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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!


Thursday
Feb242011

Madeira For Single Malt Lovers

As I've written before, I'm not in charge of the Sherry/Port/Madeira buying for K&L, but I still consider them to technically be part of the spirits category.  Vermouth is under my domain and it's very similar product, so in my mind I should be writing about fortified wines as well.  Joe Manekin, who is in charge, brought a new series of Madeiras to my attention the other day and I was flabbergasted by the quality of the drink.  The Rare Wine Co. has teamed up with Vinhos Barbeito, which has an amazing library of old Madeira, to release the Historic Maderia series.  These bottlings are representations of styles popular during the 18th and 19th century in America when Madeira was considered the most precious wine in the United States.  I've had three of the selections and was seriously shell-shocked by the complexity.  All have a 1985 Glenrothes-style of depth: sweet honey and caramel, dried fruits and spice, oily notes, and a finish that continues to evolve for ten minutes.  I'm considering using them as training wheels for my wife who loathes single malts, but had an epiphany when she tried these and refused to give me back the bottle.  Many of the flavors are the same, but the richness is obviously more pronounced and the alcohol is lower making it easier to handle.  We currently offer the following and I will be spending my hard earned money on all three today.

Rare Wine Company Historic Madeira Series New York Malmsey

Rare Wine Company Historic Madeira Series Boston Bual

Rare Wine Company Historic Madeira Series Savannah Verdehlo

-David Driscoll

 

Wednesday
Feb232011

New Projects With East Bay's St. George

Last Fall we had a major hit on our hands when we teamed up with St. George to release an oddball single malt that had been double-matured with an apple brandy barrel.  Now that the air has cleared and the frenzy has died down we've decided to hit the drawing board once again and see what else we could dream up for 2011.  When I drove out to the distillery yesterday, I caught Dave right in the middle of stirring up some Bourbon mash, so I decided to take a little video of that (which you can watch above) before dragging him away to do some barrel tasting.

Dave had already prepared a list of some barrels he thought might prove interesting.  We wandered through the racks of wood and located the numbers while I listened to an explanation of each one.  Some were standard 11 year old single malts that had a classic St. George character, another had really picked up a massive amount of bourbon wood to the point that it tasted more like Kentucky whiskey than single malt, but in the end it was the younger barrels that intrigued me most. 

About four years ago, a major California beer producer crafted a blend from two of their most famous brews that resulted in leftover product.  St. George was offered the surplus and decided to distill a drinkable, saleable beer into high-quality whiskey.  There are six barrels of this malt and the flavors are wildly hoppy.  At one point, Dave said it would make the ultimate shot for a Boilermaker!  While no plans were finalized, we did pow-wow with Lance for a bit to see if we could make something work.  Stay tuned.

Thinking I was done for the day, I was about to walk out the door before Lance pulled me over to a steel tank that held the result of their first gin foray.  In fact, their were two tanks that held two completely different gins - one a classic juniper-infused London style and the other a wildly-spicy, Indian-marsala-like spirit.  Both were delicious and both are one-time only products.  "That sounds like a job for K&L," Lance said.  A St. George/K&L double gin special release?  Wow, could it work?  Mixologists beware.

 

At this point, I really thought I was done for the day but all of a sudden a taco stand appeared with freshly cooked carnitas and a slew of different salsas.  I couldn't turn down a few tacos.

Stay tuned this Spring and Summer for some new and exciting developments!

-David Driscoll

Tuesday
Feb222011

Podcast #8 - Distiller Todd Leopold

This episode, I think, is going to be a big favorite amongst listeners.  Todd is one dynamic character and he loves to geek out about the technical aspects of whiskeymaking, so any amateur distillers out there should listen carefully and take notes!  Another interesting perspective on the craft distilling movement direct from the heart of it.

This episode can be downloaded by clicking here.  Past episodes are archived here and on iTunes .  Or you can always use the flash player below.

-David Driscoll


Tuesday
Feb222011

Diageo Dynamo #3

Back to the ridiculousness that is Diageo's Limited Edition series:

Glen Spey 21 Year Old 2010 Limited EditionSingle Malt Whisky 750ml - $179.99

The Glen Spey was BY FAR the most off the cuff and unusual malt of the tasting.  While the bottle states that it was aged in "new American Oak casks that had also held sherry" (malts.com), this group of tasters had one observation that was unanimous across the board.  "It tastes like Rye Whiskey!"  Having convinced ourselves that this had indeed been aged in oak that previously held American Rye whiskey, despite no indication of this being the case, the Glen Spey qualifies as one of the most surprising and daunting Single Malt tastings in recent memory.  The nose is all baking spices (distinct rye flavors here), redwood bark, with a slight hint of ripe pomaceous fruit.  Toffee sweetness and that rye spice continue on the palate.  I wrote salt water taffy, but the saltiness is illusive.  The malt and the sherry push through on the palate, which continues to be dominated by cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and a little dustiness.  All in all an incredible experience, although it did feel like a series of double takes.  If you can afford it, this is a malt you'll never forget or regret. Distilled in 1988, Only 5844 Bottled at 50.4% unchillfiltered. 

-David Girard

 

Monday
Feb212011

Tuesday Tasting Tomorrow!

The Cooley distillery podcast we did was a big hit and now we're going to serve up the goods at Martin's West in Redwood City on Tuesday night beginning at 6 PM.  For a mere $4 (or maybe even less depending on how generous Moira is feeling) you can get a full pour of the Connemara 12 Year Peated Irish Whiskey from Cooley.  This is a $100 whiskey that we're pouring for less than a shot of Maker's Mark!  So far we've had a great turnout for all of our Tuesday night tastings so come on out and join us.  I'll be there right at 6 and plan on grabbing a bite to eat. 

-David Driscoll