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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
Jun302011

Time for some Jerez

Pardon the interruption but  the spirits blog is being temporarily infiltrated by - gasp -  lightly fortified wine!  In all seriousness, I would like to take a moment to thank both David Driscoll and and David Othenin-Girard for allowing me to use this forum to talk a little bit about one of my passions:  sherry.   I can only aspire to reach close to the level of both of my colleague's fine prose and as for pictures, well let's just say that Driscoll has a fancier camera and better photographic eye than I do!  At any rate, I hope that you enjoy these sherry posts, and as both a colleague, fellow blogger and reader of this site, I appreciate all the effort that goes into continuing to create new content, as well as the invitation to contribute to the site.  In the parlance of our goofy beer commercial, bromance picture and faux reality TV comedy filled times, "I love you guys, man!"

We're going to start off with some definitions useful for understanding sherry.  There are many more terms to learn, but I hope to tackle at least a few of them in greater detail during the course of several more posts.  I will also profile some of the bodegas whose sherries we stock.  If you're more of a pictures type of person, then scroll down to get to some very cool, artfully drawn symbols which were used in a sherry seminar I participated in several months ago.

Capataz - the cellar manager, and most importantly the person who determines a base wine's initial categorization (fino or oloroso)

Crianza biológica - ageing under flor as is practiced for fino and for amontillado

Crianza oxidativa - oxidative ageing as is practiced for amontillado, oloroso, palo cortado and pedro ximenez

Criadera - The "escalas" or stages of a solera system.  1era, 2nda, 3era, etc.  The more the number goes up, the further away you are from the actual solera level, or the source of the finished sherry.

Sobretabla - a young, recently fortified wine which is ready to enter into a solera system

Solera - 1.) the system in which a sherry is made; 2.) the entire group of criaderas that produces a particular wine, usually given a name that appears on what is commercially bottled (e.g. Valdespino Fino Inocente); 3.) the last barrel(s) of a group of criaderas, which will be bottled and released to market

Almacenista - Someone who makes sherry, stores/ages it, and sells it on to sherry shippers (whose name is the one that appears on the bottle).  Lustau has trademarked the term "almacenista."

Rocio - Transferring of wine to refresh a criadera or the solera itself

Palo cortado - classically defined as a potential fino whose flor dies off prematurely, enabling it to possibly be categorized as "palo cortado" after some oxidative ageing.  Many different definitions exist for this style; the explanation you receive really depends upon whom you ask.

Amoroso, generoso, abocado, pata de gallina - all terms referring to a lightly sweetened (through the addition of PX) sherry.  Pata de gallina is the least sweet of these (Lustau's Almacenista Pata de Gallina is a good example).

Here are some artfully drawn symbols observed several months ago during a sherry seminar.  Check them out and feel free to comment with any questions about these.

- Joe Manekin

 

 

Monday
Jun272011

London in LA

I had the pleasure of hosting some of the owners of 69 Colebrook Row last week.  Considered to be one of the best cocktail bars in the world, I only had one night out to prove that Los Angeles was up to snuff.  69 Colebrook is known for reinventing the classics as much as it is for establishing modern ones.  Tony G, who runs the cocktail program and is generally a bar superstar, has been at the cutting edge of the modern mixocological revolution.  His originals appear on bar lists throughout London and his ideas are confounding and inspiring bar managers across the imbibing nations.  Only one place in Hollywood could show off the many sides of LA drinking.

The Roosevelt Hotel is quickly becoming one of the premier cocktail destinations on Hollywood.  There are 5 totally different bars being run throughout the hotel.  The Roosevelt is better known for attracting debaucherous socialites rather than culinary cocktail crowd, but there's clearly some overlap in that business these days.  The Tropicana Bar is the typical pool bar, not serious, not cheap, but good for what it's worth.  Public Kitchen & Bar is fine, although I went during the first few weeks and presumably the system has improved.  Beacher's Madhouse is ridiculous, not that I speak from experience, but I think if you look it up you'll understand what I'm talking about.  IT is the final 2 locations that truly bring me to the Roosevelt.  The first is the Spare Room.  With a bar program developed by the illustrious Aidan Demareste and helmed by the wonderful and creative Naomi Schmick, the Spare Room is definitely in the running for classiest space in the city.  Two beautiful bowling alleys stretch down the perfectly adorned lounge area.  While it's always a struggle to get through the door, something about keeping the place sparse is extremely appealing.   Of course you must get through the door to appreciate it, which is why you should call ahead and plan to go on a Wednesday.    With Naomi at the stick you can expect to get the finest classic available.    Unfortunately it's just not cool to take pictures in there...

A stark contrasted to the old school style of Spare Room, the magnificent Library Bar is wedged in the far corner of the foyer.  Small and dark, this bar is reserved for the adventurous.  Probably making a killing on the party crowd asking for Red Bull & Vodka, the drinks aren't cheap, but you won't regret it.  With a veritable nursery of farm fresh fruits, herbs, and veggies, the aromas are intoxicating.  Matt Biancaniello is the mastermind behind this outrageous off the books menu.  Everything made in house, infusions, emulsions, and artisan ingredients make for a unique experience.  Soon, Matt's own sage honey from bees he's raised will be part of the mix.  Creatively named and always ingredients driven, not every drink works for every person, but Matt's got something for everyone.  Here is the run down from last week, they all had names and specific ingredients, but I never remember that stuff.  I should bring my notebook out, but I really don't want to be "that guy."  When you're there you should drink whatever Matt want you to drink.

That's fresh blossoming sage in this incredibly spicy cayenne heavy cocktail...

This is Cactus infused tequila with citrus and fresh black berries.  Just the aroma of the black berry was enough to get me interested, although very spicy drink that proceeded was a tough act to follow.  Super refreshing nonetheless.

This is a Library Bar classic and should be ordered by name if you haven't had it already.  The Last Tango in Modena is Hendrick's Gin, 25 year Balsamic, fresh berries, and a St Germain Foam (this time modified with a cayenne kick).  A modern classic...

Another ultra spicy drink.  Here the kick came after the lovely tang of blood orange juice. Too much for my British accomplices, but right up my alley.

Possibly my favorite drink of the night, this was somewhere between fresh watermelon juice and a Bloody Mary.  Cucumber, salt, horseradish, fresh juice.  Just insane.  I wish I remembered what this was called...

Dessert...Cynar milkshake with a Cynar espresso drink.  A bit much by themselves, but absolutely perfect together.  Needless to say, everyone should have a go at the Roosevelt.  They are definitely creeping to the top of the heap...

-David Girard

 

Monday
Jun272011

Tasting Schedule For This Week & Next!

I'm leaving K&L in a few minutes for a long vacation, but that doesn't mean I'm going to leave you all without any booze to taste.  Here's this week's schedule and next week as well.

Redwood City - Martin's West Gastropub - 6 PM - Tuesdays - Tuthilltown Whiskies

I retasted New York's young Hudson whiskies the other day and I have to say that I enjoyed them much more this time around than previously.  They show a bit more depth and poise than I remembered from before, so I thought they might make a fun tasting for those of you who have never tried them.  Check out their website if you're unfamiliar with their whiskies and come by Martin's West for some samples.

June 27th - Tuthilltown Hudson Baby Bourbon

July 5th - Tuthilltown Four Grain Whiskey

San Francisco - Gitane - 5:30 PM - Thursdays - Yamazaki Japanese Whiskies

Since I cannot make it taste with you all, I've requested that former SF bartender and current Yamazaki employee Neyah White come by to help guide you all through the tasting.  The one thing I learned from Neyah that blew my mind was that both the Yamazaki 12 and the Hibiki 12 were designed to be drunk with ice and soda water, so we're going to give you a choice.  You can choose to drink your pour straight, or have it as a highball to experience how it was intended to be enjoyed.  Neyah is an encyclopedia of info so I would recommend that you take advantage of drinking with him.  He's quite amazing.

June 29th - Hibiki 12

July 7th - Yamazaki 12

Please come out and enjoy some whiskey!  See you all in a few weeks.

-David Driscoll

Sunday
Jun262011

Help Wanted!

It's not everyday that someone brings an old bottle of whisky to authenticate.  Is even more unusual when that whisky is filled with gold flakes.  Please help me identify this ridiculous bottling.  The top says Cardhu Single Malt, but otherwise there is no distillery information.  The label and box say AURUM or AVRVM XXIV.  Let me know if you've ever seen or heard of it, apparently it was given by a member of the some UAE Royal family...who knows.  If you have any info please share...

-David Girard

Sunday
Jun262011

Vacation & Guest Blogging

Summer is here and I need a break.  On Monday I will be heading to the UK and then over to Paris for some old fashioned R&R.  Under no circumstances will I be checking email or blogging for the K&L site, so I've taken some measures to ensure that you'll all be taken care of in my absence.  David OG will be handling all orders and Whiskey News emails, as well as blogging duties, but you'll also be hearing from some other K&L employees.  Joe Manekin, our Spanish/Latin American wine buyer has been excited to tell you all a bit about our new expanded sherry collection.  He'll be posting an article or two and you might here from some other folks here as well.

Any questions? Make sure you check in via our new department email address: whiskey@klwines.com.

Just in case you're drinking single malts, you can also reach us at whisky@klwines.com.

See you all in a few weeks!

-David Driscoll