Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada April 2020 Outturn

by Evan

As I write this, it has only been 22 days since I started writing my blog post for the SMWS March 2020 Outturn. That feels like way more than a year ago. I think we all probably feel like we have aged more than a year over the past three or so weeks. Who knew that the planet could turn so completely upside down in such a short period of time – at least not without some form of war or a nuclear holocaust or both? Given neither of those things has happened as well (knock on wood), I guess should count ourselves relatively lucky?

What has transpired has definitely been a game-changer for all of us, if not in a permanent manner then at least for the short to medium term. We are all stuck in this fog and none of us know exactly when it will lift yet. For me, and for KWM it hurts. We as a store rely on tastings, in general, to showcase and sell the bottles that we bring in, and the seven new bottles brought in for the SMWS Canada Outturn each month the prime example of this. Not being able to host the SMWS tastings at the beginning of April means it is more difficult for people to taste them and in turn harder to entice members to purchase said bottles.

Selfishly, it also means that I don’t get to hold an audience captive in our tiny tasting room as we work our way through the lineup. That hurts me a lot personally. I enjoy the comradery of the groups that attend and the discussions that ensue as we work our way through each dram blind. I have always considered myself to be an introvert, so the amount that I will miss doing these tastings surprises me somewhat. I didn’t really understand how much I craved that kind of social attention.

Hopefully, we will get back to normal in the future, or some version of normal in which we can all get together and listen to me blather on about the nonsense I nose and taste in the glass. Doing this without an audience at home just isn’t as much fun. Sharing the whisky and my own version of nonsense with some like minds is what makes it so much fun. So, let’s raise a glass to a future in which we can do that safely again!

If you are not interested in my own thoughts on each of the seven new bottles, you may instead want to check out this Youtube video from the Victorian chaps at the Dram Association. This crew wears many hats (and many ties it seems) and are gifted in ways I could only hope to be. Check out their reveal of the SMWS Canada April 2020 lineup here.

But enough about them, let’s get back to me. Here are my thoughts on the April 2020 SMWS Canada Outturn.

Like last month, April gives us a very affordable Outturn. There is only one bottle north of two hundred bucks this month and three (!) that are less than $140. Below are some more details:

  • 72.67 – Miltonduff typically has some nice fruit notes, and this one is no exception. Wood notes to be found right up front on the nose – but have no fear – the fruit comes through as well. If there is such a thing as pink grapefruit jujubes (if there aren’t, there should be), this is what it would nose and taste like. Candied citrus and fruit along with floral notes and beer nuts. A delicious starter for the Outturn.
  • 113.22 – This Braeval is more dough and yeast driven on the nose than number one, with floral notes, cake fondant and white chocolate coming through on the nose, along with the toasty, yeasty note of Champagne. It makes for a very intriguing combination. Both the Champagne and floral notes come through on the palate as well, along with a waxy, creamy, decedent spiciness. Can spice be decadent? In this case, I believe it can. This distillery doesn’t usually wow me, but I like this one quite a bit.
  • 112.46 – Loch Lomond – Inchmurrin style-wise. Fruit cup syrup and cotton candy on the nose, along with delicate oak and a touch of felt marker. I am going to say orange highlighter this time around, but there might be some green highlighter in there too. And a dash of Elmer’s Glue? I love myself a wacky Loch Lomond! On the palate: Spicy and juicy, with some wood, cinnamon and blackberry compote notes coming through along with orange slice candies. This is one of those bottles that you need to settle down with to really decipher. You could almost swear somebody put a drop of tequila or mezcal in with the whisky just to mess with you…
  • 89.10 – Tomintoul – and the first Tomintoul from the SMWS Canada if I am not mistaken! This has a wonderfully grain-forward nose with some nicely integrated sherry. It is kind of like an Ardmore without any peat upfront: All oatmeal and raisins and fruit-laden yogurt for breakfast. There is a bit of funk in the mix too, again reminding me of Ardmore without any peat somehow. The palate is similar but also exhibits some leathery notes without going too dry. There is a touch of the more typical peanut-laden notes of official Tomintoul as well.
  • R9.4 – Ooooh, a rum! I typically enjoy the single cask rums that come to us through the SMWS. The nose on this one, coming to us from Panama, has a nice hit of cedar plank along with black licorice, molasses and gingerbread. It is rich and mouth coating but also contains some wonderful spice notes on the palate, with ginger, apples and cinnamon, bananas and Nutella coming through in a big way. It finishes like an Eatmore bar with a side of Sasparilla. I love how the spice notes keep the decadence in check on this one.
  • 53.284 – The name gets it right on Smoky, malty minerality. This is a very malt-driven Caol Ila with plenty of earthy smoke in the mix as well. Surprisingly, I don’t get as much of the typical young Caol Ila salty lime margarita note on this one, until it starts coming through on the palate. Even then the sweet barley notes keep the salt and citrus in check until they come to the fore on the finish. I don’t find this quite as complex as January’s VIGOROUS, CONCENTRATED INTENSITY, but it is still a lovely peaty dram.
  • 10.179 – This is one curious Bunnahabhain. I don’t usually get into the colour of a whisky but this guy looks like you mixed equal parts tawny port and rose wine together in the glass. It did spend a year plus being finished in a first fill red wine barrique, so that explains that. How about the nose and palate? The wine notes don’t jump out to me on the nose as much as I thought they would. The earthy smoke and soot do. More of the wine shows itself on the palate, with red fruits in the mix. I get cherries and dark chocolate, brownies with walnuts, and a wonderful intermingling of smoky, sweet, and bitter notes on the finish. I have become less and less of a fan of red wine cask finishes over the past few years, but somehow this Bunnahabhain just works. Not only that, but it shows very differently than the other recent SMWS Bunnas we have seen, peated or otherwise.

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Here is your April of 2020 SMWS Canada Outturn

This 9 year old Speysider was matured in a 1st fill barrel and comes in at 56.3%.
Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow.
Outturn: 226 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “A gentle nose, slowly opening from grassy meadows and hay fields to vanilla ice-cream, pears or apple strudel in custard and marshmallow tea-cakes; also wicker baskets and pencil boxes. The smooth, silky palate combines mellow fruitiness (orange, tutti-frutti, strawberries) with sweet things (glazed donuts, candy floss, chocolate-coated raisins) and flickering twinkles of liquorice, pepper and wood on the finish.
The reduced nose – elegant and easy-going – a polished wooden counter in an ice-cream parlour; honey with a memory of sun on daffodils. The palate now much more balanced and integrated – still syrupy, but with hints of citrus and warming spice to complicate it.” $133.99

This 8 year old Speysider was matured in a 1st fill barrel and is 64%.
Flavour profile: Juicy, oak & vanilla.
Outturn: 247 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “A perfumed bouquet coupled flower gardens rich in roses with creamy vanilla and toffee as ripe apples fell from orchard trees. A foamy lava of shampoo blew in the breeze like pink candyfloss whilst the palate brought a tingle of fresh chillies and citrus. Heavy oak created fantastically chewy textures as caramel biscuits enhanced the malty notes of crunchy kiln dried barley.
A few drops of water encouraged sandalwood and dried pine cones to tumble alongside freshly harvested grains before fruity notes combined lemon and mango with lavender soap. The palate had become creamier, abundant with vanilla and custard cream biscuits on a bed of oak shavings. Boiled brown rice then accompanied oat cakes as the finish continued into herbal realms.” $130.99

112.46 – A WAFER A WHILE
This 14 year old Highlander spent 12 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead before being transferred to a 1st fill French oak hogshead for the remainder of its maturation, and comes in at 56.7%.
Flavour profile: Sweet, fruity & mellow.
Outturn: 368 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “As the sun warmed our skin we drifted away to the smell of 1980′s suntan lotion and salty sea air. Oil and buttery notes combined with creamy strawberry yogurt, that chilled down to multiple scoops of vanilla ice cream precariously perched on a crunchy caramel wafer. Confected fruit passed by as bubble gum merged with sticky fruit pastries, and joined the malty sweetness of breakfast cereal.
Milk chocolate and praline delivered us to a palate of deliberate funk as fermenting fruit wandered helplessly towards scrumptious cider. The fruit matured into cool white wine loaded with ripe banana and mango flavours, just as we awoke to find an empty wafer cone and melted ice cream on the sand. Twelve years matured in an ex-bourbon hogshead before transfer to a French oak hogshead.” $154.99

This 7 year old Speysider comes in at 64.1% after maturing in a refill butt.
Flavour profile: Young & spritely.
Outturn: 556 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “An elegant and supple aroma of white port, stone fruits, pear skins, orange travel sweets, candy floss and a warm barley steep. There’s also grape must, lychee, horse box, white chocolate dipped marzipan, almond puree and sultanas soaked in mead. With dilution the aroma opens onto cough syrup, hand lotion, sun cream, olive oil cake, malt bins, lemon peel, sunflower seeds, brown bread and warm grist.
The palate begins with tinned peaches, ripe pears, green apple, sweet wort, aged grappa, cider brandy, raisins stewed in young Calvados, chopped chives and clover. Water reveals cocoa nibs, shea butter, putty, sweet wines, waxed canvas, cooking oils, flints, tart gooseberry and graphite oil.” $123.99

This 13 year old rum from Panama was aged in a refill barrel and is 62.1%.
Outturn: 250 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “Comforting warm, sweet and spicy aromas wafting through the room of German lebkuchen (honey and spiced biscuits) marzipan stollen (fruit bread containing dried fruits and raisins covered in icing sugar), gingerbread cookie and banana chocolate chip loaf.
On the palate neat a sweet, bitter, and spicy flavour explosion like that of a chewy dark chocolate brownie combined with the tartness of sour cherries and the addition of a chipotle chilli pepper. With a drop of water we actually did smoke and dry the ripe red jalapeno peppers to make chipotle but that was in a walk-in humidor where we all lit a hand-rolled cigar.” $176.99

Bottled for the 2019 Islay Festival, this 10 year old was matured in a refill hogshead and comes in at 59.8%.
Flavour profile: Lightly peated.
Outturn: 282 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “Imagine a flattering sweet peat smoke which was immediately apparent then add some oysters and scallops cooked on an open fire as well as winter waves sending their iodine rich scent into the salty, misty air and you should get the picture.
On the palate neat salty almonds, tangy lemon and lime zest floated in a tide of a ‘smoky, malty minerality’. With water a little more phenolic at first (petrol and diesel fumes), but soon turning sweeter with roasted marshmallows, and to taste a lightly smoked tuna salad with sweet relish, sweet corn niblets, mayonnaise and honey mustard.” $207.99

This 12 year old from Islay comes in at 60.2%; it spent 10 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead before being transferred to a 1st fill red wine barrique for the remainder of its maturation.
Flavour profile: Heavily peated.
Outturn: 243 bottles.
Panel’s tasting note: “A beautifully pink hue introduced aromas of salty sea air and sea shells as the sweet reek from burning peat wafted over barley. Fresh seaweed provided a mineralic edge that merged with sour cherries and morphed into cranberries on the palate, with a glass of port. Big and chewy chunks of charcoal rolled with tar and chimney soot before vanilla ice cream introduced wonderful textures.
Water on the smouldering ash unleashed more bellowing clouds of smoke but this time from sweetly scented pipe tobacco. Burning gorse and kelp combined with smoked ham as more medicinal notes of antiseptic cream and cough sweets united. Finally plum and gooseberry tarts brought a sweetness to the finish alongside liquorice and heat rub. After spending 10 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead this was transferred to a 1st fill red wine barrique for the remainder of its maturation.” $167.99

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.

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Italian Job

by Abigail

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Italian wine. It’s incredible to see the diversity of the grapes, the regions and the wine styles in Italy; there is a wine for every occasion! But, I feel like only a handful or so Italian grapes get the recognition. For this tasting, I decided to focus more on the unknown grapes of Italy that are just as good (if not, better) as Sangiovese or Pinot Grigio.

Barone Pizzini Franciacorta Rose 2014
Oh Franciacorta, one of my favourites! This is THE CHAMPAGNE of Italy (sorry Prosecco). Based in the modest region of Lombardy, Franciacorta wines show just as much elegance and complexity as their French counterparts. The wine goes through the same process (traditional method) as Champagne and they also focus on the similar grapes (Pinot Nero, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanco) creating wines with a similar premise, but unique character. The Barone Pizzini Rose 2014 is one of my favourites on the market right now. A blend of Pinot Nero and Chardonnay that spends 40 months on lees and 6 months in barriques, this wine has complexity beyond its price point. This sensual and idyllic expression of Pinot Noir is transformed into notes of underbrush, currant, and blueberry together with hints of rose petal in the glass. The structure and balance of this wine are interwoven in a lingering tension between its rich flavour and acidity. Barone Pizzini was also the first Franciacorta producer to be 100% Organic!

Belisario Pecorino
Pecorino needs to be the new replacement for Pinot Grigio, seriously! It’s fresh, vibrant and can easily be consumed on a patio in the summer. Situated in the beautifully picturesque valley of the Esino River, Cantina Belisario is full of wonder. It’s a winery focusing on the breathtakingly humble traditions of the Marche region, producing native grapes such as Verdicchio, Pecorino, Passerina and Lacrima. Their wines speak stories of their home, telling tails of the terroir, tradition and showcasing their enlightening complexity.

Marche is one of the smaller Italian regions, responsible for producing only about 2% of Italy’s total wine volume. Even so, Marche is in the lead for organic agriculture, continuously producing upwards of 22% of Italy’s total organic wine production, an impressive feat for this modest region. Belisario is much the same, only focusing on organic agriculture, letting the grapes grow as they need.

Oddero Langhe Bianco Collaretto
Oddero is one of the most historical wineries in Barolo. Dating back to the end of the 18th century, Oddero was one of the first to officially bottle Barolo wines. They also produce only organic wines, which is not a small feat for a legendary producer like themselves.
Like stated earlier, I wanted to showcase some other wine styles from Italy. This Chardonnay/Riesling blend is fresh and vibrant, yet subtle. It demands your attention, but yet, might need a touch more time in the bottle to show its full potential. Continue reading

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Dear Customers, Suppliers & Friends,

We have been closely monitoring the evolving threat of COVID-19 and wanted to assure everyone we are following the advice of Alberta Health Services and Health Canada and will continue to do so as the situation develops. We took the following steps earlier this week to mitigate the risks to our staff, customers and suppliers:
– Staff have been asked to frequently wash their hands and avoid touching their face.
– We have increased the frequency with which we sanitize commonly touched surfaces and items within the store, as well as the bathroom.
– We have installed hand sanitation stations around the store for use by staff and customers.
– We are monitoring the health of staff and will ask them to self-isolate should they show any symptoms indicative of COVID-19.
– Two employees returning to Calgary this weekend (March 14) from out of Country have been asked to self-isolate for the next 2 weeks in accordance with guidance from AHS.
– We are also asking customers who have potentially been exposed to the virus or who are showing symptoms indicative of COVID-19 not to come to the store.
– We are also asking customers who have been to affected areas, or who have returned to Canada since March 12 not to come to the store.
– We are offering free delivery for orders over $50 within city limits to customers who are either self-isolating or who are concerned about being out in public. Please call the store for more information.
– We are also proceeding for the time being with all of our scheduled tastings and events, though we are taking adding precautions, are providing hand sanitizers on every table and we are asking all persons mentioned above to contact us to cancel their tickets.
– We are also relaxing our tasting cancellation policy and will offer store credit for anyone unable or uncomfortable attending, as long as they contact us prior to the start of the event.

We will continue to review and update our policies as the situation develops.

If you have any further questions about the precautions we are taking, free delivery or our in-store events don’t hesitate to contact the store.

Andrew Ferguson
Kensington Wine Market
1257 Kensington Road NW Calgary Alberta T2N3P8
P. 403.283-8000 Toll-Free. 888.283.9004

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Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada March 2020 Outturn

by Evan

Hop into spring? That remains to be seen.

It is March, shadows have been seen or not seen by prognosticating rodents from whimsical and try-hard small towns all over North America, and we now all wait to see which prophecies are true and which are not. Perhaps the groundhogs do know more than the average Farmer’s Almanac, but we humans are nonetheless stuck waiting to see what happens.

Especially here in Calgary. Right now, looking out the window, it kind of does look like spring, with the sun shining and the snow melting. But hey, ten minutes from now there will probably get a snowfall warning and need to break out the long johns once more as a cold snap rears its ugly head.

At least it is March. Spring should arrive at some point in the future, regardless of pandora’s shadow being or not being visible by some small critter that never asked for this task. The groundhogs have had their day in the sun (or not) for the year so we should leave them alone. April is just around the corner anyhow, then the Easter Bunny will be given its time to shine.

Before that though, we do still have March to get through, spring or no spring. What can always be counted on are new green bottles from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada to arrive at the beginning of each month. Rejoice SMWS fans, for the SMWS Canada, have a better track record of delivering than any soothsaying vermin that I am aware of! Continue reading

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Wine 101

by Bri

Somm: Making wine exciting and terrifying for Millenials the way Sideways did for Gen-X’ers

Wine 101 was the first wine course I took years back while living in Vancouver. It is what inspired me to dive in deeper and start my exploration into the extensive world of wine. The vast amount of knowledge was, to be honest, very overwhelming. I definitely had my doubts if this was the right path to take mostly due to the Somm show on Netflix. The dedication, rigorous work and crazy palate (and noggin) those individuals had me thinking…..yeah maybe not. Slowly, I dipped my toes into this world and finally, I just accepted that I had the control to choose the speed and amount of information thrown at me. Since that realization, it has been magical. The amount of history blows my mind daily. It was such a treat to teach this wine 101 class if by some chance I gave someone some information that blew their mind, then the circle is complete. Please join me with the following tasting notes and wines which I chose for the evening.

Continue reading

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The Perfect Pair

by Abigail

Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with your special someone. We notarize the idea of splurging our significant others with chocolates, flowers, wine, and cheese, and stress ourselves out to make sure Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year. I think this is fully bogus, to be completely honest. We lose the magic, we pressure ourselves as well as our spouses and aggravate our credit card for some commercialized ideal. Instead, why don’t we just take a step back, relax and just enjoy ourselves?

This tasting was created to show how to pair wines with food, to allow you to make a special pairing at home, to bring the romance back into date night.

How to Pair Wine with Food
I always look at pairing as if I was creating a meal; what flavours would work together, and what components do I need to balance out the dish?
When it comes to creating the perfect pair, we look at the elements of the dish vs the elements of the wine. Here is a basic guide of what to look for:

  • SweetnessThe general rule is to have a higher level of sweetness in the wine than in the food. Sweetness in food increases the perception of bitterness, astringency, acidity, and alcohol whilst decreasing the perception of body, sweetness, and fruitiness in the wine.
  • AcidityAcidity is generally a good thing with a pairing, especially if you have a very high acidity wine where it brings everything into balance. But if you pair a somewhat acidic dish with a low acidity wine, the wine will show as flat, flabby and lifeless.
  • SaltSalt is GOOD! Just like cooking, salt helps enhance the flavour, and it also helps increase the perception of the body while decreasing the perception of acidity and astringency.
  • Heat/SpiceSpice isn’t great for wine. It increases the acidity, bitterness, astringency and creates more of a burning sensation from the alcohol. Having a wine with lower alcohol levels and a touch of sweetness will be best for anything with a punch of heat.
  • Bitterness – Bitterness in food will increase the perceived bitterness in the wine you are having as well. This part is subjective. If you’re one of those people that drinks your coffee black, you’ll probably love it. If you’re a person that loves their coffee with all the additions, maybe skip it.
  • UmamiTreat similar to bitterness. Umami basically brings out the worst in wine and will increase the bitterness in most wines. Trick to use when pairing umami-rich foods with wine? Add salt! Salt helps enhance the wine and somewhat counteracts the effects of umami. Continue reading
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Single Barrel and Very Small Batch Bourbon

by Evan

Even though I seem to write a lot of these blog posts and do a lot of tastings here at Kensington Wine Market, the tastings themselves usually only fall into three categories.

  1. Scotch Malt Whisky Society Outturns each month
  2. Canadian Whisky Tastings
  3. Bourbon and American Whiskey Tastings

We do plenty of other tastings at the shop when it comes to whisky. Especially, you know – Scotch Whisky tastings specifically. But when you work with the likes of Curt Robinson and Andrew Ferguson – they tend to have the Scotch Whisky region covered. That is just fine by me. Along with the SMWS, Canadian and American Whisk(e)y are playgrounds that I am happy to make my own.

The SMWS Outturn tasting helm was passed over to me from Andrew mostly due to time constraints on his part. My love for single casks and cask strength Scotch was already long in the tooth before I started running the tastings, but has become even more galvanized because of it. Canadian Whisky kind of became mine by default when it comes to tastings and my love for the new craft distilleries popping up and the old guard big distilleries here in the Great White North developed organically over a short period. Bourbon and American Whiskey? I have to thank KWM Alumnus Hunter Sullivan for that. He is often missed by staff and customers alike for his incredible tasting notes and singular personality, and he was a font of knowledge when it came to Bourbon. I fell in love with Scotch first, but thanks to Hunter and also a trip to Kentucky with Andrew a few years back, this love has extended itself into Bourbon and American Whisky along the way.

So that is why I enjoy running these Bourbon tastings so much. Luckily Curt and Andrew don’t fight me for these tastings. They can stick on their side of the sandbox and I will stick on mine with you guys!

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. Straight Rye must be at least 51% Rye. Straight Wheat Whisky must be at least 51% Wheat.
  • 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.

Being left alone to do these Bourbon tastings allows me to pick what I want to pour. Typically this means I create a lineup that is composed of whatever I have thought tastes remarkably good recently and bottles that are relatively new that I am excited to try. Those in attendance either get to be benefactors of my amazing selections or stuck tasting through a lineup that could only be interesting to me. It is all a matter of perspective, and I prefer to keep mine in the first person.

To make things even more self-centred and all about me, I decided to run through the lineup I selected blind, only revealing what the bottles and pricing was after having people vote on their favourites for the night. Here is the lineup of foisted upon everyone in the tasting:

Continue reading

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Budget Buddies – Wine That Won’t Hurt Your Bottom Line

by Bri

Congratulations Calgary! We survived the week of frozen tundra and now we can reward ourselves. Since the holiday season has just passed, certainly I’m not the only one with a tight budget. Therefore, welcome to my Budget Buddies tasting blog! I have chosen six wines that aren’t only delicious but new products or vintages on our shelves. I’m a big fan of budget wines that give my palate satisfaction and bank account right on track.

So let’s dive in and explore the six yummy deals.

Belisario Verdicchio Cerro $23.99
Wonderfully fresh and balanced with vibrant grapefruit characters, white flowers and hints of honey. Beautiful to pair with most seafood dishes or anything that needs a light crisp wine. This bottle is unique due to its shape. The first bottle of Verdicchio had the shape of an amphora, with the colour green, which also represents the colour of the grape itself, Verdicchio. “Verdi” means “green”. The bottle shape was introduced in Italy many years ago and was used originally in the Côte de Provence region of France.

Some Young Punks Sauvignon blanc Quickie $19.99
Ooh la la, do we have a new treat for you! This is a new Sauvignon Blanc from Australia and my goodness is it fresh. Jen, Col and Nic are three punks making wine with a punch and personality. All three are extremely educated and dance to their own beat. Don’t believe me? Give this a read ” This is passion, a monster bigger than the three of us that leads us to soapbox, grandstone and sometimes passed out on the couch”. Yup, these three are truly some young punks.

A zingy, refreshing, fruity dry white wine with passion fruit, citrus grapefruit and herbaceous notes on the nose; passion fruit and lime citrus notes on the palate and mild asparagus finish. Need I say more? Whenever you’re in need of a Sauvignon with more weight and a gorgeous petrol note. This is the one to go for!

Continue reading

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Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada February 2020 Outturn

by Evan

February’s time is momentarily here
’cause is the shortest month of the year
Even with that day extra tacked on
The leap will still be come and gone
Time is fluid and perpetually flowing

Often I look back through the haze and wonder
O’er the tastings we together plunder
Now a century of months in one long row
Time spent, where does it really go?
With only empty green bottles left showing

Sure, this rhyme confounds and lacks sense
It is convoluted and ignorant of tense
Present and past together do mix
Along with our regular Outturn fix
One hundred now down, the future still owing

I was going to try and rhyme something with one hundred, given that this is the one-hundredth Outturn for the SMWS Canada – but obviously I am no doctor of the Seussian persuasion.

Regardless – happy one-hundredth Outturn from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada!

Continue reading

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The Top 25 Selling Spirits of 2019 – KWM’s Whisky Year in Review

by Evan

If you have visited our shop before, you can probably assume our best selling whiskies and Single Malt Scotch for the year are going to be a LOT different than your typical shop. We don’t pallet loads of your standard 12-year-olds from Speyside that start with Glen – in some cases, we don’t even stock them on a regular basis. This is not necessarily because they aren’t good whiskies and it definitely isn’t because we are trying to be snobs in Championship Vinyl fashion. We simply don’t have the space to carry each and every whisky available.

I love High Fidelity, but I hope we never come off like that at KWM! We try to be whisky inclusionists, but there is so much good stuff out there that we can’t carry it all. When push comes to shove, we will take that indie label exclusive that you can’t find elsewhere over the regular bottling that you can find everywhere. Because those single casks and indie labels are the ones that really excite us. That is why this list is so far askew most top sellers lists.

So, without further ado, here are KWM’s Top 25 selling spirits (we might as well just say Whisky – you have been to our shop, right?) for 2019. For bottles that are still available at the time I wrote this, I have linked to our web page for purchasing them. Continue reading

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