Tomorrow will be an exciting day for cocktail fans as we receive a bunch of new products in the Redwood City store. First off will be the long-awaited arrival of Germain-Robin's Fluid Dynamics 1850 barrel-aged cocktail. The absinthe in the mix puts it over the top as the absolute best of the FD offerings, a lovely drink. We'll also be offering three packs soon with the 1850, Saratoga, and Brandy Manhattan at a discounted price. Fun!
I'd been wanting to taste this for a while and it finally came my way today! The Imbue Bittersweet Vermouth from Oregon showcases all the fruit of the area's Pinot Gris wine with the lovely bitter notes of something like Cocchi Americano. Clear Creek makes the brandy for fortification and the marriage is quite seamless. This is one of the most delicious apperitifs I've tried in some time. It should come in at around $25 a bottle and I expect it to be a huge hit.
Kyle and I were also quite taken with this new Calisaya liqueur, also from Oregon. Made from chinchona bark, botanicals, flowers, and Valencia oranges, this is one of the tastiest amaro-like arrivals in some time. Again, this is so much more versatile for cocktails than most of the other amari we carry because of the wonderful fruit and the sweetness. Think Grand Marnier meets Nonino Amaro. This should come in at around $42.
Look for these products as early as tomorrow!
I'm sure most of you know the story about the new Whyte & MacKay release called MacKinlay's Rare Old Highland Whisky. As the Shackleton expedition fled the coming Antarctic winter in 1909, they left behind some MacKinlay's whisky, which remained frozen until the cases were discovered under a hut by a team of scientists in 2006. The whisky was flown back to the UK where it was analyzed and then recreated by Whyte & MacKay blenders, resulting in the limited edition bottle seen in the above photo. The demand for the 50,000 bottle production has been outrageous and we were lucky to secure quite a hefty allocation. The first batch sold in minutes and we've just received our second lot. This time around I was able to taste the whisky and I found myself very impressed. What's most interesting to me about the MacKinlay's is the fact that the grain whisky component comes from Glen Mhor distillery, just as the original Shackleton whisky did. For those unaware, Glen Mhor distillery was completely destroyed by Diageo in the mid-1980s after being closed in 1983 (meaning the youngest possible age of the distillate would be 28 years). It was a grain distillery in the Highland region that operated outside of Inverness, and after tasting our single cask bottlings from Girvan and Caledonian, I've become much more intrigued by the potential of more mature grain expressions.
The grain whisky flavor completely dominates the MacKinlay's for my palate - and I love that. It's almost smoky, but I don't think the Dalmore Single Malt used was peated, nor the Glen Mhor, but I might be wrong. There's a wild grainy note that meanders in and out of peaty flavors before the stone fruits splash on the back palate. The finish is classic grain, or classic well-made blended whisky - again, I was very impressed by it. I think given a choice between something comparably priced, like Walker Blue, the MacKinlay's completely destroys the competition. Plus, there's the fun historical and collectable elements to consider, so I'd definitely recommend the curious whisky fan to splurge on it. I'm sure that a Google search can provide you with more detailed information, but for those interested in the whisky, have no fear - it's good.
Big time events tonight! In our Redwood City store we'll be hosting Glenmorangie single malts who will be pulling out the big guns - the limited edition 15 year old Artein, the stupendous 18 year old, and the luxurious Signet mark. If you're on the peninsula tonight then you don't want to miss this action. San Francisco will host the always delicious Appleton Jamaican rums. Both tastings will begin at 5 PM and will last until 6:30. Free of charge, as always! See you there.
One of the biggest complaints about single malt whisky is the price. There are more and more customers everyday who are turning to American Bourbon and rye because of the bang for the buck, but good single malt whisky is hard to beat - especially when it's priced right.
In 2001, Jim McEwan left Bowmore distillery to re-open the long dormant Bruichladdich and fire its stills once again. Ten years later, we’re finally able to taste the initial test of that long journey. One of the most anticipated whiskies of all time, we’ve finally gotten our hands on it and the results are in – the Bruichladdich 10 is one of the best value whiskies ever, destined to please a wide spectrum of Scotch lovers. It's an unpeated Islay malt and it's the core of Bruichladdich through and through. Soft vanilla, brine from the sea, stone fruits in caramel, and salt - all mingling together as one. There's no one who wouldn't like this, yet the malt is distinctly different than something from the more accessible Highland style.
And then there's the story behind it....
Bruichladdich 10 year old "The Laddie" Islay Single Malt Whisky $52.99 - Finally, ten long years after re-opening the distillery, Bruichladdich has reached the finish line - a ten year old malt composed entirely of whisky made after the resurrection. The wait has been worth it. Many of us at K&L feel that Bruichladdich's post-2001 whiskies are some of the best distillates in the world - they've always just been a bit too immature. The quality of the spirit coming off their pot stills is simply jaw-dropping (their Botanist gin is also delicious), and we've been excited to see what it can do after a decade in the barrel. That time is finally here. Recently voted "Best Islay Whisky of 2011" by the Whisky Advocate, the Bruichladdich 10 has finally reached the American west coast where at last we can revel in its glory. For a small independently-owned distillery, the boys at Bruichladdich have struggled at times, but they've always landed on their feet. The 10 year is one of the most anticipated whiskies of all time and for about $50, it's one of the best single malt deals we'll see this year. For those lamenting the rising cost of good whisky, make sure you take home the Laddie 10 and savor each drop. This is true handcrafted whisky.