Navigation
Search This Blog

Return to KLWines.com

Spirits Journal Podcast Archive

Spirits Journal Twitter Feed

K&L Uncorked Blog

K&L Spirits Tasting Schedule:

Weds from 5 - 6:30 PM

10/29 - Redwood City: Alexander Murray Single Malts

11/5 - San Francisco: Alexander Murray Single Malts

2014 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky

1988 Blair Athol 25 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2001 Bowmore 12 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1990 Bruichladdich 23 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Glen Ord 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1995 Glenburgie 19 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Glenrothes 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1998 Mortlach 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Finish Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1995 Imperial 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Kilchoman K&L Exclusive 100% Islay Single Bourbon Barrel #344 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Kilchoman K&L Exclusive 100% Islay Single Bourbon Barrel #345 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1990 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Malt Whisky PRE-ORDER


Glenfarclas "The Faultline Casks" K&L Exclusive First Fill Oloroso Sherry Casks Single Malt Whisky PRE-ORDER


1997 Bunnahabhain Heavily Peated 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Chieftain's Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1998 Laphroaig 15 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1983 Caol Ila 30 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2002 Bowmore 11 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Hogshead Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


1992 Bruichladdich 21 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1988 Balmenach 25 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


1997 Benrinnes 17 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


1997 Dailuaine 16 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1995 Glen Elgin 18 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Glenlivet 16 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!!


1981 Glenlivet 32 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


Bladnoch "Young" K&L Exclusive Heavily Peated Single Barrel #57 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Glengoyne 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Sovereign" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Kilchoman K&L Exclusive Single Bourbon Barrel #172 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Kilchoman K&L Exclusive Single Bourbon Barrel #74 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


« Tasting Schedule for the Month | Main | Spirits Tastings Today »
Thursday
Nov102011

Sherry Baby

We grew up watching our mothers cook with it.  We drink single malts flavored with it.  So why is it that no one actually drinks the Sherry itself - just plain, in a glass, on its own?  I feel like every now and again we'll make an obligatory push for better appreciation of fortified spirits at K&L, but eventually that train loses steam.  Then we go back to wine and booze for a few months until we suddenly "discover" Sherry all over again.  The combination of both wine and spirits should be the perfect medium for fans of both genres, yet something never seems to click.  Sherry is delicious, it drinks like wine and keeps like whisky, it offers a variety of styles, a myriad of flavors, and wonderfully affordable price points.  What more does Sherry need to do to get our attention?

I got seriously housed on the above-pictured bottle of La Ina Fino Sherry $14.99 last night.  Briny, salty, nutty, and fresh, this 15% alcohol delight is almost impossible to put down.  Fino sherries are the Islay malts of the fortified world sans the smoke.  They pair amazingly well with olives, cheese, sardines, and other salty snacks, but I had no problem putting away this whole bottle by itself while watching Nova's The Fabric of Space.  When I woke up on the couch at five this morning with a mouth drier than the Mojave desert, I realized that Sherry can creep on you as well.  However, I can definitely handle far more glasses of Sherry than I can single malt whisky.

While most single malts are aged in Oloroso Sherry casks (a style of sherry much sweeter than fino), there are the occasional fino-aged malts.  Why they don't do it more often is beyond me (maybe a lack of available barrels).  The brine, saline, and oxidized wine notes blend beautifully with whisky and provide the perfect highlight for the oily character of Springbank in this cask strength barrel they released last year.  I also remember running through the Bruichladdich warehouse on Islay and finding a 1990 Macallan resting in a fino cask.  We did get to taste it and it was fantastic. It was unfortunately already spoken for, however (otherwise you'd all have a bottle by now). Why Laphroaig and Ardbeg haven't experimented with fino cask enhancement is a curious question.  Seems like a match made in heaven.

Besides the amazing flavors of dry fino Sherry, we've got a fantastic selection of amontillado and palo cortado offerings as well - most of which are completely dry as well.  The complexity of these wines is simply beyond the capability of many $50 single malts, yet the Sherries sell for as low as $19.99 in some cases.  Again, they'll keep for months after you open them and the variety they offer is vast enough to justify having a few open bottles in your collection.  I'm definitely going to replenish my supply with this Herederos de Argueso later today and I may spring for this 1979 Gonzalez Bypass later in the month (easily one of the best things I have ever tasted while working at K&L).  For the super geeks out there, you could read all day about yeast, flor, soleras, and the entire Sherry-making process which is much more complicated than distillation.

Sherry has so much to offer.  If you're getting to the point where you need a new adventure in drinking, this might be the road worth taking.

-David Driscoll