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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!


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

Sunday
May082011

Exit Through The Liquor Store

I finally got around to watching Exit Through The Gift Shop last night on Netflix instant and found so many parallels between the liquor industry and Banksy's message about art that I went to bed with my head spinning.  I won't ruin the movie for those who haven't seen it, but a critical theme of the movie concerns street artists who don't actually have any art in them - somewhat likable people who are motivated and excited about the possibilities of graffiti, but seem more interested in fame, money, or notoriety than actual expression.

I've been fascinated by my generation's penchant for believing they can do anything.  There have always been ambitious people with little talent for what they're trying to achieve, but it seems to be much worse now than I ever remember it being.  I think this comes from an inflated sense of self worth (given to us by teachers who told us we were very special when perhaps we weren't) and the instant audience provided from the world wide web.  Nowadays, one can instantaneously present their work to the world before the previously-important keepers of the gate can criticize or reject it (i.e. museum curators, book editors, night club bookers, distinguished professors, etc).  The internet has provided everyone with a voice should they want one.

With that voice some people have chosen to focus more on the marketing of themselves or their product than the actual substance of what they are doing.  Today one can witness tequila companies starting up overnight with fancy websites, quotes from famous experts in the industry, and a barrage of media hype, similar to the Mr. Brainwash blitz in Gift Shop.  There's no love, art, talent, or romance in many of these products, as they're simply the result of investors paying someone else to do the work for them (like distilling, aging, harvesting, etc.).  Yet, many of these campaigns are effective because people still tend to believe the hype. 

Whether or not Banksy's film is the perfect analogy or a giant prank on the public, the lessons are still legitimate.  The story is proof that people with no actual ability for the profession they've chosen can still be considered talanted, be profitable, and succeed by stealing ideas from others.  The desire by investors, collectors, and enthusiasts to purchase and own products like these is perhaps the biggest joke that Banksy exposes with his film.  The public's willingness to buy into the authenticity of these clowns only legitimizes what they are doing, at the expense of the people who actually know to do it. 

You can imagine how true artists like Banksy feel when the medium they've spent years perfecting gets co-opted by the "I can do it too with only five minutes of practice" generation. I'm sure there are many professional distillers, winemakers, and brewers out there dealing with that feeling right now.

-David Driscoll

Saturday
May072011

Old World Spirits Update

What's been going on with my good friend Davorin Kuchan over at Old World Spirits lately?  That's funny because I just asked myself the same question the other day, so I decided to go and find out.  When I arrived, Davorin was pumping kegs of Devil's Canyon IPA into a tank for future distillation, while simultaneously stripping a batch on his still.

Mmmmm.....essence of IPA fresh off the still.  Then into a barrel for aging.  Whisky anyone?

Speaking of whiskey, Davorin is almost ready to release his first batch of 100% rye.  I've been waiting for this stuff since last November!  It's almost ready!  This whiskey is amazingly light and soft for something so young.

I also got a chance to see the new Blade label, designed by our own K&L customer Armen Allen as part of a contest we held a while back.  Let's just say Armen won't be out of gin anytime soon.  What an improvement over the last bottle!

Davorin had been making a batch of absinthe before we got there and all those botanicals need to be cleaned out of the drain later on. 

Now that Davorin has signed with a larger distribution company, he has to pump out the orders faster than ever.  Yet, it all has to come from this one little room.  That's small production, folks!  Nevertheless, look for some exciting new projects from Davorin very soon.

-David Driscoll