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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


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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!


Sunday
Jan022011

Islay-tini?

My co-worker Zach asked me today if I had ever made a gin martini with Laphroaig instead of vermouth.  "Huh?" was all I could muster in reply.  He told me to try coating the glass in peaty Islay scotch instead of dry vermouth for a gin martini that pops.  I couldn't wait to get home and try it.  2 oz. North Shore gin and a glass coated with Ardbeg Rollercoaster.  What would happen?  Would it taste smoky and overpower the gin?

While I was stirring, however, I remembered how Zach had explained that the peaty rinse just helps the gin to really sing, rather than add any real smoke to the flavor.  Could the North Shore taste any brighter and more expressive than it normally did?  Almost there!

Look at that gin hit the glass and mesh with that spicy Ardbeg! Ohhh.....I'm getting thirsty.

The result?  Nothing more than a really good gin martini!  Don't expect the smoke to change the flavor of the gin, but, just as Zach said, the flavors do seem to pop more than they usually do.  I'm going to have to make another one without the Ardbeg just to see if it really makes that big of a difference.  However, I'm probably going to do this every time from now on anyway.  I don't normally use vermouth, so adding any other substance is big adjustment for me, but I can see how the spice really kicks in a bit more.  Try it yourself and see if it makes a difference to you.  All credit to Zach Smith for this one.

-David Driscoll

Saturday
Jan012011

New Year's Resolutions

I've always been a big fan of New Year's Day more so than the Eve.  Last night I drank a bottle of Bruno Michel Rosé and fell asleep on the couch long before midnight.  As not one, but two people told me today: New Year's Eve is amateur hour.  The real drinkin' is done on a daily basis, not one special occasion.  However, being as prone to the Apollonian/Dionyisian extremes as I am, I enjoy the radical excess followed by the chance to come clean and completely bounce back to the healthy side of the spectrum.  It's probably like what Catholics experience with confession, but having no religious background I wouldn't know.  In any case I've vowed to make 2011 the year when I add more meaty filler to the "Spirits Journal."

One thing I'd like to add is more restaurant reviews for the Bay Area, so resolution #1 is to show pictures of delicious cusine like the Chicago style pizza I enjoyed yesterday from Paxti's pizza.  I read on SFGate that it had been voted better than East Bay legend Zachary's and SF mainstay Little Star, so having never ventured in I decided to hit up the Palo Alto locale.  It's really good.  I consider myself somewhat of an authority on Bay Area pizza, having taken the time to eat at just about every parlor, and Paxti's is up there for me.  Very good sauce and great beer on tap.  A real winner.

Books are another subject I'd like to tackle every now and then - food or booze related that is.  I read a good amount and there are some very useful resources out there for those of us who like to consume.  I think that Julia Roberts would have been much better in this version.  The backflap sounded amazing.

-David Driscoll

 

Friday
Dec312010

Week In Review #3

By the way, we finally have an RSS feed on the right hand side at the bottom of the menu if you want to keep current with the updates.  Happy New Year!

Thursday
Dec302010

Young Whisk(e)y, High Price Tag

This is a subject I could dwell on for some time, but for now I just want to clear up a few points regarding some articles I've been reading lately.  Because we're at the end of the year, there is a myriad of opinion about the best of 2010, the worst of 2010, and what we can expect for 2011.  One theme that remains a constant thread in these posts is the growing number of young whiskies being released and the high cost that many of them demand.  I think Chuck Cowdery was saying that none of these craft whiskies are better than Jim Beam White and this feeds into the majority opinion out there seems to fomulate the matter as such: if it isn't better than the standard 12 year old single malt or 10 year old bourbon, then why pay such a premium?

Here's why I pay what I pay - the quality of the grain, the uniqueness of the flavor, the support of a local industry, the quality of the distillation.

Personally, I find Jim Beam white rather boring.  I find most run of the mill 12 year old single malts to be boring.  I would drink our Steve McCarthy Oregon Single Malt over Glenlivet 12 any day of the week and I would pay the $90 to drink it because it tastes more explosive than Glenlivet 12.  Is Glenlivet 12 a better made dram?  Probably.  But that doesn't mean anything to me.

I like Rittenhouse Rye, but I'm currenty drinking Davorin's sample from Old World Spirits and loving it.  His is only 2 months old and is going to cost $35.99 when it finally gets released (nearly twice what Rittenhouse costs), but it's so much more fun.  Is Rittenhouse a better made rye?  Yes, because it's more mature.  Which would I rather drink?  Davorin's.  And I'll pay the premium because I know how much it cost him to make it with 100% rye.  Rittenhouse is not 100% rye.  If that's not important to you, then great.  To me it is. 

Don't get me wrong, there are some ridiculously bad young whiskies out there charging a high price.  We all know who they are.  But I don't think the fact that a whisk(e)y is young disqualifies it from being expensive.  Look at Charbay!  They distilled expensive IPA to make their whiskey.  It's expensive, but there's a reason.

-David Driscoll

 

Wednesday
Dec292010

K&L Best of 2010 Awards: Whisk(e)y of the Year

David D and David OG unanimously pick: Compass Box Flaming Heart Vatted Malt - If you need a precursor as to why we selected this whisky, then check out yesterday's post about Compass Box and John Glaser.  The Flaming Heart is such a well balanced whisky that it makes other malts seem either tame or overbearing in comparison.  Having just recently become more familiar with the late Brora whiskies, I get the feeling that the Flaming Heart is an homage to that particular style - chewy, oily Highland fruits with just a bit of Islay smoke.  Having realized how much I enjoy Brora, and knowing how much I love Clynelish, the Flaming Heart really hits my palate in exactly the right way.  Interesting and never exactly the same twice, it won over both of us quite easily.

-David Driscoll