Spanish Love!

by Dave

One of my favourite places to be in our store is within our Spanish section. Over the years we have managed to get a fantastic selection of exclusive wines from all over Spain and develop strong relationships with the producers’. Just recently I was able to travel to Europe and Spain to discover and meet some of the amazing winemakers who make the wine that we love! I always knew that I loved the wines and have been fascinated with the idea of Spain but after having visited and seen what it is all about my mind has been blown and I can’t believe how lucky we are to have the wines that we do.

During my trip, I was able to visit quite a few different wineries and try lots of different wines. One of the things that amazed me the most is that we do indeed work with some of the best winemakers in Spain. I’m not just saying that: there are two main producers that we work with that have been voted top winemakers in their respective regions. Toni Coca i Fito was named top winemaker from Catalunya this year. He produces many of the wines we feature from the region and also consults with some of the other wineries that we carry as well. The other winemaker is Basilio Izquierdo from the Rioja region. After spending about 30 years as head winemaker with CVNE, he now enjoys being a mad scientist winemaker; producing only the style of wine that he wants to. Basilio is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. He is a whirlwind of energy and emotion and an absolute blast to be around.

My first main stop within Spain was Barcelona. After absorbing my fair share of cava, paella and the city nightlife I managed to stroll away from the city to the Priorat and Monstant region. I had read about this region before but I don’t think I was completely ready for what I saw. We started in Monstant. We went to check out Coca I Fito winery and their newest project; where they have purchased new lands and are working on planting vines and putting in a winery. Honestly, I don’t know where Miquel and Toni, the brothers behind Coca I Fito get the energy for everything that they are doing because after just 1 day running around with Miquel I was exhausted. We started the day by tasting white wine and their award-winning rose from Catalunya, enjoying both the wine itself and the view from the top of their property which is an amazing lookout where you can see all of Montsant with its glorious clay and red soils, scattered by old vines everywhere. The wines were fantastic and helped quench the thirst brought on by the blaring sun and +30-degree weather.

From there we headed to where they currently have their winery to taste some of their red wines in their cellar. The top of their winery is a bit more industrial looking with a smaller space. Stainless steel vats line both sides of the walls, wine bottles are piled high in the back patiently waiting to be filled and machinery is strewn everywhere ready to be put in action as harvest is just around the corner. The cellar itself is a different story. Small, sectioned rooms made of brick and lined with barrels from floor to ceiling in each room. Not only did we taste some of the wines from the bottle but we were also able to taste a bunch of different wines from the barrels and see how the oak can change the wine as well as interact with different terroirs. For pairing, we were supplied with a baguette and a special surprise. It turns out that Coca I Fito also make their own olive oil. A new experience for me was just dipping baguette in olive oil and sprinkling salt flakes over it. I have been converted and can’t wait to do it again. Never thought something so simple could be so amazing!

That afternoon we made our way to Priorat to visit Trossos del Priorat. This is a winery where Toni does a bit of consulting on the wine but the head winemaker is Eva Escude, whom we met and tasted four of her wines. Trossos is a beautiful newer winery that even has a gorgeous small hotel on the property. Everything looks beautiful and meticulously maintained. All of the vines are overlooking the valley of Priorat. The main difference between Priorat and Montsant is the hills and how steep they are, as well as the soil. Montsant contains more rolling hills with beautiful red soils while Priorat has very steep hills which consist of much rockier soil.

Within both regions but most noticeable in Priorat are the old terraces found all over the hills. Some of these long-existing terraces are being taken advantage of with vines planted in neat rows on the flattened surfaces, but the rest are hidden by forest. It was explained to me that, the whole of both regions was once planted under vine until phylloxera hit. Then, in a 30-40 year span, everything was decimated. Unable to maintain the dying vines, people had no choice but to abandon the viniculture. It is astounding to see now because all you see is forest everywhere and I found it hard to imagine that up until the early 1900s, it was all thriving vineyard space. However, every time I looked into the forest I would see these huge trees on top of terraced areas. Breathtaking and beautiful. I honestly can’t wait for the chance to head back and get to know it better.

If you go to Barcelona, I know it is hard to get away from, but Priorat and Monsant are both regions worth exploring and checking out the amazing wines they have to offer. If you can’t get there don’t worry, we have you covered and can help you out with some amazing bottles from both areas at the store.

La Rioja

As a continuation of the trip, La Rioja was one of the top places for me. It may not be that popular for your everyday tourist but it definitely should be. It is filled with fantastic wine, great food, a thriving nightlife, beautiful small historic villages everywhere and spellbinding views.

The Rioja is a large wine region in the Northeastern area of Spain. It is a long valley with mountain ranges on both sides, approximately 130 km’s long and split into 3 different regions. Rioja Alta(high), Rioja Baja(low) and Rioja Alavesa. These are divided due to the layout of the regions and also the Ebro River which separates the Rioja Alavesa to the North. Rioja Baja and Alta are separated at approximately the capital city of Rioja, Logroño. The Alavesa and Alta are quite a bit hillier than Rioja Baja, and Alavesa the hilliest of them all. We were actually able to find a lookout where you could see over the whole region and get an amazing perspective for the area and how the hills change throughout the area.

One of the first wineries that I visited was Baigorri. They are a medium sized winery for Rioja and have an absolutely stunning winery. It is a large building that when you look at it from outside you would never guess at the actual size of it on the inside. It is made up of 5 different levels and each level carries out a part of the winemaking. They don’t use any force on the wine at all and the wine is only moved through gravity. If they need to move wine to a higher level they will actually hook a crane up to the container that it is in and raise it back up. It is an astonishing setup and I haven’t seen anything done to that level. They were amazing and we were able to do their tasting menu paired with some of their wines to see how great they go with different food as well.

The other exclusive winery that we visited wasn’t so much a winery but rather a self-storage area that has been changed into a makeshift winery. This was one of the most different setups for a winery but this was a winemaker that completely amazed me and I hope someday to get to hang out with again. This was Basilio Izquierdo’s winery. As I mentioned before he has been voted one of the 50 most outstanding winemakers in the world by the Bordeaux School of Wine which for him was an amazing honour since he was recognized by others outside of Spain as well.  I would say that is quite the accomplishment. He started the day by showing me huge clay amphora that he hopes someday he will be able to use. He, unfortunately, has never been able to use them yet just because he doesn’t make that quantity of wine. All 3 of them were almost as high as the roof and beautiful. They were used by his grandparents in the past and are from 1914 and looking as impressive as ever.

Basilio Izquierdo

Basilio Izquierdo!

After that Basilio took us around to different spots within the place and it seemed everywhere we went, we were navigating through stainless steel containers, barrels of new experiments, and different equipment for making wine. After talking a bit about wine we headed downstairs to his cellars where he has all of his wines divided up depending on grape or vineyard and vintages as well. We started tasting from the barrels to be able to compare how each barrel changes the flavour and then just kept tasting and tasting. It was amazing. He treated every barrel like an old friend, remembering what it was, where it came from and what kind of barrel it was made with. Basilio buys his grapes from different vineyards but they are all people he has been working with for a long time and from very small plots with old vines. Some of the grapes come from plots that are only 5 rows and since they are old vines, they also have very small production. After trying as many of the barrels that we could we headed back upstairs to try a couple new treats that we don’t offer yet but hopefully will be getting in the not too distant future. What we do carry from him is amazing and definitely worth a try.

After Rioja, unfortunately, my trip had to come to an end and it was time to head back to the wonderful world of Kensington Wine Market. Reading about these wines and the regions they come from has always been fun. Getting the opportunity to travel, meet the people behind them, see what inspires them and the beauty that is put into each bottle has been a level of experience well beyond what is on the back of a wine label or in a book though.

To play even a small part of the magnificent world of wine is, I feel, a phenomenal gift. Every time I open up and share a new bottle from Spain, I will think of friends I have made along the way and the wonderful places and experiences that they represent. I love that at our store you can find these examples not just from Spain but from many different regions of the world. Every bottle tells a story, and every section of our shop is filled with phenomenon such as these, only waiting to be uncorked or uncapped.

I cannot wait to help you discover your own next wonder!

Salud!
Dave
dave@kensingtonwinemarket.com
Twitter: @smilingvines
Instagram: @tick_ec

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SMWS Canada Outturn for October 2018

by Evan

Happy 7th Birthday to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada!

October marks the 84th Outturn for the SMWS Canada and its 7th year of operation by the dynamic duo of Rob and Kelly Carpenter. During that time it has grown from having Kensington Wine Market as the flagship store to including Branches at Keg & Cork in Edmonton, Legacy Liquor Store in Vancouver and The Strath in Victoria. Information on other these other fine retail establishments can be found here.

This Outturn had quite a few tricks up its sleeve, including:

  • Not one, but TWO bottles from distilleries never seen before at our Canada chapter in SMWS bottle form!
  • One of the above bottles is from a distillery in Northern Ireland that is notoriously difficult to obtain casks from. This was the first SMWS cask from distillery number 51 in 25 years!
  • The other is from a Highland distillery with the SMWS number (lucky) 13.
  • Only one cask finish in the lineup this time around, but it is a wild one from distillery number 5. One person at our tastings commented that this is not a sit back and relax dram – this whisky forces you to pay attention to what is happening in the glass.
  • There is also one very unctuous and sherried Milestone Cask from distillery number 30. Some found it sulfered and tangy – others didn’t care and asked for more.
  • To cap the night off, two Islay bottles were featured, both showing divergent style from one another.

What this adds up to is one impressive seventh birthday!

All of this information, plus the information on previous releases that are still available can be found on our website here. If any SMWS bottles show as being out of stock on our website please contact us – we might still be able to get more. As always we would like to give a big thank-you to our awesome neighbour’s Peasant Cheese for supplying the small bites for the tastings. Also a big thanks to Rob and Kelly for the birthday mini-cupcakes!

Cheers,
Evan
evan@kensingtonwinemarket.com
Twitter and Instagram: @sagelikefool
Instagram: one part of @kwmwhisky

51.12 – PASTRIES AND SWEET TREATS
This 15 year old Irish whiskey was matured in a 1st fill barrel and comes in at 58.9%
Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla
Outturn:
Panel’s tasting note: “A first sniff promises much – milk chocolate caramel shortbread, indulgent apple and apricot pastries, turning malty with dried flowers and gentle herbs (chamomile). Sweet and spicy (ginger and white pepper heat) to taste, then pineapple, vanilla, butterscotch and milk chocolate. Add a drop of water and the aromas are crème brulee, icing sugar, vanilla, a hint of lemon and then dried fruits (apricot, mango). It becomes slightly winey, bitter and savoury. The taste is of sweet tea (not tannic), spicy heat, vanilla, caramel, chocolate and fizzy orange drinks. There’s a hint of herbs and a waxy mouth coating.” $309.99

48.97 – 1950s ICE CREAM PARLOUR
This 10 year old Speysider comes in at 58.3% after maturing in a refill barrel
Flavour profile: Sweet & spicy
Outturn: 192 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The nose wafts warm, welcoming vanilla aromas – like a 1950s ice cream parlour, with strawberry milk shake, fudge and chocolate profiteroles – someone is chewing Dentyne (subtle cinnamon) and the bar stools are covered in leather. The palate has sweetness, depth and good viscosity – toffee, brown sugar and white chocolate, with gentle chili and old-fashioned gobstopper mouth-etching spice. The reduced nose finds biscuit tins and caramel apple granny cake, and then light liquorice and anise make an entrance. The palate has become wonderfully sweet and accessible as that early vanilla returns to vanquish any chili; sweet cinnamon, clove and dry oak leave haunting tingles.” $131.99

13.56 – THE DARK SIDE OF THE MELON
From a Highland distillery, this was matured in a refill barrel and comes in at 60.7%
Flavour profile: Spicy & dry
Outturn: 186 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “Green aromas of ripe melon and freshly cut grass advanced towards the floral feelings of marigold, clover and spice-laden frankincense. Suggestions of cedar beckoned a woody tone that teased with sweet cereals and bread dough to conceal a palate that deployed an altogether darker strategy. The first sip conveyed fresh ginger and a viscous texture that coated the tongue like thick oil. Citrus skin provided a lift towards ice cream cones dipped in muscovado sugar before we headed into unlit territory. The spiciness of mince pie mix blended with bitter chocolate and thick cut marmalade on rye bread before a woody finish gave way to tobacco in a soft leather pouch.” $141.99

5.62 – CRUMBLED SWEETS IN A LEATHER SATCHEL
This 17 year old Lowlander spent 15 years in ex-bourbon wood before being transferred to an Oloroso hogshead for the remainder of its maturation, and comes in at 58.8%
Flavour profile: Sweet & spicy
Outturn: 240 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We were taken back to our childhoods with the familiar smell of lunch boxes and new leather satchels containing the crumbled remains of mint chocolate, parma violets and cherry cake. The sweet smell of desserts bellowed from the kitchen, as tins of fruit salad were prized open and mixed with thick cream. Gooseberry tart was fresh from the oven and issued an irresistible aroma of fresh pastry. The palate carried the spicy kick of horseradish sauce with sultanas and treacle before veering towards rum and raison ice cream sprinkled with chilies. The finish introduced wood and tobacco with sweet plum and marzipan that faded into the floral tones of rose water. After 15 years in ex-bourbon wood, we transferred this whisky to an Oloroso hogshead for the remainder of its maturation.” $169.99

30.100 – AN AMBULANCE ABUNDANCE OF FRUITCAKE
This 20 year old Speysider is 56.5% and was matured in a 2nd fill sherry butt
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits
Outturn: 636 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “A comforting fragrance filled the room as frankincense and cinnamon blended with toasted malt loaf and cherry bakewell tarts to give a heavy sense of sweetness. Then strawberry jelly gave way to raisins and sticky dessert wine accompanied by weighty Madeira cake. Water encouraged an even darker temperament as prunes, dates and Pedro Ximenez sherry paved the way for fruitcake and mince pies with brandy butter. We finally moved on to the palate, undeniably smooth with a mouth-watering juiciness encased in chewy toffee and caramel with brazil nuts and chocolate nibs. Battenberg cake and butter icing brought more sugary delights before we rounded up with stewed pears and plums covered in dark chocolate sauce.” $204.99

10.133 – AN ENTIRE MOUTH EXPERIENCE
This 10 year old from Islay comes in at 62.2% after maturing in a refill barrel
Flavour profile: Oily & coastal
Outturn: 195 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We found the nose sweetly seductive – toffee apples, gooey caramel, dark clover honey, biscuits and toasted coconut with faint suggestions of beach bonfires and seared scallops. The palate was impressively mouth-filling – chewy textures, good viscosity and lively fizz – ‘an entire mouth experience’ said one panellist; once again, that sweetness of toffee, butterscotch, dark chocolate and salted caramel. With water, the nose remained vibrant – ice-cream and raspberry sauce by the seaside. The (slightly) reduced palate still danced on our tongues; sweet and salty popcorn and dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt – hints of sweet cinnamon and tar tingled the finish.” $150.99 SOLD OUT!

29.231 – SUBLIME SERENITY
This 20 year old from Islay was matured in a refill barrel and comes in at 48.5%
Flavour profile: Lightly peated
Outturn: 228 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We were on deck, soaking in the sun while cruising along the south coast of Islay spotting, in the distance, the peat smoke billowing from the pagoda roof all mixing with the salty sea air. Can it get any better than this? Yes, wait until you try it. A delicate balance of sweetness and smoke enhanced by a mineralic note yet a creamy texture so often found in Pouilly-Fume wines from the Loire Valley. Carefully adding a drop of water we indulged in fragrant ripe strawberries with sugar and fresh mint then covered with Chantilly cream, and on the palate soft sweet smoke.” $291.99


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TOP 21 NEW BEERS TO ARRIVE AT KWM IN SEPTEMBER!!!(YOU WON’T BELIEVE #3,7,13,14 OR 20)

By Shawn

Greetings and welcome to our weird fall/winter hybrid season! Although if we’re paying attention (and when it comes to the weather, I rarely am), I don’t think there’s anything hybrid about it! My head has been all over the place today, and thanks to inappropriate tires, so was my car. It’s early afternoon as of writing this, so that’s an acceptable time to crack something and just try to forget about whatever is happening outside right? I don’t know what I’m going to open yet, but it’s likely one of the following, which also happen to be all the fun new beers that have come in over the past few weeks. I apologize for my absence in September, I took some well deserved time off, and as usual, it takes another week or two to catch up after that, so here I am! More or less caught up, excited to share some ridiculously exciting beers, along with all the fall and seasonal offerings trickling into the store.

Before I give you my Buzzfeed-like TOP 10 NEW BEERS ON THE KENSINGTON WINE MARKET SHELVES (You won’t BELIEVE #6), I want to let you all know that if you haven’t seen my Brews News newsletter I sent out last week, I mentioned this year’s Craft Beer Advent Calendar. This year’s Calendar consists of 12 of our favourite brewers from the Craft Beer Importers portfolio, each making 2 beers. 1 beer of their choice, and one they then collaborate with a different (and new to us) brewer for a second beer! This year the calendar will run roughly $160 (with some wiggle room), and if you want to commit to one before October 10th, I’ll give you a 5% discount! Feel free to give the shop a call (403-283-8000) or email me at Beerguy@kensingtonwinemarket.com with a name, phone number, email address and a method of payment.

Ok, now that that is out of the way, let’s get into all these new brews. Check out these tasty suds (I hate that name).

Central City Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Ale $6.49 for a 650mL bottle

Fernie Ghostrider Pumpkin Brown $7.49 for a 650mL bottle

Les Trois Mousquetaires Oktoberfest $11.69 for a 750mL bottle

Yukon Pumpkin Spice Ale $3.99 for a 473mL tall can

Epic Imperial Pumpkin Porter $16.29 for a 650mL bottle

Evil Twin Soul Made IPA $9.79 for a 473mL tall can

Evil Twin Rhubarb Compote Sour $9.79 for a 473mL tall can

Evil Twin Hot Toddy-ish $9.99 for a 473mL tall can

Evil Twin Everyday Once a Day Give Yourself an IPA $7.39 for a 473mL tall can

Evil Twin Breaking the Waves IIPA $9.99 for a 473mL tall can

Jester King Funk Metal Sour Stout $32.99 for a 750mL bottle

Jester King Queen’s Order $26.99 for a 750mL bottle

Jester King Demitone $32.99 for a 75-mL bottle

Jester King Le Petit Prince $20.99 for a 750mL bottle

Dandy Premium Lager $17.09 for a 4-pack of tall cans

Dandy Cosmic Dancer ISA $19.19 for a 4-pack of tall cans

Dandy All the Young Dudes $19.09 for a 4-pack of tall cans

Breakside Thirst Trap IPA $11.29 for a 650mL bottle

Dageraad Bright Side $4.99 for a 473mL tall can

Collective Arts IPA 6 $5.79 for a 473mL tall can

Wild Rose WR4 Pale $8.29 for a 650mL bottle

I know this turned out to be a little long-winded, but we had a lot to get through! That’s about all I’m going to say at the moment, and to make you feel a little better about this crazy day, I’m going to leave you with a picture of Bryan juggling Jester King bottles!
Cheers!
Shawn
Twitter: @ShawnsBrewsCGY

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Reds of Summer

by Abigail

There is this idea that when the weather gets hot, we must put away the red wine and only drink white. It makes sense, but there are times when you just crave a glass of red, and it’s cruel to limit yourself to one style of wine. So what red wine works best when it’s 30+ degrees outside, and how can you make it more thirst quenching? Well, step one is to chill your red wine! It’s something we don’t see too much in Calgary, but trust me, it’s a life changer.

This tasting was to show an array of red wines that can be perfect for patio weather, from the lighter, fruity style, to bold and beautiful.

Tiberio Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo 2017
Abruzzo, Italy
To start of the evening, we started with a wine that doesn’t necessarily look like a red. This wine from Tiberio is classified as a red wine, but shows more like a darker rose, due to the shorter maceration period. Based in the sunbathed hills of Abruzzo lays Tiberio. A biodynamic, organic and sustainable winery that focuses on the unique beauty of their region. Their Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo is made from 100% Montepulciano, producing a wine that is fruity, fresh, with earthy notes and a touch of minerality. $29.99

Big Easy Radio Perpetual Holidaze 2016
McLaren Vale, Australia
winemaker Justin Lane worked at Alpha Box and Dice and Redheads wineries before starting up his own project, Big Easy Radio. He works with a variety of vineyards, making small-production wines from interesting grapes. Perpetual Holidaze is 100% Grenache, made in a light, juicy, and easy drinking style, making it perfect for any day on the patio. Chill the bottle down, and enjoy! $29.99

G.D. Vajra Clare J.C. 2017
Piedmont, Italy
One of the best-kept secrets out of Piedmont is the winery G.D. Vajra. Located at 1300ft in elevation and being the highest winery in Barolo they are fortunate enough to have some of the latest ripening grapes in Barolo and also providing smaller berries with thicker skins. A lot of the vineyards were planted in 1947, but the winery itself was not started until 1972 and the first vintage was released in 1978. $35.99

According to Giuseppe Vajra who is fourth generation winemaker “Claré J.C. is a Nebbiolo made according to a 1606 note from the House of Savoia jeweller Gian Battista Croce. This wine is a time-capsule into an era when Nebbiolo wines tasted fresher, lifted and slightly crisp. This is a wine for people who are young, brave at heart and curious about Piemonte forgotten past.”

Produced with grapes from younger vines, Claré J.C. is a 100% Nebbiolo vinification. In 2017, approximately 25% of the fruit was vinified whole cluster.

Light ruby colour, slightly sparkling and very fresh, eye-catching. The nose opens with red fruits, vin-nouveau like aromatics, spices, gentle incense and a touch of very unique Nebbiolo stem. Mouth is vibrant, refreshing and with plenty of energy. This wine is meant to serve slightly chilled during the warmer months (14-16°C) and can pair an amazing array of diverse food, from aperitifs and appetizers to fried delicacies and BBQs.

Du Grappin Beaujolais Village 2017
Beaujolais, France
Lancié, just south of Morgon and Fleurie, is considered by some to be the forgotten cru of Beaujolais. Fifty-year-old vines root deeply into alluvial pink granite on a south-east facing slope beneath the village itself. Whole clusters of Gamay Noir are kept under a protective layer of CO2 for intracellular fermentation (Carbonic Maceration). After a week, the grapes are pressed off into stainless steel and used Pinot Noir barrels to finish fermenting. After an additional five months on lees, the wine is bottled with minimal sulphur. $32.99

Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Noir 2016
Victoria, Australia
Montalto is a small scale production winery from the Mornington Peninsula, South Australia, where John Mitchell founded the winery in 1998. They lease several vineyards across the peninsula to showcase the true diversity of the cool climate region. This Pinot Noir from their Pennon Hill line shows the elegance of Mornington Peninsula, with notes of fresh blue and red berries, earth, a touch of spice, blossom, and with bright acidity to round out this complex wine. This wine sees a touch of French Oak, which beautifully complements its delicate characteristics. $32.99

Zorzal Eggo Bonaparte 2015
Mendoza, Argentina
Zorzal is a winery based in Mendoza, Argentina, but is partly owned by a group of Calgarians! The Eggo line focuses in on the terroir of each vineyard, creating an array of different varietals that are fermented and aged in concrete eggs. They believe that within these eggs, the molecules of the wine cannot detect gravity, and thus, they are thrust into a circular motion around the egg, softening the molecules out.
The Eggo Bonaparte is made from 100% Bonarda and is vibrant, complex and enticing. Colourful notes of spice, blackberries, blueberries, minerality and earth. $36.99

Majella Sparkling Shiraz 2009
South Australia, Australia
Majella makes some of the finest wines in Coonawarra. Famed for their reds, they have also gained a reputation for a wonderful Sparkling Shiraz. Using young Shiraz grapes they barrel ferment and then age it for about 9 months in American oak. In the true Aussie tradition Majella uses some really fantastic vintage port for the dosage. Great as an aperitif or a digestif, with meat, pasta or cheese, and not too shabby on its own. $39.99

Red wines aren’t just for winter. You can enjoy them all year round, and this selection is barely the tip of the iceberg of what reds are perfect for a hot Calgarian summer. Remember to play around with the serving temperature! Chill your red wines down, and see what works for you!

Thank you again for everyone who attended, and the biggest thank you to Peasant Cheese for supplying us with fantastic snacks!

- Abigail Pavka
abigail@kensingtonwinemarket.com
@denimjacketvino

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We Are Hiring

Join the KWM team!

Ahoy, Matey! The small but fierce crew at Kensington Wine Market is looking for another eccentric talented individual to join our team. Want to hop aboard our pirate ship? Here is what we are looking for:

  • Ideally, we would love it if you have some experience in customer service in liquor stores, restaurant and/or hospitality industry.
  • Love and Knowledge of Wine, Beer, Whisky and/or Spirits is a big plus.
  • Social Media use and marketing experience using Twitter/Facebook/Instagram would also be handy. It is not necessarily needed, but if you have prior experience we would love to know!
  • Full time with flexible availability for various shifts including evenings and weekends.

As you would be handling alcohol an up to date Proserve certification is a must.
Kensington Wine Market is made up of a positive group of hard-working people striving to keep our ship sailing in the same direction. Because we are a shop with a small amount of employees, we end up wearing many hats. Exhibit A: This very job posting. What is with this bizarre and fantastical text? Why would one of our whisky staff insist on using this valuable ad space to write about this liquor-purveying establishment as if it were a marauding nautical vessel from a bygone era?

But enough about them.

ARE YOU:

  • A motivated individual with an interest in food and beverages?
  • Able to (casually and/or power) lift cases of wine whilst maintaining a positive attitude?
  • Constantly telling friends about that new favourite bottle you just found that nobody knows about yet?

DO YOU:

  • Have a curious obsession with cleaning, dusting and organization?
  • Enjoy tasting delicious treats and having intense discussions on what would pair well with them?
  • Have a misguided belief that nearly anything can be related back to pirate ships?

Then we would love to hear from you!

You can email your resume to dave@kensingtonwinemarket.com but if you really want to convince us, coming into Kensington Wine Market is your best bet!

Posted in Community, New arrivals, Store | Comments Off

Scotch Malt Whisky Society September 2018 Outturn

It is September, which means it is back to school time for those with kids in the correct age bracket. Summer is showing signs of being on the way out here in Calgary, with leaves on trees starting to turn from green to yellow and orange.

It also means we go back to having seven new bottles to sample from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society: Canada chapter. Here are some things to look forward to with this month’s Outturn:

  • 4 bottles are north of 60% ABV
  • 2 of those bottles are north of 64% ABV
  • possibly to make up for this, the oldest bottle in the lineup is less than 50% ABV
  • This is only the second time we have seen a bottle in Canada of SMWS distillery #107 – the first being a Speyside Festival bottling released back in June of this year.
  • 3 bottles are less than 10 years old

Don’t let the age on the bottle guide you. The two 8 year olds in the lineup are both superb and show maturity well beyond their years in my opinion. That might be the reason they are selling so fast…

It is a solid lineup in my opinion, but then again it usually is! Don’t take my word it though – come in and taste a few to see for yourself!

All of this information, plus the information on previous releases that are still available can be found on our website here. If any SMWS bottles show as being out of stock on our website please contact us – we might still be able to get more. As always we would like to give a big thank-you to our awesome neighbour’s Peasant Cheese for supplying the small bites for the tastings.

Cheers,
Evan
evan@kensingtonwinemarket.com
Twitter and Instagram: @sagelikefool
Instagram: one part of @kwmwhisky

73.98 – LAYERS OF HARMONY
This 17 year old Speysider comes in at 54.1%, and after 16 years in ex-bourbon wood it was transferred to a 1st fill Oloroso hogshead for the remainder of its maturation.
Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow
Outturn: 186 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “A kiss of sherry evokes the Andalusian sun – the nose has crème brûlée, apricot Danish, fig rolls, mandarins in syrup, ripe melon and ice wine. The deep, rich taste has muscovado, dark honey and lebkuchen (apricot jam, dark chocolate, cinnamon, ginger and clove) –flooding the mouth with pleasure. It absolutely does not need water, but in the interests of research we sniffed hazelnuts, marmalade, toffee apples and dried marigolds. The palate now had honey oat crunch, blueberry muffin and clove rock – layers of harmony and a long-lasting echo. 16 years in ex-bourbon wood, then transferred into a 1st fill Oloroso hogshead.” $185

35.199 – SPICY, CHERRY CHOCOLATE BROWNIE
This 8 year old Speysider was matured in a 1st fill barrel and comes in at 59.5%
Flavour profile: Sweet & spicy
Outturn: 214 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “An array of sweet citric aromas greeted the Panel, described as a hot cup of ginger root tea with lemon and mint, a warm, moist and crunchy lemon drizzle dessert tray and a cinnamon pineapple upside-down cake. Plenty of spicy sweetness on the palate neat like eating spicy cherry chocolate brownies made with plenty of cinnamon and a touch of cayenne pepper as well as grilled pineapple with rum and lime-ginger syrup. Diluted, the impression was of a carpenter’s workshop with plenty of waxed wood notes whilst a lot more mellow to taste; buttermilk bran rusks dipped into a coconut milk hot chocolate.” $122

7.184 – HANDBAGS AND HOOKAHS
This 12 year old Speysider comes in at 61% after maturing in a 1st fill barrel
Flavour profile: Spicy & dry
Outturn: 187 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The nose caught one of us sniffing a lady’s handbag (leather, cigarette packet, perfume, Polo mints) while another was in a Hookah Bar sucking fruity tobacco through a shisha pipe. The palate had the flavours of tropical fruit salad (mango, pineapple, papaya, apricot) and hints of Southern Comfort, new leather and woody spice. The reduced nose had perfumed tobacco, honeysuckle and minty notes, but was mainly sweet and fruity – corn candies, cherry-flavoured sweets and upside-down pineapple cake. The reduced palate was tart and dry (more fruit skins than fruit) with peppery arugula leaves, aniseed, tobacco and clove notes warming the finish.” $150

G4.16 – MELLIFLUOUS CONTENTMENT
This 35 year old single grain whisky from the Lowlands spent 32 years in ex-bourbon wood before being transferred to a Sauternes barrique for the remainder of its maturation, and comes in at 49.8%
Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla
Outturn: 216 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “The nose evokes the sweet end of the whisky spectrum (corn candies, dripping honey, ‘rocky road’) but time brings complexity – charred oak, lemon herbals and ox-eye daisies. The taste offers lip-smacking sweetness (banana toffee, butterscotch, pineapple), restrained spice and dry oak. On the nose, water intensifies that contented feeling – a picnic of desserts in a summer rose garden. The palate is now mellow, mellifluous and easy-drinking – rose Turkish Delight and mango, with light, bittersweet memories of oak on the finish; it may be old, but it’s in its prime. Transferred from ex-bourbon wood to a Sauternes barrique after 32 years.” $294

107.10 – A FORTRESS OF DARKNESS
This 8 year old Speysider from a refill Oloroso butt comes in at 65.4%
Flavour profile: Deep, rich & dried fruits
Outturn: 612 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “With an angry noise the portcullis was heaved open and we entered into the dark and formidable fortress. An overpowering aroma wafted from the kitchen of roasting boar and venison broth with spicy notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. We entered the main hall with its chandeliers dripping with candle wax and heavy oak furniture constructed from gigantic slices of tree. Pheasants hung from the beams and on the table sat a singed ginger cake, a dense brick of fruitcake and a flagon of treacly Pedro Ximenez sherry. We sat by the open fire and helped ourselves to nuts and bitter chocolate that was so dark it seemed to absorb what little light there was in the room.” $151

4.233 – ASIAN-STYLE BARBECUE
This 11 year old from the Highland Islands, comes in at 64.2% after maturing in a refill hogshead
Flavour profile: Lightly peated
Outturn: 300 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “This seemed to be a dram for all sorts of situations: someone opened a first aid kit on a tractor, another installed a new inner tube in a bicycle tire whilst yet another dug deep into a peat bog searching for buried bog-wood to make an artistic sculpture. Thankfully we all agreed on the palate; chewy, crispy yummy like Chinese style barbecued pork known as Char Siu, braised with a mixture of oyster sauce, soy sauce, red onions, garlic and red fermented tofu. Water added the smoky/fishy aroma of char-grilled Thai-spiced tuna which was also apparent on the taste with the addition of Jasmine flavoured rice.” $166

10.129 – A ROUND TRIP JOURNEY
This 9 year old from Islay comes in at 60.1% after maturing in a refill barrel
Flavour profile: Peated
Outturn: 199 bottles
Panel’s tasting note: “We were greeted by a sweet smoky aroma that reminded us of an antique wooden cigar box or a well-used leather pipe and tobacco pouch which was followed by cumin, chili and sumac spiced sweet chunky potato wedges. The taste neat was intense, salty, sweet and smoky like grilled Espetos sardines ‘Malaga style’, skewered on a wooden stick sprinkled with rock salt standing vertically in the – now comes the Islay version – peat fuelled barbecue. Water not only toned it down but on the palate transformed it almost back to the sweet smoke of the beginning; vanilla custard with peat smoked roasted blueberries.” $150

Posted in Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Store, Tastings | Comments Off

BBQ and Wine Pairing: Wonderful Wine With Holy Smoke!

by Dave

I always love BBQ but it’s better when we get to taste it with some amazing wines! In my last tasting, I paired up some of my favourite picks for summer BBQ. We were lucky enough to have Holy Smoke cater the event as well. It turned out to be a fantastic tasting because there were fewer people than normal so we were actually able to just sit down at the table and have a big family-style meal and talk about some wicked wines.

We were also in the middle of a major heat wave so that did affect which wines I picked as well. I generally love having a bigger, full body wine with either some spice or zip on it, but because of the heat, I wanted to include some wines that were also juicy, delicious and refreshing. Just imagine being on a deck or overlooking a lake with some Q being grilled. The wonderful smell of smoke blended with a soft breeze and the sound of birds, good friends and sharing some amazing wine is probably one of the nicest things to experience.

If you’re ever in need of some awesome BBQ wines I think these are some great choices. Even if you don’t want to have a BBQ, you can still feel confident just enjoying these wines.

Il Follo Spumante Rosato
I love getting a (party) tasting started with sparkling wine. It is refreshing, crispy, delicious and just helps to make it feel like a celebration. That being said I don’t think you really need to wait for a celebration or get together to enjoy sparkling wine, honestly anytime is a great time for bubbles.

Il Follo is a small family winery from Northern Italy and we are lucky enough to have 2 of their sparkling wines as some of our exclusives. This rose is a vibrant pale salmon colour with beautiful bubbles and lots of fresh red fruit aromas, like strawberry, cherry and hint of raspberry. With a refreshing acidity on the pallet, this wine is dry and very drinkable. I also must say that I do love the bottle. I think everything about this wine is sexy. $25.99

Vajra JC Clare Nebbiolo
I have a really hard time with this wine because I don’t know how to properly express my love for it. This is a Nebbiolo,unlike any other Nebbiolo that you might have had. If you haven’t had Nebbiolo before, a little background on it. Nebbiolo is a grape that you generally find from Northern Italy. Barolo is made with Nebbiolo grape. It tends to be very high in tannins and acid and is usually helped by bottle ageing. The neat thing about Nebbiolo is that it is a think skinned grape so when you have one it can look a lot like a pale Pinot Noir, but then when you try it you realize it is anything but. This Nebbiolo, however, is done based on a recipe that the producers at Vajra found from 1606. It is vibrant, delightful, juicy, fruity, and even has a touch of effervescence. This Nebbiolo is definitely a wine worth trying at least once and then if you will feel delighted to be able to try it again.

This was one of the wines that I think goes great with BBQ but is also amazing for a hot summers day! You should definitely try it while it’s around because we aren’t too sure how long it is going to last as we only have a select amount of cases and we seem to be burning through. Did I also mention that this is a semi-exclusive wine with only a couple of places where it is available? $35.99

Ampeileia Unlitro
So I normally don’t drink that much Italian wine and I didn’t really mean to make this tasting into an Italian focused tasting but it seems that there are so many amazing wines in the store right now from Italy that I just couldn’t resist.

This gem is a production which has been helped along with Elizabetta Foradori. If you are not familiar with who she is then I definitely recommend researching her a bit because I would say that she is an Icon and symbol for amazing wines out of Italy and a massive proponent for “natural” wines. She has been focusing on making low intervention wine for a very long time and doing everything organic or biodynamic. Elizabetta’s winery is in Northern Italy in the Trentino area but this is wine is from Tuscany and actually has different owners.

This wine is a blend of Alicante, Alicante Bouchet and_____________. The beauty about this wine is not only is it amazing and delicious but it comes in a 1-litre bottle! This can be perfect for those times when you don’t exactly want a full bottle but you also don’t want to crack open another one at the end of the first one.

This delightful and beautiful wine is fresh, with a balanced acidity, lots of nice red fruit flavours, and a beauty to enjoy at almost any moment. 9 in the morning might be pushing it but I guess it depends what your pairing it with breakfast. Either way, this is one to try and this would definitely fall under natural wine category without being a funky natural wine, just totally delicious! $39.99

Chateau Francs Magnus
This is one of the beautiful wines that we have been lucky enough to get into the store recently. It is a 2015 Bordeaux blend and we are definitely excited about the 2015′s from Bordeaux. One of the finer vintages in quite a while this makes it all the nicer to be able to get some amazing wines and especially wines that pair with BBQ. $23.99

Serredenari Barolo
So this is where we get into the wonderful world of Nebbiolo again but this time it is more along the style that people have grown to love and cherish. This wine is definitely on the fuller side with some lovely tannins and a beautiful racy acidity. This Barolo is from the highest winery in Barolo giving the grapes a chance to ripen longer on the vine and really develop as much flavour as they can.
One of the unfortunate parts about Barolo is the price tag. They tend to be higher priced but with good reason. They spend more time in barrel and then also spend more time in bottle before they are even released for sale. All of this along with vineyard management have a lot of influence on the price. This wine, fortunately, is on the lower-end for what you would normally pay for a Barolo wine and it is also a champ in the glass!

There is lots of crisp cherry in this wine, along with nice grippy tannins and acidity that go fantastic with meat. Steak would be a winner with this wine but the pulled pork that we had paired beautifully as well. This other awesome thing about Barolo’s is that they really develop in the glass, from your first to your last you can have a different experience with every sip as it slowly opens and mends into wonderful deliciousness. If you’re ever looking for a wine to age as well, Barolo should be on the top of your list. With age, it will develop into leather, earthy, dusty dried fruit flavours that will surprise and delight. If you ever have the chance to pick up an older vintage or age one yourself definitely give it a go. $54.99

Finca 8 Malbec
I have a secret to share. I love Malbec. I don’t really care what anyone else thinks or what others will tell you but I think Malbecs are phenomenal and can be amazing wines. I fell in love with Malbec when I lived in South America because honestly, that was pretty much all the wine that there was to drink. My love affair was only increased when I went to Argentina and became spellbound of such beauty and wonder that was Mendoza and the delights that Malbec can provide.

If you’re ever in need of a great steak wine or BBQ wine I would also say don’t hesitate to look any further than a delicious Malbec, with their full plum and dark fruit flavours, cocoa, coffee, full body, tannins, and deliciousness. What is there to not love about Malbec?

The Finca 8 was definitely a fantastic wine at the dinner as well. It is still fuller bodied but it has such a well-integrated acidity in it that it balances beautifully. We have quite a few different Malbecs but the Finca 8 is always one of my favourites. From it’s dark and mysterious label to the dark and mysterious wine that you receive in your glass. It’s powerful and beautiful all at once. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do. $41.99

Carlisle Piner-Ouvet Zinfandel
Last but definitely not least this is one of our favourite exclusive wines in the shop. We have been lucky enough to have them as an exclusive for quite a while. In the beginning, Carlisle wasn’t even a winery but rather a guy making some killer wines in a garage. He eventually grew to have such a large following that he wasn’t even able to keep up with demand. Since then he has kept expanding and still making amazing wines and still having a hard time keeping up with demand. He tries to focus on old vine wine and throughout his vineyards, he actually has a lot of other random grape vines that are from all different sorts of grapes, but he finds a way to make them work and add them to his wines.

This Piner-Ouvet Zinfandel is actually a blend from 3 different vineyards. They usually just make the single vineyard wines from these 3 but they had a little extra and had always wanted to make a blended wine so this was their opportunity.

How do I explain what you can exactly expect from Carlisle Zinfandel? Well to begin with they are big. I mean like wholly crap, what did I just take a sip of? Even if it is just a sip it will feel like a massive mouthful! They are big, fruity, zesty, spicy, punchy and honestly a hell of a lot of fun. If you want to taste big wine, this is where you should look. Wonderfully opulent but incredibly delightful. Don’t be afraid of this wines, just make sure you are prepared and ready to take your palate on a roller coaster ride. $55.99

As always, I had a fantastic time at the tasting! Great food, great company and beautiful wines. Thank you again to Holy Smoke! If you weren’t there to share in this tasting don’t worry we are always planning for more fun times and tasting events. Can’t wait to share with you at the next one and until then, keep tasting!

Salud!
Dave

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Gin’s In

by Comrade Hunter

The gin tastings continue with another foray into the ever-expanding world of gin. As always I have attempted to curate a list of at least semi-new gins, the theme of which was new age interpretations of the spirit. To illustrate, here is what we tasted for our Gin’s In class.

Victoria Distillers Empress Gin
Tinted with the iconic butterfly pea blossom, this indigo coloured gin is a delicate starting point for any gin tasting night. Extremely clean on the nose, elegant to the point of shyness, the Empress offers an easy going nature for any gin drinker. Expect slight floral tones, little whiffs of juniper, a touch of heady perfume; everything in this bottle is crafted from a subtle hand. One of the crowd favourites for the night. Given this gin’s easy going nature, being a favourite is no surprise. $55

Thompson Brother’s Dornoch Gin
Spirit from the highlands of Scotland, Dornoch distillers is offering a very interesting interpretation of gin. Nosing this spirit evokes notes of smoking agaves, burnt dirt and vegetative matter amidst the variety of botanicals that qualify it as gin. I believe this is the kind of gin that ought to be consumed straight, perhaps with only a splash of tonic or a cube of ice. The character of this spirit is brash and seems to work disjunctively with the standard sorts of mix. $66

Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin
Infused with Riesling wine from the Saar, this opulent take on gin has a load of interesting notes to offer. Alongside the riesling infusion, Ferdinand’s also uses locally harvested quince adding a pear quality to the spirit. Much like the Dornoch gin, I recommend that this gin be consumed straight, ever so slightly chilled as the finely tuned botanicals may become muddied among various mixes. $68

Ungava Gin
Made in the Canadian north, one will first notice the startling yellow colour of this spirit. Even if you have tried the Ungava in the past, expect a new and unique iteration of this spirit. More opulent and oily than past releases, this full-bodied gin has a lot of grapefruit and muddled citrus tones to offer. $40

No Ordinary Gin, or, NOG!
NOG! – or No Ordinary Gin is a whisky infused premium small batch gin bottled by Asta Morris – an independent bottler of Scotch Whisky headquartered in Belgium. Testing the boundaries of what qualifies as gin, the NOG! is a long departure from traditional London dry. Expect orange powdered candy, near vitamin C chew-able in its sweet, sharp tang, slight tones of chalky minerality, alongside butterscotch and vanilla tones likely originating from the barrel ageing this spirit has been subjected to. Widely acclaimed by the tasters as a winter evening spirit or digestif to be, once more, consumed by itself. $110

Eau Claire Barrel Aged Gin
Another barrel aged rendition, this time with a barley backbone to boot putting this spirit in closer proximity to whisky than most gins, albeit with a botanical infusion. Similar in style to the NOG! with toffee and spicy caramel tones, the juniper rests in the background in a supporting role. Pressed flowers attempt a front on the nose but are ultimately pushed back by the barrel’s domineering character. I would label this bottle a happy medium between gin and whisky, enjoyable for those middle grounders trying to branch the gap between either side of one’s genre of interest. $58

Hven Navy Strength Gin
The de facto crowd favourite of the night clocking in at 14 out of 22 votes for the top evening pick. It might be further noted that this bottle is 57% alcohol thus offering a much more robust gin experience. All this said, this bottling arguably exhibits the hand of a master, everything woven into such a complex quilt of experiences. Not only was this the crowd favourite, but also the staff favourite of the night. Considering the alcohol percentage of this bottling I would say that is quite impressive given the exclusionary effect high proof spirits can have on imbibers. $87

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Best of Bourbon

by Evan

We are cursed to live in interesting times.

The Canada/US border has not physically moved in my lifetime, but I cannot recall another era when we as a nation seemed further apart from our neighbours to the south.

The general climate of North/South relations has been much more frigid than usual, what with tariffs and economic intimidation being volleyed back and forth. The very concept of Free Trade possibly being rent asunder before our eyes by a tweet-happy orange man who would seemingly rather see us drink vodka instead of whiskey – especially if it has his brand on it.

But still, we march on.

Tariffs or no, Bourbon is hot these days with more and more people falling to its beguiling ways. I myself am one of the fallen. The good news is that means we have a reason to do more regular American Whiskey tastings here at Kensington Wine Market.

There are many excellent options for Bourbon and American Whiskey available here in Alberta with more variety arriving on a regular basis. Hopefully, this is something that won’t be affected by the current political climate. I would love nothing more than being able to hold a Bourbon tasting every few months while never having to repeat a bottle in the lineup.

This time around our focus was mostly on sourced whiskey bottlings, with two main exceptions coming from tried and true Kentucky Distilleries.

Before we into that, and so we are all on the same page: here is a quick rundown on what makes Bourbon… Bourbon:

  • Bourbon has to be made in the United States. It can not be produced in other countries.
  • Bourbon can be and is made in other states besides Kentucky. Kentucky just happens to be the largest producer of Bourbon by a vast margin.
  • Bourbon must be made from at least 51% Corn.
  • It must be initially aged in charred Virgin Oak containers. There is no minimum age requirement for Bourbon.
  • Straight Bourbon must be at least four years old unless specified on the label.
  • Straight Bourbon cannot contain any added flavouring or colouring.
  • Distilled to a maximum of 80% ABV.
  • Put in Barrel at a maximum of 62.5% ABV.
  • Bottled at a minimum of 40% ABV.

Now, let us jump into the lineup we tasted our way through:

The Burning Chair
The Burning Chair is a new KWM exclusive Bourbon from Savage and Cooke. This 4-year-old Bourbon is Dave Phinney’s highly anticipated first release. It is intense and expressive. This Bourbon is blended from hand-selected, new charred American oak matured whiskies, finished in wine barrels from Dave’s Napa Valley Cabernet projects. Mash Bill: 75% Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Malted Barley. $115

American Rockies
New for 2018 from the producers of Canadian Rockies. American Rockies is a Small Batch Bourbon. We believe the Bourbon is sourced from a Wyoming Whiskey distillery that we happen to be quite fond of. It is bottled at 44%. $86

Russell’s Reserve 10 Year
Russell’s Reserve gets its name from the father/son Master Distiller duo of Jimmy and Eddie Russell, both of which help run Wild Turkey Distillery near Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. At 10 years old, the bourbon is bottled at 45% ABV.

Wild Turkey was named such by an executive from Austin Nichols, who poured some barrel proof bourbon for friends on a wild turkey hunt. The whiskey was a hit and the next year he was asked to bring more of that Wild Turkey bourbon for the annual hunt.

Master Distiller Jimmy Russell and Associate Master Distiller Eddie Russell are the only father-son duo in the Bourbon Hall of Fame. $51

Bulleit 10 Year
The Bulleit 10 year is bottled at 45.6% ABV.

From 1997 until 2012, much of the Bourbon in Bulleit was originally distilled at Four Roses, which makes it likely that this still contains a good amount of Four Roses juice. The Mashbill for Bulleit is 68% Corn, 28% Rye and 4% Malted Barley.

The Bulleit Distillery officially opened on March 14th, 2017 near Shelbyville, Kentucky. $55

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
From Woodford Distillery which is located near Versailles, Kentucky.

Double Oaked was introduced to the world in February of 2012. The Double Oaked is given a secondary maturation in deeply toasted/lightly charred Virgin Oak barrels for less than a year. Bottled at 45.2% ABV Mashbill: 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley. $75

Bull Run Barrel Strength
56.85% ABV / $116
This high proof, cask strength Bourbon was selected and bottled by Bull Run Distillery of Portland Oregon. The whiskey is sourced from Indiana and the mashbill is 65% Corn, 25% Rye and 10% Malted Barley. Aged for a minimum of 4-6 years. Bottled in small batches, the ABV of each batch may vary.

Jefferson’s Wood Experiment Collection
According to Castle Brands – owners of Jefferson’s – it was named after “Thomas Jefferson—known for his curiosity and experimental spirit.” Jefferson’s has typically sourced whisky from various Kentucky and Indiana distilleries since Jefferson’s Bourbon was first launched in 1997. Since 2015, Castle Brands has been a partial owner of Kentucky Artisan Distillery. The distillery currently supplies a portion of the whisky released in the Jefferson lineup.

Composed of five different 200mL sample bottles, the Jefferson Wood Experiment Collection gives you the chance to see how different ageing techniques have an effect on the whiskey. This Straight Bourbon was distilled in Indiana.
With all of the Bourbon bottled at 46% ABV, the collection contains:

  • New 60 Gallon American Oak barrel with a low, deep impact toast profile.
  • New, standard whiskey barrel with medium char infused with heavily charred American Oak cubes.
  • New standard whiskey barrel with a light-medium char infused with lightly toasted American Oak staves.
  • Custom 60 Gallon French & American hybrid oak barrel with a low, deep impact toast profile.
  • Original bourbon barrel with oak inserts that have been toasted over a long period of time to infuse the bourbon.

Because of the small size of the sample bottles, I could not pour the same sample for everybody. Instead, I poured a different sample for each of the three tables. $125

With the lineup tasted and the dust settled those in attendance voted the Bull Run Barrel Strength as the favourite of the night, followed by the Jefferson’s Wood Experiment Collection and the Russel’s Reserve.

Thank you to all who attended the tasting and a special thanks to Peasant Cheese for providing their always excellent cheese and charcuterie boards!

Cheers and until next time,
Evan
evan@kensingtonwinemarket.com
Twitter: @sagelikefool
Instagram: one part of @kwmwhisky //  @sagelikefool


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New Beers for July Part 2 of 2 and August part 1/2

 

Ok so I missed my post for the end of July, I’m sorry. I’ll make up for it with this slightly larger version of my post that encompasses the past month or so, so here we go!

If you happened to have missed the fact that Founders KBS and CBS are in the province, there is likely still time to grab some. I have just a little of each left, so make sure to shoot me an e-mail at beerguy@kensingtonwinemarket.com if you want any. I’ve made a point to stick to the roots of what made Kensington Wine Market great and seek out amazing beers from outside the country (but of course I give my local guys some love as well), so there are several European and US brews on this list, and I’ll keep seeking more out. Two more to add to that list is Tilquin and Jester King! The latest vintage of Tilquin’s beautiful lambics, including Quetsche, Mure and the Rullquin stout-lambic blend are in this week, and last but not least, we’ll see the long-awaited return of Texas brewers Jester King and their farm-housey craziness later in the month. What a crazy month… But enough of that, though.  Check out all the beers that have already arrived!

Wild Beer co Sleeping Lemons ($5.69 for a 330mL bottle)

Wild Beer co Modus Operandi ($7.39 for a 330mL bottle)

Breakside Tall Guy IPA ($11.49 for a 650mL bottle)

Oude Gueuze Tilquin ($29.99 for a 750mL bottle)

Cascade Sange Rouge ($39.09 for a 750mL bottle)

Hoyne Entre Nous Belgian Cherry Wit ($8.69 for a 650mL bottle)

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA ($4.69 for a 473mL tall can)

Reverend Nat’s Viva la Pineapple ($5.59 for a 330mL can)

Mikkeller Beer Geek Flat White ($9.39 for a 330mL bottle)

Anex Forward Progress Pale ($16.49 for a 4-pack of tall cans)

Hell’s Basement Fuzzy Face Cryo-pale ($17.99 for a 6-pack of cans)

Bench Creek Apex Predator Bohemian Pilsner ($16.29 for a 4-pack of tall cans)

Analog Ready Paler One ($18.29 for a 4-pack of tall cans)

Zero Issue Cloak and Dagger Mix pack ($16.49 for a 4-pack of tall cans)

Tasty as always, you can’t even deny that! Before I go, if you’re looking for fun events or just something to do through August, we have a number of tastings going on before we get back full-swing into our fall tasting schedule. Might I suggest you check out my wild fermented beer tasting on August 31st! Or I guess you could just come on in anytime and chat, and taste and stuff. Alright, that’s about all I have for you. Come get these awesome beers!

Cheers!

Shawn

Twitter: @ShawnsBrewsCGY

 

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