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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 26 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


2001 Bowmore 13 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky IN STOCK NOW!


1990 Bruichladdich 24 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!


Wednesday
Apr202011

Glendronach Pre-Sales On Hold

Just a heads up, as I've received a few emails and calls about this already, we're trying to straighten out a snag in the Glendronach deal so I've discontinued sales for the moment.  Don't worry, there will be a Glendronach barrel, but it may actually be LESS expensive, so until we get that straightened out I don't want to put anymore orders into the system.  Those of you who already placed one have nothing to worry about.  You may see a credit coming soon or we may be back on track in a week as planned.  Thanks for your understanding everyone.

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
Apr192011

Signatory Additions

My goal in creating this blog was to offer everyone an insight into what it's like being a spirits buyer for a big retail store.  Therefore, if I keep getting inundated with appointments and tastings, I have to keep adding them to the blog!  Later this afternoon, after Mr. McCarthy exited, I met up with my favorite vendors to taste some new Signatory offerings and retaste some old ones.  The first was this delicious 19 year old Highland Park that we need to bring in ASAP.  It's going to cost less that the standard 18 year and this guy comes from a beautiful sherry cask.  I learned a lot about wood in Scotland, so I'm really paying attention to the barrels these whiskies come in.  This HP came out of a nice sherry butt, so the richness really marries well with the smoky notes of the malt.  Well made.

This lovely new 10 year Laphroaig is going to be a real treat for Islay lovers.  Another sherry butt barrel whisky that combines chewy raisined fruits with medicinal notes and smoke.  It should come in around $55 which makes it an even better deal.  I think this will be our whisky to taste next week at Martin's West.

Glen Ord is a distillery we don't see too often, so I always jump at the chance to get some.  A Diageo-owned distillery from the Northeast Highlands, this 11 year old single barrel cask strength malt is brimming with sweet grains and stonefruits.  A super fun whisky that I really enjoyed.  Should be around $80.  Keep your eyes peeled.

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
Apr192011

McCarthy Drops In

Steve McCarthy's single barrel cask strength whiskey that he bottled exclusively for K&L last year (the first and likely only time this will ever happen specially for a retailer) was so good that Steve himself flew down here today with the sole intention of buying some of it back.  "Do you still have any left?" he asked me on the phone a few weeks back.  Luckily we did so we packed up a case for him to check in on the plane ride back to Portland today.  Steve also brought us a quick sneak peak of the newest batch of whiskey he'll be bottling this June (which I may or may not have on me tonight at Martin's West :)).  A recent spirits competition in Oregon voted his pear brandy, his plum brandy, his cranberry liqueur, and his whiskey all top honors in their respective categories.  Another notch in the belt for his amazing distillery.

It's not surprising these bottles were easily top of their class.  A pear eau de vie is generally the measuring stick for the skill of any distiller, and despite my love for our local California distilleries, Steve's is just better.  It's the best I've ever had.  You all should know the cranberry well after my Christmas freakout of 2009 where we sold 600+ bottles, and the plum is also delicious and perfect for today as it's now certified Kosher!  Can't wait to try the new whiskey later!

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
Apr192011

Tuesday Tasting Tonight!

Yes, tonight we'll be heading over to Martin's West once again for another round of Tuesday night tasting.  The subject will be the ultra-rare and brand new E.H. Taylor release from Buffalo Trace, a sour mash bourbon that is getting some very high marks from those in the know.  I've yet to taste it so I'll be right there along side you, but from what I've heard it's a more restrained and subtle style of whiskey, not like the big spicy monsters like Stagg or Weller that we associate with the more exclusive BT releases.  I didn't have enough to go around for everyone to buy, so I gave a bottle back to the distributor and they sold it to Moira.  I figured we could all try it together.  Once again, we only bought one bottle to taste, so that's about 25 pours.  Please come right at 6 PM if you want to ensure yourself a glass.  Should be $4 or less.  What a crazy deal!

-David Driscoll

Monday
Apr182011

K&L Barrel Buying Advice

I was waiting for this question to start pouring in on the emails, and I'm glad that it did, because I will now address it here on the blog for everyone to read:

"David-

I want to buy a selection of K&L's exclusive Scotland barrels, but I have limited funds and I don't want to buy too many before I know what's going to be available later.  What should I do?"

Of course!  What if you buy all three of the currently available barrels below, you've spent your savings, but then we introduce a completely new batch of must have bottles and you're all tapped out!

My advice is this:

-If you're holding out for more peated, Islay barrels, don't hold out.  We didn't buy much peated whisky.  In fact, the main one we're working on is still uncertain, so we might come back without any if it doesn't pull through.

-If you're holding out for big names and big, obvious, must have labels, don't hold out.  It's not going to be a Diageo Classic malt fun fest by any means.  There's no Talisker, no Oban, no secret barrel of Ardbeg on the way. 

-If you're holding out for rare, hard-to-find, expensive, and delicious whisky from extinct, moth-balled distilleries, then, MAN, ARE YOU IN LUCK!  We've got three knockout, home run barrels on the way and they won't be cheap.  If you're holding out in hope that they'll be Port Ellen or Brora, then don't hold out.

-There will be some Clynelish.  There will be some Bruichladdich.  There will be other Diageo malts, but they won't be the obvious ones.  There will be some great deals from fun producers and there will be some new labels that you haven't seen before. 

-The Springbank and Glendronach barrels are three of the best.  They are in my top six or seven, if that helps.  But, then again, I love Springbank, so I'm very biased.

-These are some of the less expensive barrels, so it's not going to get significantly cheaper.  I think the lowest price we'll be able to offer on any of our barrels is about $65.99, so if you're waiting for some $40 to $50 deals, they're not coming unfortunately.  Single barrel cask strength whiskies are simply not happening down there.

-Any other questions?  Send them my way.  I wish I could just give you the list, but what fun would that be?  There needs to be a few surprises, right?

-David Driscoll