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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!


Sunday
May222011

Special Laphroaig Due This Summer

If you thought that the other Islay distilleries were going to sit back and let Ardbeg hog the special release spotlight, well then think again!  Laphroaig has announced that they will be releasing a new batch of their Cairdeas line, a bottling normally sold only at the Islay festival each May, to the U.S. market this summer (note: the photo above is for an older batch).   The 2011 release will be bottled at 50.5%, according to the press statement I received,  and was aged in Maker's Mark casks.  The tasting notes read "hints of salt and seaweed, layered with vibrant peat."  Sounds like every bottle of Laphroaig ever.  Should retail for $60 or so.  Can't wait! 

-David Driscoll

Saturday
May212011

SF Tasting #1 Review

We finally got our first downtown tasting up and running this past Thursday and I was pretty satisfied with how it came off.  Thanks to the rabid SF thirst for whisky, we had Gitane packed and full before we had time even to pour one glass. I'm glad that everyone got the memo about this tasting starting at 5:30 because these one bottle tastings are like going to the movies - you get there when it starts, not half an hour later.  We blew through a bottle of 20 year old Bowmore in about 20-25 minutes and Andrew Morrison from A.D. Rattray combed through the crowd to answer questions and talk about his booze.  I'm going to talk to Gitane about a few things to work on for next week. They were worried about the fact that we ran out so fast and suggested we do a second bottle. However, they also want the thing to end by 6:30 so their dinner guests have space at the bar and with a second bottle I think this thing would linger on until 7:30.  I say we keep it one bottle, first 25 people, and if you can't get there at 5:30 then so be it.  There will be other tastings and other events.  In fact, I'm working on doing a 2nd tasting that would start at 7 PM on the exact same night!  We're working on turning the Hideout, located at the back of the Delva Bar on 16th St. between Valencia and Guererro, into a little after hours party where we pour a few different things - again all for the low, low price of wholesale cost!

-David Driscoll

Friday
May202011

A Time To Drink....

Most of the time I like to sit down and have a drink to unwind or to relax after a long day at work.  Sometimes, however, when the sudden loss of life occurs, a drink is a way to sit down and memorialize the people who have impacted your life in tribute.  Having grown up with professional wresting (and being heavily "into it" through out my college years as well), I'm deeply saddened by the death of Randy Savage.

This afternoon, after I finish my chores and cleaning, I will sit down on my couch, YouTube a video of Randy Savage wrestling Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania III (after Savage brutally brought the ring bell down on Steamboat's throat!), pour myself a glass of high end bourbon, and pair it with a Slim Jim. 

R.I.P. Macho Man.  Tonight I drink in your honor.

-David Driscoll

Friday
May202011

Answering The Call

Last week I put out a notice on this blog beckoning to tequila companies - I needed more agave spirit.  It's not that there's a shortage of tequila on the market.  In fact, it's quite the opposite - a real glut.  The problem is that there's a shortage of GOOD tequila on the market.  Not just quality, but authenticity as well.  Who made it?  Where and how was the tequila made?  What kind of wood was it aged in?  You'd be amazed, but 95% of tequila salesmen don't know the answers to these questions because it's not about that for them.  They're interested in building the brand name and getting it into as many stores as possible to compete with Patron.

Frank Mendez called me this week and told me he'd like to come present his new family project: Gran Dovejo tequila.  While Frank and his cousin don't come from a tequila making background, they consider themselves afficionados and feel the same exasperation I do towards the current state of things.  They said to themselves: if we're going to do this, we're going to do it right - no cutting costs, no hiring a giant factory to mass produce flavorless swill, no catering to Costco, no parties with celebrities, just good tequila.  In order to do so, they tracked down Leopoldo Solis Tinoco (one of the great master distillers in Mexico) to help bring Gran Dovejo to life.  Leopoldo was so satisfied with the final result that he offered to put his name on the bottle as a sign of approval.

Let's get to the tasting notes!  The blanco is outstanding - vibrant, expressive, bursting with citrus, flowers and spices, but finishing cleanly.  The blanco is always the test of any tequila and Dovejo passes with flying colors.  This is easily the most exciting blanco I've had in over a year and it will speak to any true tequila sipper out there - a benchmark for white spirits.  The reposado is the most understated of the bunch - mild mannered, hinting at greatness, but never unleashing its true potential.  I enjoyed it and found it to be quite tasty on the finish, but it had to follow the blanco so it got dwarfed under the expectation.  I've never tasted a tequila more suited for bourbon drinkers than the Gran Dovejo añejo.  It has all the texture, the new wood, the spice, and the mouthfeel.  I love that they didn't let this thing get all supple, soft, and smooth because there's enough of that in the market.  Imagine a bourbon, but one where all the spice came from the spirit rather than from the wood!  This tequila spend 18 months in a barrel but it tastes like an 8 year old bourbon because the spirit itself is so expressive!  A wonderful addition to the blanco.

So that makes one new exciting tequila!  I'm glad there are still some fresh new faces out there in the agave world because I was getting a bit nervous.  There should be here by the end of next week so stay tuned.

-David Driscoll

Thursday
May192011

Thursday Tasting Tonight in SF!

Whoopie! Our first ever SF Thursday night tasting! This is a test run to see how things work out and I hope they go smoothly.  I'll be at Gitane right around 5:30 with Andrew Morrison to hang out and talk about this lovely Bowmore 20 year single barrel cask strength whisky.  Pours should be about $5-$6 and that covers a full glass not a wee taste.  I'll be meeting with some other local industry folk today about possibly branching this series out should it catch on with our local community.  There's another little liquor store up the road that I'm quite friendly with and I'm sure they might want to team up for some of these (see, not all competitors hate each other!).  More on that later.  See you tonight, at Gitane, right off of Sutter and Kearny back in the little alley called Claude Lane.  Remember, only one bottle on hand, so don't expect to mosey in at 7:15 and get one!

-David Driscoll