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K&L Spirits Tasting Schedule:

Weds from 5 - 6:30 PM

9/24 - San Francisco: Monkey 47 w/Christoph Keller!

9/24 - Redwood City: Germain Robin K&L Exclusive Brandy!

2014 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky

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 IN STOCK NOW


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 IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Benrinnes 17 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


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 IN STOCK NOW!


1996 Bowmore 16 Year Old Faultline Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


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!


2013 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky Still Available

2005 Island Distillery 7 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Exclusive Malts" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml IN STOCK NOW!


2001 Royal Lochnagar 10 Year Old Faultline Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml IN STOCK NOW!


1995 Glendronach 18 Year Old Single PX Barrel Cask Strength Blended Scotch Whisky 750ml IN STOCK NOW!


1994 Benriach 19 Year Old Single Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Blended Scotch Whisky 750ml IN STOCK NOW!


1992 Longmorn 21 Year Old Faultline Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1987 Mortlach 25 Year Old Faultline Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


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Monday
May072012

Rules & Tips

I had a customer ask me a few days back if I would write something about glassware when it comes to tasting spirits.  She was wondering why the whiskies she sampled at K&L always tasted better in the store than at her house.  At home, she had been drinking from smaller, Glencairn-shaped glasses, but in the store we sometimes use wine glasses.  She asked if it could be the glass and I said "Definitely!"  Personally, I don't drink out of small glasses because I can't seem to capture the aroma as well.  I always use a wine glass when writing tasting notes or sampling with an appointment.  They just work better for me. 

Over the few years that I've done this, I've listened to experts explain to me numerous reasons to drink or taste alcohol in a specific way.  Sometimes what they tell me works and sometimes it doesn't.  When it comes to drinking whisky or any other spirit, listen to what others have to say (because you might just learn something new), but don't feel any pressure to conform or adapt.  There's no rule that says you have to drink single malt from Glencairn glasses.  I certainly don't. 

There are guidelines in the booze world to help us along and achieve the maximum amount of pleasure from our drinking, but it can be problematic when people think of them as rules that must be followed at all cost.  You don't have to add water.  You don't have to nose it first.  You don't have to do anything you don't want to do.  There are no rules with drinking, only suggestions.  It would be a pity, however, if you drank a whole bottle of cask strength Port Ellen and had no idea the high proof was burning off your ability to actually taste it.

Another topic I was asked about recently concerned the wax seals on our French import bottles.  Some of our best Calvados and Cognac bottles are protected by a dense layer of wax that most people attempt to open by cutting or carving.  This is the worse way to open these bottles.  The best way I have seen was shown to me by the Camut brothers in Normandy.  I had no idea how brittle that wax was.  It can be easily cleared away by tapping it firmly with the dull side of a butter knife.  It's best to do this next to a garbage can or somewhere that can be easily cleaned afterward.  It will make a giant mess, but at least it won't damage your precious booze.

-David Driscoll