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K&L Spirits Tasting Schedule:

Weds from 5 - 6:30 PM

7/9 - San Francisco: No Tasting

7/9 - Redwood City: Ron Zacapa Rum

2014 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky

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


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 26 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky PRE-ORDER


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 PRE-ORDER


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 IN STOCK NOW!


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!


Bladnoch 11 Year Old K&L Exclusive Lightly Peated Single Barrel #303 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

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!


Thursday
May122011

1512 Barbershop Makes Its Debut

 

It's here and in stock.  The first rye whiskey we've carried that was made by a local SF barber.  I'm super stoked on this new batch that just got dropped off today.  I'm even more excited to taste the aged expressions later on this Fall.  Try a bottle of this and then imagine what's possible!

24 bottles in SF now.  24 to RWC later this afternoon.  24 to LA next week.  Enjoy!

-David Driscoll 

Wednesday
May112011

How Does Liquor Pricing Work?

This post might land me a bit of hot water with other stores and suppliers, but so be it.  I've seen so many postings about pricing and availability lately (on message boards, Yelp reviews, comment fields, etc.) and I feel like some people don't really understand how it works, so I'm going to clear up some facts about how liquor store pricing works.

1) If you see a review on a website like John Hansell's WDJK and it says bottle price $50, that is based on an estimate.  It does not mean that every store pays the same wholesale and then sets their own retail.  Some stores may even PAY $50 wholesale for that same bottle, rather than offer it for that retail price.  Every state in the U.S. has a set of distributors that sets pricing, and even then, not every store is paying the same wholesale cost.  There are a variety of factors that establish what we pay (quantity for example) and based on what we pay I can then decide how much profit we can make.  Look at our price on Glenlivet 12 and then look at the East Coast.  Different distribution charging different prices. 

2) Because not everyone pays the same price, not everyone with higher prices is necessarily trying to rip off consumers.  Stores base their prices on what they NEED to make in order to stay in business.  If you're not moving quantity, you need higher prices.  If you're a store moving mass numbers, then you can get away with lower margins. 

3) Price matching - Not every store can compete with mass markets like Costco, therefore I don't carry Bombay Sapphire because I don't even want to try.  I'd have to buy 1000 cases to get their pricing.  I'm not going to do that.  However, I do match on some items just to stay competitive.  That means I make NOTHING by selling some products.  It's practically a wash, but it helps with internet buzz.

4) Using price as an advertising tool - some stores like to use their low prices on select items (like Lagavulin 16 for example) as a way to attract attention.  Because Lagavulin 16 is a widely distributed product, they assume people will search it on Google, spot them as the lowest price, and then look around for more booze as a result.  The store will make NOTHING on the initial purchase, but might snag a few bucks on the other items.  To me, this is like naming your company Aardvark Spirits so that you can be first in the phone book (assuming someone will call the first store they see).  However, people who are always searching for the lowest price will only shop with you if you ALWAYS have the lowest price.

5) How does K&L set pricing?  We like to be competitive, but we also have a business to run.  We pay our employees amazing wages, provide health care, are super attentive to customer service, pay for staff education, and go out of our way to include customers in this business of ours.  I can guarantee you that there is not another booze shop out there that treats its employees as well as K&L does.  Nevertheless, despite all of our expenses, our prices are usually among the cheapest in the nation.  We work hard to do this by getting good deals on products we think we can work with.  We do not sell everything available for this reason.  We pick our battles, so to speak.

6) There are some stores out there that offer low pricing but do not offer much else.  If price is the most important part of the equation, there are certainly stores that are willing to go less than us in the name of making a new customer. I like to think that our customers understand that shopping with us goes far beyond just a good value, but also friendship, loyality, and just a sense of good will.

-David Driscoll

Wednesday
May112011

Ledaig - Scotland's Most Underappreciated Malt

On our recent trip to Scotland, David OG and I tasted a sherry barrel of Ledaig that we thought people might go crazy for.  Peaty, smoky, musty, with earthy splendor and the rich, chewiness that we love about some other sherry-aged malts.  Plus, it was cheap!  "This is a no-brainer!" we said to each other.  Then we remembered one very important fact - it's Ledaig. 

No one even knows how to say Ledaig, let alone drink it.  I'll never forget calling it "Le-chig" in front of Stewart Laing, only to have him correct me and say it's pronounced "Le- dayge." "No one in Scotland calls it 'Le-chig' he said, so don't call it that in front of another Scotsman," he told us.  That was until his brother came into the room and said, "Oh, that's a great barrel of 'Le-chig.'"  We couldn't help but to roar with laughter.  "Everyone calls it Le-chig" said the other Laing, much to the chagrin of his brother.  Tasting with the Laing brothers, we encountered yet another great example of Tobermorey's peated malt, but again we knew that Ledaig just wasn't a real mover.

Why is no one drinking Ledaig, I wonder?  It's peated, inexpensive, tasty, and it caters to all the Islay drinkers out there.  Looking at our internal numbers, Ledaig ranks as the absolute worst selling single malt we carry!  I think that's crazy because it's definitely not the worst tasting.  Is it a lack of knowledge?  Is it a lack of interest?  Even my endorsement of it seems to fall on deaf ears.  We brought in a good amount of the young Murray McDavid sherry cask and it's still sitting here like a dead duck in the water.  Even my attempts to offer it at a closeout discount drew little enthusiasm.

What's the deal? Did I miss a Hansell post where he called it piss water? 

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
May102011

Tuesday Tasting Tonight!

Come join us for round two of our Buffalo Trace Experimental tasting.  This time we'll be sampling the 1991 19 year old from the Rediscovered Barrels series.  Come and find out what 19 year old Buffalo Trace tastes like for a mere $4 per glass.  We only have 750ml worth of booze so make sure you come early.  Pours start at 6 PM sharp and last until they're gone.  Martin's West in Redwood City is the place!  See you there.

-David Driscoll

Monday
May092011

Another New K&L Exclusive Barrel From Scotland!

This is getting kind of fun!

I've got six more lined up for the next month to reveal so just knowing what's coming up down the pipeline is making me go crazy.  It's like knowing a wonderfully exciting secret and not being able to tell anyone!  In any case, here's the newest addition to our Scotland treasure hunt booty.

1992 Bladnoch K&L Exclusive 18 Year Old Chieftain's Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky PRE-ARRIVAL $79.99 (retail to be $89.99) - As soon as we got off our red-eye flight to Edinburgh, David OG and I headed straight over the Chieftain's head office for some barrel tasting.  Even with our sleep-deprived palates we both straightened up after tasting this single barrel Lowland whisky from Bladnoch.  There aren't too many distilleries left today in the southern part of Scotland, but it's still considered a whisky-making region.  Along with Auchentoshan and Glenkinchie, Bladnoch is one of the remaining survivors still making the light and fruity Lowland style of single malt, but it has been unavailable in the U.S. While the former two distilleries tend to be simple and straight-forward in their flavor profile, Bladnoch is expressive and alive in a way that most single malts are not.  The nose is instantly perfumy with flowers and a waxy note that reminds me of a Crayola crayon box.  The first sip is all jelly beans and citrus with sweet vanilla permeating the core.  It finishes in a flurry of complexity that makes one instantly reach for more in hope of deciphering these flavors, but the malt is so intense that it proves difficult.  We enjoyed this Bladnoch so much that we carried it in a pocket flask for the entire rest of the trip.  It became our personal drink of choice when we finished each day because it was so fun and easy to drink.  For a whisky this good, as well as 18 years old, the price is stunningly inexpensive.

-David Driscoll