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K&L Spirits Tasting Schedule:

Weds from 5 - 6:30 PM

10/29 - Redwood City: Alexander Murray Single Malts

11/5 - San Francisco: Alexander Murray Single Malts

2014 K&L Exclusive Scotland Whisky

1988 Blair Athol 25 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2001 Bowmore 12 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1990 Bruichladdich 23 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Glen Ord 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1995 Glenburgie 19 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1997 Glenrothes 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1998 Mortlach 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Finish Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1995 Imperial 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


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 SOLD OUT!


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 SOLD OUT!


1997 Benrinnes 17 Year Old Signatory K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky SOLD OUT!


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 SOLD OUT!


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!


Tuesday
Oct042011

Faultline Launches! Our Very Own Cognac

As you can see from the photo above, we’ve finally received our amazing single barrel, cask strength Cognac from France and the juice is freaking unreal good.  We can’t label the age statement on the bottle, but for you insiders I can tell you: it’s about 19 years old and it’s from the Borderies area of the countryside.  Nicholas did an amazing job sourcing a barrel this good and you’re all going to benefit from the hard work it took to get it here.  It’s not easy finding people in Cognac to do this type of thing.  Single barrel brandy is not the rage in France.  Actually, it’s not the rage anywhere, but when you find something as good as this there’s no way you’re going to blend it!  It doesn’t taste like 61% because it’s so fruit-forward and expressive, but great spirits are all about balance – this is one of the greats.   

I’ve tasted the new Faultline Cognac about five times now and each time has been different.  The nose is incredible – caramel, intense cloves with cinnamon, stewed apricots, harmonious!  The palate is lighter than the amber color suggests – lively bits of toffee come in at first, but then the whole spirit turns spicy with herbs, baking spices, vanilla, and even some citrus!  It’s wild, but the Cognac never loses its composure.  Bourbon drinkers should love this.  Adding some water only softens the heat and opens more of the flavor! Best of all, this is something that absolutely no one else is doing, let alone selling.  For proof of what you’re drinking, here’s a link to a video of Nic Palazzi filling it himself in the countryside.

 

Here’s the deal however – there are only 200 bottles of this.  10 have sold already and we have an email going out to the big list tomorrow.  These may last the month, or maybe only the rest of the week.  I’m not sure how the rest of the K&L database is going to respond to the email, but I expect it to be a big hit.  If you’re interested in one of these, now is a better time than later.  $129.99 for a 19 year old, single barrel, cask strength, unfiltered Cognac.  It's definitely worth it.

-David Driscoll

Monday
Oct032011

Busy Busy Week

Welcome to the busiest week of the year for Bay Area spirits.  WhiskyFest will decend upon San Francisco this Friday night and many a distillery rep will be in town all week for various side projects.  There will be special seminars (like our blending class with Compass Box master John Glaser), intimate dinners with intriguing characters from the industry (like our dinner with Ardbeg distiller Bill Lumsden), and various meet and greets with high-end retail chains (like our Heaven Hill tasting this Wednesday!).  It's going to be hectic. 

On top of all these whisky events, there are other interesting stories this week.  Our first ever Faultline Spirits release has landed and I couldn't be more excited.  I'm hoping that people make some time for one very special Cognac in a week dominated by whisk(e)y.

As if the events of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday weren't enough, this Sunday is the official judging ceremony for this year's Good Food Awards, which has now expanded to include spirits.  I'm going to be tasting and judging on a panel that includes names like Michael Pollan and Alice Waters!  Clearly I'm not going to be giving my opinion about food like they are, but I will have a say in all things distilled.  Do responsibly-sourced base materials result in better booze?  I'm hoping to find out and properly award those who have made some. 

Also, all you NorCal people are going to have a chance to meet SoCal partner-in-crime Mr. David OG.  He'll be flying in this Thursday as the two of us team up for a week of power tasting.  We call him "OG" because he's actually killed two people, but was legally acquitted on both charges.  Don't mess with him.  Mr. Othenin-Girard and I will both be at WhiskyFest and at various events around town this week so please come say hello if you see us.

Make sure to enjoy this amazing week for Bay Area spirits enthusiasts!  It's going to be epic.  If you need any ideas about where to go or what to do, feel free to drop us a line.

-David Driscoll

Friday
Sep302011

K&L Co-Sponsoring Whisky Blending Class w/John Glaser

Since our dinner with Ardbeg's Bill Lumsden sold out a month ago, what are all the other K&L shoppers to do Thursday night before WhiskyFest hits?  How about a private blending class with Compass Box guru John Glaser?  That's right!  On Thursday October 6th - from 6 PM to 8 PM - at the Boothy Center in San Francisco, you will have the chance to learn how to blend your own whisky like a pro.  The materials are provided and you'll walk out with your own creation.  Blending is perhaps the trickiest part of creating a great whisky, so come and learn the secret art of doing so from a man who has proven that he knows how.

Tickets are $65 and are available here.  H from Elixer Bar is running the show that night as David OG and I will be at the Ardbeg dinner, however we want to make sure there is plenty for everyone to do!

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
Sep272011

Chieftain's News Plus Tastings!

I had some time to taste with Val from JVS today, who you all know is my absolute favorite person to meet with, and we had a great time tasting some of the new selections that Chieftain’s will be making available this year.  We’re so excited about what they’re offering that we decided to plan another whiskey tasting event for the end of October in Burlingame.  It should be the standard $25 tasting plus snacks and it will be one hell of a line up.  Already confirmed are the following: 1995 Allt-A-Bhainne, 1996 Braeval, 1997 Caol Ila finished in rum cask, 1998 Strathisla finished in Barolo, and an amazing 1990 Rosebank sherry cask! 

I had a chance to taste the Rosebank and it is absolutely stunning.  At cask strength, it blows anything else away that I have tasted from G&M or Signatory.  The Caol Ila is also quite nice – the same lovely cinnamon-style peat with a supple, yet restrained dose of sugar cane rum roundness on the finish.  Lovely stuff.  Here’s the real good news: our Bladnoch and Dailuaine casks are sitting in Oakland right now and they should be in shortly.  I have talked to Val about JVS holding back one bottle of each so that we can pour them at the tasting!  That means you’ll be able to try two of the amazing selections from our trip if you attend.  The Bladnoch is probably my favorite whisky from the trip, so I’m very excited about that.  Remember that once these arrive into stock, the pre-arrival price ends and the new price begins! 

Redwood City – 5PM to 6:30 PM – Sept 28th

Diageo’s Master of Whisky Steve Beal will be back in the house for another awesome vertical – this time with the Highland region’s illustrious Cragganmore distillery.  We’ll taste the Cragganmore 12 year old, the 1992 Double Matured Distiller’s Edition which was finished in Port wood, and the very limited release of the special 2011 edition 21 year old.  This is going to be another wonderful chance to taste some of the classic malts of Scotland – free of charge of course.  Walk in only, no need for reservations!

San Francisco – 5 PM to 6:30 PM – Sept 28th

St. George distiller Dave Smith will be on hand to pour out a dose of the Alameda institution’s new batch of craft gins.  The Terroir – made from botanicals sourced from Mt. Tam. The Botanivore – a seriously botanical flavored elixir.  The Dry Rye – a white rye spirit flavored with heavy amounts of juniper.  These have already been a huge success despite their very limited release.  If you’re unsure about which to buy, this is a great way to figure out which one you like the best!

-David Driscoll 

Sunday
Sep252011

Assess the Risk

We had an interesting lunch conversation today with friends about the fear of taking a risk in today's generation.  However, while gambling can certainly lead to disappointment, the greatest rewards are usually given to those who take a chance.  So many people want certainty these days - they need to know that whatever they're investing in is going to work out as planned.  They want clear instructions about what is needed from them and what exactly is necessary to achieve happiness and success.  It's the fear of the unknown that prevents people from branching out sometimes - "why take a chance on that bottle of French chardonnay when we already know that we like the California one?"

I could go on forever about this, but the subject is worth thinking about.  Part of the reason why I feel wine ratings carry so much weight stems from the fact that people are afraid of drinking a bad bottle.  Worse than that - drinking a bad bottle of wine and thinking it's good!  We need certainty even if certainty is a matter of opinion.  Life is one giant uncertainty which is why we constantly look for something to latch on to.

Look at it this way: you'll never know if little Suzie will go to the prom with you unless you ask.  The boy who never asks for fear of rejection will never know what could have happened.  The one who takes the risk may end up having the time of his life (or might end up crying in his room, but so be it).

It's ok to end up with a bad bottle now and again.  It's the understanding of the bad ones that makes the good ones so good.

-David Driscoll