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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!


K&L Barrel Buying Advice

I was waiting for this question to start pouring in on the emails, and I'm glad that it did, because I will now address it here on the blog for everyone to read:


I want to buy a selection of K&L's exclusive Scotland barrels, but I have limited funds and I don't want to buy too many before I know what's going to be available later.  What should I do?"

Of course!  What if you buy all three of the currently available barrels below, you've spent your savings, but then we introduce a completely new batch of must have bottles and you're all tapped out!

My advice is this:

-If you're holding out for more peated, Islay barrels, don't hold out.  We didn't buy much peated whisky.  In fact, the main one we're working on is still uncertain, so we might come back without any if it doesn't pull through.

-If you're holding out for big names and big, obvious, must have labels, don't hold out.  It's not going to be a Diageo Classic malt fun fest by any means.  There's no Talisker, no Oban, no secret barrel of Ardbeg on the way. 

-If you're holding out for rare, hard-to-find, expensive, and delicious whisky from extinct, moth-balled distilleries, then, MAN, ARE YOU IN LUCK!  We've got three knockout, home run barrels on the way and they won't be cheap.  If you're holding out in hope that they'll be Port Ellen or Brora, then don't hold out.

-There will be some Clynelish.  There will be some Bruichladdich.  There will be other Diageo malts, but they won't be the obvious ones.  There will be some great deals from fun producers and there will be some new labels that you haven't seen before. 

-The Springbank and Glendronach barrels are three of the best.  They are in my top six or seven, if that helps.  But, then again, I love Springbank, so I'm very biased.

-These are some of the less expensive barrels, so it's not going to get significantly cheaper.  I think the lowest price we'll be able to offer on any of our barrels is about $65.99, so if you're waiting for some $40 to $50 deals, they're not coming unfortunately.  Single barrel cask strength whiskies are simply not happening down there.

-Any other questions?  Send them my way.  I wish I could just give you the list, but what fun would that be?  There needs to be a few surprises, right?

-David Driscoll


First Batch of Scotland Barrels Available

If you're on the Whisk(e)y Club Email List that we run here at K&L, then this is old news, but for those of you who read this blog and order whisky with us, we finally have the first round of our recently acquired barrels available and they are at special club pricing if you order in advance.  The question most people have is: how do I qualify for special club pricing?  We used to have a secret whisk(e)y club where you had to buy something every month to get these discounts, but we realized that we were growing too rapidly to sustain that system.  We're now offering special pricing to anyone interested in getting it!  That means those of you reading this blog!  Basically, we're not using the official channels to advertise these selections, so they won't catch the attention of the casual shoppers.  Only people who get our Club emails or read this blog should know about them, so that gives you all an advantage.

For each barrel we release, we'll be offering a limited number of pre-order bottles at a discounted pre-arrival price.  Those of you who pay in advance will generally pay $10 to $15 less than the retail price will be once the bottles arrive.  You can order online now and then pick up the bottles in the Fall when they arrive. 

What’s in the first round of barrel offerings?  Springbank and Glendronach of course!  Now that we’ve got you all excited from our detailed blog postings and our podcast with Peter Currie, it’s time to release the only barrels we’ll be offering directly from the distillery.  These whiskies are NOT independently bottled, they are straight from the source.  Each distillery’s warehouse seems to give the whiskies a special terroir during the aging process, so having these barrels aged at the distillery proper honestly makes them more authentic.  It’s crazy, but I experienced it firsthand so I am a believer. We worked hard to get you these fantastic prices and we think you’ll be more than happy when you finally taste how wonderful they are:

1998 Springbank K&L Exclusive 13 Year Single Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky PRE-ARRIVAL PRICE $84.99  (retail $94.99) - We purchased this amazing bourbon cask of Springbank directly from the distillery during our 2011 visit to Campbeltown.  Both David OG and I wanted something that exemplified the true character of Springbank - that unmistakable dense mouthfeel, brimming with chewy, gum-smacking texture and viscosity.  Springbank whisky from a straight bourbon cask is one of the true pleasures in life.  While the heavily sherried versions of the malt are wonderful in their own way, the sweetness from the sherry tends to mask some of qualities we love so much.  We tasted this 13 year straight out of the barrel and loved the rich tannins provided from the wood, the intense vanilla aromas, and the nutty flavors that intermingled with salty accents.  Seeing that Springbank was one of the true highlights of our trip, we really wanted to pick a cask that faithfully represented just what we loved so much.  This whisky does exactly that.

1997 Springbank K&L Exclusive 14 Year Single Madeira Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky PRE-ARRIVAL PRICE $89.99  (retail $99.99) - Upon our 2011 visit to Springbank, we knew we wanted to purchase a single bourbon cask, but we were open to other options were we to find another very special barrel.  Of course, that's exactly what happened.  One of the most beloved whiskies in K&L customer history was a 2000 Springbank that was finished in Chateau d'Yquem barrels, giving a sweet highlight to the chewy textures of the malt.  This 1998 Madeira-finished cask is bottled at cask strength, and is the more muscular, more mature cousin of that lovely 2000.  Golden fruits, a rich, oily mouthfeel, and long, supple finish all merge together and make this one of the easiest drams we've tasted in sometime.  We can't imagine anyone not loving this, so we decided to go deep and buy the whole thing.  Like the 2000, we expect people to talk about this whisky for some time to come. 

1994 Glendronach K&L Exclusive 17 Year Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky PRE-ARRIVAL PRICE $99.99  (retail $114.99) - While ensconsed deep in the countryside of the Eastern Scottish Highlands, David OG and I sat at a small table in a low-lit guesthouse and marveled at the quality of the Glendronach single malts.  I immediately blogged via the K&L Spirits Journal website that the 12 year old was the "best single malt that no one is drinking!"  Very much like Springbank whiskies sans the peat smoke, Glendronach has an unctuous, chewy mouthfeel that isn't overly cloying or too saturated with sweet sherry.  We knew that if we could find a single barrel that tasted similiar to the amazing 12 year, we would have a real winner on our hands.  The next morning we scoured the warehouses in search of the perfect expression and we found it in a 1994 barrel that had been briefly finished in PX sherry cask.  Earthy notes from the warehouse aging permiate the rich, oily flavors of vanilla, raisined fruit, and cakebread.  The cask strength proof really keeps the sweetness at bay and the result is a fabulously balanced malt that should appeal to just about everyone.  This is the barrel everyone will overlook, but I'd bet my salary it's the one that will get the best reviews.

That’s it for round one!  Every time we secure another batch of barrels we’ll send out another email and do another blog post.  There are many great whiskies coming, so if you want to hold off and wait to see what all is coming in that might be a smart move.  HOWEVER, we’re only selling 150 bottles of each at the pre-arrival price, so once they’re gone that’s it for the special pricing. 

-David Driscoll


SF Tastings Imminent 

For those of you who have been bummed out about our lack of SF tastings, I think we might be right on the verge of a winner.  I have to check out the spot next week, but I like what I've heard so far and the days are going to be just right.  These guys are interested in doing some seminars and serious tastings, so it could be quite the relationship.  Let's keep our fingers crossed.  The location is downtown/North Beach so it should be a hotspot for drinkin'!

As a reminder, anyone interested in joining our secret K&L Whisk(e)y Club should email me and have me add your email address to the list.  We generally don't talk too much about it (first rule of whisk(e)y club is you don't talk about whisk(e)y club), but I thought I'd offer a few open spots.  There are some nice perks. 

Let me know-

-David Driscoll (


Test 1, Test 2...

So I broke my camera in a Scotland warehouse and said "No More!" with digital point & shoots.  I was a film major in college, so I have a basic working knowledge of photography.  I decided to invest in something more serious to see what I could do with spirits romanticization.  Maybe I can make our bottles look so freakin' amazing that you can't help but want one!  We'll see.  I'm playing around with a few lenses and a few looks.  Above is my "intellectual/whisky drinker/private eye" look.

Better lenses means lower aperture, means narrower depth of field, means subjects that pop when shot in focus.  I think I can take this blog to the next level with some better imaging.  We'll see.  I'll keep toying around with this thing and see what happens.

-David Driscoll


Tuesday Tasting Tonight!

We're going big tonight at Martin's West.  Tonight, beginning at 6 PM, you can come and order a whole glass of 1984 Yamazaki Japanese Single Malt Whiskey (a $600+ dollar bottle) and it will cost you about $20.  That's less than the average glass of Macallan 15 at most places.  We are only purchasing one bottle, so that leaves 26 pours available for the first 26 people who show up.  Unfortunately we cannot reserve pours in advance. 

If you're new to Japanese whiskey and you're wondering why this is such a big deal, let me tell you first that the Yamazaki was the megahit of WhiskyFest SF.  It was the first bottle everyone who attended the advance VIP session went to try.  I was there early and I still wasn't able to taste it - the bottle was drained within 15 minutes.  Interest in Japanese whiskey has reached a fever pitch stateside, so getting to try something new, especially something rare, is a big deal.

Neyah White, the brand ambassador for Suntory, recently told me that the 1984 was just awarded best whiskey in the world at a recent Whisky Magazine blind tasting, where it went up against the big boys of Scotland and took them down unanimously.  What makes the 1984 so different?

To me, it's the heavy use of ultra-expensive Japanese Oak barrels that comes through in the flavor.  Having tasted the 1984 a few months back, I picked up sandlewood, curry, even Indian spices and I couldn't figure out where these flavors were coming from.  Neyah informed me that these profiles were indicitive of the wood and they were exactly why Japanese oak barrels are amazing vestibules for malt whiskey. However, due to the rarity of the wood, the fact that coopering it is next to impossible, and the amount of leakage that occurs due to its porousness, aging whiskey in Japanese oak is neither easy, nor cost effective - that makes it exclusive.

There are not many bottles of 1984 Yamazaki in the states right now so I'm looking forward to drinking one with you all tonight!  See you there.

-David Driscoll