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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
Feb202011

Understanding Tone In A Text-Driven World

Email has brought the world closer together, allowing correspondance that once took days, if not weeks, to be delivered to be read in seconds.  Texting incorporated short, important messages to be received quickly without desisting from current operations.  Posting comments after news articles on websites gave readers the chance to involve themselves in the conversation and gave us a broader impression of the general public mindset.  While all three of these modern developments have strengthened the communicative means that humans use to interact with one another, they have also ignited arguments, ruined evenings, and led to a general tone of intolerance on many blog sites, many times for a lack of understanding rather than any true indignance.

There's a reason why people have started typing :) after their sentences on any written messages.  They need their recipient to know that what is being stated is being done in humor, jest, lightheartedness, or out of love.  I've found that my short, succinct style of emailing can sometimes be interpreted as cold, callous, or snobby, however, in reality it's just that I'm short on time.  There are times when I'm in a jam, but I want to respond to a customer quickly so that they get the information they need as soon as possible.  However, my brief and to-the-point reply comes off as dry because I didn't use the fomalities we are used to in polite society - i.e. addressing the person by name, beginning with a "thank you for your inquiry," or closing with a proper good-bye.

Where I am beginning to worry most is with comment fields on message boards.  Our last post that featured the podcast with David OG and myself is a prime example.  We had wonderful comments from some of our readers that featured a dynamic back and forth from both of us.  It was truly fantastic to see that kind of passion.  What troubles me however is when someone feels like they have to justify their commentary by reenforcing their appreciation of our site and our store.  One can be a loyal patriot of the United States yet still criticize the hell out of our government!

The point is that we shouldn't have to point out that this is civilized conversation and nothing personal.  We are all adults and we all love booze so we are all going to have passionate responses.  Please know that I am always your friend on this blog - even when I don't put a smiley face on the end of the sentence.

-David Driscoll

Friday
Feb182011

Podcast #7 - David D and David OG Break It Down

No special guest this week, just the D squared talking smack about the whisk(e)y world.  We discuss the price of young whisk(e)y, the raging attitudes on the blogosphere, and what constitutes the price of booze in today's society.  Hopefully it's just engaging enough to keep your attention and not offensive enough to turn you off of K&L. 

Todays episode can be downloaded here.  Previous episodes are archived here and available on iTunes.

You can also listen in via our embedded Flash player below:

-David Driscoll

Wednesday
Feb162011

Wacky Wednesday Tastings

What a day for spirits tasting in Redwood City, and it wasn't even my day to taste!  First off was the arrival of the new Tempus Fugit Violette Liqueur, technically not a Creme de Violette because it's not sweet enough to be a creme like cassis.  This is more pink and very, very delicate.  The aromas are stunningly beautiful and the flavors decidedly elegant.  The violets are pure and somewhat tart, but that soapiness found in other Violettes is nowhere to be found.  A magnificant product from the company that brought us the Gran Classico.  These guys have more in store for later this year including the original formula for Fernet (get ready to cream your pants Bay Area - source of more Fernet consumption than most of Italy!).

Then my favorite vendor Val walked through the door with the new Roughstock Wheat Mash Whiskey from Montana.  This baby is light and easy drinking, while maintaining a creamy mouthfeel and beautifully concentrated graininess that seems like something from an 1849 wild west cantina.  This is the kind of dram that makes you want to go ride a horse and do something out on a ranch, if only to justify having some Roughstock to wind down with when you're through.  Well made and a welcome addition to their regular Montana whiskey.  I think it will catch on nicely here in Whiskeytown U.S.A.  Seriously, it seems like the Bay Area cannot get enough and will buy literally anything I put on the shelf!

Then I had to laugh because Val pulled out this set of products from the new, craft Kentucky distillery called MB Roland.  They make some interesting spirits and when I saw the baked apple pie whiskey I just started laughing, thinking he can't be serious!  But he was, and MAN! is that stuff good.  It's like the Godiva chocolate vodka where if you act like you don't like it, you're obviously lying.  Just admit that it's actually delicious!  Here are my notes for the products I'll be bringing in:

MB Roland Distillery Apple Pie Kentucky Shine 375ml 16.99 - Made of corn and sugar cane distillate, apple cider, spices, and brown sugar (nothing synthetic), this is everything the name says it is and everything you hope it will be - baked apple pie flowing creamy smooth over your palate, not too sweet, not overly cloying.  There's nothing more I can say other than this product is really really good.  It's not something to breakdown flavorwise, or analyze the complexity.  It's meant to drink as a dessert and to have fun with.  If you let your guard down, you're in for a very tasty time.

MB Roland Distillery Black Dog Kentucky Corn Whiskey 375ml $19.99 - The white corn distillate from a small Kentucky distillery is made by roasting the white corn in a miniature tobacco barn, giving it smoky and spice flavor similar to an Islay-style whisky.  Lots of toasty, earthy, concentrated flavor and very interesting.  Great for sipping or for exotic cocktails.

MB Roland Distillery Kentucky Lemonade 375ml $16.99 - An all natural hard lemonade made from a sugar cane and corn distillate base with only lemon juice and sugar added to give it flavor.  This is super high end stuff and packs a punch at 22% alcohol but you'd never know it.  Watch out because this is a super party in a bottle that can really wallop an unsuspecting drinker!

MB Roland Distillery White Dog Kentucky Corn Whiskey 375ml $15.99 - Delicious corn white whiskey from all locally grown Kentucky white corn.  Flavorful and more interesting than the standard white whiskies on the domestic market.  Fun for sipping or for cocktail mixing.  Can't wait until they start aging it!

As if all this tasting wasn't enough to overwelm my palate, then Henry Wine Group came by with a new set of Italian spirits that should all retail for under $20 - a new amaro, sambuca, and anisette from Meletti that should serve any Italian lover well.  All three are quality and a bargain for the price!

When it rains it pours.  That was the literal and figurative motto for the day.  The weather literally poured here when it did rain, and when the tastings happened, they happened all at once!

-David Driscoll

Wednesday
Feb162011

Tequila Calaveras Son Muy Bonitas

Mirate!  Las calaveras botellas de Kah Tequila son muy intricadas!  Pero es la tequila delicioso también?  Si, pero nadie debe comprar estas botellas porqúe quiere tomar tequila el mejor.  Como siempre, me gusta mucho el tequila blanco.  Tiene especies y un sabor muy tranquilo.  Reposado y añejo son buenos, pero hay mucho madera en los sabores.  No es muy importante porque las botellas son muy bonitas.  Si el tequila no es malísimo, vamos a vender muchas botellas.  Blanco va a costar $39.99, reposado $44.99, y añejo $49.99.  No puedo esperar para ver las caras de la gente cuando las botellas esten en la tienda.  Hasta la tarde.

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
Feb152011

What's Wrong With Loving Your Work?

There's a pivotal moment in the film Real Genius where Mitch (played by Gabe Jarrett) decides that he's overloaded his 15-year old brain and needs to flee from Cal Tech.  His roommate, and fellow student, the brilliant Chris Knight (played by Val Kilmer) sits him down and attempts to persuade him that leaving is not the answer, and that Mitch needs to slow down in order to get a grasp on his anxiety.  He proceeds by telling Mitch a story about Lazlo Hollyfeld, the guy currently living in their dorm-room closet (played by Uncle Rico) and how at one point, Lazlo was the top mind the campus had ever known.  He had suffered a nervous breakdown, however, and now lived as a recluse from society, beneath the campus in his own computerized world.  When Mitch asks Chris why this happened, he responds:

"He loved his work."

"Well, what's wrong with that?" Mitch asks in return.

"Nothing," Chris says, "but he thought it was the answer to everything."

I tend to find philosophical importance in 80's cinema and last night this one really struck a chord with me.  I've been mentally and physically drained lately, more so than ever in my life, and I realized that I think about work way too much - from the moment I wake up to the minute I fall asleep.  Tastings, events, dinners, new products, emails, customer requests, criticism, it's all bouncing around my head the entire time I am conscious (and I believe in my unconscious as well).  We need a break as human beings to relax and think about something else otherwise we will eventually crack - even if, like Mitch and Lazlo, we truly enjoy our work.  I used to watch all kinds of old cinema, play basketball every day, record music, cook fancy recipes, and partake in various other hobbies, but currently do very little unrelated to booze.  If you find yourself following the same pattern, think about turning off the Blackberry when you get home and taking some "you" time.  I'm going to start leaving my work at the office more often because I think I might end up living in a closet if I don't.

-David Driscoll