Tuesday News & Notes

- Had a staff tasting today with Ferrand and their lovely line of products.  It's really tough to beat everything they make for the money.  What Cognac is better than the Ambre for $35?  What gin is better than Citadelle for less than $20?  What liqueurs are better than the Mathildes for $15?  What rum is better than Plantation for $17?  Heck, the Plantation 5 Year Barbados is better than most rums at $30.  They're the Buffalo Trace of European distillation and they're more versatile.

- We had a dinner this past weekend with Bill Blatch and a boat-load of old Bordeaux.  Bill is the super-expert negociant from England behind the Blatch Report - the most detailed and worthwhile annual review of the Bordeaux vintage (i.e. rainfall in each square foot of each vineyard, etc).  I realized that I am not buying enough young Bordeaux to age and old Bordeaux to drink.  How can we turn down things like the 1997 Langoa Barton when it's right in our face and affordable?  I ponied up for this today because we opened it with Bill and it drank like the transcendant wine experience that many people assume old Bordeaux will be, but rarely actually is.

- Rum is becoming more and more the best deal in the booze world.  I never thought that it could outdue bourbon or rye, but there's not much good rye left on the market (and what's tasty and available isn't cheap) and maybe I'm just getting a bit tired of the same old bourbon selections.  The new Banks 5 Island Rum really impressed me the other day with its earthy aromas and complex flavor profile, so we brought it in.  The El Dorado rums are an outstanding value for sipping options, Batiste Agricole is slamming for the price, Lemon Hart 151 is the Rittenhouse Rye of the rum world (and it's readily available for now), and the Smith & Cross continues to make my cocktails taste world class.  I realize now more than ever that I need to learn more about rum, where it's being made and stored, and how to source it for K&L exclusively.  The BBR rums still blow my mind, but they're expensive and not many people are willing to take the plunge.  I need to bring them in directly so we can lower the ticket price and let more people experience the show.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll