey, charred lemon peel, and exotic spices. Lots of fresh ginger, with hints of fenugreek and some earthy cumin. Palate: Delicate, with a surprisingly light mouthfeel. Honeyed sweetness, with plenty of spices, candied ginger leading, oranges and a generous pinch of salt.” – $201.99 500ml
3. Boutique-y Fary Lochan Batch 1 6 Year – 60.2% – Danish Single Malt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: A soft and fruity nose, with lots of dark chocolate and hazelnut, Dried fruits; raisins and dates, with hints of roasted coffee. Palate: Rich and luxurious with rich dark chocolate, Black Forest gateau, black cherry, and an underlying woody char.” – $168 500ml
4. Boutique-y Helsinki Rye Batch. 2 6 Year – 58.9% – Finish Rye – Virgin American Oak – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Deliciously complex! Aromas of coffee, light honey on toasted rye bread, dark chocolate, and hints of pine needles and linseed oil. Palate: Hints of liquorice, dried apricots, creamy vanilla caramel, coffee, and cocoa, alongside a charred wood smoke note. Love this!” – $112 500ml
5. Boutique-y Highglen Batch 1 3 Year – 46.4% – Swiss Single Malt – 100L hybrid Bourbon-Sherry casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Fruit and nut chocolate! The fruits get a little darker with time, plums and black cherry. Palate: Rich chocolate, dried peel, spices, caramel, with a slight herbal woodiness.” – $114 500ml
6. Boutique-y Kyro Rye Batch 1 4 Year – 53.1% – Finnish 100% Malted Rye Whisky – Virgin Oak Finished in First Fill ex-Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Vanilla creams, caramel, chalk dust, dried apricot, rye bread dough earthiness, fresh rain on dry ground; petrichor. Palate: Sweet, malty, toasted rye bread, earthy honey, red berry fruit notes. Hints of coffee linger in the finish. Spectacular!” – $97 500ml
7. Boutique-y Slyrs Bt. 3 3 Year – 52.6% – German Single Malt – Crocodile toast Virgin American Oak – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Fruity, with crisp green apples and fresh peaches. Hints of pear drops, Demerara sugar and caramel. Palate: Medium bodied, with honey, sweet grains, and hints of roast peanuts. Spicy with nutmeg and white pepper. It’s another cracker!” – $123
8. Boutique-y Teerenpeli Batch 2 3 Year – 55.5% – Lightly Peated Finnish Single Malt – Recoopered American Oak – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Charred lemons, peated malt, fresh grain and dried husk. Baked apple, green leaves, fruity toffee and peppery touches. Palate: Light and clean, sweet muesli and pineapple cubes, charred wood smoke, and vanilla. Hint of grapefruit.” – $96
Curious Boutique-y Blends & Other Randos
About the Range: “(I didn’t feel like re-typing the full caps…) ALONGSIDE OUR NORWEST-EURO EXPRESS RELEASES THERE IS OF COURSE A KICK-ASS SCOTCH WHISKY RELEASE OF BOTTLINGS THAT HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP AT ALL WITH THE NORWEST-EURO EXPRESS THEME, BUT THINK OF THEM AS BACKPACKERS, ENJOYING THE RIDE.
Just because… or maybe to save the most curious for last! There is some very good value here, so don’t get hung up on the fact the whiskies are 500ml!
1. Boutique-y Allt-A-Bhainne Bt. 9 23 Year – 49.5% – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Baked orchard fruits, a sprinkle of brown sugar and a hint of creamy custard. Palate: Peppery spice fills the mouth, there’s oranges and cinnamon with an earthiness emerging, finishing with a fruity burst of apples and pears.” – $230 500ml
2. Boutique-y Ledaig Batch 11 21 Year – 48.7% – 1997 – Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Bitumen, a touch of salt and a hint of underlying sweet fruit. Palate: Very smooth with tropical fruits and a dusting of icing sugar before more of that smokiness comes through.” – $263 500ml
3. Boutique-y Miltonduff Batch 5 10 Year – 50.3% – Sherry Cask – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Floral, fruity and honeyed with hints of fudge whilst lemon rind balances all the sweetness. Palate: Warm apple pie with a sugared flaky pastry, cinnamon and vanilla ice cream.” – $67 500ml
4. Boutique-y Macduff Batch 6 11 Year – 48% – 2007 – Sherry Puncheon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Creamy, with malted milk biscuits, toasted marshmallows, syrupy peaches. Palate: The syrupy fruit continues and there’s more marshmallow too, but there’s also a dryness and lots of cereal notes.” – $68 500ml
5. Boutique-y Speyside #3 Batch 2 6 Year – 49.3% – Sherry Butts – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Salted caramel fudge, followed by a Light wood smokiness. Palate: More of those sweet and salty flavours intermingling. There’s also oranges and cranberries too.” – $47 500ml
Now The Blends…
We’ve put one hundred and forty eight years of blended scotch together in four different releases, at 22, 32, 42, and 52 years old. It’s the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything…”
If you’re trying to figure out why the 52 year old isn’t more dear than the 42, it has everything to do with the word ‘whisky’… or the lack thereof. But, shelf price aside, it is also selling for up to $500 at auction, and we also don’t have very much of it… so what to do?! For the time being, we are only offering it as a part of a set including 1 bottle each of the below three blends. The sweetener is, if you purchase a bottle of each, which is $947+gst, we will shave $75 off the top, making the set $872+gst. Not bad for 148 years of whisky*!
1. Boutique-y Blended Scotch Whisky #2 Batch 3 22 – 41.8% – A glorious 22 Year Old release of blended Scotch Whisky. Outturn 000 bottles – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet with Demerara sugar and heather honey, chocolate raisins follow. Palate: Very gentle. Velvety smooth, with rich chocolate and black cherry, with just a hint of wild fennel. There’s a whisper of wood smoke in the finish too.” – $112
2. Boutique-y St Thomas Blended Scotch Batch 1 32 Year – 40.1% – Taking visual cues from great old blended Scotch brands, St. Thomas references three of our team members on a single label. Outturn 398 bottles. – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Malty, fudgy, and delightfully inviting with no nose prickle and plenty of character. Palate: Luscious oak, mint chocolate and lasting finish of maturity and depth.” – $185 500ml
3. Boutique-y Cutler & Stubbs Blended Scotch Batch 1 42 Year – 44.1% – Inspired by classic, lost or collectible blended scotch whisky brands, Cutler & Stubbs is a true Boutique-y original. Outturn 440 bottles. – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Fruity, malty and rich, with just a wisp of perfumed smoke and salinity. Palate: Fresh, then dry fruits, caramel, treacle and toffee. Luscious with buttery oak, creamy coastal character and a long, toasty finish.” – $400 500ml
4. Boutique-y Auld Alfords Blended Spirit* Batch 1 52 Year – 35% – A ‘bottled too late’ spirit drink. Like its younger cousins in this range, the inspiration for this label came from a classic blended Scotch whisky of yesteryear. Outturn 140 bottles. – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Pure dunnage warehouse, ripe fruits, old oak, rich caramel and custard notes. Palate: Silky and mouth coating, mango and soft banana with soft oak and lingering spice.” – $250** 500ml – This whisky only available as a part of a set of 4 whiskies with one bottle each!
* The Auld Alford’s is not legally whisky, as it is below 40%.
NEW WHISKIES FROM HUNTER LAING
We have some new malts from our friends at Hunter Laing, including a Ben Nevis from that legendary year, 1996… There is also one of the oldest Royal Lochnagar bottlings we’ve ever seen, as well as lovely bottlings of Linkwood 18 Year and Glenburgie 21 Year.
Got a cool $8400 burning a hole in your pocket? There is also a magnum of 30 year old Ardbeg, distilled in 1991. $8400 sounds like a lot, but the same bottle has been seen on sale in Europe for up to $15K.
There is also a curious 14 year old mystery Orkney single malt. The tasting notes make no mention of peat, so could it be Scapa? That is unlikely, as the distillery closed for refurbishments in 2004 and 2005. But even when it did reopen, it didn’t exactly run at even half steam, let alone full, until late in the decade. So either way, we have a a bit of a curiosity here!
1. First Edition Miltonduff 1990 – 57.2% – Refill Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “A sweet nose with apples, vanilla and honey. Malted barley on the palate with vanilla, toffee and pears. The finish is long and sweet with gentle oak.” –$380 – 90pts Whiskybase
2. Old Malt Cask Ben Nevis 24 Year – 50% – 1996 – Refill Butt HL18761 – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: toffee, strawberries and vanilla. Palate: sweet, with licorice, apples and caramel. Finish: long, with lingering pepper and oak.” – $470
3. Old Malt Cask Glenburgie 21 Year – 50% – 2000 – Refill Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: cherries, apples and toffee. Palate: chocolate, liquorice, and pepper notes. Finish: long, with lingering spice.” –$265
4. Old Malt Cask Linkwood 18 Year – 50% – 2002 – Refill Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: sweet with soft fruits, meringue, and strawberries. Palate: vanilla, butter shortcake, and apples. Finish: long and satisfying with a pleasant fruity aftertaste.” –$195
5. Old Malt Cask Royal Lochnagar 21 Year – 50% – 2000 – Refill Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: peaches, green ferns, and toffee. Palate: cherries, chocolate, and oak influence. Finish: long, with lingering spice and heat.” –$310
6. Old Malt Cask Orkney 14 Year – 50% – 2006 – Refill Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: orange, caramel, heather honey. Palate: milk chocolate, orange, beeswax and toffee apple. Finish: long, sweet and fruity with more waxiness.” – $155
7. Old & Rare Ardbeg 30 Year – 53.2% – 1991 – Refill Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “This rich, dark golden-coloured whisky has a robust, well-rounded nose of sweet iodine, sea salt, and peat smoke. It is full bodied and initially sweet on the palate with vanilla followed by more iodine, sea salt, and peat, leaving a long, lingering finish with a hint of peat smoke.” – $8400 – Available by Request!
NEW WHISKIES FROM TWO BREWERS
Our friends at Yukon Brewing & Distilling have dropped two new batches of their single malt. All of the geeky details are on our website. Release 35, a “Classic” release, is from ex-Bourbon & virgin oak casks. Release 34, an “Innovative” release, is another ex-Maple Syrup cask whisky.
1. Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Release 34 – 40% – 6 Year (43% is 10+ years old) – Innovative (click on link for more detail) – Part Finished 27 Months in ex-Maple Syrup Casks – Producer Tasting Note: “Vibrant aromas reach out, meadow and hay with maple sweetness, touches of citrus, currants, raisins. Malt underpinnings are abrupt in the lush, rich entry, chewy across the palate as maple notes enter. Spicy oak dusts the whisky/maple marriage in a persistent finish.” – $105
2. Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Release 35 – 46% – 8 Year (25% is 10+ years old) Classic Release – Ex-Bourbon & Virgin Oak – Producer Tasting Note: “The intricate nose is worth mulling, textures of baking spice, ripe fruit, umami and fresh hewn oak. The creamy entry is bright and assertive, spice wrapped sweetness flowing and growing across the palate. A tangle lingers, drying oak with fine sugars and sprinkled spice.” – $106
BLADNOCH IS BACK!
It has taken seemingly forever for these whiskies to get here. We actually ordered them in 2021, and were originally expecting the 2021 releases. Instead, we got the 2022s, but no matter, that may have been for the best anyway. Now to try and fit all of them into a vertical tasting…
For those who aren’t familiar, Bladnoch is a Lowland distillery, in picturesque Dumfries and Galloway. It was purchased by Australian David Prior in 2015, who set about bringing it back to life, after several seemingly rudderless decades. David recruited a Dr. Nick Savage from Macallan to be Bladnoch’s Master Distiller.
1. Bladnoch Alinta (Peated) – 47% – 1st Fill Bourbon & PX Sherry – Producer Description: “‘Alinta’, an indigenous Australian word from several Southeast Australian language groups means ‘fire’ and ‘flames’, and evokes the notes of Campfire Embers found in each sip. This expression utilises PX Sherry and ex-bourbon casks combined together with a sweet smoky peated spirit, sets Alinta apart from anything previously released by Bladnoch.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Smoky ice cream, delicately floral with sweet oak. Palate: Campfire smoke, almonds, raisins with a white chocolate body. Finish: Long with a sweet smoke.” – $132
2. Bladnoch Vinaya – 46.7% – Ex Oloroso Sherry & ex-Bourbon Casks – Producer Description: “‘Vinaya’, a Sanskrit word meaning respect and gratitude, pays homage to the original founders of the distillery who paved the way, as Bladnoch looks forward to an exciting new era of production and innovation.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet floral grass with boiled sweets. Palate: Fresh green apples and chocolate with a hint of pepper. Finish: Light and refreshing.” – $73
3. Bladnoch 11 Year 2022 – 46.7% – ex-Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Delicate floral with notes of honey, refreshing citrus and cut grass. Palate: Floral Parma Violets with fresh cut apples and hints of wood spice. Finish: Sweet mouth coating leading to a refreshing finish.” – $112 – 88pts Whiskybase
4. Bladnoch 14 Year 2022 – 46.7% – Oloroso Sherry – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Wood spices, rich raisins and sultanas with a hint of orange peel and chocolate. Palate: Raisins, dried fruits, rich fruit cake with sweet cinnamon and chocolate. Finish: Rich and long with a slight dryness.” – $175
5. Bladnoch 19 Year 2022 – 46.7% – PX Sherry – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Dark liquorice sticks and aged oak with a floral background. Palate: Liquorice sticks with dried apricots, almonds and nutmeg. Finish: Long with a dry sweetness.” – $240 – 88pts Whiskybase
6. Bladnoch Talia Rare Release 2022 – 45.5% – Oloroso & Red Wine Cask – Producer Description: “Matured in Oloroso Sherry and Californian red wine casks. Our dew drops from heaven, Talia combines whiskies from the oldest casks in the Bladnoch archives. This rare release of our Talia collection delights with notes of Blackcurrants, toffee and root ginger. A tribute to rare, Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Fresh blackcurrants with floral grass and aged oak. Palate: Toffee with coffee crème and root ginger. Finish: Long, sweet and peppery.” – $565 – 91.5pts Whiskybase
INTRODUCING: REIFEL RYE
Reifel Rye is a new release from Alberta Distillers, which has gotten my team excited. The distillery, which celebrates its 75th Anniversary this year, has named the whisky in honour of George H. Reifel, it’s first Master Distiller.
We really ought to get one of our team to write up a tasting note!
Reifel Rye – 42% – Producer Description: “Reifel Rye has been created in honour of George H. Reifel. The legendary master distiller who laid the foundations of Alberta Distillers 75 years ago, and whose standards, commitment to the craft, belief in local ingredients, obsession with extraordinary flavour, and adventurous spirit still characterize ADL’s distilling culture today. Reifel Rye is a masterpiece George would be proud of. This high rye spirit is aged in charred white oak and ex bourbon barrels. It is a feast of a whisky with notes of toffee, banana bread, chocolate, poached pear and crème brûlée. An unconventional whisky with unexpected depths. High Rye, Deep Character from the Distillery Of The Decade.” – $48
OTHER ASSORTED NEW WHISKIES
Some fun new whiskies we’ve lumped together because time is short…
The Ardnamurchan is the distillery’s first cask strength bottling, other than the odd single cask.
The Edradours are wine finished, but don’t let that scare you off, they have great reviews!
And the last one is a Kiwi whisky…
1. Ardnamurchan AD/02.22 Cask Strength – 58.7% – 84% Peated Spirit – 45 ex-Bourbon Barrels & 5 Sherry Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Pear and almond tart, sea salt, wet hessian, flapjacks, sea shells and peppermint tea. Palate: Fresh ginger, tobacco leaf, integrated peat, orange blossom, salted caramel with great texture. Finish: Citrus zest lingers with candied fruit and orange oil. Coastal peat and bold barley are balanced by buttery oak and more earthen vanilla.” – $102
2. Edradour 21 Year Bordeaux Finish – 55.7% – 1999 – 13 Years in ex-Bourbon / Finished 8 Years in Fresh Premier Grand Cru Bordeaux Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Burnt orange in colour, the whisky reveals notes of orange barley sugar, jelly beans, sugar coated cereals and candied orange peel. Water reveals Turkish delight, with a long spicy barley water in the finish.” – $435 – 88.17pts Whiskybase
3. Edradour 22 Year Barolo Finish – 55.2% – 1999 – 13 Years ex-Bourbon / Finished 9 Years in Fresh Barolo Hogsheads – Producer Tasting Note: “Mahogany in colour, the whisky is full bodied, with notes of redcurrant jelly, maple syrup and cranberries. Some water brings out spiced cinnamon apples and cloves. Long sweet finish fading to sugared almond puree.” –$440 – 89.57pts Whiskybase.
4. Thomson Two Tone News Zealand Single Malt – 40% – Two Tone refers to the two kinds of cask used for the maturation of this whisky; European oak which formerly held New Zealand red wine and American white oak used exclusively for whisky. – Producer Description & Tasting Note: “Thomson Whisky brings you an update from the barrel. Made from 100% New Zealand grown malted barley, smoked using Manuka wood, and distilled through a hand beaten copper pot still, it’s our Manuka Smoke release in its youth. This ‘work in progress’ bottling offers natural smoke, cinnamon, clove, and Manuka oils.” – $85 – “World Whisky Awards: Best New Zealand Single Malt”
ARDBEG 25 YEAR BALLOT
AKA THE ARDBALLOT
Before reading any further, or jumping headlong into the ballot, please note, we have fewer bottles available than I have fingers on one hand… and the thumb is not a finger!!!
Please do not enter this ballot if you have already acquired this or a prior release of Ardbeg 25 Year… let someone else have a bottle!
Ardbeg 25 Year 2022 Edition – 46% – Producer Description: “Bottled from incredibly rare casks filled during some of the Distillery’s darkest days, this is Ardbeg at its most intricate, balanced and beguiling. Majestic aromas of smoked cream and earthy bonfires are masterfully interwoven with layers of pine and fragrant candle wax. Hot pepper rises on the palate, twisting around lemon sherbet sweetness, while hints of carbolic soap and tar flow into a long aftertaste characterized by delicate aniseed entwined with lingering cream and fudge.” – Producer Tasting Note: “Aroma: A pungent burst of smoked cream, peppermint and toffee, with Ardbeg’s classic fennel and pine resin. Distant earthy bonfires mix with herbal and fruity (banana and tropical) notes, along with fragrant candle wax. Taste: An extremely vibrant, hot peppery mouthfeel leads into a burst of sherbet lemon sweetness (candied apples, pears and orange), hints of carbolic soap and tar, more creamy toffee, aniseed and chili pepper. Finish: A long, mellow, lingering aftertaste, with lots of cream, fudge and delicate antiseptic notes. An elegant, soothing style of Ardbeg.” – $1300 – Available for purchase by ballot!
Enter The Ardbeg 25 Ballot Here
Our Fall Tasting Schedule is coming soon, but in the meantime, here are a few events to entertain and delight you! This tasting includes a 1x15ml sample bottle of the Black Tot Master Blender’s Reserve plus The Black Tot Rum Tasting Pack that contains 5×30 samples from the Black Tot lineup. Note it is actually cheaper than buying the gift pack on its own…
WATERFORD WHISKY WITH MARK REYNIER
· Date: Friday, September 16
· Time: 7 PM
· Cost: $35
· This is an in-person tasting!
Mark Reynier’s Waterford Distillery is one of the new generation of Irish distilleries and has been making waves in the whisk(e)y world even before its first few releases hit the market a few years ago. Thanks to Waterford’s terroir and single farm-driven approach, the distillery’s first whisky releases have received acclaim from critics and consumers alike. Mark Reynier is finally able to join us in Calgary for a tasting in-store, where we will taste our way through seven different bottlings from Waterford including the Organic Gaia and The Cuvée. Due to time constraints, this tasting is limited to one seating with only 20 spots available, so it is likely to see out quickly!
Friday, September 16th at 7 PM.
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 delivery fee.
Physical distancing is made easy with curbside pickup. Order online or by phone, wait for confirmation your order is ready then call us when you are parked in the back or out front. Be sure to let us know what your vehicle looks like!
Regular Store Hours
Mon-Wed 10 AM – 8 PM
Thurs & Fri 10 AM – 9 PM
Sat 10 AM – 8 PM
Sun 11 AM to 6 PM