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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!


Saturday
Apr132013

Our Whisk(e)y Could Be Your Life

There's a famous book by Michael Azerrad called Our Band Could Be Your Life that documents the influence of punk rock during the 1980s. I've always loved the title of that work because I think it succinctly summarizes how seriously some people take their music. Imagine if you started a band and you had people following you from city to city, getting tattoos of your name across their chest, reciting your lyrics at every show, even arguing over what they think you mean by them. I remember going to watch Stephen Malkmus at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco about five years ago and it was nuts. The whole room was full of people who were cat-calling songs they wanted him to play. He already had a setlist he was working through, but people were really clamoring for old Pavement tracks. At one point he forgot the lyrics to a song he was playing by request, "Vanessa From Queens." We all shouted the words out to him so he could keep going. I remember thinking, "I know all the words to every Stephen Malkmus song by heart, but Stephen Malkmus doesn't?" When it comes to music I think we, as fans, have a tendency to over-inflate the importance of these songs to the artists themselves. What may mean the world to you could be just another jingle to them, one of hundreds that they're forgotten about over time. I think similar analogies could be made about whisky.

We've all been to a concert where an older artist is supporting new material. The artist wants to play the new stuff, but we want to hear the old stuff. We politely tolerate a few Bridges to Babylon tracks because we know Mick is going to pump out "Brown Sugar" and "Gimme Shelter" if we're patient enough. As it pertains to whisky, I've watched grown men practically grill brand ambassadors or master distillers over releasing more Supernova or making another batch of Parker's Heritage #1. I've sponsored customer events where people show up for free food and free booze with the whiskymaker, but sit there and argue with the guest over changing the specs to fit their particular desire. "Can't you make a peated Aberlour? Why not? I'd buy one! Isn't that reason enough?"

In all of my time playing the middleman between customers and producers, I've learned one very important lesson: the companies making the spirits usually don't care nearly as much as the customers do about their alcohol. They're trying to make money, not friends. If their particular product resonates with you, that's great. They're happy to hear it. However, when a customer starts showing up at company meetings, emailing regularly, and exhibiting groupie-esque behavior, it can start to get a little weird for the guys making the whisky. On the other side of that coin, the producers often times do not understand that creating a spirit automatically enters them into a passionate community of liquor fans. Whether they like it or not, they now have websites dedicated to their cause, message board threads documenting their every move, and an HR employee whose inbox is likely overloaded with detailed questions about production. Some spirits will achieve rock star status. Some will simply enjoy a few years of moderate fame. Some will resent success, others will embrace it.

If you asked me to list off every Ardbeg release since 2005 in chronological order, I could do it. If you asked Bill Lumsden the same question on the spot, he could probably answer it as well. However, if he forgot a few names or misplaced the order of a few, I wouldn't be surprised. Nor would I read anything into it. The guys making the whisky are busy doing that - actually making the whisky. They're not categorically managing the entirety of whisky culture in their minds at all times. A lot of whiskymakers have no idea what's going on outside of their own company. Kilchoman? What's that? Whereas someone like me thinks about booze all day and all night, it doesn't necessarily follow that the people making it do as well.

Like the time I had to help Stephen Malkmus remember the lines to one of his more obscure songs. What was more embarrassing? The fact that he had forgotten them? Or the fact that I knew them and had the nerve to shout them out?

-David Driscoll

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