Fresh In! Today's Catch

This time of year brings all kinds of fresh produce into our warehouse. Trucks start lining up in the parking lot, hand carts start moving up the entrance ramp; both full of booze reinforcements for the holiday shopping season! Our warehouse guys have a spring in their step, as they move quickly throughout the many avenues of hooch, stacked with boxes as high as the eye can see (or as high as state regulation allows). We just got an exciting new shipment in of K&L California exclusive products from our friend Nicolas Palazzi and our other friends in Utah at Beehive Spirits. Check out the latest!

Gourry de Chadeville 1er Cru Fine Champagne Cognac $129.99Our latest acquisition from Mr. Cognac himself, Nicolas Palazzi, is a cask strength, non-chill filtered Cognac from one of the old producing Cognac houses in existence: Gourry de Chadeville. Since 1619, when they first purchased the vineyard site, the Gourry estate has been distilling brandy, and continues to have reserves that go back near a century Made from Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche and Colombard grapes, the 1er Cru release is bottled at 64.3%, which is not something we usually see in the genre. The flavors are delicate, yet the mouthfeel is huge and powerful. Meandering between sweet fruit and cocoa before morphing into an earthy, spicier finish. Palazzi knew exactly what he was doing when he bottled this limited 330 bottle allocation: he wanted to court fans of high-proof American whiskey. And, trust us, whether you like Cognac or George T. Stagg, you're going to want a bottle of this. The Gourry de Chadeville is the type of Cognac that changes perceptions and alters points of view. It's a total game changer.

You might be thinking the following two whiskies are too similar to warrant buying one of each, but they’re totally different animals. One is distilled from corn, the other from malted barley. Both are 100% Spanish grown and distilled (which was an eye-opener for me). The sherry is ultimately king, however, and Palo Cortado is a type of sherry cask we never see used. What is it, you ask? Palo Cortado is a rare variety of sherry that is initially aged under flor to become a fino or amontillado, but inexplicably loses its veil of flor and begins aging oxidatively as an oloroso. The result is a wine with some of the richness of oloroso and some of the crispness of amontillado. While I'm sure it's probably happened at some point in the history of spirits, I've never seen, nor heard of a whisky being aged in Palo Cortado casks. The flavors are so fine and oxidative that I can't imagine they permeate the whisky all that intensely. Yet, as we've seen with the Kavalan Fino Cask, warmer climates can make a difference in extracting some of these nutty, almond-like flavors. Spain's warm summers and cold winters have had a Kentucky-like effect on both of these whiskies. Both are at 53.5%.

Navazos-Palazzi Palo Cortado Single Barrel Cask Strength GRAIN Whisky $99.99The light and fruity flavors of the grain whisky marry beautifully with the Palo Cortado sherry components. I've never tasted anything like it. But I know I want more of it. I know I want more than the 60 bottles we were allocated from the 300 total bottles Palazzi made. You'll want more, too. More please! You hear me, Palazzi?

Navazos-Palazzi Palo Cortado Single Barrel Cask Strength SINGLE MALT Whisky $99.99 – The rich and malty flavors of the Spanish single malt (yes, they make some in Spain!) are the perfect canvas for the Palo Cortado's delicate brushstrokes. Creamy barley with almondy Palo Cortado at full proof? YUM!!!!!

And in the holiday spirit, we bring you a new barrel reserve version of our fantastic Beehive Gin!

Beehive Distilling Barrel Reserve Aged Utah Gin $39.99In the holday spirit, our friends at Beehive Distilling in Salt Lake City had sent us a special batch of their new Barrel Reserve gin in thanks for being their sole California outpost. Made with "wood, fire, and patience", the barrel maturation brings out the baking spices and softens the sage into a delicate and easy-to-drink flavor. We've seen this type of thing before with the Rusty Blade and Ranson Old Tom, but never has it been this inexpensive and this tasty. A real holiday treat for gin fans.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll