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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!


Sunday
Mar132011

Tuesday Tasting Tomorrow - Celtic Heartlands

Don't forget about tomorrow's Tuesday Night Tasting at Martin's West!  We'll be sitting down with the new 1980 Caol Ila 30 Year Amarone Cask from Jim McEwan!  It's a very impressive whisky and I feel badly for those of you who won't be able to make it because I think this is currently the front runner for my 2011 whisky of the year.  We start at 6 PM and we've got two bottles so please come join us!  A full glass should be in the $10 range, so you can afford to drink more than one!  In case you've never been, we pour these whiskies at  COST so that we don't price anyone out - no mark ups, no profit - education first and foremost.

The week after tomorrow (even though I will be in Scotland) we'll be pouring the 1977 Glenlivet 33 Year Yquem Cask from Celtic Heartlands.  Regardless of my presence, the tasting must go on!  

Any questions?  Feel free to call Moira at Martin's West if you need more info (650) 366-4366

-David Driscoll 

 

Saturday
Mar122011

KLSJ Live From Scotland - 8 Days & Counting

One week from Monday I'll be getting on a plane from SFO to London where I will meet David OG.  We will both board a plane to Edinburgh and proceed to the rental car station where I hope one of us will be able to manage the steering wheel on the right and the stick shift on the left.  We will drive fifteen minutes to our hotel and prepare for this gnarly schedule.  In case you didn't know, we're going to Scotland to buy a shit ton of whisky, have it bottled, and send it back over to California for our customers.  As long as we can find a wifi signal, we'll be updating you periodically from the road with articles, photos, and videos.  Here's the itinerary:

March 23rd - Chieftain's

March 24th - Springbank

March 25th - Lagavulin/Bruichladdich

March 26th - Ardbeg/Bowmore

March 27th - travel

March 28th - A.D. Rattray/Douglas Laing

March 29th - Glendronach/Duncan Taylor

March 30th - Gordon & MacPhail

March 31st - Edradour

April 1st - fly home

I'm currently training to get my palate ready.  20 tongue push ups every morning and 20 pull ups with my lips.  Let's do this.

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Mar102011

Germain Robin Tasting Tonight! 7 PM

Martin's West in Redwood City.  Free of charge.  See you there.

-David Driscoll

Wednesday
Mar092011

Podcast #10 - Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley

I was more excited for this interview than any of the previous ones simply because I've never really had the chance to sit down with anyone from Sazerac and openly discuss the products.  I had a great time talking with Harlen and he was very forthcoming both in his opinion about whiskey and the background of his products.  This is a must-listen interview for any whiskey fan.  We covered the philosophy behind maintaining a large portfolio, the amount of Stitzel Weller bourbon in the Pappy Van Winkle whiskies, and his love for the traditional Buffalo Trace formula.

This podcast episode can be downloaded here or from our archive as well as our iTunes homepage.  You can always listen with our embedded Flash player below as well.

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
Mar082011

Focus On Celtic Heartlands

 

Every year when these special bottles get released, I usually get a few phone calls from customers all over the U.S. looking to stake a claim on their share.  It seems that the respect these bottles demand has permeated into regions far beyond the usual bloggers and malt societies.  Some people I've talked to drink ONLY Celtic Heartlands whisky and when I asked if they liked Bruichladdich as well, they answered, "Brook- what?"  It's a wild idea to me that one can be aware of the Celtic Heartland series, but not understand what makes these casks so special - they were chosen and enhanced by one of the world's best palates: Jim McEwan. 

Bruichladdich's independent bottling arm is called Murray McDavid and is known for taking whiskies from other distilleries, aging them further in various wine barrels, and then releasing them with to the world with a bold new flavor profile.  They are almost always released at 46% abv. The higher end of this series is the Mission Gold line up that features more mature single malts, bottled at cask strength, and many times without any cask enhancement.  The top shelf of the series is the Celtic Heartland label that does this same process as the Mission Gold, but with very old whiskies, usually turning out malts with remarkable, if not mind-blowing, quality.  Previous releases have been bottles like a 1975 Banff 33 year, a 1964 Dumbarton 42 year, and a 1968 Bowmore 35 year.  Search any of these whiskies online and you'll likely find a blog or two describing a near religious whisky experience.

Two of this year's releases really stand out as some of the best CH whiskies I have ever tasted, and I've sampled more than ten of the previous bottlings.  The 1980 Caol Ila 30 Year enhanced in Italian Amarone cask is sheer Islay perfection in my opinion.  The rich, thick, sweet fruit from the raisined wine barrel seeps deep into the core of the whisky and is now rooted firmly inside of it.  It's difficult to find the seam and understand where the true foundation of the Caol Ila lies.  The inital sip releases mounds of chewy red fruits and slowly leads towards smoked sweet grains and a roasted nut finish.  It's a true masterpiece in every sense of the word.

The best metaphor I can think of to accurately describe the fantastic 1977 Glenlivet 33 year finished in Chateau d' Yquem cask is a scene from Willy Wonka.  There's a moment where that madcap genius introduces the meal in a gum to young Violet Beauregarde and she explains the flavors as she chews - first it's a soup, then a steak and potato entree, and then a dessert.  The Glenlivet morphs in the mouth in much the same fashion.  The entry is very grainy, almost like single grain whisky, before suddenly changing into bright lemon custard with flowers in a viognier-like palate.  The mid-palate then becomes a faint serving of vanilla pudding before finishing off like an oily Highland a la Clynelish.  I usually don't get so descriptive in my tasting notes because I either don't taste specific flavors or I don't care to delve that deep.  My focus is usually on whether my customers will like it or not, however I had to sit down and just stare at the floor while I tasted this, and try my hardest to break it down.  It's one of the more fascinating malts I've had the chance to try.

I think we might pour these at Martin's West next week, so stay tuned if you want to taste greatness (at cost of course!).

-David Driscoll