Dear Malt Messenger Subscribers,

Christmas is just a little more than a week away and that means that it is time for the Malt Messenger’s annual Christmas gift guide. I’ve got gift ideas for every malt lover on your list in varying styles and at every price point from $13.99 to 21,999.99 per bottle! Whether you’re looking for ideas on what whisky to buy that special someone or wanting to drop someone a hint, we have something for everyone on this list!

I had hoped to get out one more Malt Messenger in 2011, but the bustle of the season and an untimely crash of my work PC will make that a challenge. The later reason is also why you may not have heard back from me if you’ve sent me an email in the last 48 hours! There are new whiskies I had hoped to write to you about, like the distillery bottled Rosebank 21 Year ($286.99) which just came in. To my knowledge it is the first and only distillery bottling from that closed distillery to ever come in to the province. We also have the privilege of being the first store in Canada to sell the Fettercairn line of whiskies. The 24 Year old still hasn’t shown up, but the Fior ($71.99) has been flying off the shelf, and the 30 ($$409.99) and 40 ($1515.99) year olds are both doing very well. We also have a new exclusive French single malt called Armorik which is a steal at $62.99, the Dalmore Castle Leod ($183.99) and a 1981 ($445.99) vintage which is the most cherry heavy whisky I’ve ever had (think Cherry Halls). More details on these will have to wait until the next Malt Messenger, but I will give you a preview of our new rums in the guide below.

You are always welcome to drop by the store and sample a single malt or two, but every Christmas we step it up a bit and set aside a couple of specific times for people to come in and sample single malts with us. Usually it is with our good friend Andy Dunn of Gold Medal Marketing who represents Springbank, Benromach, Tullibardine and others. Andy will be dropping by a couple of times over the next 10 days to share some Christmas spirit, as will Mark Kuspira of Crush imports who has brought some fantastic new rums to Alberta! Kensington Wine Market is now stocking 9 unique rums from a producer called Rum Nation (rums are detailed below, same as referred to above) and we will be sampling many of these this weekend. For more details on the drop in tastings see below. But fret not if you can’t make it, you are welcome to drop in anytime for a dram of whisky or a tipple of rum!

If you don’t hear from me again before let me say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Holidays and a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all the subscribers and readers of the Malt Messenger!


Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market


Drop in Holiday Tastings

  1. Andy Dunn – Whisky – Thursday December 15, 2:30-5:30
  2. Mark Kuspira – Rums – Friday December 16, 3:00-7:00
  3. Andy Dunn – Whisky – Saturday December 17, 2:30-5:30
  4. Andy Dunn – Whisky – Thursday December 22, 2:30-6:30


1.      Whisky Advocate Magazine – This magazine is a great resource concerning what’s new in the world of whisky, and a spirited read. – $6.50

2.      Glencairn Glass – Still the world’s most popular single malt whisky tasting glass. I love how durable they are and find they have a more masculine feel than the Riedel single malt glass. – $15.99

3.      Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2012 – The world’s leading whisky guide is back for 2012 with 1210 new whiskies reviewed and some 200 core brands updated. You may not always agree on the score, but the tasting notes always come in handy! – $21.99

4.      Malt Whisky Yearbook 2012 – This is quite possibly the best bathroom reader out there for those who have a love of the malt. It is a great resource on the single malt distilleries of Scotland, Ireland, Japan and the rest of the world. – 29.99

5.      Whisky Aroma Nosing Kit – For the whisky lover who has such a big collection you have no idea what to buy for them! This kit will help them hone their nose! -$224.99

Gift Packs

1.      Glenrothes Selected Reserve 100ml – We call em hand grenades, but these little whiskies don’t pack too much punch! – $13.99

2.      Glenrothes 3x 100ml – 3x 100ml bottles including Select Reserve, 1991 and 1994 vintages. – $41.99

3.      Glenmorangie Gift Pack – 4x100ml bottles including Original 10 Year, Nectar D’Or, Lasanta and Quinta Ruban. – $56.49

4.      Springbank CV Set – Featuring one 200ml bottle each of Hazelburn CV (unpeated), Springbank CV(lightly peated) and Longrow CV(heavily peated) from Springbank distillery. $70.99

5.      Ardbeg 10 Year Gift Pack – This gift pack includes a bottle of Ardbeg 10 Year and a bespoke Ardbeg goldfish bowl glass in an Ardbeg Alligator themed glass. – $75.99

6.      Dalmore 15 Year Gift Pack – A bottle of Dalmore 15 Year and a 100ml bottle of Dalmore Kind Alexander III. – $93.99

7.      Jura 16 Year Gift Pack – Includes a bottle of Jura 16 Year and two bespoke glasses from the Isle of Jura’s only distillery. – $99.99

8.      Writer’s Tears Irish Whiskey Gift Pack – In a book themed box complete with glass this is the only way to buy the Cask Strength version of Writer’s Tears. – $145.59

9.      Soctch Malt Whisky Society New Member’s Kit– The first year’s membership includes a handsome gift pack with four 100ml cask strength bottles representing a range of whiskies bottled by the distillery, a membership pin, tasting note book and members handbook. Members get the Unfiltered Magazine quarterly, monthly bottling updates called Outturn and much, much more! – $230.00

Top 5 Whiskies Under $60

1.      Finlaggan Old Islay Reserve – This whisky is a lovely peaty-chocolaty drink and excellent value at just over $50. This mystery malt is named for the ancient capital of the Lord of the Isles on Islay. – $50.99

2.      Nikka From the Barrel – It’s hard to find good single malts under $60, and unheard of to find any cask strength ones. Well this Nikka squeaks in, but only because it is a 500ml, but never the less it is a lovely whisky! – $53.49

3.      Yamazaki 12 Year – The 18 year old may no longer be available in Canada thanks to some unfairly strict regulations applied to Scottish whiskies but not French cognac by the Ontario government; but frankly the 12 year old is better anyway, and half the price. – $55.49

4.      BenRiach Curiositas 10 Year – This 10 year old peated Speysider is all Islay, or is it? Think Lagavulin, Ardbeg or Laphroaig! – $57.99

5.      Glenmorangie Original 10 Year – Matured 10 years in ex-Bourbon barrels made from American white oak harvested from the distillery’s own forests in the Ozarks. – $58.99

Top 5 Whiskies Under $80

1.      Armorik Breton Single Malt – This French single malt is not a gimmick but rather a round full bodied and fruity whisky with lots of character! New and exclusive to KWM… – $62.99

2.      Fettercairn Fior – The recent rebranding of the distillery has highlights what many have known for a long time, the Fettercairn is hidden gem. The Fior is a lovely expression with spices, notes of dark chocolate and clean smoke. – $71.99

3.      Springbank 12 Year Cask Strength – Are you still mourning one of our 1996 Sprinbank Oloroso or Manzanilla casks than this whisky will give you new hope! -$76.99

4.      Duthies Bowmore 17 Year – We’re down to just a few bottles, so we’ve put it on sale to make room for some new whiskies. Originally $90.99 it’s on SALE, 25% off! – $68.24

5.      Duthies Auchroisk 20 Year – This whisky is from the original distillery referred to as the Singleton, and like the Bowmore it’s on sale until its gone, making it an excellent value. Regular $96.99, 25% off! -$72.74

Top 5 Whiskies Under $100

1.      Arran KWM Sherry Cask – One of two casks of Arran we bottled earlier in the year, this whisky is big, fruity and spicy but soft and surprisingly approachable at its natural cask strength. Less than 50 of the original 300 or so bottles left. – $84.99

2.      Bowmore Laimrig – What else can be said but wow! This new whisky exclusive to KWM is hands down the best whisky in the store under $100 with big candied fruit notes, chocolate and soft, earthy peat smoke. Bottled at 54.4% the whisky is billed as a cask strength version of the 15 year old Darkest originally bottled for the Swedish market, but that really doesn’t do it justice. It’s much more and at less than $5 more than it’s lower proof sibling, it’s a steal! – $87.99

3.      Big Peat Santa – A cask strength version of Douglas Laing’s Big Peat Islay Blended Malt whisky rebranded with a would be Santa on the label. Probably small enough to squeeze into a stocking the whisky is a combination of malt whisky from Ardbeg, Bowmore, Coal Ila and Port Ellen! – $88.99

4.      Duthies Ardbeg 16 Year – Mature Ardbegs aren’t easy to come by, including independently bottled ones. This 16 year old Ardbeg is a classic older oily expression, and one that won’t be available much longer! – $91.99

5.      Arran Sleeping Warrior – Arran is donating some of the proceeds from this bottling to the National Trust for Scotland with an eye to maintaining the hiking trails on Arran’s tallest mountain the Goatfell! Chocolate, dark cherries and stewed fruits. – $97.99

Top 5 Whiskies Under $150

1.      Ardbeg Corryvreckan – Rumour has it its going, going, gone? Not sure whether we will continue to see it through 2012 but we’ve stocked up on it! – $109.99

2.      Kilchoman KWM Sherry Cask 322 – The oldest Kilchoman yet to come to Canada and to the best of our knowledge the first Sherry matured Kilchoman available in North America! – $114.99

3.      Dalmore Cigar Malt – Perfect for those who like marrying cigars and single malts and also for those who enjoyed our 1995 Glendronach cask. -$116.99

4.      Edradour Natural Cask Strength – Scotland’s smallest distillery, and the Malt Monster(Aka Bad Beaver)’s favourite (inside joke, put out some robust sherry bombs, and this one is no exception. Bottled at its natural cask strength from a single cask. Exclusive to KWM. – $129.99

5.      Signatory Highland Park 1990 20 Year – We may only have 6 or a dozen bottles of this left and it’s no wonder why: 53.4%, 20 years of age and from a single Sherry Butt. – $134.99

Top 5 Whiskies Under $250

1.      Dalmore Castle Leod – This is the second bottling of Dalmore released to help support the spiritual home of the MacKenzie clan. This 1995 vintage Dalmore was finished in Bordeaux red wine casks. – $183.99

2.      Longrow 18 Year – This is the oldest Longrow currently available by the distillery, and this second edition is a more reasonably priced offering than the original which has retained a gentle, oily, peaty character and all of the complexity of the original. – $206.99

3.      Glenmorangie Signet – A not so secret concoction of older sherry cask matured Glenmorangie and a unique style created by using chocolate malts (heavily roasted barley) which adds an oiliness to the body and deep flavours of chocolate and coffee. – $226.49

4.      Berry’s Own Teaninich 1973 – Teaninich distillery’s whisky are very rarely bottled as single malts, making this 37 year old expression especially rare, and at less than $250 it is excellent value. Bottled at its natural cask strength 41.8% it is very complex with notes of vanilla, fresh baked French croissants, almond paste and coconut chips. – $246.99

5.      G&M Connoisseurs Choice Glen Keith 1968 – This 43 year old Glen Keith is a steal for its age at 46% or any strength for that matter, especially when you consider it is from a closed distillery. An unusual triple distilled Speyside whisky, this one is really soft. – $247.99

Top 5 Whiskies Under $500

1.      Berry’s Own Dailuaine 1973 – Another of Diageo’s little known, over looked distilleries, bottlings of Dailuaine are not often released; even independent ones. This one is especially rare given that it is 37 years of age. Soft delicate fruits. – $286.99

2.      Glendronach 1972 KWM Cask 711 39 Year – Without any bluster, this is hands down the best whisky in the store right now, regardless of price point. We discovered this cask while touring the distillery in May and it completely blew our minds. It’s also caught on with our customers, with close to 200 of the 300 bottles having already been sold! It is bottled at cask strength, 49.8% from a single Oloroso Sherry Butt. – $439.99

3.      Benromach 30 Year – Recently scored 96.5 pts in the Whisky Bible. Matured in a combination of Refill and First Fill European oak ex-Sherry casks. This whisky is from the pre-closure years and is distinct in style from that which had been made under the guidance of its current owners Gordon & MacPhail. The 30 year old and the 25 too are a windows on a bygone era. – $307.99

4.      Tulibardine 1976 – You may recall this whisky was confiscated from me while flying to Maui on West Jet. Melons and Tropical fruit notes. – $499.99

5.      Glen Garioch 1978 30 Year – Exclusive to KWM only 24 bottles of this whisky have come to Alberta. It is one of the oldest bottlings the distillery has released, and the oldest one in their current portfolio. It is also from an era when the distillery used a noticeable amount of peat. Beautifully packaged. – $448.99

Top 5 Whiskies Under $1000

1.      Glendronach Grandeur 31 Year – This has been a customer favourite for the last few years, and frankly it is surprising that we can still get it as batch 1 consisted of just 1013 bottles at 45.8%. Can’t see this continuing to be available much longer!– $76.99

2.      Glenfarclas 175th Anniversary Chairman’s Reserve – Bottled at 46% this 175th Anniversary bottling of Glenfraclas was produced by marrying 4 casks which collectively matured 175 years; the youngest of these casks was 43 years of age at the time of bottling. The whisky is one of 1296 bottles, only 60 of which have come to Canada, all of them to KWM. – $703.99

3.      O&R Port Ellen 31 Year – A lovely cask strength(52.1%) bottling of Port Ellen which was matured in a single ex-Bourbon cask. 253 total bottles, of which 15 have made it to Alberta exclusively to the Kensington Wine Market. – $732.99

4.      Glenglassaugh Manager’s Selection 1967 – The last in a series of four Glenglasaughs bottled to recognize the managers who ran the distillery from its reopening in the late 1960’s through its closure in 1986. This is a very soft but complex ex-sherry cask matured bottling, disgorged from the cask in just the nick of time, as it was bottled at 40. – $828.99

5.      Tullibardine 1962 – This 48 year old bottling of Tullibardine is one of the oldest whiskies the distillery has released to date. Appropriately the strength of this whisky is also 48%, which shows that the angels, while greedy, left a little behind for the rest of us to enjoy! – $790.99

Top 5 Whiskies $1000 and Up

1.      Signatory Bowmore 1970 40 Year – 43.2% from a single Oloroso sherry butt which yielded 489 bottles. It is exclusive to the KWM in Canada, and a big sherried expression of Bowmore with soft smooth peat. How often do you get the chance to buy a 40 year old Bowmore? The last distillery bottled Bowmore 40 year old sold for £6,500.00! – $1136.99

2.      Balvenie 40 Year – Only 150 bottles of this rare whisky are available world wide with but a handful finding their way to Canada. KWM has managed to acquire one of them. It was matured in sherry casks and refill hogsheads. – $4,633.99

3.      G&M Private Collection Glenlivet 5 Decade Set – One of only 50 individually numbered sets of 5 vintage bottlings of Glenlivet bottled by Gordon & MacPhail in conjunction with the release of their 70 year old bottling. Vintages included are: 1954, 1963, 1974, 1980 and 1991. $5664.99

4.      G&M Generations Glenlivet 1940 70 Year 200ml – A 200ml bottle of Glenlivet and the oldest bottle of whisky in the world beautifully packaged in a bespoke teardrop shaped crystal decanter accented in stirling silver. The whisky is beautiful too, and far less oaky than one would expect for a spirit which had matured most of the last century in an oak barrel. Only 175 bottles produced. An affordable version of the full bottle below! – $5,999.99

5.      G&M Generations Glenlivet 1940 70 Year 700ml – This is the full size version of bottle described above, of which only 100 bottles have been filled, with just 2 coming to Alberta. KWW hosted two sold out tastings of this whisky with Michael Urquhart this summer which were superb. This is the perfect gift for the collector who has everything, and is reasonably priced for a whisky of this age. If it were a Macallan, Dalmore or a Glenfiddich it would be over $100,000.00 a bottle! – $21,999.99


1.      The Ultimate Glenmorangie Tasting – To celebrate the launch of Glenmorangie’s latest opus, The Glenmorangie Pride, we are throwing a no holds barred tasting of the full line: The 10 Year Original, The Pride, The extra matured range, The Signet, The Quarter Century…and all things in between. To commemorate the event everyone will receive a monogrammed whisky glass! Thr Jan12 7PM – $150

2.      MS Calgary Whisky Festival – The Kensington Wine Market is proud to support an unforgettable evening of whisky tasting, art and music in support of The MS Society of Southern Alberta and those affected by MS. The event will feature more than 100 whiskies from the best distilleries in Scotland as well as select whiskies from around the world. Thr Jan 19 Location: Art Gallery of Calgary, 117 Stephen Avenue Mall 6 to 9PM. – $95

3.      Scots Wha Hae! Our 7th Annual Robbie Burns Supper – Caledonians Unite! It’s time to celebrate all things Scottish. Glenfarclas is the featured distillery for our 7th annual Robbie Burns Supper, and George Grant is our special guest. We’ll have bagpipes, poetry, haggis with neeps and tatties and six amazing single malts all from Glenfarclas, including—a Canadian first—a new single cask bottling of Glenfarclas exclusive to KWM! And a bonus special treat the Glenfarclas Chairman’s Reserve 175th Anniversary bottling, also exclusive to KWM! No previous whisky experience required. Wed Jan 25 Location: Fort Calgary 750 – 9th Avenue SE 7:00PM – $99

4.      Scotch Malt Whisky Society First Friday Tasting – Join the world’s largest whisky club and taste their latest, exclusive offerings. We host SMWS tastings the first Friday of each month. Members save $10 on class registration. Want to know more? smws.ca. Fri Feb 3 7PM – $45 / $35 for Members.

5.      Ancient Malts 40 Year Olds Tasting – Our blockbuster tasting for 2012 is going to feature not one, not two, not three, but SIX 40 Year Old whiskies. We are offering two tastings over two consecutive evenings, take your pick. Each participant will receive a monogrammed glass to commemorate the event. Thu Mar 29 7PM and FRI MAR 30 7PM – $275


New Rums from Rum Nation

More details and tasting notes to come in the next Malt Messenger.

1.      Rum Nation Barbados 10 Year – $52.99

2.      Rum Nation Demerara Solera No. 14 – $54.99

3.      Rum Nation Demerara 23 Year – $163.99

4.      Rum Nation Jamaica 25 Year – $163.99

5.      Rum Nation Martinique Hors D’Age – $68.99

6.      Rum Nation Martinique 12th Anniversary – $123.99

7.      Rum Nation Panama 18 Year – $82.99

8.      Rum Nation Ron Millonario Solera 15 Year – Best bet for anyone looking for Ron Zacapa! – $47.99

9.      Rum Nation Ron Millonario XO – $108.99



If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store. Feel free to forward me any whisky news you feel should be included in a future issue of The Malt Messenger; it might just get included.

All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at www.kensingtonwinemarket.com.. All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change!

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger!


Andrew Ferguson

KWM Scotchguy

1257 Kensington Rd. NW

Calgary, AB, Canada

T2N 3P8


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s