I haven't really felt the stress from the holiday rush while in the store. It's been hectic as all hell, but I've remained rather calm throughout it. What I've noticed, however, is that the tension comes out at other times when I'm not expecting it. Yesterday I found this bitchin' light-up martini glass to go over my bar, but I could not find a beam in the wall for the life of me. I kept drilling holes and hitting open plaster, relegating my screws to worthless support systems. I was so mad I couldn't believe it! The pressure had been boiling up inside me for weeks and I let it out like Ralphie after he gets hit with the snowball. Filth, filth, filth. Then calm. I needed that, I think.
In any case, it's up now and it looks great. Let's talk about booze. What are people buying right now at K&L? Our hottest sellers over the past week, in order (and remember this is just for K&L! I don't speak for liquor stores across America like some people tend to think I do):
1) Longmorn 20 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Exclusive Malts" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $99.99 - A combination of price, the in-store tasting with David Stirk, our staff's recommendation, and word-of-mouth has this whisky flying out the door. By the time anyone gets around to reviewing it, it's going to be gone. HOT! It's really, really good if you haven't had a chance to taste this yet.
2) Springbank 14 Year Old K&L Exclusive Madeira Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $99.99 - The whisky brochure really brought this guy back from the dead. Whatever we wrote worked. We still had more than 150 bottles left when the flyer went out. Now we're down to about forty or so. One of my favorite bottles from 2011 finally coming to an end.
3) Templeton Rye $29.99 - The seven dollars off per bottle really motivated people to go wild. I was told this is sold out for another few weeks, so when we're out we're out. Not sure if we can reload before Christmas or not. We had more than 400 bottles when that email went out a few weeks back. Now we're down to 22. Yikes! That's a real mover.
4) Aberlour 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Exclusive Malts" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $99.99 - Strong pre-sale numbers. Strong in-store numbers. Small cask with few bottles. Only 18 bottles remain. This will be the first cask to sell through from 2012.
5) Lagavulin 16 $69.99 - The ubiquitous classic continues to move. People love it. What else can you say?
6) Lagavulin 2012 Distiller's Edition $109.99 - Just in and already flying. Easily the best Lagavulin I've had in years. The thick, viscous sherry notes are in perfect harmony with the smoke. Last year's release seemed a bit disjointed. This one is money. Fudge and chocolate on the finish. Decadent stuff.
7) Compass Box Flaming Heart $89.99 - Sales have slowed just a bit, but we're almost sold through now. One of the best whiskies of the year, no doubt. Smoke, supple, smooth. Yum.
8) Kilchoman Machir Bay Single Malt Whisky $55.99 - This whisky continues to impress people and we continue to sing its praises. It's a huge staff favorite and we have a good amount of POS (point-of-sale) material in the store to add to that adoration. This might end up being the top whisky we sell for the year. More so than Lagavulin when the year is up. That's insane.
9) Auchentoshan Classic Single Malt Whisky $23.99 - A hot deal that's coming to an end. Great call from Morrison Bowmore to get a rockin' price on this guy.
10) Bank Note Blended Whisky $19.99 - I wrote this up for the December newsletter because I wanted to make sure people still knew we carried blended whisky. Boy, did people ever listen. I can't keep this in stock at any of the stores. Currently sold out in the North with more coming on Wednesday, I believe. Any one who's had this knows what a stupid deal it is. The more people who find out about this, the worse it is for those who love it. That being said, I have to help out my friends the Morrisons, despite how much I want to keep this Bank Note to myself!
Those are the power rankings for whisk(e)y at K&L from December 3rd through December 9th. I thought that might be a fun snippet. It's always interesting to know what people are buying from us during the holiday season and it's always fun for me to watch!