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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!


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

Friday
May062011

K&L Spirits Podcast #15 - Importer Charles Neal

If you've ever come to K&L and thought, "I like the wines that K&L selects and the unique products they're able to find from small producers in other countries," then we've achieved our goal.  However, there are a number of importers who do the same thing we do, only they sell directly to retailers like us rather than to the public.  Charles Neal makes a living by going to the French countryside, in search of the finest alcoholic beverages that never quite make it stateside.  His selection of fine Cognac, Armagnac, and Calvados is unmatched by any other portfolio, namely because Charles has gone and found the finest, most interesting expressions.  Listen to him talk about his history, the products he imports, and the people who make them. 

This podcast episode can be downloaded here.  Previous episodes can be downloaded here from our archive or on iTunes.  You can also listen via our embedded Flash player here below.