Cask 711 Kensington Wine Market Exclusive
Oloroso Sherry Butt
In 1972 Canada was fighting for their lives against the Russians…in hockey. Scotland was…well…not kicking at each other in skates, but busily producing some of the finest spirit the world has ever seen. As a Canadian AND a Scotch lover I’m not sure who comes out ahead here. Let’s call it a draw.
Many moons and thirty-nine years after the ’72 Summit Series (and the filling of a certain cask at the GlenDronach distillery in Speyside) a ragged crew of Canadians hopped the pond for Scotchland, touring distilleries and swilling spirit. In their wake they left nothing but stumbling footprints, empty bottles and a bunch of poor shell-shocked Scots shaking their heads and sweeping up the mess.
Though the leader of this motley collection, Andrew Ferguson, was a relatively fine upstanding young man, there was also a devil in their midst. It should come as no surprise that the devil would have an agenda, and let’s face it…against the devil, only the purest stand a chance. Having tipped more than one glass with Mr. Ferguson, I can attest to him being upstanding, but let me also add…I think his halo may be a little tarnished. Against this monster…he hadn’t a hope in hell.
This devil has been known by many names. Here on ATW he is called Maltmonster.
Fortunately for us, while the Maltmonster is a master of subtlety when it comes to writing and sarcasm (indeed his pieces for ATW are so woven through with hidden references and no-name name-dropping that a lifetime of lifetimes couldn’t untangle ‘em all), his subtle touch goes by the wayside when he finds a whisky worth seeing the light of day. This leads us back to the tale at hand…
Upon first tasting cask 711 in the warehouses at GlenDronach, the Monster realized that his heart would now forevermore be divided. His dear, sweet wife holding one half…and a stunning 39 year old with a full body and great strength of character with the other. In order to have both of his true loves, he began to work his dark magic on Mr. Ferguson.
Fear not. This tale has a happy ending.
Much to the benefit of whisky lovers all over the Canadian West coast, the Maltmonster and his cohorts managed to convince Andrew (or maybe Andrew convinced himself?) that a cask of 39 year old single malt could be a viable financial investment for the Kensington Wine Market. Hence…KWM’s latest single cask exclusive bottling.
Though I don’t adore this one with the fierce dedication that MM and AF do, I admit that I do love it. It was mentioned that perhaps it was a little long in the tooth (my words, not theirs) and I tend to agree, but it is by no means too far over. A few years younger would have allowed the fruits to shine a little more brightly still.
The change from first pour to first sip is incredible. Allow it plenty of time to open and unfold. It really is quite brilliant. The nose is rich in spice and exotic fruit. Orange and purple grape. Chocolate and dark roast coffee beans. There is a mature oaky note that carries a whiff of latex paint (not unpleasant). Over all of it there is a lingering scent of freshly baked cinnamon twists.
Huge tropical fruit delivery on first sips. Big, bold and mouthcoating. Chocolate, candlewax and oak all over this one. Big oak.
Great cask selection, guys. I must get my own bottle before this disappears. A deal with the devil perhaps?
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Pat