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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
May312011

Elmer T Lee and ME

Our new single barrel from Buffalo Trace just landed.  Elmer T. Lee was responsible for the first single barrel expression of bourbon, the legendary Blanton's, which was released in 1984 while he was plant manager at the Distillery.  In 1985, he retired from daily plant operations, but continued to share his great knowledge and passion for bourbon as Master Distiller Emeritus.  His name sake bottling is one of my favorite expressions from the current line up.  However, due to the high standard of the regular bottling we do not regularly purchase single barrels.  The quality of this barrel, however, is EXCEPTIONAL.  It shows a similar profile to the standard bottling, but more with more intensity. 

Here are my tasting notes: Not sure how we topped the extremely generous standard bottling, but this barrel stood head and shoulders above the other samples we tasted.  Barrel #007 came from a distinct part of the rickhouse.  Its barrel number plays perfectly to its strengths.  Sleek, but powerful.  Mysterious and sexy...his name is Lee... Elmer T.  It amplifies all of the most exciting qualities that we know and love about the Elmer T.  The depth on the nose is astounding, running the spectrum from spice, rawhide, and sandalwood to plums, tea and violets.  Those nose is sensual and familiar, but the palate is where this bourbon really set itself apart.  Awesomely honeyed, the taffy and clove move swiftly into stone fruits and vanilla bean. This barrel is showing very little oak tannin.  Super complex, yet strangely easy to wrap your head around.  I have a feeling we'll be talking about this one for some time to come.

Elmer T. Lee K&L Exclusive Single Cask #007 Bourbon 750ml

-David Girard

Tuesday
May312011

Tuesday Tasting Tonight

Come join me in Redwood City @ Martin's West where we will open a bottle of Old Pulteney 17 year old for about $4 a glass!  6 PM sharp and bring your raincoat because it is not quite summer yet in the Bay Area.

For all you East Coasters, our K&L presence has invaded New York City.  Go and visit Nicolas Palazzi tonight: @ Stella - 213 Front St (Seaport) – 6:30 PM – McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt (2010 release) $3. Same rules as our tasting here: get there on time, one bottle only, it goes until it’s gone.  If you need specifics send him an email: nicolas@npalazziwine.com

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
May312011

Appreciating What's Around You

I went to college in San Diego.  There's probably some great beaches, wonderful restaurants, lovely hikes, and interesting culture there, but I couldn't tell you.  I spent most of my time in my apartment playing video games, smoking cigarettes, and eating Domino's pizza.  When I graduated I left because I was bored.  Later on of course I felt the pangs of regret as I cleaned myself up, lost the pizza weight, and quit smoking.  "All the opportunities I wasted!" I still think sometimes.  For that reason, I want to stress to everyone living in Northern California: Do not take what we have for granted!

I decided to open two bottles of local wine last night because, although I taste many domestic wines as part of our staff training program, I show little enthusiasm beyond what's necessary - and that's a shame.  It's a shame because, while I'm geeking out for the French Arbois or a small Burgundy plot, there really are many outstanding wines close by that we have access to.  I could visit these places on the weekends, take a drive to Sonoma, enjoy the landscape and its inherent beauty, but I don't.  No longer.  I will not relive my college apathy!!

It's not just wine either.  We've got St. George distillery, Charbay, Germain-Robin, Old World Spirits, and others still making their mark.  You can visit these places and sample their products, see how they're made, and embrace the local community.  When I traveled extensively through Europe as a young adult, I found all cultures enjoying and taking pride in their local wines and spirits.  Yet, here I sit, ignoring so many outstanding local vintners, lusting after products from afar that have no special importance or significance in my life. 

I vow to appreciate my Northern California alcohol community now by learning more about the wines from this region.  I work in the best wine store on the West Coast, located in NorCal, but I can't tell you details about the local wines?  That's pathetic.  No More!!

-David Driscoll

Monday
May302011

Vermouth & Amaro Tasting in SF Thursday

Beginning at 5 PM and lasting until 6:30 I will be in the SF tasting bar to sample ALL of the best wine-based spirits in stock.  Veteran SF bartender Todd Smith will also be on hand to help describe how to mix these enticing elixers.  For a mere $5 you get to taste these outstanding products:

Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambery $13.99 - The standard dry for the SF cocktail scene

Dolin Blanc Vermouth de Chambery $13.99 - The standard blanc for the SF cocktail scene

Dolin Rouge Vermouth de Chambery $13.99 - The standard rouge for the SF cocktail scene

Cocchi Aperitivo Americano $18.99 - This is a low alcohol, wine-based aperitif that does what so few purported aperitif's seem to do: it enlivens your palate and your appetite. What a concept! This is the original Americano, produced without a break in the Piedmontese town of Asti since 1891 and made according to an entirely natural recipe, which includes white wine aromatized with many herbs and spices, and no artificial coloring, flavoring or additive of any kind. It is produced in limited quantities and matured for a year before being put on sale. Serve chilled in a tumbler or in an appropriate glass with a twist of orange peel and if desired, ice cubes. A splash or soda is indispensable to make the full aroma and perfume come out at their best.

Cocchi Barolo Chinato $46.99 - Pronounced key-knot-o. To begin with, this specialized wine product will not appeal to every wine drinker out there. But for those of us with mature palates, and those who appreciate the natural flavoring agent that gives tonic water its distinctive bite (quinine), a glass of Cocchi's Barolo chinato is not a vinous experience you're likely to soon forget! In addition to quinine bark, rhubarb, gentian and a final addition of somewhat secreted spices, including cardamom seed, are added to this pleasantly bitter tipple, which ranks up there with Fernet Branca as the world's best digestivo.  Expensive due to the high-quality Barolo wine used to make it!

Cocchi Vermouth di Torino $19.99 - the newest sweet vermouth on the scene, brimming with character and cola flavors!

Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth $25.99 - From the Italian producer of Punt e Mes, a sweet vermouth, comes the Carpano Antica, a special, high-end, red vermouth. Smoother and not nearly as sweet as the Punt e Mes, the Carpano Antica can be served as an aperitivo, a digestivo or as a component of your favorite cocktail such as a Manhattan or Negroni.

Cardamaro Amaro $18.99 - This secret family recipe was developed over the last century by the Bosca Family.  Using Cardoon, Blessed Thistle, and several other botanicals, the Cardamaro is one of the most unique and interesting amaro currently available.  An absolutely fantastic price for a high quality, delicious amaro and a fantastic gateway into this world of Italian bitters.

See you there!

-David Driscoll

Monday
May302011

Yet Another New Barrel Direct From Scotland!

This is another of the real gems from the trip.  One of the best whiskies we tried in Scotland, made even better by its collectable status!

1975 Banff K&L Exclusive 35 Year Old Duncan Taylor Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky PRE-ARRIVAL $199.99 - Getting to roam the warehouses of the Scottish Highlands, in search of forgotten treasures, was an experience that David OG and I will never forget.  Finding a hidden barrel from one of Scotland's most undervalued and unknown mothballed distilleries was just icing on the cake.  Banff was a Highland institution that was dismantled and demolished back in 1983.  Destined to become the next Brora or Port Ellen, malt enthusiasts are only now beginning to understand just what exactly we've been missing.  A good Banff whisky will usually exhibit some stong grainy notes, bright stone fruits, and a kick of vanilla on the finish.  The 35 year old single cask we found at the Duncan Taylor estate is the best Banff we've ever had the chance to taste. The initial flavors are saline and oily (think Clynelish at its best) before transitioning into a mouthfull of vanilla cream with cereal grain and white peach accents. The finish is ultra-delicate, almost transcendent in its grace, and at 45.2% there's no need to water it down.  Just sit back, pour, and enjoy one of the finest barrels we were lucky enough to stumble across.  Banff is gone and it will never produce any whisky again which adds to the collectability of the bottle, but you'll want to drink every drop of this, trust us. Along with the Ladyburn, this was one of the top whiskies from our trip, hands down.

-David Driscoll