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


2001 Bowmore 12 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1990 Bruichladdich 23 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
May022012

Tastings Tonight!

Tonight in Redwood City we'll have the man himself, Charles Neal, pouring our exclusive K&L brandies.  We should have both Lassaubatju Armagnacs and the Raymond Ragnaud Cognac available to taste.  This is your big chance to talk yak and see if our new way forward is for you!  You may hate them, or you may end up with an entirely new addiction!  Come find out. 

San Francisco will host the Henry Wine Group who will pour some of their very exciting new additions like the Calisaya Bitter Orange liqueur and the Imbue vermouth - both of which will be permanent additions to my home bar.  Cocktail fans won't want to miss this one. 

5 PM to 6:30 PM.  Free as always.  See you there!

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
May012012

Bacanora Fiesta

My wife's family is from Sonora, Mexico - a northern state that specializes in flour tortillas and beautiful women.  They also make a fantastic agave spirit called Bacanora - a substance that I was only able to taste previously when my mother-in-law would smuggle it back during her visits.  There has been almost no Bacanora available in the United States and what has been available has been terrible.  Finally, thanks to the increased awareness for craft spirits, a fantastic, quality Bacanora is being imported to the states and we've jumped all over it.  This has been my nightly sipper for the past week, every day bringing new flavors and more enjoyment to my mouth.

Cielo Rojo Bacanora Blanco $42.99 - The finest of Sonora's traditional spirit, Cielo Rojo is made from the exquisite and rare Silvestre Agave, which is harvested in the wild, arid deserts of Sonora. These elusive plants grow on the steep canyons of the Sierra Madre Mountains, and after labor-intensive hand harvesting they're packed out on burro. This wild agave is then roasted in ovens carved out of the clay and rock soils of the Sonoran desert. After roasting, a slow fermentation is achieved with exclusively wild yeast before small batch distillation in small alembic pot stills. Bacanora spent the better part of the last century as contraband, but its tradition dates back centuries. Somewhere between Mescal and Tequila, Bacanora has truly its own style and Cielo Rojo is the finest available. Soft smoke mingles enticingly with this herbaceous spice. It's all held together by this forward agave fruit, which just begs you to take another sip. Certainly a must have for any agave lover, but smooth enough for any spirits drinker to appreciate.

-David Driscoll

Monday
Apr302012

A Mistep

While I commonly discuss the angst of building a whisk(e)y collection, or the perils of finishing a really important bottle, I rarely if ever discuss the emotional hazards of drinking itself.  While I was lucky enough to be born without the alcoholic gene, I still struggle with daily issues concerning how much to drink, the right time to let loose, and the effect all of this consumption is taking on my body.  On top of that, there’s the drawback of behavior modification – namely, that my increased intake of alcohol has seemed to shorten my patience and raise my overall stress level.  Much like the habit of  smoking a cigarette becomes engrained into one’s daily rituals, the act of drinking after work or on a day off has become permanently ensconced into my schedule.  Because of the frequency at which I drink, the potential for mayhem is high and needs to be controlled. 

Today was a day of serious reflection for me.  I think I’m still blowing bits of last night’s quinoa salad out of my nose after it came spewing out this morning – too much wine, followed by too much whisky.  I rarely get hung over, but I was a complete wreck for the first half of the day.  Sure, we all drink too much every now and again, but last night was about more than just decadence.  I feel like the stresses that come from considering what to drink can sometimes lead to more drinking.  Take last night’s situation for example – I opened a bottle of red wine that no one wanted to drink.  I didn’t know that no one liked red until after I had opened it and it just happened to be a somewhat special bottle.  Now that the cork had been pulled, I wasn’t about to just sit there and let it go to waste (plus, my pride had been hurt just a tad) so I proceeded to drink the whole thing myself, as if doing so would prove to the naysayers how they had really missed out.  What a terrible move.

I’ve always had a loud voice and I’ve always had a rather brash sense of humor.  The problem with having both of those questionable characteristics is that alcohol can act as an enhancer of your absolute worst qualities.  Again, after completely going over my limit and moving on to whisky, I apparently walked around my apartment complex in my pajamas saying God knows what at an intolerable level.  For someone who doesn’t get embarrassed easily, this was quite humiliating.  Not that I was in my pajamas, or that I can sometimes have a filthy mouth (both are things that would never bother me, only others), but that I had let alcohol take personality traits that I struggle to control and let it completely undo all of my hard work.  All of the attention seeking actions of a pompous young adolescent came pouring out of my mouth as fast as the booze did from the bottle.  All of the embarrassing traits of my youth that I have tried to put behind me – the obnoxious jokes, the desire for people to like me at any cost – all of them on display, like a circus sideshow.

So, as I sit here solemnly at my desk and type this confessional for the blog, I’m hoping that everyone takes their appreciation of alcohol seriously.  It’s not only alcoholics who have something to fear from over-consumption.  Everyone who has any inkling of self-respect can be in danger when the booze begins to flow like water.  I’m sure I’ll be back on the horse tomorrow evening, but every step back needs to be remembered.  Alcohol is very, very fun – when enjoyed responsibly (and sometimes irresponsibly).  However, it’s also a truth serum, a mood changer, and a possible key for unlocking some of your worst personal demons.  Make sure that you enjoy your alcohol, but also make sure that you understand its power.  It has the power to inspire, to motivate, to awe, and to enhance, but it also has the power to destroy.  I try and be a better person everyday and sometimes I forget that one of my biggest pleasures in life can also hinder me from this path.  Make sure you’re aware of alcohol’s serious potential before you get potentially serious about alcohol.  This isn’t a public safety message, it’s an attempt to spare you all from making bad decisions about life in addition to all the attempts to spare you from bad whisky.

As someone who works in the industry I feel it's important to address the realities of booze every now and again - even the negative ones.  The one positive about this experience is I realize the importance of my situation and that I get another chance to try and be better.  Alcohol can be funny that way.  Maybe that's why I keep coming back.  Not to repeat the past indulgences, but to learn from them.  As we learn about booze, hopefully we can learn about ourselves as well.

-David Driscoll

Friday
Apr272012

New Faultline - Soft Launch

The fourth Faultline Spirits release is here and this one is very limited - only 196 bottles total of our new 20 year old Cragganmore bottled at 49.9% cask strength.  For those of you who are unaware, Faultline is the label we use at K&L for our super exclusive releases - only the best bottles get to use the name.  Fans of our 18 year old Bladnoch will be happy about this one.  The stone fruit is there with soft vanilla and a lovely floral note.  This is soooooooooooo much better than the official Diageo release Cragganmore 21 - and it's $100 less.  At $75.99, this is a steal.  We're releasing it today on the blog for our loyal readers so grab one while they're here.  I don't believe we'll ever get around to a mass email because I don't think it will last long enough.  

Cragganmore 20 Year Old Faultline Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $75.99 - Our goal when we first envisioned Faultline was to create a world class brand that bottled only world class spirits. Most retail bottlings focus on the lowest common denominator, how can we get the most saleable product for the absolute lowest price possible. Usually, that means sacrificing quality just so that you can have a big name on the label. Here at K&L's spirits department, we've decided to use a different model. We seek out the absolute finest products and bring them to you at the lowest possible price. These are products that normally a supplier would not part with for a label other than their own. We use our incredible persuasiveness and handsome good looks to convince these revered suppliers to part with some of their best stock (for no other reason that they love us!).

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Apr262012

Kurani is Back to Talk Yak

It's been too long since we heard from young Kyle Kurani, but he's returned this week to discuss two of our new exclusive brandies.  Make sure you get to know Kyle.  He'll be running the show when David OG and I take off for Scotland in a few weeks, so it's best to stay on his good side. 

-David Driscoll