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2015 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky

1992 Clynelish K&L Exclusive 21 Year Old Cadenhead Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2001 Bowmore 12 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2008 Caol Ila 5 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1995 Craigellachie 18 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1995 Miltonduff 19 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2007 Mortlach 7 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2004 Smoky & Peaty Tobermory (Ledaig) 8 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Laphroaig 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Macallan 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Tamdhu 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Tobermory 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1990 Girvan 24 Year Old Sovereign K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1978 Port Dundas 36 Year Old Sovereign K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1964 North British 50 Year Old Sovereign K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2014 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky

SMWS 36.82 Benrinnes 17 Year Old "Rare Release" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1988 Blair Athol 25 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


2001 Bowmore 12 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1990 Bruichladdich 23 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Glen Ord 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1995 Glenburgie 19 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Glenrothes 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1998 Mortlach 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Finish Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1995 Imperial 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Kilchoman K&L Exclusive 100% Islay Single Bourbon Barrel #344 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Kilchoman K&L Exclusive 100% Islay Single Bourbon Barrel #345 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1990 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


Glenfarclas "The Faultline Casks" K&L Exclusive First Fill Oloroso Sherry Casks Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Bunnahabhain Heavily Peated 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Chieftain's Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1998 Laphroaig 15 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1983 Caol Ila 30 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2002 Bowmore 11 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Hogshead Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


1992 Bruichladdich 21 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1988 Balmenach 25 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


1997 Benrinnes 17 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


1997 Dailuaine 16 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1995 Glen Elgin 18 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


1997 Glenlivet 16 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!!


1981 Glenlivet 32 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


Bladnoch "Young" K&L Exclusive Heavily Peated Single Barrel #57 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


1997 Glengoyne 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive "Sovereign" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


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!


Friday
Apr122013

ArteNom Developments

I had lunch with Jacob Lustig today, tequila afficionado and K&L hero. We're Jake's top account for tequila in the world, mainly because everyone who works here is in love with his booze. It's practically the only tequila we recommend anymore. When your stuff is that good and this well-priced, it's hard to put another bottle in someone's hand. In any case, Jake was stopping by to tell me that the distillery in Santa Maria, which makes the 1079 Blanco tequila, has changed ownership and filed for a new NOM number. The next batch of Blanco will therefore carry the new 1580 number. Jake was worried that this change would confuse people, but since the tequila is from a new batch anyway (with a distinctly different flavor) it might be better to change the number along with it. I got the chance to open the new 1580 and I almost like it better. There's a distinct vegetal note that really pops along with the spice.

Jake also runs a distillery in Oaxaca where he's making some fantastic everyday mixing mezcal. Like myself, Jake is not interested in collecting or amassing, he's interested in consumption. His goal was to make a clean, tasty mezcal that you wouldn't feel guilty about when you emptied the bottle in a single evening with friends. A mezcal that you could pour out generously and celebrate with, alongside a 24 pack of beer. He's definitely achieved that goal.

We'll have these in stock next week!

-David Driscoll

Friday
Apr122013

Time to Relax (Part III)

Do you remember that scene in Amelie when Audrey Tautou gives the man the video of the horse running through the bicycle race? It's a touching moment when a shut-in who hasn't been able to leave his house realizes that life is beautiful and he needs to get back out into the world.

A friend sent me this video this morning via email and I just sat spellbound for the entire duration watching this guy shred the keyboard. I completely forgot the order I was working on, the whisky notes I needed to type up, and I just sat there smiling. Remember to keep up with the world as a whole, not just the internet whisky scene. It's a great big planet and there are many wonderful things happening as we speak. Now can someone please get married and invite this guy to play at their wedding?

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Apr112013

Black Barrel Arrives (Ginger Beer, Anyone?)

While we're still waiting on the two single barrels of Mount Gay Black Barrel to arrive, the standard edition is now available at K&L. I'm a big fan of this rum and I think it's really going to appeal to Bourbon fans. Again, if you're getting tired of the standard fare this is great chance to spend relatively little and taste something new, yet familiar. The spice, richness, and overall flavor are classic vanilla, sweet cane, and barrel spice. I could dump this over a glass of ice, sit outside, and finish the whole bottle with ease. We drank this with ginger beer in Barbados and no one was complaining (and that's not because we were being polite to Uncle Remy). 

Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum $25.99

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Apr112013

Time to Relax (Part II) - Crop Rotation

I ended up grabbing dinner with my co-worker Jim Boyce last night and we sat on his back patio, drinking beer and eating Thai food, taking in the warm evening on the Peninsula. We were talking about consumer burnout, how we could prevent it, and trying to think of the proper analogy to put it into context. I don't know if it was the presence of stars in the night sky or the sight of tomatoes growing in the various pots in Jim's yard, but we started comparing the average booze consumer to a plot of land. Are you ready for some real hippie-dippie philosophical babble?

Crop rotation. That's what will prevent consumer burnout.

What is crop rotation? It's what farmers do to prevent their land from losing its nutrients due to overproduction. Here's a better description from Wikipedia:

In Europe, since the times of Charlemagne, there was a transition from a two-field crop rotation to a three-field crop rotation. Under a two-field rotation, half the land was planted in a year while the other half lay fallow. Then, in the next year, the two fields were reversed. Under three-field rotation, the land was divided into three parts. One section was planted in the autumn with winter wheat or rye. The next spring, the second field was planted with other crops such as peas, lentils, or beans and the third field was left fallow. The three fields were rotated in this manner so that every three years, a field would rest and be fallow. 

Growing the same crop in the same place for many years in a row disproportionately depletes the soil of certain nutrients. With rotation, a crop that leaches the soil of one kind of nutrient is followed during the next growing season by a dissimilar crop that returns that nutrient to the soil or draws a different ratio of nutrients: for example, rice followed by cotton.

What we supposed last night, under the influence, was that alcohol burnout could be prevented by simply rotating the crops at the right time of the year. After a season of single malt drinking, it might be time to let that part of your body lie fallow while you tend to "winter wheat or rye," in the form of a distilled spirit, of course. You might try planting some sugar cane as well, or some savory herbs that could macerated and formulated into a gin. Why not a vineyard as well?

Crop rotation. Is your land completely focused on the production of corn and barley? If so, you might be in danger of sapping its vital nutrients completely. Letting it remain fallow for a while is a time-tested way of preventing complete depletion. 

Or, in other words, of preventing total burnout.

-David Driscoll 

Wednesday
Apr102013

Time to Relax

It's a warm 79 degrees in Redwood City. The memories of Scottish snow are melting away as I walk between the store and warehouse, fetching bottles from the backstock. I'm thinking about the gin and tonic I'm going to have when I get home. I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't start with a Daiquiri, however. I'm thinking about sitting on the back patio and reading a book before eating dinner, pausing to sip between pages. What I'm not thinking about is whisk(e)y or any of the frustrations that have serious drinkers so angry these days. Obsessing and stressing about whisk(e)y leads to whisk(e)y burnout, something the whisk(e)y industry needs to be very careful about right now. Not financial bubbles, not supply issues, but burnout. More and more people are getting tired of the grind - getting on waitlists, searching for allocated items, the work it takes being a diehard whisk(e)y fan. It's a real issue and it's one we don't talk enough about in the business.

Keeping up with the internet whisk(e)y scene can be absolutely exhausting. You read all the magazine websites, the news pages, the professional blogs, the amateur blogs, the message boards, and all of the comments on each one. You do this because this is simply what whisk(e)y people do, right? By the end of the day you're exhausted and what have you learned? That people take whisk(e)y really, really, really, really fucking seriously. Perhaps a bit too seriously. I've talked to quite a few prominent bloggers lately that are absolutely gassed. They're losing their passion. The same passion that motivated them to start a blog and commune with other drinkers about whisk(e)y has been sucked right out of them. They used to drink whisk(e)y because they liked it. Now their hobby has consumed all of their freetime and their excess bandwidth. This pressure isn't unique to bloggers whatsoever. I've watched some of my best customers buckle under the weight of their collections. Guys who used to come by every week are now merely names from K&L's past. Burnout. Too much whisk(e)y. Not too much drinking of whisk(e)y, but rather too much thinking of whisk(e)y.

I have to think about whisk(e)y all day, but that's my job. It's a frustrating time. I am now allowed to buy one case (a six pack) of Russell's Reserve 6 Year Old Rye per month. I just learned that I will also be restricted to six bottles of Elijah Craig 12 Year Cask Strength per month. On top of that Anchor has now upped my allotment of Old Potrero to a whopping one bottle a month! That's enough supply to last me about thirty seconds once I send out an email. It's almost not even worth bringing it in because I'm going to piss off more people than I'm going to please. Nevertheless, we shouldn't be crying over these things. They're the result of a growing demand for whisk(e)y, something we all spend our time enjoying as well. I noticed today that another six whiskies took price increases on the invoice I was recently sent. Six more whiskies that I'll either have to change the price on or take the hit. But I'm not going to stress about these things. That leads to burnout and I can't afford to let that happen.

If you're feeling like the whisk(e)y world is getting to be too much for you to handle, like picking fights with people on message boards about the quality levels of recent Stitzel Weller releases is becoming unhealthy, like your anger over missing out on Batch 39 of Aberlour A'Bunadh is simply going to consume you, then you need to take a break. Anyone who spends their time worrying about these things is asking for a heart attack and whisk(e)y isn't worth risking your health over. There are many other great things to do with your evening besides drink, blog, take pictures of your collection, and obsess, obsess, and obsess. Yet, this is where I see more and more whisk(e)y drinkers headed.

Burnout is a real thing. It's what happens when you spend too much time thinking about whisk(e)y, or anything for that matter. With every new release, every new limited edition, every new K&L Exclusive comes the pressure to get one before it's gone forever. We're all responsible for keeping it in check. Producers, distributors, importers, advertisers, retailers, bloggers, me, you, the internet. Everyone who cares about whisk(e)y has a duty to watchout for each other.

I'm watching out for myself tonight. I'm drinking some gin. I'm taking a break. I'm going to read a book and I'm going to forget about whisk(e)y. At least for one evening.

-David Driscoll