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Tuesday
Jul102012

Whisky Season 2012 Update: New K&L Faultline

With all the talk about value on the blogosphere lately, about price increases, about the lack of age statements, about the shortages, about the end of everyday whisky as we know it, David and I thought the time was right to release our newest Faultline cask for pre-arrival purchase.  We all know that high proof, single cask spirits are still expensive, reaching up into the high $70 range for even the youngest expressions.  We knew it was going to be tough to find K&L whisky that truly lived up to the purest definition of the word "value," not only in comparison to other malts of similar stature.  "For $50, is there anything interesting anymore?" we asked ourselves.  How about a single refill-sherry cask of 100 proof whisky from one of the best distilleries in the Highlands?  While we can't tell you who made it (without risk of serious legal repercussions, that is) we can tell you why we proofed it down a bit.  At cask strength, this whisky was just too hot.  At 43-46%, it was too soft.  At 50%, it was baby bear's porridge: just right!  Bottling at 100 proof gives whisky fans the big flavor they're looking for, but it also takes off a serious amount of taxation on our part, which allowed us to drop the price down to $50.  Those few extra percentage points would have added some serious coinage to the price, which in our minds wasn't worth it.  We found the sweet spot for a sweet deal.  Feast upon the newest release!

Faultline 10 Year Old North Highland Single Barrel 100 Proof Single Malt Whisky 750ml $49.99 - In a single malt market where "value" is becoming a loosely defined word, we at K&L are working harder than ever to find new and interesting whiskies that everyone can enjoy. While many of our exclusive Scotland casks can be quite pricy due to the scarcity, age, and the high alcohol percentage, David and I really wanted to find a few great options that came in well under $75. Part of the problem, however, is that even young whiskies from single barrels are expensive, which is why we often opt for the older ones. It was David OG's intuition, however, that took us outside of Glasgow to a small producer's warehouse full of great whiskies at remarkable prices. Inside this tiny storage unit was a refill sherry butt full of classically-flavored malt from one of the Highland's most distinguished distilleries, one from which we practically never see independent offerings.  After tasting the whisky, we were very impressed, but we felt that, at cask strength, the alcohol simply overpowered the flavor. A few drops of water really mellowed out the heat, bringing forward the fruit and highlighting the grain. The whisky is perfect at 100 proof.  The nose offers fresh stonefruit and light vanilla, the palate is deceptively rich with a faint oiliness and incredibly subtle sherry tones that masterfully tame its youthful vigor.  What we have here is good old-fashioned Scotch for people who like great whisky at a great price - exactly what the Faultline label is all about.

-David Driscoll