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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
Mar212012

The Shackleton Recreation

I'm sure most of you know the story about the new Whyte & MacKay release called MacKinlay's Rare Old Highland Whisky.  As the Shackleton expedition fled the coming Antarctic winter in 1909, they left behind some MacKinlay's whisky, which remained frozen until the cases were discovered under a hut by a team of scientists in 2006.  The whisky was flown back to the UK where it was analyzed and then recreated by Whyte & MacKay blenders, resulting in the limited edition bottle seen in the above photo.  The demand for the 50,000 bottle production has been outrageous and we were lucky to secure quite a hefty allocation.  The first batch sold in minutes and we've just received our second lot.  This time around I was able to taste the whisky and I found myself very impressed.  What's most interesting to me about the MacKinlay's is the fact that the grain whisky component comes from Glen Mhor distillery, just as the original Shackleton whisky did.  For those unaware, Glen Mhor distillery was completely destroyed by Diageo in the mid-1980s after being closed in 1983 (meaning the youngest possible age of the distillate would be 28 years).  It was a grain distillery in the Highland region that operated outside of Inverness, and after tasting our single cask bottlings from Girvan and Caledonian, I've become much more intrigued by the potential of more mature grain expressions.  

The grain whisky flavor completely dominates the MacKinlay's for my palate - and I love that.  It's almost smoky, but I don't think the Dalmore Single Malt used was peated, nor the Glen Mhor, but I might be wrong.  There's a wild grainy note that meanders in and out of peaty flavors before the stone fruits splash on the back palate.  The finish is classic grain, or classic well-made blended whisky - again, I was very impressed by it.  I think given a choice between something comparably priced, like Walker Blue, the MacKinlay's completely destroys the competition.  Plus, there's the fun historical and collectable elements to consider, so I'd definitely recommend the curious whisky fan to splurge on it.  I'm sure that a Google search can provide you with more detailed information, but for those interested in the whisky, have no fear - it's good.

-David Driscoll

Wednesday
Mar212012

Wednesday Tastings Tonight!

Big time events tonight!  In our Redwood City store we'll be hosting Glenmorangie single malts who will be pulling out the big guns - the limited edition 15 year old Artein, the stupendous 18 year old, and the luxurious Signet mark.  If you're on the peninsula tonight then you don't want to miss this action.  San Francisco will host the always delicious Appleton Jamaican rums.  Both tastings will begin at 5 PM and will last until 6:30.  Free of charge, as always!  See you there.

-David Driscoll

Friday
Mar162012

Bruichladdich 10 - Value For Those Seeking It

One of the biggest complaints about single malt whisky is the price.  There are more and more customers everyday who are turning to American Bourbon and rye because of the bang for the buck, but good single malt whisky is hard to beat - especially when it's priced right.  

In 2001, Jim McEwan left Bowmore distillery to re-open the long dormant Bruichladdich and fire its stills once again. Ten years later, we’re finally able to taste the initial test of that long journey. One of the most anticipated whiskies of all time, we’ve finally gotten our hands on it and the results are in – the Bruichladdich 10 is one of the best value whiskies ever, destined to please a wide spectrum of Scotch lovers.  It's an unpeated Islay malt and it's the core of Bruichladdich through and through.  Soft vanilla, brine from the sea, stone fruits in caramel, and salt - all mingling together as one.  There's no one who wouldn't like this, yet the malt is distinctly different than something from the more accessible Highland style.

And then there's the story behind it....

Bruichladdich 10 year old "The Laddie" Islay Single Malt Whisky $52.99 - Finally, ten long years after re-opening the distillery, Bruichladdich has reached the finish line - a ten year old malt composed entirely of whisky made after the resurrection.  The wait has been worth it.  Many of us at K&L feel that Bruichladdich's post-2001 whiskies are some of the best distillates in the world - they've always just been a bit too immature.  The quality of the spirit coming off their pot stills is simply jaw-dropping (their Botanist gin is also delicious), and we've been excited to see what it can do after a decade in the barrel.  That time is finally here.  Recently voted "Best Islay Whisky of 2011" by the Whisky Advocate, the Bruichladdich 10 has finally reached the American west coast where at last we can revel in its glory.  For a small independently-owned distillery, the boys at Bruichladdich have struggled at times, but they've always landed on their feet.  The 10 year is one of the most anticipated whiskies of all time and for about $50, it's one of the best single malt deals we'll see this year.  For those lamenting the rising cost of good whisky, make sure you take home the Laddie 10 and savor each drop. This is true handcrafted whisky.

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Mar152012

The Baby Wolverine Talks Booze Integrity

 

It's interesting how some people react to the advice of a K&L employee concerning a recommendation.  We're not car salesmen earning a commission on the transaction, but sometimes people still think we're selling them a load of hot air.  While our advice isn't always biased, just making onto the K&L shelf is a sign that a wine or spirit is well made.  We all have our opinion on each product in the store, but our real job is to provide a quality selection that people of all palates could enjoy, then help customers navigate through that selection.  For more on liquor store integrity, Kyle Kurani, the smaller stand-in for Hugh Jackman, shares his feelings on the subject.

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Mar152012

Grand Marnier Visit From Mr. Raguenaud

It's easy to confuse Grand Marnier with the everyday liqueur - yeah, so it's Cognac, orange, and sugar.  What's the big deal?  Truth be told, making an orange-infused Cognac liqueur is no joke - it's an art form.  It's an art form that isn't really recognized here in the U.S., where we value our single barrel, cask strength, unfiltered whiskies and what not, non-blended, unadulterated, pure and untouched.  Nevertheless, Grand Marnier is a serious brand that shouldn't be overlooked.  It would be easy to dismiss it as another notch in the LVMH belt, a luxury brand for those with extra money to burn, but today Patrick Raguenaud came by the store to break down the products and explain just exactly what it is that makes them so special.  Mr. Raguenaud is the master behind the Grand Marnier products, he's the blender and the creator, so he knows how to explain the magic.  The entire Redwood City staff was transfixed, spellbound by his ability to convey the importance of these elixers.  People who never gave two shits about Grand Marnier were coming up to me, confessing their newfound love for the product and admitting how wonderful it was to finally understand what made them so special.  I've got some video here, for those how doubt my word.

If you feel like going crazy, the Grand Marnier Quintessence is freakin' insane.  With only a few bottles available in California, this is made from Cognac taken from the Lapostelle family's private cellar, dating back to 1906, the Quintessence is then macerated in an "essence" of Citrus Bigardia orange. The blend of flavors is then aged in French oak until the perfect balance has been reached. For those truly looking for the world's great liqueur, it doesn't get much better than this. Luxury for those who appreciate it! 2,000 bottles produced world-wide, individually numbered.

-David Driscoll