K&L Whisky Is A Threat

Some of you might have heard me say, "other retailers hate us right now" because we've been really boosting our whisky output. There is a lot of competition out there to be the best liquor store and people have their loyalties. I like to have fun with it, but I don't think I'm vindictive. We have a competitive rivalry going on with some people in the Bay Area, but let me say that I'm happy to send someone down the street if I don't have what they're looking for.  I try not to read what other people write and post, but this one really cracked me up.  You know you're really doing well when other people post things like this on message boards.  Our owner has been saying that I'm going to need a bodyguard soon!

"Driscoll is trying to get K&L into the specialty whisky business and, well, let's just say that he ends up buying and pimping stuff that other retailers don't want or a distributor convinces him is good. If you want to buy single casks or esoteric bottlings, you are better off buying from Brett Pontini at Binny's. Brett knows whisky. And he ships to California and everywhere else it is legal to do so."

I couldn't name the liquor buyer for another retailer if I tried! Apparently this guy knows who we are though because this summation is quite good. In all honesty, we're not really that important, so please don't write anything about other liquor buyers if you comment on message boards. We don't really do much to make a difference in the world and we're not worth your time. However, I'll be sure to let you all know when another distributor comes in and convinces me to buy some slop to pimp you. 

-David Driscoll


Updated Calender

Now that we have a tasting license for both stores, I've managed to fill in some dates for September.  If you need to plan your schedule around some of these tastings now is the time to start organizing!  All tastings go from 5 PM to 6:30.  Here's what's in store:

August 31st

RWC – Varnelli Italian Liqueurs - a must for all of you cocktail lovers

SF – Yamazaki Japanese Single Malts - this should be a big deal

September 7th

RWC – Oban Single Malts - Steve Beal in the house from Diageo

SF – Camut Calvados w/Charles Neal - Camut makes the best Calvados - PERIOD

September 14th

RWC – Kilchoman Single Malts - Try the new Spring 2011 release and some other peated malts

SF – Leopold Distillery - Gin, whiskey, and Maraschino liqueur!

September 21st

RWC – Germain-Robin Distillery - brandy from CA's legendary producer

SF – Old World Spirits: Rye Whiskey Launch! - Davorin's new rye will be ready to go!

September 28th

RWC – Diageo Single Malts (distillery TBA) - Steve Beal comes back again, which distillery will it be?

SF – St. George Distillery: New Gin Launch! - The new gins will be on hand!

-David Driscoll


Varnelli Liqueurs Have Arrived

We don't have the Punch (far left) or the Anice (far right) just yet, but the big three are here.  I am super excited about these products as I have a true supergeek affinity for Italian bitters.  In stock and on the Redwood City shelf as of this moment.

Varnelli Caffe Moka 1L $41.99 - Simply amazing espresso-based liqueur from Italy's Marche region.  The Varnelli family has been distilling there since 1868 and this newly-arrived coffee spirit has our heads spinning in pure delight.  It tastes like the finely-ground cup you drink after a long Italian meal - with a kiss of sweetness and, of course, some alcohol.  Italian buyer Greg St. Clair and I about fell over ourselves in sheer awe of this bottle.

Varnelli Amaro Sibilla 1L $51.99 - An amazing new amaro from Italy's Varnelli family, a producer from the Marche region of Italy that has been distilling since 1868.  Their products blew myself and our Italian buyer Greg St. Clair away!  This is quite bitter, made with gentian root, it's herbal with soft hints of chocolate and a very supple mouthfeel.  Definitely not for everyone, but wow is it interesting.  For those who truly love the wonderful world of bitter liqueurs - you will go bananas for this.

Varnelli Amaro Dell' Erborista 1L $61.99 - My bitter-loving jaw dropped after tasting this elixer and Greg St. Clair, our Italian buyer, begged them to leave the bottle.  Think rhubarb, dried orange peel, cloves, gentian root, and more in fantastic balance.  This is a cloudy and unfiltered spirit that is quite supple, but bitter as bitter can be on the finish.  Simply amazing.  There is absolutely nothing else like this available.

Varnelli will also be the guest for next week's Wednesday tasting in the RWC store.  Come taste!

-David Driscoll


Wednesday Whiskies

It's here.  It's great.  It's everything you hope it will be.  The new Four Roses barrel has finally made its way over to our stores and I couldn't be more happy with the results.  Big, caramelized vanilla, resiny notes, strong oak tannins, bold red fruits.  This whiskey has the goods.  At 9 years old it already wowed the staff and the few friends that I let taste it.  The nose is simply divine.  Another sure-fire winner that will make a great addition to any bourbon collection or home bar. 

We also had a great tasting at K&L RWC today with St. George's Dave Smith.  They unvealed the new label for the single malt whiskey and I really like it.  We had 40+ people for the tasting in RWC and I heard that another 35+ infiltrated SF to taste the A.D. Rattray malts with Todd and Andrew.  Good things are coming!  This is already turning out to be an effective way to communicate with customers!

-David Driscoll


No Longer Just Pre-Arrival

No longer just an idea that costs money!  These are now tangible bottles, able to be touched, caressed, and held with love.  Now in stock for as long as we can supply them - our first three casks from the 2011 Scotland barrel hunt!

Banff! In stock and just a good as we remember it!  Customers have been coming in today to pick up a bottle and many have already emailed me back to tell how great it's tasting.  All three - the Auchroisk, Ben Nevis, and Banff are available by clicking on the appropriate links in the right-hand margin under the cask list!

-David Driscoll