Kyle Kurani's Weekly Update

With two new gins in stock this week, Kyle Kurani has been overwelmed with cocktail options.  He's been dying to talk more about booze with all of you.  Listen to his latest chat about the new K&L exclusive Faultline Gin, as well as the new and improved Rusty Blade.

Also, I've decided that I need to get back into wine writing as well, so I'll be taking more of an active role on the Uncorked Blog if you want to hear my take on the grapes.  There's a new video with Joe Manekin that I just posted focusing on sherry.

-David Driscoll


Faultline Gin Is Here

Faultline Gin $34.99 - Faultline Spirits is K&L's new label for independently-bottled booze made especially for our stores, with only the most interesting spirits of the highest quality making the cut.  Our newest batch is a super-small run of gin from our good friends over at St. George Distillery in Alameda.  Secretly known as "the 4th gin," the Faultline makes use of celery seed botanicals to create a more savory herbaciousness.  Concentrated juniper with a hint of umami is the best way to describe this dangerously delicious product - so good you may finish it much faster than you originally planned.  While St. George currently produces three other types of fantastic gin, the Faultline is unlike any of them - in fact, it's unlike any other gin we carry.  At the same time, it still tastes like gin, not some wild interpretation of it.  It makes killer martinis (so tasty I had three the first day it landed) and adds wonderful salty notes to grapefruit juice drinks or a Bloody Mary.  We made 900 bottles, so enjoy it while it lasts.  Only available at K&L - at any of our three stores located along the San Andreas fault.

-David Driscoll


Irish Whiskey Summary

I was planning on writing an article about Irish whiskey today when I got to my desk, but I woke up and found that Camper English did it for me.  Thanks Camper!  That saves me a lot of work.  Now I can write about something else!

What's interesting is how Irish whiskey is slowly becoming the next Bourbon here in the Bay Area.  For the last five years, Bourbon has been slowly working its way back into the youth drinking movement, with hipsters and young professionals everywhere ordering everything from a Pabst and a shot to a Manhattan to Four Rose's neat.  That same trend is now turning over to Irish and, as Camper points out, it's beginning to outsell single malt whisky.

The article covers all your basic info.  You'll be an expert when you're done reading.  Then get some Redbreast 12 Cask Strength before it sells out.

-David Driscoll


Odds and Ends

I've been getting my body into shape for Spring after absolutely decimating it in France last January.  Six mile runs, four times a week with a shorter 5K jaunt thrown in there as well.  Drinking for a living will tax your corporal well-being if you're not careful.  There are too many opportunities to completely turn yourself over to the Dionysian elements and go wild in a Jim Morrison-like flurry of debauchery.  As Ice Cube would say, it's important to check yourself before you wreck yourself - exercise is my way of doing so.  Drinking and exercise can completely co-exist, you just have to discipline yourself a bit.  In fact, I actually enjoy my liquor more if I've done something to earn it, i.e. start the day off with long run. 

When I'm in training mode, I tend to drink less, so I've had less to write about lately regarding my experiences.  Recently, however, we've been holding back a bit due to some inter-retail spying.  Let me state again, as I have in the past, that David OG and I have absolutely no idea what other liquor stores are up to.  I know about other liquor stores, that they exist and such, but I have no idea who works there or who runs their liquor departments (except for Amy and Amanda at Cask because they're very nice, they're down the street from our SF store, and we run in the same circle from time to time).  With all the possibilities for creativity and entrepreneurship in this business, I don't see the need to check on the competition - I love working in our stores and with our customers too much to worry about others.  Our internal focus, however, doesn't seem to be the overall trend in the business.  I won't get into specifics, but we've been pushing the envelope again recently and it seems that another store caught word of it and got a little nosy.  I got a phone call from someone who works with other stores, asking me how it is we're doing what we're doing.  No comment. 

There is such a thing as overload - too much, too fast.  We have so many projects in the works right now that it wouldn't make much sense to bombard everyone with an unobtainable amount of booze all at once.  However, yes, there are some secret projects that are almost ready to be revealed.  We can't offer everything for pre-order because who wants to constantly pay for everything in advance?  Some things need to arrive before we inform people about their existence.  Since we're almost there, however, I'll give you all quick glimpse at what we'll be seeing in the next two weeks at K&L:

- Two new items under our own Faultline label - a gin from St. George and a 21 year old single malt from Cragganmore, single barrel cask strength.

- Two sherry butts from Brora and Clynelish, bottled by Chieftain's. 

- A new cask of Four Rose's bourbon, followed by a new Buffalo Trace barrel, followed by our first 1792 Ridgemont Bourbon cask.

- Some old and rare selections, including some 1948 bottles of Old Fitzgerald (Pappy made by Pappy!)

Once March Madness is over, get ready for the following:

- TONS of new Armagnac expressions, then Cognac, imported exclusively for K&L.

- A single cask of Willett 20 year old - the last of the SW juice.

Later this summer there will be some big surprises - many casks coming to K&L from some countries we've never imported from before.

-David Driscoll


Just In Time For St. Paddy's Day

This will sell fast.  We have a big email going out in about an hour, so this gives all you blog readers the headstart.

Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey $59.99 - Voted best Irish whiskey of the year by Whiskey Advocate Magazine with a 96 point review, this new and improved version of our most popular Irish malt is here just in time for St. Patty's day!  Gushing in their review, the Advocate writes: "A rich, bittersweet plummy, red berry, oaky-spiced delight, the increased strength gives an already great whiskey a richer, fuller, fruitier dimension, and makes an already complex whiskey even more complex. For me that makes it not just the best Irish whiskey of this year, but of any. An utter joy."  We couldn't agree more.  Redbreast has already become the go-to choice for serious Irish whiskey fans, but the new cask strength version only improves upon a malt that was already considered perfect.  The extra proof also allows rocks drinkers to cool down the malt without completely watering down the flavor.  Supply will be limited and demand has been through the roof so far.  We've had folks asking about this for months, so don't hesitate.  The price is fantastic and the quality is superb. Is it the best Irish whiskey ever?

Personally, I'm not really looking for cask strength with my Irish.  However, if you like the Redbreast as a highball, the cask strength really helps retain the flavor through any dillution via the ice.  Grab it while you can!

- David Driscoll