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K&L Spirits Tasting Schedule:

Weds from 5 - 6:30 PM

4/2 - Redwood City: Glenlivet Single Malts

2014 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky

1988 Littlemill 25 Year Old K&L "Exclusive Malts" Single Barrel Cask Strength Lowland 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!


Bladnoch 11 Year Old K&L Exclusive Lightly Peated Single Barrel #303 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Bladnoch 23 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #1054 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Talisker "The Speakeasy" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2005 Glenrothes 8 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Sovereign" Single Sherry Barrel 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

1991 Cambus 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky 750ml IN STOCK NOW!


2002 Bowmore 11 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Exclusive Malts" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml IN STOCK NOW!


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!


1989 Cragganmore 23 Year Old Faultline Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 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!


1983 Miltonduff 30 Year Old Faultline Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750m IN STOCK NOW!


Monday
Mar262012

Customers Respond to the Pappy Games

We have one entry already.  Tim from Los Angeles.  In his request, he wrote:

David To The North, 

I write you regarding your Pappy Van Winkle allocation. 

I would link you to the copious photos of my endless hoard of Pappy, all years and all expressions, but I believe that those who flaunt do not have a true understanding of what it means to TRULY hoard. I have accumulated vast numbers of bottles - so many that I could kill the entire state of California with alcohol poisoning six times over - that spill out from five or six storage units in Los Angeles. I do not post photos because my hoard is not to be seen by human eyes. In fact, I believe that the mere light of my iPhone's camera can irreversibly taint the delicate molecules of alcohol. Thus, all of my bottles are stored in their velvet bags, inside styrofoam containers, double boxed, double taped and then wrapped with kraft paper. The storage units are secured with a Mul-T-Lok which is bump-proof and pick-resistant. I have no intention of ever drinking any of this fine whiskey; I only get enjoyment from an ever-increasing stash of it. 

I tell you this because I believe you are the only whisky merchant who would have an appreciation as to why it's so important that this whiskey is appropriately hoarded. I do not buy it for investment or speculative value; I buy it merely to own it and not drink it. (This is similar to my viewpoint on many items I own - I also bought our kitchen table for the sole purpose of ownership and it is strictly NOT TO BE EATEN UPON).

Finally, I find it important to tell you that I trained with world-renowned Serge of the Valentins and he gave me a 93, adding, "thanks for the sample, Steffen!". 

While we have yet to review Tim officially, he appears to be a fierce contestant.  When the Pappy Games finally begin, they will function as follows: we will set all 24 contestants in front of a computer, linking them to the K&L website.  We will put the bottles on sale at a specific time and the participants must move quickly to login, add the bottles to their cart, then check out as quickly as possible.  All contestants will be wearing a destructive collar around their neck while typing.  Those who check out successfully and win the bottle of Pappy will live to drink their award.  Those who fail to check out in time will have their head exploded by the collar. 

Good luck to all those who play, and may the odds ever be in your favor.

-David Driscoll
Monday
Mar262012

The Pappy Games

To be considered for a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon this year at K&L, all those interested in procuring this precious elixer must send me their email address to be placed inside of a lottery.  We will choose twenty four names and those chosen will be sent to a large arena where they will battle to the death.  The last person standing will receive K&L's total allocation of Pappy Van Winkle for 2012.  The more pictures of yourself or your previous PPVW bottle collection that you've posted online via Facebook or Twitter, the more times we will allow you to put your name into the reaping.  Before the event begins, there will be a training session where both David OG and myself evaluate the skills of each contestent and rank the strength of each participant with a score of somewhere between 70 and 100 points (with anything over 90 decreeing a worthwhile contender).  If you're interested in participating in this year's Pappy Games, please contact me.  Allocations are coming soon and we need to determine a winner before then.

-David Driscoll

Friday
Mar232012

Things Are Complicated

I'm almost always thinking about booze.  Usually, it's in a philosophical sense - not about some deal I need to make, but rather about the role of alcohol in our lives and whether it actually makes them better.  Lately, I've been so bombarded by new arrivals and tasting notes that I've had little time to ponder much more than the cost of a bottle.  Some of you may appreciate that more, sick of reading my babbles about booze theory, but I hope there is an audience out there somewhere.  What struck me the other night, while watching an episode of the Colbert Report, was an interview that Stephen conducted with a prominent war journalist.  Colbert asked him for his stance (either pro or anti) on some of the confrontations he had involved himself in and the reporter responded with one of the best answers I've ever heard: it's too complicated.

Perhaps when you're young, bold, and opinionated, it can be easy to be either "for" or "against" the Iraq war, or to firmly side with Israel or Palestine.  What I found so relieving about the journalist's answer, however, was the fact that true experience taught him never to jump to conclusions.  While I've never been part of an armed engagement, I can only imagine the myriad of components to consider when trying to establish the truth of what's happening.  Yet, sitting here from far away, it seems like so many people believe they understand the intricate nature of each conflict.  This man, who had been there and experienced the war, could only say that there was simply too much to consider when trying to summarize a final opinion.  So what does this have to do with booze?

I think that perhaps I've let my own opinions about large corporations complicate my opinion about some of the products they own or produce.  Sometimes it's easy to lump an entire portfolio under the Diageo umbrella, or to dismiss big house Cognac as simply adulterated.  I've listened to other opinions about these matters and I've heard some interesting points of view.  However, the more that I work in this business, the more I am introduced to the people behind these products, many of whom completely throw a wrench in my firm-standing beliefs.  For example, last week, when Mr. Raguenaud from Grand Marnier paid us a visit - we were all less than enthused about this corporate giant and their "mass-produced" orange liqueur.  However, when we tasted with Patrick and we sensed his passion for the craft, we all left feeling a bit ashamed of ourselves.  Sure, Grand Marnier is run by luxury brand-owner LVMH and they run huge ad campaigns all over the world, but does that mean their product isn't any good?

Now that's not to say that you should support Grand Marnier instead of a locally-made or smaller-production orange liqueur.  It's just to say that things are complicated.  It's not easy to simply lump brands or products together based on an overall ideal.  I've had a few more of these experiences since Grand Marnier visited, including a run in with a tequila producer I was sure I wanted to avoid, but ended up being completely won over by his passion.  If you would have asked me six months ago how I felt about corporate-run, big-brand spirits, I probably would have given you a blanket answer.  Now, however, I need to analyze that question on a case by case basis.  There are too many facets of the booze business that cannot be summarized so easily.

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Mar222012

The Kurani Kid Discusses Our New Liqueurs

Kyle Kurani breaks down three new liqueurs soon to be at K&L this week in another video confessional.  Look for all three starting tomorrow in the Redwood City store.

Thursday
Mar222012

Some New Things For Cocktail Fans

Tomorrow will be an exciting day for cocktail fans as we receive a bunch of new products in the Redwood City store.  First off will be the long-awaited arrival of Germain-Robin's Fluid Dynamics 1850 barrel-aged cocktail.  The absinthe in the mix puts it over the top as the absolute best of the FD offerings, a lovely drink.  We'll also be offering three packs soon with the 1850, Saratoga, and Brandy Manhattan at a discounted price.  Fun!

I'd been wanting to taste this for a while and it finally came my way today!  The Imbue Bittersweet Vermouth from Oregon showcases all the fruit of the area's Pinot Gris wine with the lovely bitter notes of something like Cocchi Americano.  Clear Creek makes the brandy for fortification and the marriage is quite seamless.  This is one of the most delicious apperitifs I've tried in some time.  It should come in at around $25 a bottle and I expect it to be a huge hit.

Kyle and I were also quite taken with this new Calisaya liqueur, also from Oregon.  Made from chinchona bark, botanicals, flowers, and Valencia oranges, this is one of the tastiest amaro-like arrivals in some time.  Again, this is so much more versatile for cocktails than most of the other amari we carry because of the wonderful fruit and the sweetness.  Think Grand Marnier meets Nonino Amaro.  This should come in at around $42.

Look for these products as early as tomorrow!

-David Driscoll