Sometimes our will call room and shipment center function like a modified DeLorean from 1985, or in layman's terms, a time machine. People order booze from K&L, intending to pick it up or have it shipped, but time continues to pass and the bottles are forgotten. I've been cleaning out some back stock over the past few weeks, emailing customers to see what they want to do, and offering refunds to people who have changed their minds since ordering. The result? The return of bottles from K&L's past.
I'm not even going to bother emailing these out as there aren't very many in stock, but those of you keeping up with the blog you might want to snag some of these former legends.
1997 Springbank K&L Exclusive 14 Year Single Madeira Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $129.99 - On our 2011 visit to Springbank, we knew we wanted to purchase a single bourbon cask, but we were open to other options were we to find another very special barrel. Of course, that's exactly what happened. One of the most beloved whiskies in K&L customer history was a 2000 Springbank that was finished in Chateau d'Yquem barrels, giving a sweet highlight to the chewy textures of the malt. This 1998 Madeira barrel-finished whisky is bottled at cask strength, and is the more muscular, more mature cousin of that lovely 2000. Golden fruits, a rich, oily mouthfeel, and a long, supple finish all merge together and make this one of the easiest drams we've tasted in sometime. We can't imagine anyone not loving this, so we decided to go deep and buy the whole thing. Like the 2000, we expect people to talk about this whisky for some time to come.
1999 Blair Athol K&L Exclusive 11 Year Old Provenance Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $79.99 - One of the most exciting parts of our recent trip to Scotland was the visit we had with the Laing brothers, a pair of independent bottlers who don't dabble too much in the U.S. market. We were pretty sure that these guys were sitting on a veritable treasure trove of barrels, however, and our tasting with them did not disappoint. One of the best deals our journey uncovered was an explosive little cask of Blair Athol, a Diageo-owned distillery in the Eastern Highland town of Pittlochry. Located just a few miles from Edradour, this quaint little operation is one of the oldest in Scotland (founded in 1798), but is more widely regarded for its role in Bell's Blended than for its single malt potential. This 11 year old barrel will open some eyes, however - big, rich, enticing aromas of dried fruits, a supple mouthfeel with roasted almond skin flavors, and, while we don't think it was peated, there are definitely traces of smoke on the finish. David OG and I both double-starred this entry on our tasting notes as a sure-fire winner. For the price, it may be the best overall deal we found in Scotland.
1998 Glen Garioch 14 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $109.99 - On our 2011 trip to Scotland David and I stopped by Glendronach distillery on a whim, fell in love with their whisky, and now it's one of the top whiskies we sell at K&L. This year's version of that was Glen Garioch distillery in Oldmeldrum. An old-fashioned, picturesque distillery located in the center of the quaint village, it's part of the Morrison-Bowmore portfolio. Glen Garioch's whisky is in the hands of former Ardbeg super star Rachel Barrie, who jumped ship to Bowmore last year. When we told Rachel how much we enjoyed our visit to Oldmeldrum, Rachel was so overjoyed we had that she ran to the back to grab a cask sample she had picked out for Bowmore recently, a 1998 single cask aged in a hogshead that had previously held peated whisky. The distillery had dabbled in the peated Highland style before 1994, but the whisky produced today is completely without smoke. This very special cask has all the beautiful sweet grains we love about the malt with just a whisper of peat in the background. The palate is elegant and lean, but the fruit and vanilla is concentrated in its core. The whisky tastes like the town of Oldmeldrum--old world, country, rustic and down-home. That's terroir in whisky.
These won't be the last things I put back into the system, so keep your eyes peeled! I'm going dusty hunting in our own store!