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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!


« Spirits Tastings Tomorrow! | Main | Things Are Simple, Except When They're Not »
Saturday
Jun162012

Blowing Up the Bubble

I've had some interesting conversations with various whisky industry folk over the past week.  None more interesting than those concerning the price of whisky.  I need to do some more analysis and serious thinking before extrapolating further on this topic, but I thought it would be interesting to leave you all with this thought in the meantime:

We all know how scarce and how sought after Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon is.  Nevertheless, we all know how much they cost (we've generally sold the 15 year for around $70).  At K&L, we know we could put these bottles on our auction site, or charge double that price and make a lot more profit than we currently do.  We choose not to because, as a company, we're more concerned with helping our customers than selling to the highest bidder.  We believe that the goodwill we sustain by selling products for an honest price results in more business down the line.

Now apply this analogy to the whisky producers in Scotland, except this time K&L is the customer.  The American whisky market is an afterthought compared to the other thriving booze regions of the world.  It takes more work to sell us whisky (bottles have to be changed to 750ml from 700ml) and we might not pay as much as businesses in China or Taiwan.  I'm having trouble understanding why producers would sell us a cask when someone else might pay double what we're offering, plus provide an easier path to that actual sale.  My question is: is there any advantage to maintaining business relationships with the American retailers when double or even triple the profit can be made elsewhere?

So far this scenario hasn't been too big of a problem, but it has impacted a few of our deals.  I want to also state clearly that I'm not implying anything about the ethics of any producer either, I'm just pondering out loud here.  If I had a car to sell for $5000 and someone offered me $10,000 for it, I'd probably take the $10,000.  It's not really a question of ethics, as maybe it is with the Van Winkle analogy, but rather a question of actual worth.  Is that three bedroom house in Modesto actually worth $600,000?  I'm hoping that, as a planet, we don't start overpricing our whisky because it could take a long time for the industry to pay off that mortgage.

-David Driscoll