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K&L Spirits Tasting Schedule:

Weds from 5 - 6:30 PM

7/9 - San Francisco: No Tasting

7/9 - Redwood City: Ron Zacapa Rum

2014 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky

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


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 IN STOCK NOW


1992 Bruichladdich 21 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1988 Balmenach 26 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky PRE-ORDER


1997 Benrinnes 17 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Dailuaine 16 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky PRE-ORDER


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 IN STOCK NOW!


1981 Glenlivet 32 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength 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!


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

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!


Tuesday
Aug302011

WhiskyFest SF

 It's almost time for WhiskyFest San Francisco!  We're a little over a month away from what is always the biggest party in town for our industry.  Now that we have our license, some of you have seen first-hand just a sample of how fun a booze tasting can be.  However, imagine an entire room filled with all of the best whiskies in the world at your complete disposal!  That's what the Malt Advocate brings us every year and we're lucky enough to have it take place in our backyard.  While we can't pour our own expressions anymore, David OG and I will definitely be on hand along with a few other K&L staff members to take place in our own education.  Every serious single malt and bourbon producer will be at WhiskyFest SF so it's an amazing opportunity to sample everything all at one time.  It can be a bit overwelming, so you have to pace yourself.  The trick is to get there early and make sure you spit!  If you try to swallow all of these spirits you won't last one hour.  This is a marathon not a sprint, so make sure you bring your most comfortable drinking shoes.  John Hansell will be in the house so make sure you go up to him and question every review he's ever written.  He LOVES it when people do that.  Also in the house will be Dr. Bill Lumsden from Ardbeg, Parker Beam from Heaven Hill, and pretty much everyone else in this business that one would want to meet.  They all usually roam the floor so make sure you find them and tell them their whiskies are good, but maybe they should release more single casks to K&L exclusively, and absolutely no other retailers.  I think they would consider it if enough people asked.  Tickets are available by clicking here and visiting the WhiskyFest website.  VIP tickets have already sold out, but there are still some general admission seats left.  The entire event will sell out eventually so don't wait too long!  See you there!

-David Driscoll

Saturday
Aug272011

Big Pimpin' With Jefferson's Rye

Now in stock - something that the guys from SWS brought in and convinced me to buy.  I don't know much about whiskey, but they told me this was good so I thought we should get it.  :)

Jefferson 10 Year Old Straight Rye $37.99 - From the same source as Whistlepig's Canadian rye, this 10 year old from Jefferson's is half the price and half as rich.  More supple than anything currently available from the LDI-purchased ryes (Willett, Bulleit, Templeton, Redemption, etc) and more peppery than anything older.  While it drinks nicely as a sipper, this is the high-end cocktail mixer we've been waiting for during the great rye whiskey shortage.

I'm not sure how long this is going to last because they only let me have 36 bottles, when I originally ordered much more.  It's quite nice and makes a lovely drink.  I played around with it last night while mixing cocktails and thought it presented quite well.

-David Driscoll

Friday
Aug262011

K&L Whisky Is A Threat

Some of you might have heard me say, "other retailers hate us right now" because we've been really boosting our whisky output. There is a lot of competition out there to be the best liquor store and people have their loyalties. I like to have fun with it, but I don't think I'm vindictive. We have a competitive rivalry going on with some people in the Bay Area, but let me say that I'm happy to send someone down the street if I don't have what they're looking for.  I try not to read what other people write and post, but this one really cracked me up.  You know you're really doing well when other people post things like this on message boards.  Our owner has been saying that I'm going to need a bodyguard soon!

"Driscoll is trying to get K&L into the specialty whisky business and, well, let's just say that he ends up buying and pimping stuff that other retailers don't want or a distributor convinces him is good. If you want to buy single casks or esoteric bottlings, you are better off buying from Brett Pontini at Binny's. Brett knows whisky. And he ships to California and everywhere else it is legal to do so."

I couldn't name the liquor buyer for another retailer if I tried! Apparently this guy knows who we are though because this summation is quite good. In all honesty, we're not really that important, so please don't write anything about other liquor buyers if you comment on message boards. We don't really do much to make a difference in the world and we're not worth your time. However, I'll be sure to let you all know when another distributor comes in and convinces me to buy some slop to pimp you. 

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Aug252011

Updated Calender

Now that we have a tasting license for both stores, I've managed to fill in some dates for September.  If you need to plan your schedule around some of these tastings now is the time to start organizing!  All tastings go from 5 PM to 6:30.  Here's what's in store:

August 31st

RWC – Varnelli Italian Liqueurs - a must for all of you cocktail lovers

SF – Yamazaki Japanese Single Malts - this should be a big deal

September 7th

RWC – Oban Single Malts - Steve Beal in the house from Diageo

SF – Camut Calvados w/Charles Neal - Camut makes the best Calvados - PERIOD

September 14th

RWC – Kilchoman Single Malts - Try the new Spring 2011 release and some other peated malts

SF – Leopold Distillery - Gin, whiskey, and Maraschino liqueur!

September 21st

RWC – Germain-Robin Distillery - brandy from CA's legendary producer

SF – Old World Spirits: Rye Whiskey Launch! - Davorin's new rye will be ready to go!

September 28th

RWC – Diageo Single Malts (distillery TBA) - Steve Beal comes back again, which distillery will it be?

SF – St. George Distillery: New Gin Launch! - The new gins will be on hand!

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Aug252011

Varnelli Liqueurs Have Arrived

We don't have the Punch (far left) or the Anice (far right) just yet, but the big three are here.  I am super excited about these products as I have a true supergeek affinity for Italian bitters.  In stock and on the Redwood City shelf as of this moment.

Varnelli Caffe Moka 1L $41.99 - Simply amazing espresso-based liqueur from Italy's Marche region.  The Varnelli family has been distilling there since 1868 and this newly-arrived coffee spirit has our heads spinning in pure delight.  It tastes like the finely-ground cup you drink after a long Italian meal - with a kiss of sweetness and, of course, some alcohol.  Italian buyer Greg St. Clair and I about fell over ourselves in sheer awe of this bottle.

Varnelli Amaro Sibilla 1L $51.99 - An amazing new amaro from Italy's Varnelli family, a producer from the Marche region of Italy that has been distilling since 1868.  Their products blew myself and our Italian buyer Greg St. Clair away!  This is quite bitter, made with gentian root, it's herbal with soft hints of chocolate and a very supple mouthfeel.  Definitely not for everyone, but wow is it interesting.  For those who truly love the wonderful world of bitter liqueurs - you will go bananas for this.

Varnelli Amaro Dell' Erborista 1L $61.99 - My bitter-loving jaw dropped after tasting this elixer and Greg St. Clair, our Italian buyer, begged them to leave the bottle.  Think rhubarb, dried orange peel, cloves, gentian root, and more in fantastic balance.  This is a cloudy and unfiltered spirit that is quite supple, but bitter as bitter can be on the finish.  Simply amazing.  There is absolutely nothing else like this available.

Varnelli will also be the guest for next week's Wednesday tasting in the RWC store.  Come taste!

-David Driscoll