Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger Bulletin by Andrew Ferguson Oct 19th, 2022 – Whisky Whisky Whisky News!

I know I promised a full Malt Messenger this week, but we have decided to push it back to Monday as it keeps getting bigger, and I have a few exciting announcements which I feel should stand on their own.

First, and foremost. We are finally able to reveal the design of our KWM 2023 Whisky Calendar, our 9th annual. I asked our designer, and former employee Jean-Paul Berube, for something nostalgiac as a nod to our 30th Anniversary earlier this year. After bouncing some ideas back and forth with us, JP has come up with something really sharp. Images and details can be found below.

Secondly, we have added a couple of virtual Bourbon/American whiskey tastings to the schedule in November. We are doing tastings with representatives of both Buzzards Roost and Michter’s. For the Michter’s tasting, we have a really special treat, the Michter’s 20-Year-Old Bourbon… we only receive a single bottle once in a blue moon, so we’ve decided to share this one with 40 friends rather than sell it!

We have also just received the most recent edition of the Malt Whisky Yearbook (2023), and I have written up tasting notes on 5 fantastic new arrivals.

But the biggest news by far, which will be sure to overload our website, and keep us busy over the next 24-48 hours, is that we are finally opening up sales of our 3rd Bruichladdich cask… Demand is expected to be high, and we aren’t looking to set any new records, so we are strictly limiting it to one per customer. Details on the Bruichladdich 2010 KWM Bourbon Cask 2652, including my tasting note, can be found below!

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.

I hope you enjoy this Malt Messenger Bulletin, stay tuned for a full Malt Messenger Monday!


Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market


Presenting the Design for Our KWM 2023 Whisky Calendar
New Tastings
Malt Whisky Yearbook 2023
Our 3rd KWM Exclusive Bruichladdich Cask is Now Available for Sale!
My Tasting Notes for Some Recent Arrivals
Up-Coming Tastings



Our friend Jean-Paul Berube, who many years ago was the store manager here at KWM, has been designing our Whisky Calendar for 9 years now. This year we asked him for something nostalgiac, and we love what he’s come up with. The front of the box features headlines, most of them inspired by actual stories that made news in Calgary, and further afield. On the back of the box, we decided to highlight 25 of the most exciting single casks bottled by Kensington Wine Market over our 30 Year history. We are closing in on our 150th cask, and we don’t put our name and label on anything unless we feel it is exceptional, so trust us when we say, it was hard to narrow it down to just 25… We will talk about one of them on our blog, each and every day of Advent, in addition to our daily Whisky Calendar dram.

There is a lot more info on the Calendar on our website click the link below for details!

KWM 2023 Whisky Calendar – The Calendar consisted of 24x 50ml premium whiskies, a 100ml Scotch Malt Whisky Society whisky, and a Glencairn Glass. No deposit is required, payment will be processed approximately 1 week before the Calendar is ready for pickup, in early November! – $460+gst



Buzzard’s Roost with Jason Brauner and Judy Hollis Jones

Date: Tuesday, November 22
Time:7 PM
Cost: $25
Virtual Tasting

Buzzard’s Roost isn’t your typical Bourbon and Rye Whiskey bottler. The company was founded by Jason Brauner – the owner of the famous Bourbon Bistro in Louisville Kentucky. Jason has selected over 100 single barrels of Bourbon, Rye, and American Whiskey over the years and decided to take his experience and put it to good use by selecting casks and bottling under his own label.

Buzzard’s Roost puts flavour at the fore by utilizing different casks styles to finish their Rye and Bourbon Whiskey. We are excited to have Buzzard’s Roost Founder and Master Blender Jason Brauner and CEO Judy Hollis Jones join us via Zoom and lead us through their whiskey lineup which includes The Buzzard’s Roost Barrel Strength Rye, Char #1 Rye, Peated Barrel Rye, Toasted Barrel Rye, and two Bourbons from the company that have yet not hit shelves in Alberta!

Tuesday, November 22nd @ 7 PM.

Michter’s Virtual Bourbon Tasting with Tasting

Date: Tuesday, November 29
Time:7 PM
Cost: $50
Virtual Tasting

Raven Fuller, Michter’s Regional Manager for the Pacific North West will be our special guest host for an impressive 8 whiskey Michter’s virtual tasting. Our lineup consists of both Bourbon and Rye whiskies, including Shenk’s Homestead, Bomberger’s Declaration, and a trio of rare limited edition Michter’s including the Barrel Strength Rye, 10 Year Rye and 20 Year Bourbon! Tuesday, November 29, 7PM.


The only annual whisky book worth mentioning is back and fully revised for 2023!

Producer Description

“The latest edition – revised and fully updated with new exciting articles including:

Lowlands On A High
The Whisky Jigsaw Puzzle
The Heat Is On – Toasting, Charring And Rejuvenating Casks
Green Malt – The Complexities Of Whisky Sustainability
And more
In addition, discover the Ghost Distilleries – lost but not forgotten!

And as always fully revised and packed with new and up-to-date information on whisky distilleries from all over the world, hundreds of whisky shops, whisky sites and new bottlings. A comprehensive summary of the whisky year that was and all the latest statistics is also included.”

Malt Whisky Yearbook 2023 – $34


Our third exclusive KWM single cask from Bruichladdich arrived a few months back, but we decided to keep it under wraps for an October release. Distilled in 2010, the whisky was fermented and distilled from a mixed mash of publican, oxbridge, and optic barleys, before filling into a First Fill ex-Bourbon Barrel. 240 bottles of the whisky have been filled without colouring or chilfiltration at its natural cask strength of 58.8%, exclusively for KWM. Funny story about this cask… it wasn’t the one we chose, that one was accidentally married with another cask at the bottling hall… but this lovely whisky is a more than suitable replacement!

As our last Bruichladdich cask sold out in 48 hours, a record we have no desire to match or break, we are limiting sales to 1 bottle per customer! 

Bruichladdich 2010 KWM Cask 2652 – 58.8% – 10 Year – First Fill ex-Bourbon – My Tasting Note: “Nose: soft, malty, and lactic with a whiff of smoke… this is promising; Milk Duds and Malted Milk candy bars; aged gouda and orange cheddar lead into some barnyard tones, lush barley, and hay bales; dried apple chunks and dehydrated apricots; creamed honey and vanilla extract. Palate: plush with malt, vanilla, honey and soft orchard fruits: apple and apricot again; beer nuts and candied almonds lead into more aged gouda and a little comte; floral botanicals, dried orange slices, and savoury salty maritime notes; the soft smoke creeps up on you, subtly at first and building with each sip; the impact of the peat is far from Port Charlotte or Octomore levels, but also more than just a trace; decadent oak spices build in tandem with the smoke. Finish: long, coating, cheesy and fruity with a backbone of juicy malt and clean smoke; vanilla, salt, and oak spices at the very end. Comment: this isn’t quite what we were expecting… but it is another very good Laddie single cask and we aren’t even a little disappointed; despite its having been filled into a first fill cask (likely rinsed by the original distillery), this is very much a spirit driven whisky, full of funk, barnyard and cheesy tones, and also a curious amount of smoke; more than 20 years into the distillery’s revival, their stocks of whisky aged more than 10 years of age are growing, and yet we see so few bottlings of them; maybe next time we’ll push hard for a 15 year old! ;)” – $150



All of these whiskies are worth a look, for their price, quality, and age. So I have taken the time to write up my own tasting notes. Also, the labels on the Boutique-y Blends… how can you possibly resist?!

1. Boutique-y Blended Whisky #2 Bt.3 22 Year – 51.8% – About the Label: “Although our friends at WhiskyFun suggest the label depicts “a white glove stroking a hairy space testicle”, it’s simply meant to evoke the smooooothness of this well-aged blended Scotch whisky. – My Tasting Note: “Nose: sweet, decadent, and toasty; floral with almonds, candied citrus, and Rosette cookies; creamed honey and cold tea dregs with Demerara sugar. Palate: sweet, creamy and floral with toasted oak and more Rosette cookies; very decadent, more creamed honey, agave nectar, and corn syrup; almond paste, mochi matcha, and milk chocolate; silky and waxy with vanilla bean; more citrus fruits and dried apple chunks. Finish: long, decadent, and fruity; floral, silky, and toasty; juicy citrus fruits and silky grains. Comment: this is a lovely blend, sweet, fruity and layered; a lovely balance of malt and grain.” – $112

2. Boutique-y St. Thomas Blend Bt.1 32 Year – 40.1% – About the Label: “Taking visual cues from great old blended Scotch brands, in this case St. Leger, TBWC’s St. Thomas references three of our team members on a single label (Liz, Phoebe and Dave) including a whisky industry first “…& Daughters”. The inspiration for this label came from classic Scotch labels of yesteryear. All those wonderful words; “Extra” “Special” and “Finest Oak Casks”, as well as an Emily Chappell-illustrated Highland Cow.” – My Tasting Note: “Nose: freshly picked grapefruit, apricots, and sour plum; French crepes with powdered sugar and lemon juice; Flint Stone vitamins, Rockets, and Wine Gums; candied nuts and caramel sauce. Palate: thick, doughy, and musty; this has an air of age to it, old grain, and old malt; more French crepes with powdered sugar and lemon juice; Mexican donuts and Guide’s Mint icecream; the juicy fruits come later: melons, orange, apricot and peaches; more candied nuts and caramel sauce. Finish: thick, creamy, and tasty with warming spices and bags of fruit; long, rich, and elegant. Comment: this whisky is so thick and rich it is hard to believe that it was bottled at the perilously low strength of 40.1%; a beautiful dram, with a fun and whimsical label; I dare you to resist this “Extra Special” bottle adorned with a Highland Coo, matured in Dave “Worthington’s Finest Oak Casks!” – $185

3. Boutique-y Cutler & Stubbs Blend B1 42 Year – 44% – About the Label: “The inspiration for this label came from classic Scotch labels of yesteryear. All those wonderful words; “Choice” “Old” “De Luxe” and “Extra Old”. We’ve managed to get three of the whisky team onto this label, including one who has left us recently… OH MY GHOSH” – My Tasting Note: “Nose: warm butterscotch sauce on vanilla ice cream, and Peanut Buster Parfaits; polished leather and Sunrype Fruit Source bars; gets a little meaty with an old school feel to it; bright grain tones, Jujubes, and salted caramel, with a whiff of smoke? Palate: brandy snaps, Peanut Buster Parfait and Village’s salted caramel ice cream; savoury and meaty with leather, chocolate covered espresso beans and candied fennel seeds; soft honey and silky grain tones meet up with earthy sherry notes; cooked raisins, grilled figs, leather and tobacco. Finish: light, refreshing and fruity with fading honey, it is medium in length with warming spices and coating toasted oak notes; clean smoke at the very end. Comment: though not quite as sherried, this remnds me a little of our 25th Anniversary KWM exclusive Berry’s 40 Year Blend; it is very well priced for its age and quality, and I love the playful throwback label.”  – $400

4. G&M Conn Choice Dailuaine 2008 – 59.4% – 13 Year – Sherry Hogshead Cask No. 18602801 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: candied nuts, Christmas cake, soft leather and leafy tobacco; Mandarin orange, Luxardo cherries, and decadent spice: cinnamon hearts, candied ginger, and anise. Palate: rich, fruity and spicy with a velvety backbone; Christmas cake, jujubes, candied ginger, Mandarin orange and Luzardo cherries; dark chocolate with a touch of cayenne pepper; Cuban cigars, firm new leather and toasty oak tones; chocolate dipped espresso beans and fennel seed. Finish: long, warming and spicy with candied fruits, Christmas cake, leather, tobacco, and chocolate. Comment: this is not a sherry bomb, but it is a very good sherried whisky, and when you consider that it is $125 and cask strength too, it is a steal!” – $125

5. G&M Conn Choice Glentauchers 2006 – 57.6% – 15 Year – Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel No. 703714 (Bottled for Canada) – My Tasting Note: “Nose: toasted coconut, marzipan, and Jujubes; carrot cake with lemon zest-infused cream cheese icing; white chocolate and oak spices. Palate: round, decadent, and toasty; loads of malt and rich honey; more cream cheese icing with lemon zest; glazed carrots and caramelized apple; coconut macaroons, orange marzipan and more Jujubes. Finish: sweet, toasty and fruity with gentle oak spice, honey and Jujubes. Comment: this is a lovely single cask and a fine example of Glentauchers, especially for the price; this is in fact a steal!” – $118




Rye Not Rye? Virtual Tasting

·     Date: Tuesday, October 20

·     Time: 7 PM

·     Cost: $40

·     Virtual Tasting

If all you know of Rye is Crown Royal, we are sorry (mostly because we believe Rye Whisky should actually contain…well…rye; absurd, right?). Rye is making a comeback and as a city that is home to one of the best Rye producers in the world, we are not strangers to good old-fashioned (not the cocktail) near-100% Rye whiskies. Luckily more and more people are jumping on the rye train and the flavours are vastly different even if the mash bills are the same. Canada has very loosey-goosey rules when it comes to what makes Canadian Rye Whisky, other countries have more firm rules on how Rye Whisky can be made and we want to share those with you. Harmony and Evan are proud to present a lineup of near-100% Rye-based whiskies that are sure to knock your boots off.

Tuesday, October 20th @ 7 PM

Glenfarclas KWM 30th Anniversary Tasting with Deborah Stewart – 6 PM & 8 PM

·     Date: Tuesday, October 25

·     First Seating Time: 6 PM

·     Second Seating Time: 8 PM

·     Cost: $40

·     These are both in-person tastings!

Glenfarclas’s Deborah Stewart will be our special guest as we celebrate the launch of our Glenfarclas 1992 KWM 30th Anniversary Family Cask with an incredible vertical tasting. We will sample the Glenfarclas 15, 21, 25, 30, and 40-year-olds, as well as the KWM Cask Strength 21 Year and our new 1992 Family Cask. In all, 181 years of liquid history for just $40!!!

Tuesday, October 25th @ 6 PM andTuesday, October 25th @ 8 PM

Kinda Rare & Old Whiskies: 20 is the new 30

·     Date: Wednesday, October 26

·     Time: 7 PM

·     Cost: $150

·     Virtual Tasting

You should know the drill by now: the big man has identified a range of whiskies he wants to taste, and the range is unlikely to disappoint. This time around we have a range of 8 whiskies: 6 in their twenties and 2 in their early thirties. We have a trio of old Edradours, a pair of Millstones distilled in the 1990s, a Gordon & MacPhail Miltonduff from 1989, and OB single casks of BenRiach (1997) and GlenDronach (1990). In total, you’ll enjoy just shy of 200 years worth of single malt whisky!

Wednesday, October 26th @ 7 PM

Bog v. Bodega: Peat Monsters & Sherry Bombs

·     Date: Thursday, October 27

·     Time: 7 PM

·     Cost: $80

·     This is an in-person tasting!

Peat and sherry are unquestionably the big guns in the whisky world. While these are arguably the most polarizing styles of whisky out there, they’re also far and away the most in demand. The theme for this tasting is elegantly simple: dark-sherried beauties meet bold smoky beasts. From the bodegas of Jerez to the peat banks of Scotland, we’ll work our way through some of the most intense flavours on the spectrum. Though not a tasting for the faint of heart, Curt has pulled together some special bottles for this range!

Thursday, October 27th @ 7 PM

Boutique-y North-West Euro Express w/ Dave Worthington

·     Date: Saturday, October 29

·     Time: 5 PM

·     Cost: $50

·     Virtual Tasting

Can you think of a better way to spend an early Saturday evening in October than geeking out on whisky with Boutique-y Dave and the KWM crew? We have selected 8 whiskies for the tasting, released as a part of Boutique-y’s North-West Euro Express. The range highlights single malts, ryes, and a buckwheat spirit (that can’t legally be called whisky) from North West European Distilleries. We’ll be sampling drams from Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, and Switzerland.

Saturday, October 29th @ 5 PM

Glenfarclas Family Casks 2021 – The 1990s

·     Date: Tuesday, November 1

·     Time: 7 PM

·     Cost: $100

·     Virtual Tasting

On the one hand, this tasting was a great opportunity for us to feature our new Glenfarclas 1992 KWM 30th Anniversary Family Cask… But it also has the added benefit of allowing us to sample some of the amazing Summer 2021 Glenfarclas Family Casks we received in the Spring. There were too many to fit into one tasting, so we broke them down into the 1990 and the 2000s. This tasting will feature the following S21 vintages: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1998; as well as our own exclusive 1992 cask.

Tuesday, November 1st @ 7 PM

Elixir Distillers Single Casks w/ Celine Tetu

·     Date: Friday, November 4

·     Time: 7 PM

·     Cost: $50

·     This is an in-person tasting!

Elixir Distillers has become one of our best partners in recent years, and they keep feeding us some absolutely amazing single casks. The most recent batch was selected in the Winter or Spring of 2021, but due to all the challenges around logistics these days, they only just arrived in the late Spring! We did a version of this tasting in the summer with Elixir Distiller’s Celine Tetu, and now she’s coming to town, so we’ll feature the same range in-store. Guests will sample 7 Single Malts of Scotland bottlings, with 6 of them being cask strength, single cask whiskies. Participants will try the 4 most recent KWM casks: Ardmore 11 Year, Glenburgie 22 Year, Imperial 22 Year, and Mannochmore 13 Year, and 3 others: Ben Nevis 1997, Linkwood 11 Year, and Reserve Casks Glencadam 10 Year.

Friday, November 4th @ 7 PM

…By Any Other Name: Secret Whiskies from Not So Secret Distilleries

·     Date: Tuesday, November 8

·     Time: 7 PM

·     Cost: $40

·     Virtual Tasting

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

A little bit of Romeo and Juliet for you, folks. But what is in a name? We sorta think that’s a topic for group discussion. And a discussion is almost always more enjoyable over a few drams (this is incontrovertible truth). There are a few distilleries in Scotland that are very protective of their brand. There are others that simply produce a handful of in-house styles under different names. In both cases, we often find labels that make us second-guess our distillery knowledge. For this event, we’ll be tasting a few very well-known distilleries bottled under some very different names. We’ll tell some stories and maybe even speculate a bit in some cases. Join us for an evening of sipping, sleuthing, and secret revealing. Curt was really excited about this range, and we can assure you it won’t disappoint.

Tuesday, November 8th @ 7 PM

Fall Single Malt Festival – Night 1 & Night 2

·     Date 1: Tuesday, November 10

·     Date 2: Tuesday, November 24

·     Time: 7 PM to 9 PM

·     Cost: $75

·     This is an in-person festival tasting!

As we did in the Spring for our 30th Anniversary, we are offering two more-or-less identical Fall Single Malt Festivals, two weeks apart, both for a moderately smaller crowd than usual, to give as many of our whisky friends as possible a chance to attend. There will be up to 100 whiskies to sample, and the price includes a 30th Anniversary KWM logo glass. As always, our neighbour Peasant cheese will be lining your stomachs with delicious cheese, charcuterie, sausage rolls, and other treats! Both Festivals are limited to 80 participants and we are asking people to only register for one date or the other, not both, out of respect for other customers.

Thursday, November 10, 7 PM – 9 PM & Thursday, November 24, 7 PM – 9 PM.

Boutique-y Cool & Unusual Whisky w/ Dave Worthington

·     Date: Saturday, November 12

·     Time: 5 PM

·     Cost: $70

·     Virtual Tasting

This will surely be one of the most fun ranges we sample with Boutique-y Dave. It includes 4 recently release That Boutique-y Whisky Co. Blends at 22, 32, 42 and 52 years of age! The last one is a real curiosity, as having fallen below 40% it isn’t legally whisky… but it will be interesting to try! To round out the lineup we are adding Ledaig 21 Year, Allt-A-Bhaine 23 Year, and a teaspooned presumably Glen Scotia 24 Year. 216 years of liquid history, with one of the industry’s most entertaining hosts!

Saturday, November 12th @ 5 PM

Glenfarclas Family Casks 2021 – The 2000s

·     Date: Tuesday, November 15

·     Time: 7 PM

·     Cost: $65

·     Virtual Tasting

No, we won’t be sampling the KWM 30th Anniversary Family Cask in this session, but we still have an incredible lineup of Glenfarclas single casks. We held back a bottle each of some of the highlights from the Summer 2021 Glenfarclas Family Cask releases. In this session, we’ll sample bottlings from 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Tuesday, November 15th @ 7 PM

Kinship Collection 2021 +1

·     Date: Tuesday, December 6

·     Time: 7 PM

·     Cost: $225

·     Virtual Tasting

Who doesn’t love old Islay malts? We bought a couple of sets of the 2021 Kinship Collection from Hunter Laing because we knew we were going to want to open one for a tasting. The set consists of:

Ardbeg 19 Year, Bowmore 33 Year, Bruichladdich 29 Year, Bunnahabhain 31 Year, Caol Ila 40 Year, and Laphroaig 23 Year. But that’s only 6 whiskies, and we like to have at least 7 at our tastings, so we are tossing in a lovely sherried First Edition Laphroaig 14 Year to round out our range. Join the KWM team as we sip our way through 189 years of Islay glory!

Tuesday, December 6th @ 7 PM


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