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K&L Spirits Tasting Schedule:

Weds from 5 - 6:30 PM

8/20 - San Francisco: No Tasting

8/20 - Redwood City: K&L Signatory Single Malts

2014 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky

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 IN STOCK NOW


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 IN STOCK NOW!


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 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 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!


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!


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!


Friday
Nov042011

Intelligent Design

Our Bruichladdich Chenin Blanc cask is here.  The design is typical Bruichladdich sleek - modern, eye-catching, and cutting edge.  The whisky itself is no different.  I've never had a saltier malt before and I absolutely love it.  The acidity of the wine really comes through in the whisky.  The weight is present on the palate due to the sweetness of the wine residue, but that Loire Valley minerality is playing a role as well with the Laddie's characteristic saline quality.  It's not overly sweet by any means, but rather savory with smooth textures.  Delicious and totally fascinating.

We almost hit the 10 year mark, but fell just a bit short.  This single malt is still going to turn some heads however.  At $72.99, it's by far the most value-packed whisky we imported this year.  I've tasted it five times so far and it just keeps getting better. 

This is our baby.  Our first ever Faultline release with our own actual label.  Not only is it a retro, Mad-Men-esque style package, the whisky is top-notch as well.  In all honesty, David OG was a bit higher on this malt than I was when we tasted it originally.  Revisiting it now, however, I can see how right he was in his quality assessment.  Think of it as baby-Ladyburn - the same caramel and Cognac flavors are present from the Bourbon barrel, but the malt itself still has plenty to say at 21.  There's a slight peated note with sweet grains that tickle on the finish.

I'm hard pressed to pick my favorite barrel at this point.  I would have originally said the Bladnoch, but tasting this bottle again I'm certainly torn.  Nevertheless, 2011 will come to be known as the year of the Lowland malt at K&L.  Our Ladyburn and Bladnoch casks have been huge successes, despite the fact that everyone seems to think Lowland malts begin and end with boring Auchentoshan.  This Littlemill will put the final stamp on our claim that old Lowland malts deserve to be ranked with the best whiskies in the world. 

Both of these bottles are headed over to our warehouse this weekend for pre-arrival processing and should be ready by the end of next week.  I can't wait to hear back from those of you who get one!

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Nov032011

One Man's Opinion

Unlike, say, a Consumer Reports review of a new Samsung flat screen TV or an Auto Trader summary of the 2011 Volkswagen series, when we read an opinion from any critic it will be skewed on personal taste - both literally and figuratively.  There are very few facts about books, movies, music, and whisky.  "This book is 512 pages long."  "This movie has Johnny Depp in it."  "This whisky is bottled at 46%."  Those are facts.  "This book is amazingly well-written."  "This movie is hilarious."  "This whisky tastes like coconut and brown sugar."  Those are not facts.  It's important to keep the difference between those types of statements in mind.  One person's own opinion is not necessarily any proof that something has quality or merit, even if that person is generally knowledgeable concerning the related subject matter. 

There's nothing worse than getting reservations at a restaurant, only to hear that your friends went there and hated it.  Immediately, you begin thinking about cancelling and finding another place to eat, or you scrutinize every bite on your plate.  However, maybe your friends had a bad experience, or maybe they just have different taste in cuisine.  No matter the reason, hearing something like that really gets your head spinning, but you'll never know what you actually think unless you block out all that hoopla and decide for yourself.  Sometimes I feel like we can't make a decision anymore without consulting Yelp or some other consumer website.  It's one thing to search for new recommendations, and another to let those recommendations guide you right out of your own personal impulses.

Having your own opinion and sticking with it is incredibly important in life. Nobody respects the guy who changes his belief to fit in with what's cool or hip. Yet, ironically enough, we change our opinions in the hope that doing so will make people like us more!  There's not a person out there who hasn't at some point wavered in their view on a particular subject after hearing someone else disagree.  Facts are what should sway an argument, however, not opinions.  When Jim Murray awarded Old Pulteney 21 the title of #1 whisky in the world, I thought to myself "Really? That's crazy."  However, after having some time to let that statement sink in, I thought, "Jeez, maybe I missed something."  Tasting it again I realized I simply didn't concur with that judgment. That's not to say Jim Murray is wrong because he literally can't be.  Factually, there's no such thing as the #1 whisky in the world, so it's just his opinion.

-David Driscoll

Wednesday
Nov022011

Tasting Update!

BIG CHANGE OF PLANS for Redwood City!  Piramide Tequila had to cancel last minute, so Davorin Kuchan will be coming over tonight to debut his brand new, highly anticipated, barrel-aged, 100% rye whiskey here tonight!  He’ll also have the Rusty Blade Gin, and the Kuchan Walnut brandy on hand as well.  I will also let anyone who attends the tasting reserve a bottle of the rye in advance.  It’s been a long time coming and it’s finally done! 

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
Nov012011

Tastings Wednesday!

Our free and educational spirits tastings are once again upon as Wednesday draws nearer.  Tomorrow will feature the following wonderful products at K&L:

100% organic tequila producers Piramide will be on hand in Redwood City to sample their wonderful tequilas.  Tasting starts at 5 PM sharp!

Cognac importer, bottler, and former K&L podcast interviewee Nicolas Palazzi will be in the SF store tomorrow dishing out some of his fantastic Cognacs.  5 PM is the start as well.

See you there!

-David Driscoll

Monday
Oct312011

Appreciating vs. Hoarding

I've met many a whisky drinker who made the transition from wine to spirits because of the fact that whisky keeps.  An open bottle of whisky can last years with little drop off, while a bottle of wine might start to degrade after the first day.  For people who drink alone or in small doses, it just makes sense.  Plus, there's no aging involved - whisky is always ready to go from the moment you buy it.  Booze still needs to be drunk, however, and the thought of saying goodbye to some of our favorite bottles can be too much for some enthusiasts.  While collecting whisky to appreciate is a fun and healthy endeavor, hoarding is a dubious side effect of it.  It happens to the best of us.  In order to keep yourself on the straight path it's important to recognize the difference and confront those tendencies immediately.

-If you're saving a bottle to open later, you're appreciating.  If you're afraid of opening a bottle for fear it will be gone too soon, you're hoarding.

-If you look at the last pour in a bottle and think, "Yes! I've got one last sip!" then you're appreciating.  If you get to the last pour and then leave it in the bottle forever to prevent from having to finish it, you're hoarding.

-If your friends come over and you pull out the Oban 18, Springbank 18, or Bladnoch 18, you're appreciating.  If you reach in back of those bottles and pull out the Glenlivet 12, you're hoarding (and you're stingy).

-If you buy a bottle of Ardbeg Corryvreckan and you put the bottle on your bar, you're probably going to appreciate it.  If you leave the bottle inside the box on top of your bar, you might be showing some hoarding tendencies.  (Especially if you went through every box on the shelf to find the cleanest one).

-If you buy one bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 15 every year, you're probably appreciating it.  If you call every store across the country in a mad attempt to get as many as possible, you're probably hoarding it (that or selling it for a profit on EBay while other people who have never had it miss out - both suck).

-If you're freaking out because you can't decide which of your whiskies you want to drink, you're appreciating (and you have a lot in common with me).  If you're freaking out because you can't decide which of your whiskies you're willing to drink, you're hoarding.

-David Driscoll