Navigation
Search This Blog

Return to KLWines.com

Spirits Journal Podcast Archive

Spirits Journal Twitter Feed

K&L Uncorked Blog

K&L Spirits Tasting Schedule:

Weds from 5 - 6:30 PM

9/24 - San Francisco: Monkey 47 w/Christoph Keller!

9/24 - Redwood City: Germain Robin K&L Exclusive Brandy!

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!


Wednesday
Sep072011

Ardbeg Alligator In Stock & Tasting News

Ardbeg Alligator Islay Single Malt Whisky $99.99 - Long awaited the 2011 Limited Release will surely be in stock for only a moment.  Getting the largest allocation in California does not necessarily mean we'll have a lot so please don't delay if you think you might want one.  The Alligator is a unique expression for Ardbeg, and indeed for Scotland in general.  This young whisky is aged for an undisclosed amount of time in heavily charred new oak barrels, like a bourbon.  The resulting whisky is mingled with the standard 10 year old expression and allowed to age further for one more season in refill casks.  The resulting whisky is something completely unique and straddles the line between American Whiskey and Single Malt.  Don't let it pass you by.

Limit of one per customer.  These will sell out by the end of the day.

Also, don't forget to visit our tasting bar tonight!  Free spirits tastings beginning at 5 PM in both the SF and RWC stores.

SF - Camut Calvados - former podcast interviewee Charles Neal will be in the house.  If you've never tasted these, you might faint your first time.  They're that good.

RWC - Oban Single Malts - Diageo's Steve Beal to pour the three expressions.

-David Driscoll

Wednesday
Sep072011

Metaphysical Crisises & The Purging of Your Booze Collection

Every now and again (and by that I mean about once every few months) I experience a torturous inner conflict about the nature of life, the importance of material goods, and my existence as a catalyst for these forces.  In these moments, which are usually booze-related, I am usually ubalanced in some way - not chemically or psychologically so to speak, but maybe emotionally.  My sleep is usually poor, my dreams are bizarre and intricate, and I'll usually be worried about something like my hair falling out.  In these moments I step back, look at my life and ask "What the heck am I doing?"  For example, I might look at my booze collection and say, "My God, why am I so consumed with these bottles?"  All the money spent, the focus given, the evenings I've turned into nothing more than a hazy blur - is this what it's all about? 

Sometimes, in these depths of metaphysical turmoil, the best thing to do is to reorganize your liquor collection - drink that last drop of Port Ellen you've been saving, give some bottles away to friends or colleagues, and exorcise the ghost from your mind.  Many of us find whisk(e)y so appealing because, unlike wine, once you open the bottle the booze won't spoil in the short term, meaning that you can keep numerous open bottles at once.  The problem with this phenomenon, however, is that it opens the door for hoarding tendencies - "I can't possibly finish that last bottle of Talisker 30, it's too important to me!"  No one wants to arrive at the point where their liquor shelf becomes an object of frustration for a loved-one, or a monsterous calamity in the course of everyday life. The best remedy for any booze collection crisis is purging, and it usually feels terrific when you're done. 

This weekend I gave away open bottles to co-workers, brought bottles home to my parents, relaxed with the wee bit of Brora 30 I had left, and cleared out over half of my inventory.  I felt so good that I then packed up all that old vinyl that I never listen to and drove to Amoeba for some serious selling.  $125 richer than when I arrived, I then bought some cleaning supplies and scrubbed down the apartment.  Now, I'm sitting at my dining room table, looking at my spotless surroundings, and feeling like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  All I have left on the bar are some full bottles of Scotch that I bought within the past few weeks, some Campari, and a few other staples like Four Roses bourbon and El Dorado rum. 

I feel cleansed, empowered, and proud that I had the ability to put my own emotional well-being over the stack of bottles that was piling up over in the corner of my living room. 

I feel so renewed, that I might just use what's left of my vinyl profits to treat myself to a new bottle of Alligator today, or maybe the Auchroisk 20.

Booze tastes so much better when you're guilt free!

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
Sep062011

More Ardbeg Alligator Tomorrow (Wed.)

Another 150 bottles coming in tomorrow.  Whisk(e)y email list people will get a message when the product is in stock.  One bottle limit!  Good luck!

-David Driscoll

Sunday
Sep042011

Labor Day Jackpot!

I'm out of town visiting my parents for the long weekend and while putting away their newly-arrived K&L booze delivery, I discovered some amazing, unopened bottles lingering in the rear of their spirits closet.  My parents (and myself every now and then) used to make regular visits to both Germany and Italy to visit close friends.  It appears that my mother has been stowing some special bottles away in her suitcase over the years, now for the benefit of her aperativo-loving son.

First off - Biancosarti!  The white version of Campari sold almost exclusively in Italy.  Made by the Campari Group with a different blend of special herbs and spices, I've actually never tasted it, but that will all change later this evening.

Secondly - plum liquor and an herbal bitter from a small hunting village in rural Germany!  How fitting that last night I dreamt about my good friend Kalli only to have my mother tell me this morning that she bought these bottles while accompanying him on a hunting trip.  Kalli was a teacher with whom both my mother and I spent many a summer in Iserlohn with, before he succumbed to cancer a few years back.  My mom keeps these bottles in memorial to him, so I'm not sure if we'll open them, but I'm tempted.  In Germany, you have to hunt on private property, so you have to get permission from the landowner before you go.  The farmer on whose land Kalli hunted produced these liqueurs and allowed my mom to sample them.

There are so many different variations of herbal and bitter liqueurs being made throughout Europe that it's mindboggling.  Every town you visit seems to have their own traditional version that differs slightly from a neighboring village or region.  Someday I'm going to taste every one of them and write a book about it that only twelve people will ever buy.

-David Driscoll

Friday
Sep022011

Booze Writing For A Living

I do not write for a living, but I do, in a way, live to write.  I am constantly thinking about new things to add to this website, not in an effete manner meant to expand our literary consciousness, but in a simple and straightforward manner than is easy to read and succinct in character.  I enjoy it because there's no pressure and I can say what I please.  However, after a conversation I had with Andrew Morrison this week, I began to ponder the anxiety I would suffer from were my salary dependent upon whisky reporting.  Not only the stress of deadlines and finding the next great story, but the personal turmoil I would face in keeping my writing fresh and interesting.  The subject was raised when Andrew mentioned Dave Broom, a well-known and highly-respected booze writer whom I have never met, yet am obviously aware of.  Andrew spoke highly of Broom and I made mention of his intricate and sometimes hyper-descriptive level of sensory.  Andrew laughed, saying, "he's got to keep it interesting, I mean it's his job to come up with new flavors and descriptors!"  Suddenly my former academic past came flashing before my eyes and I began to look at things a bit differently.

If you're a collegiate-level literature professional, your job is to familarize the budding youth of tomorrow with many of the same manuals from the past.  Moby Dick, Ulysses, and the Oddessy are a few examples of texts repeatedly hailed as lapidary forms of stylistic integrity.  Lying underneath the mountain of praise these classics have cultivated over the last century, however, is the larger and more significant reason for their continual portrayal: they provide an endless amount of interpretation.  As a professor, one can carve out their own philosophical focus and differentiate themself from a pack of other like-minded intellectuals who have simply retaught what was already surmised.  The point is that whisky also offers these same opportunities for people who have the desire and the ability to recognize them, as well as the diction and the syntax to make them sound interesting.

Guys like Dave Broom make whisky writing interesting and that's their job.  Even if you've never tasted the flavors he's describing, you've got to admire his ability.  Thank goodness that all I have to do is sell whisky because it's not easy to do what he does.

-David Driscoll