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Wednesday
Dec072016

The K&L Whisky Mega Deal of 2016

Purchasing single barrels of cask strength single malt whisky isn't a process that particularly lends itself to everyday value. I hear from K&L customers all over the world on a regular basis who would love to participate more often in our exclusive whisky program, if only the costs were a bit more in line with the regular brands. That's because when we talk about "value" as it pertains to our full proof Scotch selections, we're usually talking about 20+ year old whisky for a hundred bucks. The higher ABV and single barrel status of each selection both add serious dollars on to the price tag. There simply isn't much cask strength juice out there for under $75 and when we do manage to locate a sub-$60 whiskies of quality they're generally in the 5-7 year range, like with our Caol Ila and Talisker bottlings earlier this year. With the three-tier distribution system set up the way it is in the United States, there's really no way around that price point. Cask strength, mature, and high-quality single malt whisky selections are never available for fifty bucks because there are too many parties taking a cut of the profit along the way.

But that's why you shop at K&L, right? Because we know how trim down those margins, cut out those middlemen, and bring the booze directly to you for a more reasonable price!

We've performed a few magic acts over the years. We've located some rare whiskies, pulled out a few stops, and (even just yesterday) managed to drop the price on many an interesting spirit here and there, but I can't remember having ever put together a Scotch deal like this one: single barrel, cask strength, sherry-matured, dark and delicious Highland single malt whisky for less than fifty bucks.

What's wrong with it, David? Nothing!

Not only is there nothing wrong with these whiskies, they're both absolutely deeeeelicious!! They're my favorite two casks of the year by far and they're both going to go down as two of the best single malt deals we've ever put together as a company. These aren't just passable whiskies, they're downright fantastic. I've been sitting on my hands, chewing my nails, itching my scalp, and biting my tongue to keep this deal a secret until it was ready to go. What you have here are two casks, a first-fill sherry butt and a refill sherry butt, that offer all the richness you love in Balvenie, Macallan, Aberlour, and Glendronach, but at full proof and in concentrated single barrel forms. Imagine if you could get a single barrel of Glendronach 12 at cask strength for the same price as the standard edition. That's pretty much what the Dailuaine tastes like. Imagine if you could get an older, sweeter, richer, darker, fleshier version of Aberlour A'Bunadh for $20 less per bottle! That's the Glenallachie. 

I think the email is going out for this on Friday. I hope we can make these last through December because it's going to be a helluva lot of fun to hand these whiskies out in the store for holiday gifts. 

2005 Glenallachie 11 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice - K&L Exclusive" Single Sherry Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky $49.99 - Glenallachie is a Pernod-Ricard-owned distillery that sends most of its whisky to the blended Chivas Regal, but after our customers get a taste of this super-saturated sherry-matured delight, it's going to be a household name at K&L. This 11 year old first-fill sherry bomb is like a darker, sweeter, older, richer, better version of another Pernod-Ricard classic: the Aberlour A'Bunadh. But whereas the A'Bunadh sells for $70 a bottle, this decadent Glenallachie comes in at a cool $49.99. For the age, quality, and concentration of the sherry here, this is right there with the Dailuaine 9 year old cask as one of the best single malt whisky deals we've ever offered. The nose is brimming with burnt vanilla, toasted nuts, and cakebread. The palate is a 59.8% beast of savory sherry, sweet pudding, candied citrus, and dark chocolate. If you've been dreaming of the 22 year old Mortlach sherry bomb we offered years ago that is still the stuff of legend today, this is the baby version of that whisky. We could probably sell this for $99.99 and few people would complain. We'd recommend buying this one by the case. Only 600 total bottles available.

2007 Dailuaine 9 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice - K&L Exclusive" Single Sherry Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky $49.99 - Dailuaine is one of Diageo's classic Speyside distilleries that produces a classically rich, nutty, and creamy Highland malt whisky. We thought this particular nine year old sherry butt-aged expression was so fruity and delicious that we practically jumped across the negotiating table to get our hands on it. Matured in a second fill cask, the toffee and shortbread notes of the Oloroso cask are more restrained and integrated, but they're still front and center. They meld beautifully with the inherent maltiness of the whisky and build to a finish that pops at 58.3% with spice, rhubarb, and toasted almond notes. Fans of Glendronach, Macallan, and Balvenie should go ga-ga for this. The chewiness of the sherry is just apparent enough to add body and texture, but it never takes away from the pure malt flavor. Utterly drinkable and of profound quality for the price. Without a doubt, it's one of the best deals we've ever offered for any cask of sherry-aged malt whisky in our store's history.

-David Driscoll