Big Time Dalmore & Sirius Dinner at Boa Tomorrow Night

Our old friends over at the Universal Whisky Experience are extending a special invitation to K&L’s Whisky Club.  As we’ve said we were skeptical of these super high end tastings when we first heard about them.  Having attended the Las Vegas Tasting, we now stand behind the incredible team at UWE and want to make sure our customers are aware of the incredible Single Malt Dinner events they have planned.  California has three tastings scheduled in the next few weeks.  While the cost is not insignificant, anyone who can afford to do so, should absolutely consider attending as Mahesh and his team pull out all the stops and promise to pour you some of the finest old malts available anywhere.  At $350 a plate, it’s a pretty serious commitment, but I promise they’ll make it worth your while.  Mahesh will pour nine outstandingly rare malts along with your all inclusive dinner

From the Sirius Line they will pour:  Fettercaine ’66, Dalmore ’67, Carsbridge ’65, North British ‘62

From the Dalmore Distillery: Dalmore 18 year, King Alexander III, Dalmore ’78, Dalmore ’74, Dalmore Astrum 40 year

By the oz that’s over $2000 worth of single malt, they’ll be opening over $21000 worth of whisky per event.  I know some here will inevitably scoff at the high price tag, but I assure you that this will be a very special evening.  Everyone who attended UWE was blown away and several of the LAWS guys agreed that it was the finest tasting they’d ever attended.  Unfortunately, David & I will not be able to attend as we’ll be heading for Scotland, but if you can make it and afford you should go.

May 10th Boa Steak House in West Hollywood @ 6:30pm:


Here is the Menu:


Spicy Tuna Tacos

Mini BOA Burgers

Smoked Duck, Truffle Tremor Cheese & Asparagus Tip Quesadillas

First Coarse

“Classic” Caesar Salad

Dungeness Crab Cake

Entrée Course

Rosie’s Organic Chicken Breast

Atlantic Salmon

Petite Filet Mignon

“Bone-in” Rib Eye Steak


Jumbo Asparagus

Sautéed Seasonal Mushrooms

Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes

Dessert Course

Key Lime Pie

Bread Pudding, jack daniels sauce


Tastings Today!

Tonight we've got the fantastic Wild Geese and Irish Heroes whiskies in San Francisco.  These are some fantastic, Cooley-produced drams that I personally think represent the best in Irish at K&L. 

Redwood City will be hosting Appleton Rum.  Before you shrug this one off, I can guarantee you that the Appleton 12 year will be sold out by the time this tasting ends.  Everyone who tastes it for the first time can't believe how tasty it is for the price.  Drop by - if you dare!

Tastings start at 5 PM and last until 6:30 PM.  Free of charge!

-David Driscoll


Kyle At The BBQ Drinking Aperitifs

Today was a beautiful day in the Bay Area.  It was so lovely today that we had a wonderful staff appreciation cookout in our parking lot, complete with booze and beanbag toss.  It was there that I found young Kyle Kurani and the two samples of Salers and Byrrh that I had mistakenly left out in the open.  By the time I arrived Kyle and Jim Boyce had drunk a sizable portion, but who could blame them?  These elixers are bewitching and too easily consumed.  

-David Driscoll

Booze on the Move

Jesus, Driscoll - can we get some talk about actual products on the blog?  Enough of this sentimental, emotional, internal crap you're going through.  Let's get some information about booze we can actually drink! 

I hear you.  That's why next week, while David OG and I are in Scotland, a large truck from Pacific Edge will pull up to K&L and drop off massive amounts of new, tasty, delicious, exciting, and affordable booze!  Here's what's coming:

The DOG already has these in Hollywood, but he's much cooler and more hip than I am.  He's always two steps ahead with the cocktail scene, but I'm finally catching up.  These Fidencio Mezcals are stunning.  The agave for the Sin Humo is baked in an oven that resembles something out of the movie Saw (quite terrifying), slowly over four days, to effectively roast the piñas without smoking them.  The result is a delicate and delectable mezcal that drinks more like our new bacanora, but with more elegance.  The Classic mezcal gives the Del Maguey Vida a true run for best mezcal under $40.  Both are priced at $34.99.  Both are fantastic.

Also coming next week, for the first time in any of our stores, is the new Navy Strength gin from the Leopold Bros.  While you might think it's just the standard formula at 57%, you'd be wrong to assume such a boring, run-of-the-mill act from one the industry's most exciting producers.  They created an entirely new recipe, brimming with herbacious notes and loaded with bitter citrus peel.  Try a Tom Collins with this guy.  Coming in at $44.99.

This one is just tooooooo good.  The last thing I needed was a new orange liqueur.  Instead, I just ordered the orange liqueur.  Top this one and you could put Grand Marnier and Cointreau out of business forever.  The Leopold's might be the new kings of naranjas.  Subtley sweet, concentrated, wonderfully pure.  I could finish this bottle myself, no problem.  Just ice and a glass.  $35.99.  This should actually be here tomorrow because I ordered it last week.

See David OG's post from yesterday for some in-detail specs on these new Haus Alpenz releases.  All I can say is that I've never been more excited for summer.  There are so many wonderful new liqueurs that need only a bit of seltzer and a twist of lime, like these two pictured above.  The Salers is incredbily light and incredibly bitter at the same time.  Imagine the easy-going nature of the Cocchi Americano with the gentian-attack of the Amaros from Varnelli.  Looooooove it.  The Byrrh is like France's Languedoc answer to the Cocchi Barolo Chinato, and it can also be substituted for sweet vermouth for a more winey approach.  Super juicy, very drinkable.  Both will be mainstays of my bar.  $21.99 for the Salers and only $19.99 for the Byrrh!

Bye bye Espolon.  You just got booted from the "best bargain tequila" category.  Two ex-pats who started their own tequila line in Mexico have just taken your place.  The Calle 23 tequilas don't have the best packaging, but they do have the best sub-$30 tequila - hands down, game over.  Beautifully expressive blanco, clean and pure.  Lovely richness on the reposado, with warm cinnamon and cloves on the finish.  $22 for the blanco, $24 for the repo.  BOOM!

I don't know how I missed out on this one before.  We've had this in Hollywood for a while, but I guess I was asleep at the wheel.  This rum from Trinidad was originally a private label for a high-end bar in NYC, but ended up as a full-time release.  It's a blend of 3-5 year old rums aged in small casks with that super caney, rummy, earthy flavor profile that separates real rum from caramel crap.  $35 and now one of the best rums we have by far.

I love it when Pacific Edge comes by to taste with us.  We always get so many fantastic new options for everyone to enjoy, but mostly ourselves.  These should all be available next Wednesday at the latest, while some are ready to go in LA.

-David Driscoll 


Aperitif Awakening

Over the last year we've seen a movement in our drinking culture.  The renaissance of before dinner drinking is at hand and our selections are more interesting than ever.  We've just come off the high from our new bittersweet vermouth Imbue and the exquisite Calisaya Liqueur.  We wait patiently for the wonderful Kina d'Oro from the elusive Tempus Fugit spirits, but in the mean time we've got a real treat from the ever relevant Haus Alpenz.  First, a classic that I've been pining for ever since I tasted it while traveling in France after high school, Byrrh Grand Quinquina Aperitif.  This incredible little tipple hails from the south central region of Roussillon, where mistelle (grape must) is blended with red AOC Roussillon.  This mixture is than steeped with cinchona bark.  Created in 1866 by the Brothers Violet, it was sold to Pernod-Ricard in 1977 after a dip in its domestic popularity.  A truly unique mixture, this is going to be one of those things that will back the bartenders out there just quiver with excitement.  This fabulous blend of flavors melds the bitter, sweet, sour and tannic perfectly. 

Next we have something a little more unusual.  Hailing from the Massif Central region of France, the oldest Gentiane liqueur being produced continuously in France is Salers Gentiane Liqueur is supposedly BETTER than the ever sought-after Suze.  I haven't had Suze in years so I can't say, but if my memory serves me correctly the Salers is much more earthy, vegetal and bitter than the Suze.  Strong vanilla & floral bitterness build on the palate.  This gives it more potential in terms of its mixability, although it will be most useful to the skilled mixologist.  This is one of these aperitifs that might not strike you as so delicious when you nose it or taste it straight, but add some lemon, ice, splash of soda and it's a whole different world.  Typically I obsess over perfecting a cocktail with something difficult to use like this, but it works so well as a spritz that I hesitate to experiment.  Obviously, you should seek out a cocktail calling for Gentiane liqueur and this should be a fine replacement for anything calling for Suze.  Keep any eye out for new aperitifs and vermouths as the summer progresses.

-David Othenin-Girard