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K&L Spirits Tasting Schedule:

Weds from 5 - 6:30 PM

4/23 - Redwood City: Ardbeg Single Malts (w/the chopper!)

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!


Thursday
Dec082011

2011 K&L Awards - Best Liqueur of the Year

David Othenin-Girard picks: Tempus Fugit Creme de Menthe/Cacao - Another exemplary effort from Tempus Fugit. Nothing on the market comes close to the amazing and authentic flavors exhibited here. Even the high end French producers settle for using mint extracts rather than fresh mint and Tempus refuses to compromise. This has fresh spearmint and peppermint as well as a host of botanicals to provide depth. The cacao is the only Creme de Cacao available of acceptable quality. Leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Try a Stinger, it might change your life.

David Driscoll picks: Berry Bros & Rudd King's Ginger - Already the second BBR product to win an award from me.  The legendary British merchant was all over the place this year, bringing us this fantastic ginger liqueur made from Glenrothes single malt whisky, macerated ginger, lemon peel, and a bit of cane sugar.  You can drink it alone, with ginger beer for an extra kick, or in numerous cocktails.  I've been through 3 bottles this year which is a lot of liqueur for me.

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Dec082011

2011 K&L Awards - Best Vodka of the Year

I guess it might be a bit helpful to discuss what goes into the criteria for selecting the best spirits of 2011.  We think about quality, sales reports, customer feedback, our own personal taste, and general drinkability when determining these picks.  It's not an exact science, but we know better than to just choose the esoteric thing that no one bought, but we absolutely adored.  There needed to be a substantial consumer response in addition to our own positive feedback.

David Othenin-Girard chooses: Boyd & Blair Vodka - Potato vodka from Pennsylvania.  This bottle took our store by storm this year.  We sell a case a week just out of Redwood City alone and the word seems to be spreading.  Creamy, soft, easy going and textural - all things we want from vodka.  Great stuff.

David Driscoll choses: Potocki Polish Rye Vodka - Not only my vodka of the year, but maybe the absolute best vodka I've ever had.  If the goal of a vodka is to be pure, clean, smooth, soft, and textural, then this is the jackpot of all vodkas.  I could sip this stuff out of the bottle - no problem.  A milestone for spirits.  Purists - rejoice!

-David Driscoll

Wednesday
Dec072011

Free Spirits Tastings Tonight!

San Francisco will once again host David Nava pouring the Springbank 10 (possibly my all time favorite whisky) as well as some Berry Bros and Rudd stuff like the No 3 gin!

Redwood City will have Todd Smith pouring some of the new Willett Cask Strength Bourbons. 

Tastings start at 5 PM and finish at 6:30 PM.  They are free!

-David Driscoll

Wednesday
Dec072011

2011 K&L Awards - Best Rum of the Year

You can tell that my generation has taken over the news media because sources of information that once contained legitimate news are now nothing but top ten lists.  The children of the late 70's/early 80's would rather talk about their all-time favorite screwball movies, or the top ten places to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon than spend their time actually digging up a story.  Seeing that both Mr. Girard and I are firmly from this generation, it only seems fitting that we would also engage in such behavior.  Therefore, since it's December and the new year is almost upon us, we will begin what is now a yearly tradition for us (and a daily tradition for the San Francisco Chronicle) - we will list our favorite products of 2011.  Let's start with rum:

David Driscoll picks: Berry Bros & Rudd St Lucia 11 Year Old Rum - Best rum of the year and a leading contender for my overall spirit of the year.  Honey, cherries, menthol, fruit tea, and bitter spice.  It's pretty freaking odd.  It's also pretty freaking delicious.  I don't know what makes it taste this way, but I wish I could find more rums like it.

David Othenin-Girard picks: El Dorado 12 Year Old Demerara Rum - David OG told me today that lately he's been putting this stuff away like water.  That doesn't surprise me.  The last time I was in LA we spent an hour emptying his rum collection into our bellies.  The El Dorado 12 is a staple of fine sipping rum.  Better balanced than Ron Zacapa, better richness than Zaya, more sweetness than Zafra, and $10 less per bottle than all of them.

-David Driscoll

Monday
Dec052011

Calvados - By Charles Neal

I remember first meeting Charles Neal about two years ago and at that time he told me he was almost finished with his Calvados book.  Seeing that the project took him over a decade, I guess two years counts as "almost."  What I now finally have in my hands is one of the most end-all, be-all books about any subject ever.  While there are many whisk(e)y books in my collection, I really can't justify owning more than one book about Calvados - and that's not just because it's a small percentage of the spirits industry.  I'll never need another book about Calvados because Charles has packed everything one has ever needed to know about that subject into this 768 page monster of a tome. 

 

What do you want to know about Normandie?  Perhaps a bit about the food and culture of the people?  It's in here.  Maybe a briefing on the D-Day invasion from WWII and its impact upon the region as a whole?  It's in the book.  Maps, charts, fun stories, distillation techniques, a break down on the different types of apple - everything you've ever even considered, that might be in some way related to Calvados, is in this book.  After you wade through oceans of data, you then come to the producer biographies - over 200 different distillers, each visited by Charles himself, with photos, tasting notes, and histories.  If you thought perhaps you weren't that interested in apple brandy, you will be after two minutes of browsing through these pages.

 

I'm personally a big fan of Calvados, but I tend to rely almost completely on Charles's selections - namely because he has all the best stuff.  He's the only person who can rival Nicolas Palazzi for French brandy as well.  Did I say we were going to Kentucky in January?  Because I meant Mexico.  Did I say we were going to Mexico?  I may have meant France.  If things work out schedule-wise we may have some interesting new selections by the summer.  Calvados included.

-David Driscoll