While the rest of the world is sleeping in, making breakfast, and leisurely sipping their coffee on a Saturday morning, I am stretching right now as I type this. Stretching, loosening up, getting my game face on for what is certain to be total annihilation. Today is one of the three busiest days of the year at K&L (this coming Wednesday will be the busiest), so I've got to be in peak physical performance. Before I head off for work, however, I wanted to let you know that the last two casks of the year have arrived (everything else due will arrive in Jan/Feb) and they're both spectacular.
The Benriach 19 year cask is here, but it tastes a bit differently than we remember. Our impression was of a slightly phenolic, peated single malt with lighter, Caol Ila-like fruit. What we have now is like Caol Ila unpeated -- yet another example of how whisky can change when it's left in the cask for an additional six months after the initial sampling. While I was completely caught off guard by the change, I can't say I'm disappointed ultimately. What we have now is like Oban 18 at 52.2%. It's a lighter, yet mature, style of Highland whisky with just the slightest bit of something. Remember the Banff 35 we bottled a few years back with Duncan Taylor? If you're lamenting the loss of that bottle, I'd grab one of these. This is the closest thing to that flavor I've tasted since that whisky. That oily wood flavor comes through right off the bat and the supple vanilla and stone fruit balance it out with a long, malty-sweet finish. It needs a few drops of water, nothing more, but those few drops make a huge difference.
This guy, on the other hand, is exactly what you expect it to be. What's interesting about this particular Glendronach is how cakey it is. It's not so much super-rich and decadent, fat and supple, but rather it's like eating a big piece of Christmas cake. The spices, clove and nutmeg, run rampant and the texture is smooth as silk. At 52.5%, this is not the monster we've seen in holidays past. It's going to be the go-to bottle for our staff when in doubt for a nice recommendation because, let's get real here, if you don't like this whisky then you might as well not like puppies or kittens. It puts a smile on your face instantly and the PX note comes in on the finish, chewy toffee and caramel. YUM!
These are in-stock now in San Francisco and Redwood City. All the pre-orders and LA stock will be down as soon as we can load the truck!