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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!


Monday
Jul252011

Faultline Cognac Video

You've got to hand it to Nicolas Palazzi - he knows how to document the bottling process! More media from our first ever Cognac selection, live from Cognac itself.

-David Driscoll

Sunday
Jul242011

More Faultline Cognac Updates

More pictures, live from Cognac.  Coming soon, our first ever single barrel, cask strength brandy!

-David Driscoll

Saturday
Jul232011

Cognac Cask On The Way

In the midst of our single malt push, you may have forgotten that we've scheduled a single barrel of cask strength Cognac as well.  Mr. Nicolas Palazzi sent us this picture today - he's been over in France, listening to his iPod while slowly taking our brandy out of the barrel and putting it into a small batch of bottles.  Hopefully this will be in stores very soon. Get ready for the first ever Faultline Spirits bottling.  Can't wait.

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Jul212011

Bowmore Tempest Arrives

 

Having stayed a few nights at Bowmore this last April, I feel more of a connection to this distillery today than ever before.  Bowmore's style doesn't stir most single malt drinkers with excitement, despite its solid pedigree, but I was quickly won over by this legend of a building.  It's the George Harrison of Islay, while Ardbeg and Lagavulin play John and Paul, and Bruichladdich seems more like Ringo.  That's not a perfect analogy, but it's appropriate in that most people skip over "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" even though it's an awesome song.  I tried to express this to Jamie MacKenzie while we ate dinner one night, begging him to work on a special, small batch release a la the Alligator/Cairdeas bottles.  It seems that all the great bottles I've had of Bowmore in the last year have not been released by Bowmore.  Both Signatory and A.D. Rattray have released outstanding single cask expressions, so why shouldn't Bowmore be able to do so as well?  When Bowmore is good, it's almost unbeatable (anyone who doubts this needs to try this bottle).

The response from Bowmore to my querry was the Tempest, a small batch of ten year old, unchillfiltered and done at cask strength 56%.  Does it satisfy my itch? Yes and no.  It's a successful single malt in that it: tastes like Bowmore, is very complex, brings the heat, brings the peat, and stands out from the other three available products.  For $79.99, however, most people will want more (even though the Alligator was pretty much just a souped-up 10 year for $99.99).  The aromas are phenolic, mixed with vanilla and damp earth.  There's a kiss of sweetness underlying the palate all the way through where the campfire smoke and dirty oils kick in.  It's a true tempest in profile, a flurry of charcoal, peat, moss, and spice that leaves a your mouth in a thick, damp fog.  The finish is all brine, green olives, and mint and you'll have to brush for hours to get it to leave.  You could sit around and pick this whisky apart all day.

The Tempest fails in the sense that it could be so much more.  Not that they could have done more with this particular whisky, but the guys at Bowmore could have chosen something even more impressive.  Those who have tasted the Bowmore 17 (one of my favorite whiskies ever), long unavailable in the U.S., know how subtlety can sometimes be Bowmore's finest asset.  An older Bowmore in a single bourbon cask would also have been quite nice.  At this point, there's nothing hip, new, or modern about Bowmore, its history, or its packaging, so why not stick with something more traditional and old school, rather than a kick-you-in-the-teeth style of dram? 

In the end, would I buy the Bowmore Tempest?  Probably, because it tastes like a high-octance Bowmore and I like their style.  However, having been to the distillery, seen how its made, tasted amazing expressions from cask, and spent hours with its staff members, I would have hoped for something a bit different.  Maybe I can continue to bug Jamie MacKenzie and convince these guys to release something truly special.  Bowmore has the potential to win over the Ardbeg fans, but they need to compete by separating themselves from the pack, rather than following it.

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Jul212011

High West 12

Don't get too excited just yet, we don't have any in stock.  However, you can order it directly from High West Distillery.  David Perkins and I did a little bottle exchange this week and I finally had a chance to get my hands on this 12 year (which is a 500ml bottle even though it doesn't say so on the website).  This expression was made with another batch of whiskey taken from the old Seagram's distillery in Indiana, known now as LDI.  Everything on the rye market today is pretty much three year old LDI whiskey that's being bottled under different labels (High West Double Rye, Willett Cask Strength, Templeton, Bulleit, Redemption, etc), but this is a chance to see what those whiskies might taste like were they kept in barrel a bit longer.  As the notes say on the back, this is the same 95% rye and 5% barley mash bill.

If you've tasted all the other LDI ryes on the market, then the first sip of the High West 12 year will be very familiar - intense flavors of cinnamon, cloves, baking spices, and an almost pepperminty note.  The difference however is that the greenness and grainy character of the younger whiskies is completely gone, replaced instead by a supple mouthfeel and sweet vanilla from the barrel.  Imagine the Bulleit Rye, but spicier, richer, fuller, and sweeter - that's the High West 12 Year.  It's quite good and makes me think about investing in some LDI barrels.  We've talked with them in the past about doing something, maybe a day's run of 500 barrels.  Hmmmm.......

-David Driscoll