The Interminable Isle of Skye

I've been so excited as of late about the arrival of our oddball Talisker 5 year cask that it got me thinking: "When's the last time I tried the standard Talisker 10 year?" I wasn't sure exactly, but it had been at least a year or two. With the precocious character of the young Hepburn's Choice selection exploding all over my tongue at yesterday's staff tasting, I wanted to see how that flavor ultimately integrated itself into the basic Isle of Skye expression. Could I follow the evolution of that whisky? I wanted to know.

I popped a bottle of the ten year old earlier today to conduct my experiment and I got completely distracted by the quality of the whisky. Jesus! It was so much smokier than I remember it being and the aromas were just heavenly, meandering between salted caramel and sticky butterscotch. I took a sip. Wow. Maybe it's simply because so many other big brands are losing their age statements and often times bottling inferior whiskies in place of previous standards, but to me the Talisker 10 year tastes better than ever! It really is a perfect whisky—a beautiful balance of sweet malty oiliness with just the right amount of peat. It's so much better than a number of other $60 and $70 whiskies we carry, but the price hasn't budged above $49.99 in years. You can set your watch to this single malt.

I wonder how many other fantastic single malt whiskies I'm forgetting about? I need to go back and retaste a whole bunch things. Do a little review to get my perspective straight.

-David Driscoll


Lots of Action...

Be patient! We're working behind the scenes as you read this to get inventory distributed and all the right cases delivered companywide. There's a lot to be excited about here—and that's not even counting the new Signatory arrivals!

-David Driscoll


Limited Edition Islays to Start the Year

It's nice when the new year begins with something interesting, delicious, and peaty! We just snagged healthy allocations of Bowmore's beloved Devil's Cask 2nd Edition (the heavily sherried, cask strength ten year old) and Laphroaig's 200th Anniversary Edition of the 15 year old. I bought one of each instantly upon arrival and I drank waaaaaaaaaaaay too much of both this past New Year's Eve. I woke up in bed at 5 AM and had no idea what had happened to me. That's how you know it was a night to remember (ironically, I couldn't).

Bowmore 10 Year Old "Devil's Casks" 2nd Edition Islay Single Malt Whisky $99.99- Bottled at 56.3%. Heavily-sherried Bowmore at cask strength, in limited quantities. The notes from the distillery read: "On the eye deep mahogany. Breathe in rich sherried sweetness with dates and sultanas smothered in the indulgence of treacle toffee, pecan and maple syrup. Sip sublime velvet of dark chocolate fudge infused with sherried dark fruit, sea-salt and walnut oil.  Savour long-lasting finish with sun-dried raisins and salted treacle." 

Laphroaig "200th Anniversary Limited Edition" 15 Year Old Islay Single Malt Whisky $79.99- This is just beautiful whisky, pure and simple. Soft textures of vanilla on the palate intermingle with brine, smoke, and boggy peat flavors, bringing the intensity of Islay's classic profile with a smooth and lengthy finish. All at a very reasonable price, no less.

-David Driscoll


Drink & Watch: Three's Company

Ever since I discovered the Classic Kron station on Bay Area Comcast (a channel not available in HD, hence why I never knew it was there), I've been obsessed with watching Three's Company. This is a show I did not watch as a child, although it was on TV every single day after I got home from school. While my parents were incredibly lenient with what they allowed me to view (i.e. the original Robocop at age seven), my mother was not a fan of Jack Tripper and his wild, inappropriate antics, so I never saw the show. Ironically, despite having never watched him perform during my formative years, she ended up with a son just like him. I LOVE JACK TRIPPER. I laugh out loud at just about everything he does and says. I've been watching nothing but Three's Company on Classic Kron since the holidays began and just recently my wife bought me the complete series collection on DVD, so we've started back at the beginning and are now working our way through in order. I think I can honestly say: there is nothing better to watch while drinking than Jack, Janet, and Crissy evade the Ropers and head over to the Regal Beagle for a few beers, or a glass of white wine. They're drinking non-stop on this program and it leads to all sorts of wacky adventures.

The best part of watching Three's Company today is that it completely holds up over time. Like I said before, this isn't a nostalgia act for me. I don't have any emotional attachment to memories of Three's Company as a kid, so none of my current fandom is based on former glory. Today, however, it's my absolute favorite TV program in the world, more than thirty years after it went off the air. Not only is the show still remarkably fresh, but the physical comedy of someone like John Ritter is a completely lost art in today's day and age. Everything now is about dialogue and punch line jokes, but watching Janet and Jack interact is almost like watching Lucy and Desi. I read recently that Don Knotts (who took over as landlord when Norman Fell left) once called John Ritter "the greatest physical comedian on the planet." That's high praise coming from Barney Fife. 

Do yourself a favor and revisit these absolute treasures. Pop a bottle and let the hilarity begin. Old episodes of Three's Company are easily better than any network sitcom airing today.

-David Driscoll


Hepburn's Choice Returns This Week

Our most popular independent whisky label of the last year—Hepburn's Choice—will return this coming week with an entirely new portfolio of K&L exclusive selections, all at prices that will eat away every bit of your self control.

The question we've been asking ourselves since we started working with the Hunter Laing label is: which Hepburn chose to drink these specific whiskies? Was it Audrey? She definitely loved the brown water.

Or maybe it was Katharine? That woman knew how to handle her booze as well.

Which ever Hepburn you would like to imagine drinking these whiskies with is fine by me. We've got enough new stuff to fuel repeated screenings of either Breakfast at Tiffany's or the African Queen. You can feast on two young and smoky delights: five year old Caol Ila and Talisker at cask strength! Or drink in the supple sherry of our decadent Inchgower 20 year old. A pair of Highlanders will help bring up the rear—17 year old Benrinnes and 18 year old Clynelish, respectively. A little dram of Glenlossie 17 should close things down nicely.

With the exception of the Inchgower and the Clynelish, these are all under $100. Hepburn sure knew how to choose her hooch. 

-David Driscoll