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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
Jun222011

Choppers

The good news about last night was that the choppers showed up, as did plenty of loyal K&L shoppers.  The bad news was that the guy who was supposed to bring the whisky and do all the pouring did not.  Luckily, the guy who rides the choppers had some samples in his truck.  Unlucky for us, the samples were all about 95 degrees after sitting in his hot car all day.  However, a few minutes in an ice water bath got them down to room temp.  I rolled up my sleeves, got behind the bar, and did the job instead.  In the end, we had a great time.  Thanks to all who came.

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
Jun212011

Ardbeg Tasting Tonight

 

 

I will be heading to Martin's West a bit early tonight and helping these guys get ready for the Ardbeg onslaught!  Choppers, whisky, and a good time out - all for the low price of zero dollars!  Martin's might be a bit tight because the entire back room is already reserved for a private party so prepare to squeeze in!

I'm still not 100% sure what we'll be tasting, but I would expect all three of the key expressions to be on tap: the 10 year, Uigeadail, and the Corryvreckan.  I wouldn't hold my breath for any Alligator.  If it works like we did it last time, they have a great bar set up with all the aromatic elements available to sniff in seperate dishes to help understand the flavor ingredients. They do quite a nice job.

I'll see you all there!

Martin's West in Redwood City @ 6 PM.

 

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
Jun212011

Sunday Bordeaux and BBQ

Here at K&L, we work really, hard.  We've made a serious commitment to this store and the owners make it worth our while.  Last week, Clyde Beffa Jr. one of the esteemed founders, came to Los Angeles to give us a tutorial on '08 Bordeaux.  While I may be the spirits buyer, my heart will always be with wine.  Dubbed the last "affordable" vintage, the '08s showed great value and a lot of long term potential.  A stark contrast to the over priced '06 and modern '07 vintage, the 2008 vintage is more classically styled showing good acid and strong tannins.  Purchased before the dollar's precipitous fall and without the rabid fanfare of the '09 or '10s, our line up revealed a couple of real gems.  The big boys (Pichon and Cos) were rich and powerful, showing lots of potential for the long term.  Pontet Canet usual angular structure seemed rather rounded for the vintage.  The only disappointment was the Lagrange & Larcis, which one too modern and the other bit trashy.  Three incredible values emerged from the pack -D'Aiguilhe, Cantemerle, and Malescot- all showed incredibly well under $50.  Can't forget the Lynch-Bages Blanc which is relatively expensive, but showing very well considering its disappointing critical acclaim.  Needless to say, if you like a classic structure style claret and want to save a bit of money, I highly encourage you to seek out the '08 for your cellar.  The highlight of the evening, however, was a BBQ prepared by the man (Mr. Beffa) himself along with a selection of incredible wines from his personal cellar.  I'll mostly let the pictures speak for themselves. 

I don't mean to rub it in, but that's USDA Prime, some legit franks, and Monsieur Marcel's saucisson.  We'd lucked out, a customer with perfect timing had returned a lovely bottle of '96 Leoville Barton -don't ask me why.  It wasn't at all corked, but it was several days old, so onto the steak it went.  A little Amora Moutard de Dijon and we were in heaven...

 This is the finest grill on the market!!!

 The Feast begins....

Uh oh...'82 Mouton Rothschild pulled out of inventory due to leakage.  It didn't disappoint, not at all a bad bottle, just not quite living up to the hype.  Nonetheless, Bubba looks on longingly.

 '83 Pichon Lalande was probably the highlight of the evening.  Still with lots of life, vibrant color all the way to the rim and a precision that cut down the palate like a scalpel.  The 83's are often over looked and Clyde considers this one of his favorite wines ever.  Tough to disagree. 

The only dud of the evening was this bizarre private label, most likely made by Inglenook.  The clear glass did not affect the color, which was still vibrant, dark and rich looking.  Unfortunately, this bottle smelled like hot trash when it was first opened.  I was shocked to see it come back around after an hour or so, but it still didn't stand up well to competition.

 By far the most interesting offering was the '61 Hallcrest Cabernet.  Still with plenty of life, it took several hours in a decanter to fully blossom.  Hallcrest is one of the original greats of California wine.  When they set out to make world class wine in the hills above Santa Cruz, no one expected them to succeed on this level.   This is one of the earliest vintages and played an historic role in establishing California as one of the world's great wine growing regions.  A bouquet of hearty earth, desiccated currants, and masculine brute.  Bretty, intoxicating and powerful, truly a special bottle of wine that I will rank near the top of my most special and unusual experiences. 

On to Harvard & Stone where Mia Sarazen of Black Market was running the R&D bar.  She's exceptional and this was as well.  All the drinks were named after '80s films hence why I remember none of their titles.  Ingredients here: Goslings, Benedictine, and Lemon if I remember correctly.

 Another Sarazen creation.  Her punch was painfully easy to consume: vodka, sake, other stuff a blur.

The Fabulous Trinidad Sour, a Harvard & Stone classic.  The base is Angostura Bitters with Lemon, Orgeat, and Root Liqueur to balance.  Interesting, invigorating, definitely one of my favorite cocktails in Hollywood.  We finished our night thusly.  I hope you're not only seething with jealous rage, but also that you learned something! Thank you Clyde for the exceptional wine and thank you Mia for the wonderful cocktails!  

-David Girard

Monday
Jun202011

Kilchoman - To Buy Or Not To Buy

Here's an interesting scenario where I am going to pander a bit to the comments field - I actually could really use some input.  We have the opportunity to purchase a five year old sherry barrel of Kilchoman, the new Islay distillery that is wowing people with its precocious young whiskies.  So far the quality of their malts has been fantastic, but the prices are still a bit high for some consumers who compare it with older expressions from other distilleries that cost less.  I'm a big believer in the idea that great whisky is worth whatever you think it's worth, regardless of the age statement, but if we were to pull the trigger on this project we would be looking at around $100 a bottle for a cask strength speciman of Kilchoman.  Granted, the sherry really helps enhance this malt and help it to seem far more mature than its actual age.  The mix of rich sweetness with smoky peat is quite nice, but sherry barrels are big and therefore so is the committment.  My question is this: how many people are interested in Kilchoman?  I myself haven't seen customers swooning over it, so I'm a bit hesitant to go deep on something like this, but maybe I'm just not witnessing a more passionate global response?

-David Driscoll

Friday
Jun172011

Hot Hot Hot!

Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $59.99 - I got a fantastic price on this and I bought everything available.  They sent me a sample of this ages ago, but it didn't arrive until now.  This is a limited release from Springbank and it's fantastic.  More like the 10 year than the 15, this is an oily, dense and savory malt.  It has all the nuance of the 10, but more power and a bit more richness.  The 10 year Springbank is my favorite malt in the world, so getting an updated version of it is exciting.  Chewy fruits, supple and gum-smacking textures, hints of smoke, power on the palate, long on the finish.  Get it while it's around.

-David Driscoll