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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!


Saturday
Sep102011

When Rarity and Quality Collide

Our magnificant cask of Ladyburn arrived today and I snagged one bottle out of the batch to taste with the staff before sending the rest over to the processing center.  We hyped this whisky to the moon, so much so that it sold out completely despite no one having ever tasted it but David and myself.  The fact that the most expensive whisky we bought happened to be the first to sell out caught us completely off guard, as we were nervous about anyone buying it at all.  Nevertheless, our descriptions and enthusiasm won over the curiosity of our loyal customers and the bottles flew out of inventory faster than we could have ever imagined.  Now all we had to do was make sure that the whisky we delivered matched the expectation we created.  I popped a bottle earlier today and I'm thoroughly relieved to report that it's just as magical as I remember.

When Val drove up with the cases, I breathed my first sigh of relief because when we originally purchased the cask from Signatory they were working with JVS to import and distribute it.  However, about two months ago Signatory decided to terminate their relationship with JVS without naming a new distributor for California.  This happened after we sold out the barrel and sent us into an immediate panic.  How the heck were we going to get the bottles if they were no longer working together?  Luckily we managed to get both sides to agree to one final shipment and the whisky has now arrived in our warehouse, safely and securely.  Val, who likes to collect many of the bottles he imports, was in the rare situation of not having tasted one of his own imports.  I brought him back to my office for a sample and he rejoiced over what he held in his glass.  He bought two of the extras we had and shook my hand. "This is truly amazing whisky," he replied before leaving.

The amazing thing about this Ladyburn cask is that the rarity alone justifies the price tag.  The distillery only operated between 1966 and 1975 and today supplies are definitely scarce.  While Ladyburn is one of the more difficult malts to find, it isn't necessarily sought after for its quality.  Made in the typical Lowland style, the flavors are soft, easy, and deceptive.  Had this cask been bottled twenty years ago there may have been little nuance to savor.  Today, however, the gentle style of the Lowland seems to have benefited from a long sleep inside an old bourbon cask.  When David OG and I saw this barrel in the Pitlochry warehouse, we wanted to taste it simply because it was Ladyburn.  Neither of us had ever tasted anything from the distillery and it was merely an educational curiosity.  We never expected it to actually taste as good as it did.

If you watch the whisky auctions like Bonhams, occasionally a bottle of Ladyburn 12 will show up and sell for well over $5,000 a bottle.  This is 100% due to the rarity of the bottle.  I've never heard of Ladyburn 12 being one of the great malts of all time.  What's great about our cask is that you can actually drink it and savor the fact that rarity and quality have come together to provide one of the most pleasurable drinking experiences I've ever had. 

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Sep082011

Big Tasting Day

Some of the older Malt Trust bottlings are available once again, albeit this time at some more realistic pricing.  My assistant Kyle and I drove over to the distribution warehouse to taste through the line up once again, but didn't find too many winners.  The stand out is clearly one of the two 1979 Caol Ila casks available, a 51% strength malt that does justice to the 25+ crowd of Islay all-stars.  Lots of campfire smoke, but a good underlining of vanilla that transforms the peat into a baking spice and cinnamon note.  Very good.  Should retail for around $179.99 instead of the $230 we last saw it at.

Now that Anchor has bought out San Diego's Preiss Imports, I now have a NorCal rep who can actually bring me the bottles to sample!  How exciting!  He stopped by today and we all about slobbered over this 20+ year Cognac from the Cointreau cellar.  Huge, lush, rich, supple, layered, intensely honeyed, and more.  It won't be cheap, probably $235-ish, but man was it good.  Probably need to keep a few of these on hand.  A fun day overall!

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Sep082011

St. George Gins Will Arrive Tomorrow

Apparently the whole world knows about the Friday release date for the three new St. George gins.  Unfortunately, no one from the their distribution knew anything about it and failed to mention to me.  No worries though, as the barrage of phone calls and voicemails from excited customers put me on the trail and I have secured copious amounts of each product for delivery tomorrow.  Here's the scoop:

St. George Botanivore Gin $30.99 - From St. George distillery: Botanivore Gin (our "botanical eater") earned its name because it's loaded with botanical ingredients. We distilled 19 different botanicals to compose this spirit (no small feat!) and the resulting gin is beautifully balanced and vibrant. Lance compares this gin to an orchestra where all the components are working in harmony. Deliciously herbacious and bright, Botanivore is a versatile addition to any gin cocktail.

St. George Dry Rye Gin $30.99 - From St. George distillery: Dry Rye Gin has twice as much juniper in its recipe as either of the other two St. George gins, and a base of pot-distilled rye that provides structure and spice. Warm bass notes of pepper and caraway give Dry Rye Gin an intriguing depth of flavor, while the rye provides a sweet maltiness reminiscent of a genever. Try our Dry Rye Gin in your favorite cocktails that call for either gin or rye or sip it straight for a gin experience like no other.

St. George Terroir Mt. Tam Gin $30.99 - From St. George distillery: Terroir Gin is our ode to the wild beauty of the Golden State. Distiller Lance Winters has a passion for exploring place and memory through distillation, and the aromas of the coastal forests on California's Mount Tam were what inspired him to start making gin in the first place. Terroir Gin has an intense earthy, woodsy nose and flavor derived from Douglas fir, California bay laurel, and California coastal sage complemented by bright, citrusy top notes. This is a unique and proudly Californian gin with a sense of place and poetry.

I really have no idea how fast these are going to sell, but if the phone demand is any clue then it could be fast.  I would get it early if you are interested.

-David Driscoll

Wednesday
Sep072011

Ardbeg Alligator Launch Party & Chopper Event

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th 7-9PM @ Wood & Vine

Please Join us this Friday at Wood & Vine in Hollywood for the Ardbeg Alligator & Chopper Launch Event.  The first 50 guests get a wee taste of the Ardbeg Alligator, Uigeadail, Corryvrecken, and/or 10 year.  We'll also have the outrageous Ardbeg Choppers on hand for you to ogle.  In addition, Head Barman Jason Macbeth has created a special Ardbeg Cocktail for us to enjoy as well.  Doors open at 6:30pm and the tasting starts promptly at 7pm so don't miss out!  First come first serve!  There is absolutely no charge to attend.  If you miss the tasting you can stay for Islay cocktails and drams of Ardbeg at a very special price.  If you are interested in having dinner after you taste your Ardbeg, I highly recommend you make reservations as the restaurant tends to fill up on Friday nights.  The coordinates for Wood & Vine are below.  Please feel free to ask me if you have any questions.   

Wood&Vine

The Taft Building

6280 Hollywood Boulevard at Vine Street

www.woodandvine.com – 323-334-3360

davidgirard@klwines.com

-David Girard

Wednesday
Sep072011

Ardbeg Alligator In Stock & Tasting News

Ardbeg Alligator Islay Single Malt Whisky $99.99 - Long awaited the 2011 Limited Release will surely be in stock for only a moment.  Getting the largest allocation in California does not necessarily mean we'll have a lot so please don't delay if you think you might want one.  The Alligator is a unique expression for Ardbeg, and indeed for Scotland in general.  This young whisky is aged for an undisclosed amount of time in heavily charred new oak barrels, like a bourbon.  The resulting whisky is mingled with the standard 10 year old expression and allowed to age further for one more season in refill casks.  The resulting whisky is something completely unique and straddles the line between American Whiskey and Single Malt.  Don't let it pass you by.

Limit of one per customer.  These will sell out by the end of the day.

Also, don't forget to visit our tasting bar tonight!  Free spirits tastings beginning at 5 PM in both the SF and RWC stores.

SF - Camut Calvados - former podcast interviewee Charles Neal will be in the house.  If you've never tasted these, you might faint your first time.  They're that good.

RWC - Oban Single Malts - Diageo's Steve Beal to pour the three expressions.

-David Driscoll