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K&L Spirits Tasting Schedule:

Weds from 5 - 6:30 PM

10/29 - Redwood City: Alexander Murray Single Malts

11/5 - San Francisco: Alexander Murray Single Malts

2014 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky

1988 Blair Athol 26 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2001 Bowmore 13 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1990 Bruichladdich 24 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 PRE-ORDER


Glenfarclas "The Faultline Casks" K&L Exclusive First Fill Oloroso Sherry Casks Single Malt Whisky PRE-ORDER


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 IN STOCK NOW!


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 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!


Wednesday
Jul252012

Whisky Season 2012 Update: A Pair from Glenfarclas

We've been getting a ton of emails asking us when the bombs were going to start dropping, when the Ladyburns of 2012 would be offered, so to speak.  Ladies and gentlemen, please begin to take cover.  Now that we've armed ourselves with a calvalry of selective bargains, we're ready to start bringing out the heavy artillery.  The above picture will give you a pretty good idea of what our visit to Glenfarclas was like.  George Grant going through a gigantic, 1980's-style computer printout of ten thousand casks and where they were located.  Us, salivating like two hungry dogs, wetting our whistles with sweet, sherry-aged juice from decades past.  We could have spent our entire time in Scotland at Glenfarclas alone, digging through the various warehouses and pulling out amazing barrels.  In the end, David and I had already snagged a handful of value whiskies, so we knew we had to take advantage of the situation.  No other distillery would be willing to let us run willy-nilly through their super mature stocks, allowing us access to thirty and forty year old casks at the drop of a hat.  There was no point in settling for a twelve year old cask of Glenfarclas when our customers can buy that right now anyway.  The insane amount of mature whisky needed to be exploited to its fullest potential.  We needed to man up, go deep, and simply take the best barrels we could find - no matter how old, how rare, or how expensive.  So we did.  Man, are they glorious.

(NOTE: We are leaving off the age statements until we can determine the exact age of the malt - 41 or 42, 32 or 33)

1970 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (Pre-Order) $579.99 - The next time we head over to Scotland for a business trip, we could easily spend the entire week at Glenfarclas.There are multiple warehouses with an endless amount of barrels, making our discovery of fantastic whisky almost the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack. One of the oldest distillerlies in all of Scotland, Glenfarclas is perhaps the most legendary Highland producer. No one is quite sure when the site was actually founded because records only document those facilities that legally paid taxes. In 1865, the Grants purchased the company and since then has passed it down to successive generations. Today, George Grant still proudly runs the show, making Glenfarclas a true rarity - an independent, family-owned distillery that still maintains complete autonomy over its operations. There are no corporate obligations, which is why David and I were able to walk in, meet with George, and pick out any cask that we wanted from the storied, sherry-aged stocks. With so many mature expressions available, we knew we had to take advantage. The 1970 cask is over 40 years old, with a savory richness that oozes with fudge and coffee grounds. The sherry morphs into cakebread and rancio notes before going back in for more richness on the finish. The full proof really makes this whisky special, adding a punch that most older malts lack.  The finish goes on for an eternity, seriously daring you to go back for seconds.  It's the entire package - rarity, depth, and a complexity only found in whiskies of this age. One of the best we've ever found and very limited. Believe me, we wouldn't bring in an entire cask of whisky this expensive unless we knew it was going to be epic.  It is.  It's AMAZING.  Only 50 bottles available for pre-order.

1979 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $279.99 - Glenfarclas is well-renowned for its heavily-sherried character, a mainstay of the Highland distilleries in its region. Located just down the way from Aberlour and other famous Speyside institutions, the dried raisins and fruit cake flavors of sweet sherry casks are ubiquitous in the region and in Glenfarclas whisky expressions.  For that reason, the single cask of 1979 vintage malt we tasted from a fourth-fill sherry cask really caught us off guard.  Because the barrel has already been used three times to mature other whiskies, the sherry residue left on the wood is quite faint, therefore having less of an impact on the eventual color and flavor of the spirit aging inside of it. After more than 30 years, the result is absolutely incredible and very unlike most other Glenfarclas whiskies (exactly why we wanted it!).  Instead of rich sherry, the whisky opens with oily resinous notes, sweet barley, and supple texture that can only come from three decades of wooded slumber.  The finish turns somewhat smoky, filling in the gaps with more oil and a wave of vanilla.  The whisky is simply delicious, loaded with character, and unlike anything from Glenfarclas or any other distillery offering currently on the market.  David and I are always on the lookout for the delicious oddball and we definitely found one deep in the plentiful warehouses of Glenfarclas.  One of my absolute favorite bottles from the trip, if not the favorite. Only 75 bottles available for pre-order.

-David Driscoll

Wednesday
Jul252012

Tastings Tonight!

Two very exciting tastings at K&L tonight: San Francisco will host Boyd & Blair vodka who will be focusing on their Boyd & Blair 151 - a high-quality, high-proof spirit meant for making infusions and bitters.  Kat will be there with packets of different herbs and flavorings to help showcase the various possibilities.  This is almost like a cocktail seminar and a tasting combined!  Redwood City with host the much beloved Buffalo Trace distillery who will be pouring their standard expression, along side the Old Weller Antique and probably the Eagle Rare.  Tastings start at 5 PM and run until 6:30.  Free as always!

-David Driscoll

Sunday
Jul222012

Mark Your Calender

I just got the word this week – Glenfarclas owner George Grant, one of many in a long line of Grants who have run the distillery since the mid-1800's, is going to be in town this Tuesday.  Although that's not our usual tasting day, we can't not have George come into the store, meet the public, and pour some single malt, right?  Therefore, this coming Tuesday in Redwood City you can come and meet George from 5:30 to 6:45 and taste some of his wonderful single malts for free!  He'll have the standard line of expressions, but he did mention something about an exclusive bottle of 1994 vintage that he did for Austria.  I'm not sure if that's on the table or not, but anything's possible!

I won't be there, so Kyle will be running the show.  We'll still have our normal tastings in both stores on Wednesday as well.  Mark your calender!

-David Driscoll

Sunday
Jul222012

The Power of Ego (or Getting What You Actually Want)

As someone who grew up confident in his own abilities, I'm happy I'm finally at the point where I no longer believe my own hype. I no longer think the trophy at the end of soccer season means I'm a winner.  I no longer think that having the most activities listed in back of my high school yearbook means I was the most popular. I no longer think that I was meant for greatness just because I got A's in college.  I no longer think of compliments as reinforcement. The human ego can sometimes hyper-extend itself to protect was is, in essence, an insecure state of being.  From my experience, people who eagerly and overly profess their talents and abilities are usually doing so because of their fear of inadequacy, at least that was always the case with me.  Somehow talking loudly and openly about how great they are will somehow make it true, compensating for some inner insecurity.  Hopefully, no one will actually put them on the spot and ask them to prove it, however, because that would be a disaster!

When it comes to getting what we want in life, we're sometimes forced to choose between our actual goal and the desires of the ego.  For example, when the car on the freeway cuts in front of you there are two ways you can react.  The first is to sigh and continue driving, achieving the ultimate goal of getting to your destination safely.  The second is to give in to the ego - who does this person think they are cutting in front of you?  "I'll show them," you might think as you floor the gas pedal to retaliate somehow vehicularly.  But what are you really going to show them?  Are you going to convince them they did something wrong?  Are they going to pull over and publicly apologize for their impertinence?  Worse, what if they're armed, locked and loaded, and ready to go much further than you were planning (remember, you don't want to get put on the spot!).  The right move is to think about what it is you really want.  Not to be dead, or injured, or responsible for an unintended fender bender.  You want to get to work, or home, or to see your loved one - so you let it go. The ego will be upset, but you'll achieve what you set out to do.

Retail experiences can also force us to think long and hard about what our goal really is.  If you get a defective product from the local store, what is it you then want to do about it?  Do you want a replacement and maybe an apology, or do you want the workers in the store to know how inconvenient the experience has been?  Do you want them to feel upset that you're upset?  Do you want them to honestly understand the pain you've been subjected to?  If you want the replacement, the right move is to enter calmly and politely, explain the situation, and then react accordingly to the employee's response.  If you want to succumb to the ego, that itch in the back of your mind that says, "They won't get the best of me!" then you go in hard, fuming and steaming, argumentative and implacable, letting the establishment know that, not only do you want a replacement, but that they'll be lucky to have your business ever again.  In reality, you'll be the lucky one if you don't get spit in your burger.  You're not going to convince anyone of anything with that attitude.  You're only letting the world know that they should probably avoid your presence from now on.

That exact same scenario can be reversed.  As a retailer, if someone tells you they're dissatisfied with the level of service they've received, you should probably listen to them.  That is, if your actual goal is running a business.  If what you ultimately want is to make money by offering a service, then you need to accept the fact that you won't always handle everything correctly.  Mistakes can be made and sometimes the customer has really done their homework.  However, if you choose to indulge your ego, then by all means tell the customer they're an idiot!  Be condesending and assert your authority as a professional in your field.  That'll show them to question your expertise!  In reality, however, what it will show this customer is that your business is one to be avoided.  Not only will this person never shop at your store again, they'll probably tell everyone they know not to either, which does not help you achieve your ultimate goal of making money by offering people a service.  If that wasn't your goal, however, then don't worry about it!

I've found that, over the past ten years of my life, there have been numerous situations where I've chosen my ego over my actual desire.  Sometimes, it's too tempting to stroke that little part of yourself that knows you're right (even when you're wrong).  However, what I've found to be true, perhaps more than anything else I've ever learned, is that those egotistical reactions have never actually helped my situation.  I've never really convinced anyone I was smarter, more talented, infallable, more logical, more informed, or more clever.  People don't respond well to ego, it's a complete and total turnoff, yet for some reason the ego believes otherwise.  Even if I am actually in the right, the other person is never, ever, ever, convinced.  Just like the driver who cut you off and needs to be taught a lesson.  He's not going to be taught anything.  If anyone is going to be taught a lesson, it will be you after your road rage results in mayhem and you wind up in jail.  The lesson is: let go of your ego's desire and get what it is that you actually want.  They're usually two different things.

-David Driscoll

Friday
Jul202012

Wow, That's Good.

When our newest cask of Buffalo Trace showed up this morning, I immediately called David OG in Hollywood and said, "Man, you picked a winner."  To which, he repied, "I thought you did that one?"  Now while we don't which one of us was the mastermind behind this stunning bottle, we can at least say that David did a fantastic job.  Harlen and the boys made a freakin' wonder of a cask - a single barrel Buffalo Trace that almost bursts with sweet baking spices, cloves, and tons of maple richness.  It's the most epic whiskey we've ever chosen from the Sazerac company and it's a hot deal.  Grab it!

Buffalo Trace K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #74 Kentucky Bourbon $24.99 - This new single-barrel from Buffalo Trace produced a very small yield of 20 cases for our new K&L exclusive bottling. Think of this as the classic flagship Buffalo Trace product, but with all of its best components highlighted and enhanced: stronger spice, sweet candied fruit, a medium body, aromatic vanilla, vibrant oak and just a touch sweeter. When we pick a single barrel from these guys it's only because it truly outshines the already stellar standard bottling. Needless to say, we don't find many barrels that out-class their exceptional distillery bottlings, but when you see the potential of this fabulous whiskey as a single cask, you'll definitely come back for more! (David Girard)

-David Driscoll