Bulleit Barrel Strength Party w/Tom Bulleit - May 25th

In what I believe used to be only available as part of the Bulleit Experience at the defunct Stitzel-Weller distillery in Kentucky, Diageo is now bringing Bulleit Barrel Strength to the metropolitan market. We're kicking off that exciting new launch with Tom Bulleit himself in another mid-week cocktail party at Hard Water in San Francisco.

As an enjoyable exercise, we'll be tasting the entire range of Bulleit whiskies to help put the new edition in context, while the ace Hard Water bartenders whip up a few Bulleit cocktails on the side. Per the norm, there will be a buffet of Southern-style cuisine from the Hard Water kitchen to snack on and of course the view of the water and the San Francisco Bay Bridge from our private dining room location. Tickets are non-refundable once purchased so please check your schedule before committing. There are no paper tickets for this event as your name will be placed on a guest list. The event is not located in the Hard Water bar, but rather across from the entrance in the private room next door. Come join us for the best after work party the Bay has to offer: K&L's private American whiskey events at Hard Water!

Purchase tickets here!

-David Driscoll



I was talking to a colleague the other day about a guy both of us knew and neither of us liked, and when I mentioned that he was a "pathological negger," my colleague's eyes narrowed in confusion.

"As in: he likes to neg girls for their attention," I went on.

My colleague still didn't understand.

"You don't know what negging is?" I asked. 

"No, what is it?" he replied.

Negging is when you try to gain someone's affection by insulting them, or giving them a backhanded compliment in order to wound their confidence. It's the exact opposite of saying something nice in the hope of making them happy. The theory is that if you're a total asshole, the girl will become vulnerable allowing potential further advances to proceed with less of a defense. It's a tool used by people who have no real interest in relationships or the feelings of others and are generally just looking to score. It's typically employed by guys who are so insecure themselves that negging is the only way they feel comfortable expressing themselves. That way, in case they're eventually turned down or rebuffed, they can say they were never interested in the first place. It's a sure-fire sign of someone who lacks self confidence, and it's also a defense mechanism against criticism. 

"So like I said, he's always negging women, which is repulsive." I continued. "You'd think at this point he'd realize that being nice to people is really the only way he's going to get anyone to like him. Ultimately, you have to be yourself."

I'm bringing this encounter up here on the blog because "negging" is a big part of wine and spirits culture, too. It works in the exact same way. You see these same guys walking snootily around a big wine tasting, calling people out for their opinions, pointing out when someone says something wrong, correcting little details here and there, and hoping to damage the confidence of everyone around them. Yet, ironically, rather than walking away from the group in disgust after doing so, they still want to keep interacting. I've been around hundreds of people like this over the last decade. They'll insult me to my face about my opinions, yet they really want to be my friend! They want attention, but they don't know how to go about it like a regular human being, so they neg. But then they'll email me and ask if I want to come to their tasting, or something like that. I've had customers neg me over the years as well. They'll point out how I was completely wrong about something, or how my last recommendation was inaccurate, but then they'll keep hounding me for more advice! You end up saying to yourself: "If I'm so wrong about everything, why are you so obsessed with what I think?" It can be a flabbergasting experience because of the irony involved, but—trust me—this is a real phenomenon.

It's a crazy world out there. Sometimes I'm not sure if understanding the psychology behind these actions makes me more depressed or helps me to cope. 

-David Driscoll


Knick Knacks

We've had a few interesting arrivals over the last few days that won't likely ever hit the email list, or get their own devoted blog post, so let's do a quick run down.

The Rum Fire from Jamaica's Hampden distillery is now available on the shelf and it's as funky and fruity as you would expect from a 63% overproof high-ester rum. Tiki lovers might be interested in grabbing a bottle of that.

We had a sizeable drop of allocated Nikka whiskies that hit the web yesterday. People have been cleaning us out all morning, but I got more in today so act quickly if you're jonesing for Japanese malts. 

The Kilchoman wine cask I wrote about the other day is here as well (that is going out in an email Monday).

Small shipments of Basil Hayden rye, Ezra Brooks 7 year, and Blood Oath came in. Only a case or so of each, so if you need a new American whiskey those might be fun. Willett rye is also back in stock after a brief absence.

In a total surprise, I really enjoyed the new Glenfiddich "XX," an experimental project the Dufftown stalwart released back in April. It's the right amount of sherry with more depth than I expected. 

Ferrand just released a new Double Cask Cognac that will replace the now defunct Reserve. It's a mix of Cognacs aged in French Oak and an older 20 year edition aged in sweet Banyuls barrels. Fun stuff. 

Gran Dovejo just released a new "High Proof" blanco at 46.6% that should be PERFECT for Cinco de Mayo. I'll be mixing with it tomorrow when I show my housesitter how to take care of my cats. Hopefully she remembers after a few Margaritas. It's still NOM 1414 juice with extra pep. Love it. 

Speaking of cats, since everyone seems to know about my cat adoption story (because people keep asking me about them (because people LOVE cats!)), I will share with you all my "growing" issue:

My wife took this photo one night after I had passed out in bed. That is my Bombay cat stretched out next to me. I'm about 5' 11". He is about 3' 10" when stretched out like that. He's actually bigger now than he was in the image above. Every day he keeps getting bigger. Not fatter. Just bigger. He's HUGE. He's like a giant panther that roams my house at will. I took him to the vet the other day and rather than treat him for his small wound the entire staff took selfies with him (then they treated him). They all said they had never seen a cat that big. 

Someone sent me a story a while back about the world's longest cat. As well as the world's tallest. I'm not sure how the cats are measured, but if someone from Guinness wants to come out and show me, we might have a new winner over at the Driscoll house. He is 22 pounds of pure cat muscle. 

-David Driscoll


"The Nigerian Spam Scam Scam" Comes to K&L

"Screamingly funny..." " Larry David on happy dust." -- Los Angeles Times 

"An absolutely brilliant show... a masterclass in comedy writing." -- The Stage Online

"It's a great show. It's a smart show. It's a skillful show. It's an important show. It's a fall on your ass funny show." -- Penn Jillette 

"...twisted comic super-genius, part Wile E. Coyote, part Paul Lynde..." -- Eric Stoltz 

"...this is funny stuff..." -- Recommended by The L.A. Weekly

 "As hysterical as it is absurd." -- The Scotsman

In our first-ever live theater event, we bring you the hilarious two man show "The Nigerian Spam Scam Scam" featuring actor Dean Cameron of Summer School and Ski School fame and Victor Isaac, based off a real life series of emails between Dean and the would-be scammer played by Isaac. Having performed this show all over the U.S. and in the UK over the last decade, this presentation marks the first time it's been performed in Redwood City (and in a restaurant)!  Starting at 7 PM we'll be serving cocktails on the back patio, food from Donato's kitchen, and hosting a meet and greet with Dean before the show. At around 8 PM we'll head into the private room for the performance. The ticket covers your drinks, food, and the show. All tickets are non-refundable, so please check your schedule before committing. There are no paper tickets for this event, your name will be placed on a guest list. Donato is in Redwood City at 1041 Middlefield Road. Please come to the back door patio for the event, rather than enter through the dining room. Only 50 seats available for this private event, so check your calendar ASAP!

K&L Presents "The Nigerian Spam Scam Scam" @ Donato, Redwood City, June 6th - 7 PM - $50

I'm planning on doing some pre-batched Negroni and Manhattan cocktails in giant jugs for the show. Donato's will of course be bringing out their classic Italian appetizers and snacks. This will not be a formal dinner event, so if you're someone who needs a big meal, I'd grab a bite before you arrive. We'll be seated theater style inside the dining room, so there will not be any eating or service during the play. If you have any additional questions or inquiries, send me an email! I hope to see you there! (FYI- I'm going to sell about fifteen tickets to my friends by the end of the day, so that really only leaves 35 spots!).

And also....if you're wondering why there's a giant cat up there, I'll advise you again: DO NOT RESEARCH THE PLAY. THE LESS YOU KNOW GOING IN, THE FUNNIER IT IS.

-David Driscoll


Exclusive Rarities Extreme Values

We’ve already told you how extremely lucky we are to be partnering with the John Milroy Selection to bring you EXCLUSIVE single malt at incredible prices. What we may have not told you is that we have these casks for sale in California for 40-50% the price their asking in the rest of the country. In addition to the outrageous value you’re getting by purchasing ANY of the Milroy casks from K&L you’re also getting access to some rare and wonderful stocks that don’t just show up every day. These casks were selected by one of the top noses in the business for their incredible depth and complexity. All the John Milroy Selections seek to highlight the incredible quality of the spirit going into these casks and that means they’re often going to come from refill hogsheads or bourbon barrels. This type of casks is truly the distillers’ preferred vessels because maturity is achieved through subtle concentration over decades rather than addition of oak or wine flavors to influence or detract from the exceptional flavor of the great spirit inside. Truly great Scotch doesn’t need much more than that to be spectacular. 

1997 Ben Nevis 18 Year Old "John Milroy K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $59.99

We’re offering today an exceptional Ben Nevis aged 18 years. This special distillery is becoming one of the most sought-after Highland offerings thanks to its robust and full flavored profile. The distillery stands at the base of the highest mount in the British Isles and is owned by the famed Japanese distiller Nikka. Founded in 1825 in the far-flung town of Fort Williams, it's definitely worth a detour if ever possible as the Western Coast is simply breathtaking. The distillery sells a single cask at 15 years for nearly $200. Retailers in other states who snagged a bit of this before we moved in and are asking upwards of $130! We’re selling the very SAME CASK for $60. It boasts big malty flavors with tons of coastal influence and deep mossy finish. While the Ben Nevis is becoming more popular and more regularly on offer here at K&L, it will rarely be available at such a stupendously low price. Grab this one quickly!

Glen Garioch 20 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky $119.99

From the famous stalwart of the eastern Highlands this cask of Glen Garioch represents some of the finest in this style we’ve seen in ages. Glen Garioch produces one of the highest quality distillates in Scotland, historically quite peaty; it’s now a fruity, bready, malty magician. You might liken it to a fuller bodied version of Clynelish. Subtle and brimming with complexity, Glen Garioch is a true BLUE CHIP distillery and we’ve only managed to bottle it exclusively only twice before. Both of those casks were bottled by the distillery and distilled after the 1995 closure. This cask represents some of the oldest stocks of Glen Garioch we’ve seen on the open market and comes from the period right before the distillery was mothballed for several years. A very rare treat indeed! This little single cask Glen Garioch is of such high quality that our out of state competitors feel confident in asking nearly $200 a bottle for this special whisky. It likely is worth at least that, but our price is nearly 40% less. These special casks don’t come around very often and if you know Glen Garioch than you’ll know that you must have this special whisky.

Tormore 20 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky $89.99

Finally, the very first cask of Tormore we’ve ever bottled and likely the only Tormore we’ve had in stock this century and it is a real treat. The distillery is extremely beautiful, built in 1958 it’s rather young by Scottish standards. The striking copper roofs are unforgettable, but usually we see them wiz by as we drive the A95 toward Aberlour and Dufftown. The attractive and inviting look of the distillery belies the extremely limited offerings within. Recently released 14 & 16 year old versions are available at the distillery, but not yet exported by parent company Pernod Ricard (Chivas Brothers). A huge majority of the production goes into the blends. IN fact, I’ve only tried one other Tormore in the last decade and it was an 80 proof single cask 16 year old bottling from Signatory that retailed for about the same price as this one. That was 4+ years ago. Tormore is known for its malty fresh style and medium body. This particular cask has some dark gravelly edges to round out by a wonderful fruity floral quality and loves a few drops of water. A fun and different malt driven whisky that’s perfect for summer sipping. I'm assuming this will be a first Tormore for many of our customers. 

There are still a couple of more gems coming down the line from Milroy and K&L, so keep your eyes peeled for these very special limited bottlings. 

-David Othenin-Girard