Kensington Wine Market’s Best Selling Whiskies of 2013!

2013 was another great year for single malts here at Kensington Wine Market. We pride ourselves on being a little different, and I think that is well reflected in our top selling whiskies. Some of these whiskies would have ranked higher than they do here, had available stocks not sold out. As always our own single casks and exclusives showed very well. The list doesn’t reflect our booming Scotch Malt Whisky Society sales, as we never receive more than a couple dozen bottles of these single cask whiskies.

  1. Glendronach 2002 KWM/Quaich Cask708 - This cask was split between the Companions of the Quaich whisky club and our store. More than 600 bottles sold out in under 6 weeks! It is now one for the ages! - $104.99
  2. Ardbeg Ardbog - 2013′s Ardbeg Day special release was another huge success. As Canada’s first Retail Ardbeg Embassy, we had a bit of a head start on this boggy malt! - $119.99
  3. Glenfarclass 2000 Ranchmen’s Anniversary Cask – This was a cask we helped the Ranchmen’s Club select to mark their 125th Anniversary. A lovely dram exclusive to their members.
  4. Whisky Advent Calendar – Mixed reviews on this one to be honest, some loved it, many were disappointed. Not strictly a bottle, but a set of 24 30ml samples. - $300
  5. Benromach 2004 KWM Cask 246 - One of two young Benromach casks we had bottled for the store, this, the less smoky of the two was very creamy and fresh. It sold out in about 6 months! – $87.49
  6. Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 2 – The second edition of this whisky edged out the first, not necessarily because it was better, but because we had access to a little more of it. Rumour has it we may get 6 more bottles! – $84.99
  7. Benromach 2005 KWM Cask – Our other Benromach cask is a little younger and a lot more smoky than the first. The distillery claims they were peated to the same level, but they were enormously different on the palate even though their alcohol strengths were coincidentally identical. We still have a few bottles kicking around from this cask. – $84.99
  8. Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 1 - The first batch of what has become quite a hot seller for us. Already Batch 3 is on pace to outsell Batch 1, and could threaten Batch 2. Also worth noting the distillery has caught on to the popularity of these whiskies and their prices are set to climb by about 25%. We stocked up on Batch 3, $90, before the full weight of the price increase takes affect. - $83.99
  9. MacKinlays Rare Old Highland Malt – We ran out of this whisky over the course of the summer, and had we had more it would have finished much higher on the list. It is one of our best selling whiskies of all time! – $209.99
  10. BenRiach 1983 KWM Cask 298 – This was a gem of a cask, beautiful in all senses with a soft, tropical nose and a creamy smooth palate. This whisky ran out in early October, and was one of the last 1983 BenRiach casks we’ll ever see. The distillery only has a handful left! – $205.99
  11. Bowmore Laimrig 15 Year - This whisky had another strong showing this year and is another of our all-time best sellers. We’ve sold 20 times as much of this in the last 3 years, as we have of Glenfiddich 12 in nearly 8! – $89.99
  12. Berry’s Glen Keith 1993 KWM Cask – Split between a corporate client and our store, this little 20 year old gem didn’t last long. – $105.49
  13. Jura Elixir – Surprisingly this is one of four Jura’s on Top 25 list, and there were periods when it wasn’t even available. One of the best buys in the store.  – $59.99
  14. Dalmore Age of Exploration 1995 – Another whisky which may have shown higher if it weren’t for the stocks having run out. A great value, very tasty Dalmore, which we will sadly never see again!  – $80.49
  15. Macallan 12 Year - There was a bit of rush to scoop up age statement Macallans ahead of their withdrawal from the Canadian market. The 12 year was always a strong seller in our shop, but it had a small surge when panic set in! Gone for good we’re afraid!
  16. Jura Boutique Barrels 1995 Bourbon Jo - The 1995 was exclusive to our store, and a hot seller. We ran out of this dram half way through the year, and it may have been a top 10 finisher if there were any left! – $114.99
  17. Macallan Fine Oak 17 Year – This whisky appeared out of the blue on our Whisky-Radar in August, curiously after having been discontinued years earlier. Allegedly found in a warehouse, it only lasted a few months, but was a good run while it lasted. – $74.99
  18. St. Georges Breaking & Entering KWM Bourbon – Our latest exclusive Bourbon cask was only in store for the last 6 weeks of the year, and it made a very strong showing. Nearly sold out, we still have a little of this sinfully smooth Bourbon left in stock. – $65.99
  19. Nikka Pure Malt White – Both the Pure Malt White and Black from Nikka had some stock issues this year, but that didn’t stop the white from making our Top 25 list for the second straight year. If there is a recurring theme here, it is supply. – $61.99
  20. Glendronach Parliament 21 Year - This is a steady work horse in our section and hands down the best value around 21 year old whisky in our store. – $123.99
  21. Glenmorangie Ealanta – A good dram, it was a hot seller on the heels of the previous private collection releases such as the Sonnalta, Finealta and Artein. Bizarrely Jim Murray chose it as his Whisky of the Year. It was good, but certainly not whisky of the year. - $103.99
  22. Glendronach 15 Year Revival - Along with the Parliament, this is one of the workhorses of our whisky section, and one of the best value buys. The prices on these whiskies will have to go up at some point, so enjoy em while they’re inexpensive. – $84.99
  23. BenRiach 1994 KWM Peated Virgin Oak Finish Cask 3806 – Another whisky which sold out early in 2013, this beast of a whisky was one hell of an interesting single cask. – $117.49
  24. Jura Boutique Barrels 1993 – I’m a little surprised to see both of these on the list, but they are very interesting expressions from the distillery. We still have stock and sample bottles if you are curious to try them.  – $116.49
  25. Jura Boutique Barrels 1996 – Same details as above. Both interesting expressions of Jura. – $95.99

Predictions for 2013: Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 3, currectly in stock will position very high on the list, as will some of the new casks we have coming from Aberlour, Arran and Glendronach distilleries. The Compass Box Peat Monster 10th Anniversary, $100, one of the Top 10 New Releases in Whisky Advocate’s Spring buying guide may make the list. The BenRiach 2001 MS Society cask is a great buy and could make the grade. We are also expecting the new releases from Ardbeg in May/June and Glenmorangie later in the year which will undoubtedly be strong contenders. The Arran Millenium Casks due next week, $110, may sneak on to the list but that depends on what the whisky year ahead has in store (bad pun not intended). We’re just 6 weeks in, there are still 46 whisky weeks left in the year!


Andrew Ferguson

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