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!


« The Pappy Games | Main | The Kurani Kid Discusses Our New Liqueurs »
Friday
Mar232012

Things Are Complicated

I'm almost always thinking about booze.  Usually, it's in a philosophical sense - not about some deal I need to make, but rather about the role of alcohol in our lives and whether it actually makes them better.  Lately, I've been so bombarded by new arrivals and tasting notes that I've had little time to ponder much more than the cost of a bottle.  Some of you may appreciate that more, sick of reading my babbles about booze theory, but I hope there is an audience out there somewhere.  What struck me the other night, while watching an episode of the Colbert Report, was an interview that Stephen conducted with a prominent war journalist.  Colbert asked him for his stance (either pro or anti) on some of the confrontations he had involved himself in and the reporter responded with one of the best answers I've ever heard: it's too complicated.

Perhaps when you're young, bold, and opinionated, it can be easy to be either "for" or "against" the Iraq war, or to firmly side with Israel or Palestine.  What I found so relieving about the journalist's answer, however, was the fact that true experience taught him never to jump to conclusions.  While I've never been part of an armed engagement, I can only imagine the myriad of components to consider when trying to establish the truth of what's happening.  Yet, sitting here from far away, it seems like so many people believe they understand the intricate nature of each conflict.  This man, who had been there and experienced the war, could only say that there was simply too much to consider when trying to summarize a final opinion.  So what does this have to do with booze?

I think that perhaps I've let my own opinions about large corporations complicate my opinion about some of the products they own or produce.  Sometimes it's easy to lump an entire portfolio under the Diageo umbrella, or to dismiss big house Cognac as simply adulterated.  I've listened to other opinions about these matters and I've heard some interesting points of view.  However, the more that I work in this business, the more I am introduced to the people behind these products, many of whom completely throw a wrench in my firm-standing beliefs.  For example, last week, when Mr. Raguenaud from Grand Marnier paid us a visit - we were all less than enthused about this corporate giant and their "mass-produced" orange liqueur.  However, when we tasted with Patrick and we sensed his passion for the craft, we all left feeling a bit ashamed of ourselves.  Sure, Grand Marnier is run by luxury brand-owner LVMH and they run huge ad campaigns all over the world, but does that mean their product isn't any good?

Now that's not to say that you should support Grand Marnier instead of a locally-made or smaller-production orange liqueur.  It's just to say that things are complicated.  It's not easy to simply lump brands or products together based on an overall ideal.  I've had a few more of these experiences since Grand Marnier visited, including a run in with a tequila producer I was sure I wanted to avoid, but ended up being completely won over by his passion.  If you would have asked me six months ago how I felt about corporate-run, big-brand spirits, I probably would have given you a blanket answer.  Now, however, I need to analyze that question on a case by case basis.  There are too many facets of the booze business that cannot be summarized so easily.

-David Driscoll