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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
May142011

Insider Trading

I've been learning more about the financial world lately, especially following the trial of Raj Rajaratnam, and the whole idea of insider trading seems like it is completely possible in the booze world, albeit not with stocks.  Large quantity purchasing of particular products can stem from early access to insider info.  For example, I was able to get a sneak peak at Steve McCarthy's new summer release of Islay-style whiskey.  I know for a fact that I was the first person to taste it and get a chance to buy it.  I might go really deep and buy a ton of it in order to corner the market because it's easily the best whiskey he's ever made for the white label release.  Because Steve came to me with a sample before anyone else, that gives me insider info that I can use to make large purchasing in advance and therefore help K&L's sales.  Granted, I still have to do the selling, but my experience tells me that this won't be a problem.

Am I going to jail?

-David Driscoll

Thursday
May122011

San Francisco Tastings Begin Thursday 5/19

Well loyal SF customers, we've finally done it!  FINALLY, after pitching this idea to a number of local bars whom I thought would have jumped all over this opportunity, FINALLY, after telling establishments that they don't need to turn this into a money-making scheme, FINALLY, after volunteering to do all the work for them to bring people in, I have found the new K&L Spirits Tasting Bar North.  On Claude Lane, next to the Loehmann's in Union Square, sits a small alley with a little unassuming bar named Gitane.  One must go in the door and travel down the steps to find this lovely little place, but the interior is quite breathtaking.  We will run the tastings exactly the same way as in RWC at Martin's West - starts early, one bottle total, pours at wholesale cost, first come first served.  

 Gitane opens at 5:30 so I say let's start it then.  All you East Bay BART commuters can then come and catch a dram before heading under the tube, and those who work downtown and come straight from work before going home.  Gitane is small, so we need to be in and out unless we plan on staying for dinner.  I'm thinking we start with something nice, like maybe Springbank 18 for $7 a glass?  I'll update again later with a final product announcement so that we can all make plans to be there.

I can't wait to get this started and I think I can finally meet all you local SF people who never make it down to Redwood City!

See you there,

-David Driscoll

Thursday
May122011

1512 Barbershop Makes Its Debut

 

It's here and in stock.  The first rye whiskey we've carried that was made by a local SF barber.  I'm super stoked on this new batch that just got dropped off today.  I'm even more excited to taste the aged expressions later on this Fall.  Try a bottle of this and then imagine what's possible!

24 bottles in SF now.  24 to RWC later this afternoon.  24 to LA next week.  Enjoy!

-David Driscoll 

Wednesday
May112011

How Does Liquor Pricing Work?

This post might land me a bit of hot water with other stores and suppliers, but so be it.  I've seen so many postings about pricing and availability lately (on message boards, Yelp reviews, comment fields, etc.) and I feel like some people don't really understand how it works, so I'm going to clear up some facts about how liquor store pricing works.

1) If you see a review on a website like John Hansell's WDJK and it says bottle price $50, that is based on an estimate.  It does not mean that every store pays the same wholesale and then sets their own retail.  Some stores may even PAY $50 wholesale for that same bottle, rather than offer it for that retail price.  Every state in the U.S. has a set of distributors that sets pricing, and even then, not every store is paying the same wholesale cost.  There are a variety of factors that establish what we pay (quantity for example) and based on what we pay I can then decide how much profit we can make.  Look at our price on Glenlivet 12 and then look at the East Coast.  Different distribution charging different prices. 

2) Because not everyone pays the same price, not everyone with higher prices is necessarily trying to rip off consumers.  Stores base their prices on what they NEED to make in order to stay in business.  If you're not moving quantity, you need higher prices.  If you're a store moving mass numbers, then you can get away with lower margins. 

3) Price matching - Not every store can compete with mass markets like Costco, therefore I don't carry Bombay Sapphire because I don't even want to try.  I'd have to buy 1000 cases to get their pricing.  I'm not going to do that.  However, I do match on some items just to stay competitive.  That means I make NOTHING by selling some products.  It's practically a wash, but it helps with internet buzz.

4) Using price as an advertising tool - some stores like to use their low prices on select items (like Lagavulin 16 for example) as a way to attract attention.  Because Lagavulin 16 is a widely distributed product, they assume people will search it on Google, spot them as the lowest price, and then look around for more booze as a result.  The store will make NOTHING on the initial purchase, but might snag a few bucks on the other items.  To me, this is like naming your company Aardvark Spirits so that you can be first in the phone book (assuming someone will call the first store they see).  However, people who are always searching for the lowest price will only shop with you if you ALWAYS have the lowest price.

5) How does K&L set pricing?  We like to be competitive, but we also have a business to run.  We pay our employees amazing wages, provide health care, are super attentive to customer service, pay for staff education, and go out of our way to include customers in this business of ours.  I can guarantee you that there is not another booze shop out there that treats its employees as well as K&L does.  Nevertheless, despite all of our expenses, our prices are usually among the cheapest in the nation.  We work hard to do this by getting good deals on products we think we can work with.  We do not sell everything available for this reason.  We pick our battles, so to speak.

6) There are some stores out there that offer low pricing but do not offer much else.  If price is the most important part of the equation, there are certainly stores that are willing to go less than us in the name of making a new customer. I like to think that our customers understand that shopping with us goes far beyond just a good value, but also friendship, loyality, and just a sense of good will.

-David Driscoll

Wednesday
May112011

Ledaig - Scotland's Most Underappreciated Malt

On our recent trip to Scotland, David OG and I tasted a sherry barrel of Ledaig that we thought people might go crazy for.  Peaty, smoky, musty, with earthy splendor and the rich, chewiness that we love about some other sherry-aged malts.  Plus, it was cheap!  "This is a no-brainer!" we said to each other.  Then we remembered one very important fact - it's Ledaig. 

No one even knows how to say Ledaig, let alone drink it.  I'll never forget calling it "Le-chig" in front of Stewart Laing, only to have him correct me and say it's pronounced "Le- dayge." "No one in Scotland calls it 'Le-chig' he said, so don't call it that in front of another Scotsman," he told us.  That was until his brother came into the room and said, "Oh, that's a great barrel of 'Le-chig.'"  We couldn't help but to roar with laughter.  "Everyone calls it Le-chig" said the other Laing, much to the chagrin of his brother.  Tasting with the Laing brothers, we encountered yet another great example of Tobermorey's peated malt, but again we knew that Ledaig just wasn't a real mover.

Why is no one drinking Ledaig, I wonder?  It's peated, inexpensive, tasty, and it caters to all the Islay drinkers out there.  Looking at our internal numbers, Ledaig ranks as the absolute worst selling single malt we carry!  I think that's crazy because it's definitely not the worst tasting.  Is it a lack of knowledge?  Is it a lack of interest?  Even my endorsement of it seems to fall on deaf ears.  We brought in a good amount of the young Murray McDavid sherry cask and it's still sitting here like a dead duck in the water.  Even my attempts to offer it at a closeout discount drew little enthusiasm.

What's the deal? Did I miss a Hansell post where he called it piss water? 

-David Driscoll