New Faces/Old Faces
You want to take maritime whisky to the next level? Try using ocean water for your fermentation and aging the spirit in "navy" strength rum. That's what Bryan Davis did for Batch II of his Salinas Seascape single malt. It's intense, as always!
Lost Spirits Distillery Seascape II Single Malt Whiskey $44.99 - The latest batch of peated single malt from local Salinas distillery Bryan Davis is here -- the follow-up to the beloved Seascape, this time fermented with Pacific Ocean seawater and aged in rum casks. The result is a cleaner spirit, but an even peatier, earthier concentration. While the whisky is lighter in richness, it's twice as intense as before. Burnt leaves, resinous smoke, scorched earth, and hints of baking spice overwhelm the palate like a tidal wave. At 65%, it's one intense ride. But we wouldn't expect anything less from Bryan, would we? WARNING: this whiskey is absolutely not for the unadventurous.
And one of our most-successful and beloved Cognac selections has returned! The Ragnaud family makes some good freakin' Cognac.
Raymond Ragnaud K&L Exclusive Reserve Rare Cognac $115.99 - This Grand Champagne Cognac from Ragnaud represents our dedicated efforts to find excellent Cognac without the use of additional sweetners or traditional boise. Distiller Jean-Marie has spent the last thirty years perfecting his pot-still brandies into delicate expressions of the fantastic terroir in the area. He is a firm believer in the idea that the limestone-rich soils of Grande Champagne produce wines that, when distilled, create brandies capable of aging in barrel for eternity. While we originally came in search of single barrel Cognac, we tasted a few out of the cask and soon realized that Grand Champagne Cognac doesn't taste all that great in its youth--and by "youth" I mean anytime in the first 20 years of its life--nor does it taste too great out of the barrel. Usually the blends have more complexity because the expressive "young" brandy is balanced with the richness from older vintages. The Reserve Rare was our favorite of the expressions, exhibiting beautiful concentration and the elegance we've come to expect from world-class Cognac producers. Gentle richness on the entry leads into flavors of toasted nuts, stone fruit and vanilla, before finishing with a soft dash of baking spices. A masterful Cognac that managed to seduce us with subtlety and style, rather than with sweetness and weight.