I hope you’ve all enjoyed our journey of whisky discovery over these past 25 days and I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed the selection. The Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar is an opportunity for us to introduce participants and recipients to new tastes and experiences. It is a medium for sharing our passion and enthusiasm for the World’s finest whiskies. This is our 3rd year producing the Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar, and it will not be our last!
While we will continue on with some details of today’s whisky below, let me take this opportunity to thank you for taking this journey with us. And further, on behalf of everyone at Kensington Wine Market, we wish you all the best this Holiday Season. A very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Safe and Prosperous New Year!
This is the second year in a row that we have been privileged to include a Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottling as our Christmas Day offering in the KWM Whisky Advent Calendar. Last year we had an assortment of 6 different whiskies, this year the Society let us do something very special, the bottled a cask especially for our Calendar. 41.78: Poker Night Whisky, is an 11 year old Speyside single cask, cask strength, single malt Scotch whisky. The whisky was bottled at 60.4% from a first fill ex-Bourbon barrel. The Name Poker Night Whisky comes from the Society’s tasting note. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society selects casks for bottling at its venues in Edinburgh, at Tasting Pannels which meet several times a week. These tasting panels approve or reject casks for bottling and compose the tasting notes.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an Independent Bottler, but also the world’s largest whisky club. With around 30,000 members around the world and branches in 18 different countries the Society selects and bottles more than 400 casks a year exclusively for its members. You have to be a member to purchase SMWS bottles, but there are many member benefits including an award winning quarterly whisky magazine ‘Unfiltered’, monthly bottling lists ‘Outturns’, as well as access to members rooms around the world including London, Edinburgh, Tokyo and others. In Calgary we hold monthly tastings featuring the new releases, six to seven new whiskies every month. There are also two partner bars in Calgary, The Brasserie Kenington and One18 Empire where you can enjoy Society whiskies, and where members get a discount. There are also SMWS Canada branches in Victoria, Vancouver and Edmonton.
The distillery of origin for Scotch Malt Whisky Society whiskies is a loosely guarded secret. The Society assigns each whisky a two digit code in addition to the whisky’s name, which is drawn from the tasting note. This code identifies the distillery in the first part, and how many casks have been bottled from that distillery in part 2. The distilleries have been numbered in the order they were bottled. The first distillery ever bottled was Glenfarclas, which has the honour of being distillery 1. The presently available “1.190: Smoky chipotle Bloody Mary” for example, is the 190th cask of Glenfarclas bottled by the Society in just over 33 years. We can’t tell you the distillery of origin for tonight’s whisky, but a quick Google search of “smws codes” will give you what you need to know. What is more important to understand, is that the Society wants you to buy whiskies based on their flavour profile, not where they are from!
Here is the Society official tasting note for 41.78: Poker Night Whisky: “Scotch Malt Whisky Society 41.78: Poker Night Whisky – 60.4% – 11 Year – 1st Fill Barrel – Speyside – Flavour Profile: Young & Spritely – Panel’s Tasting Note: “It starts with fresh and prickly aromas of pear drops, beeswax polish, cereals and tonic water. The taste is hot, sweet, spicy and dry – bubble-gum, fragrant honey and tart kiwi fruit. Water really helps to open up and now there’s much more for the nose to enjoy. Pralines, milk chocolate, pine cones, coconut, icing sugar and a hint of lime. The mouthfeel is thicker (creamy) too and the sweet flavours are of Sauternes wine, peach, mango, coconut and light spices. Drinking Tip: “It’s a dram that’s best shared with others.”
41.78: Poker Night Whisky - Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: fresh, honeyed and fruity; loads of malt and firm toasty American oak; some melon, pineapple, prickly pear and Dulce de Leche; cultured butter on warm scones. Palate: big, fresh, and very malty; the alcohol is a touch punchy but it settles down becoming warm honeyed and fruity; more prickly pear, pineapple and big citrus tones; creamy and floral with caramel and more Dulce de Leche; toasted almonds and marzipan. Finish: staying malty and toasty the whisky coats the palate and keeps it warm during the long honeyed and fruity finish. Comment: this is a fine introduction to Society whisky; a big malty cask strength dram, chalk full of character and complexity at a youthful 11 years of age. Members only whisky, Coming in 2017!
We hope you will consider joining us for KWM Whisky Advent again in 2017… Thanks!