I've been getting my body into shape for Spring after absolutely decimating it in France last January. Six mile runs, four times a week with a shorter 5K jaunt thrown in there as well. Drinking for a living will tax your corporal well-being if you're not careful. There are too many opportunities to completely turn yourself over to the Dionysian elements and go wild in a Jim Morrison-like flurry of debauchery. As Ice Cube would say, it's important to check yourself before you wreck yourself - exercise is my way of doing so. Drinking and exercise can completely co-exist, you just have to discipline yourself a bit. In fact, I actually enjoy my liquor more if I've done something to earn it, i.e. start the day off with long run.
When I'm in training mode, I tend to drink less, so I've had less to write about lately regarding my experiences. Recently, however, we've been holding back a bit due to some inter-retail spying. Let me state again, as I have in the past, that David OG and I have absolutely no idea what other liquor stores are up to. I know about other liquor stores, that they exist and such, but I have no idea who works there or who runs their liquor departments (except for Amy and Amanda at Cask because they're very nice, they're down the street from our SF store, and we run in the same circle from time to time). With all the possibilities for creativity and entrepreneurship in this business, I don't see the need to check on the competition - I love working in our stores and with our customers too much to worry about others. Our internal focus, however, doesn't seem to be the overall trend in the business. I won't get into specifics, but we've been pushing the envelope again recently and it seems that another store caught word of it and got a little nosy. I got a phone call from someone who works with other stores, asking me how it is we're doing what we're doing. No comment.
There is such a thing as overload - too much, too fast. We have so many projects in the works right now that it wouldn't make much sense to bombard everyone with an unobtainable amount of booze all at once. However, yes, there are some secret projects that are almost ready to be revealed. We can't offer everything for pre-order because who wants to constantly pay for everything in advance? Some things need to arrive before we inform people about their existence. Since we're almost there, however, I'll give you all quick glimpse at what we'll be seeing in the next two weeks at K&L:
- Two new items under our own Faultline label - a gin from St. George and a 21 year old single malt from Cragganmore, single barrel cask strength.
- Two sherry butts from Brora and Clynelish, bottled by Chieftain's.
- A new cask of Four Rose's bourbon, followed by a new Buffalo Trace barrel, followed by our first 1792 Ridgemont Bourbon cask.
- Some old and rare selections, including some 1948 bottles of Old Fitzgerald (Pappy made by Pappy!)
Once March Madness is over, get ready for the following:
- TONS of new Armagnac expressions, then Cognac, imported exclusively for K&L.
- A single cask of Willett 20 year old - the last of the SW juice.
Later this summer there will be some big surprises - many casks coming to K&L from some countries we've never imported from before.