KWM Advent 2018 Day 10 – Black Mountain Notes Fumees

Welcome to day ten on the KWM Whisky Advent marathon! Today the calendar has given us our second non-Scottish Whisky – this time coming to us from France. Black Mountain Notes Fumées is the name of the whisky – sourced from Scotland, then finished and bottled in the south of France.

Whisky may not be the first aged spirit or even alcohol that you think of when it comes to France, but perhaps it should be. To many of us, the country might only be thought of as the place that makes everything from grapes: Cognac and Armagnac plus many styles of red and white wine from the likes of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Champagne and so on – but it is much more than that. Even with all of this viniferous production that is imbibed both locally and around the world, the French still manage to drink more Scotch per capita than any other country in the world. Continue reading

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KWM Advent 2018 Day 9 – Cadenhead Glen Spey 2001

Today’s dram is another Cadenhead single cask bottled for France. Bottled at 54.4%, the whisky matured for 16 years in a Bourbon Hogshead before bottling earlier this year. We have 50mls of the whisky available for sale, and can probably get 700mls if we ask nicely… And so we continue with the Brief History of Cadenhead’s, Part III. When last we left the heroes of Cadenheads, the firm’s namesake owner, William Cadenhead, had just passed away. On his death in 1904 his nephew Robert Duthie took control of the firm for what would prove to be an early Golden Age, and that is where we will pick up the tale! Continue reading

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KWM ADVENT 2018 Day 8 – Kilkerran Visitor Center Bottling

So today’s whisky is really cool… it is the visitor center bottling from Glengyle Distillery, aka Kilkerran, in Campbeltown. The good folks at J. & A. Mitchell & Co, aka Springbank, Glengyle and Cadenhead, in Campbeltown, were keen to take part in this year’s KWM Whisky Advent Calendar, and this is what they came up with. We didn’t get full-sized bottles, you have to go to the distillery for those, but we do have a surplus of 50mls, and we couldn’t be more pleased. The whisky is only available at the distillery, and KWM! Continue reading

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SMWS Canada December 2018 Outturn

It probably goes without saying that things move at a frenetic pace this time of year at Kensington Wine Market. As a retail store, we have plenty of people coming in our doors to complete some festive holiday shopping. Beyond that, you can look at this blog and see a new post each day through Christmas Proper going up for our very own, made in-house 2018 Whisky Advent Calendar. If that isn’t enough, add in the general KWM Chaos(TM) and the periodic social media-related directives whims of our Fearless Leader. The planet itself even possibly conspires against us, seemingly spinning faster near the end of the year – never leaving enough minutes in the day to get everything done.

Even with all of this going on, we still find time for the monthly Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada Outturn tastings – and for good reason. With all of the encroaching cacophony at least one of us needs to taste their way through seven new cask strength, single barrel offerings. Continue reading

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KWM Advent 2018 Day 7 – Arran 10 Year

Image courtesy of @frombarreltobottle

It would probably surprise many to know that Arran whisky outsells the World’s THREE bestselling single malts, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Macallan, in our shop… combined!!! There are good reasons for this. Firstly, Arran offers amazing value. Whether it is this 10 year old ($60), the 14 Year ($80) or the 18 year ($120), Arran offers almost unrivalled value when it comes to their single malts, and not by cutting corners. We love the fact that they bottle at 46%, which as we all know is the new 40 after all. The reason the whiskies are so good comes down to a slow, careful distillation and the use of only the finest oak barrels.

It is hard to believe that the Arran distillery is now 23 years young. I still remember the early years, well before they launched their first official 10-year-old when the whisky was all no-age-statement offerings. They did some interesting things back then including single cask, cask strength whiskies finished in all kinds of oak from Lepanto Brandy and Rum to Trebiano D’Abruzzo, Champagne and Calvados casks. That last one got them a rap on the knuckles from the thugs at the Scotch Whisky Association. That particular bully of a Big brother is always watching…
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KWM Advent 2018 Day 6 – Shelter Point Single Malt KWM Cask

Image courtesy of @frombarreltobottle

Shelter Point is not the first craft distillery in Canada to focus on whisky, that honour surely belongs to Cape Breton’s Glenora Distillery. Nor is it the first to produce a Scottish style single malt. There again, Glenora has them beat by more than 20 years with their Glen Breton Single Malt.

But there is something unique about Shelter Point, a similarity to the early Scottish distillers that is unique in the booming craft spirits industry in Canada. Shelter Point is first and foremost a farm. At the moment the berry sales to jam makers like Smuckers are really what’s paying the bills. The farm also grows barley, and what better way to add value to your product than make something more valuable from it. Founder Patrick Evans describes himself as a “farmpreneur”, and I can’t think of a better way not only describing Patrick but Shelter Point itself.
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KWM Advent 2018 Day 5 – Cadenhead Tomintoul-Glenlivet 12 Year

Today’s dram comes from the Speyside distillery of Tomintoul. It is a 12-year-old bottling, distilled in 2006 and matured in Bourbon Barrels. The whisky was bottled by independent bottler WM Cadenhead for their French importer Dugas, at 55.5%. Dugas didn’t take the entirety of the bottling, so the stock was made available for our Advent Calendar.

About WM Cadenhead Part II: If you’ll refer back to Day 2, we left of the Cadenhead tale with the death of George Duncan. William Cadenhead assumed control of the firm, renamed it after himself and married Duncan’s widow. William Cadenhead was a well-liked man, but his renown had next to nothing to do with his business acumen or success as a vintner or distillery agent. His real talents lay in poetry, which made him something of a minor celebrity in the Aberdeen area. Continue reading

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KWM Advent 2018 Day 4 – Old Malt Cask Mortlach 11 Year KWM Cask

We have a notable first here on Day 4 of the 2018 Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar. This is the first whisky we have ever had from Hunter Laing & Co., in any our five editions of our KWM Whisky Advent Calendars produced in-house. And there is a good reason for this as the bottle might attest.

Prior to our request for Hunter Laing to bottle our exclusive Old Malt Cask Mortlach 11 Year KWM Cask for the Calendar, Hunter Laing had never before bottled a whisky in 50ml format. As you can see, today’s whisky does not have a glamorous or beautiful label, but I hope you will agree all of the important details are there (save for mention of KWM) and the liquid is always the most important part! Continue reading

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KWM Advent 2018 Day 3 – Compass Box The Peat Monster

Image courtesy of @frombarreltobottle

Compass Box Whisky is in our estimation the finest producer of Blended Whisky in Scotland and possibly the world today. Its founder and co-owner John Glaser is one of the most unlikely figures in the Scotch whisky industry. A native Minnesotan, he studied wine before falling into the whisky trade where he fell in love with Scotch whisky. Continue reading

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KWM Advent 2018 Day 2 – Cadenhead Linkwood 2006 KWM Cask

For Day 2 of KWM Whisky Advent we are featuring our 11 year old single cask of Linkwood, bottled exclusively for KWM by WM Cadenhead, Scotland’s oldest independent bottler. You are going to see more than a few WM Cadenhead bottlings in this year’s Calendar, in part because they were able to offer us an amazing selection of single cask, single malt, whiskies. Kensington Wine Market is proud to be the exclusive retailer of WM Cadenhead whiskies in Canada. Continue reading

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