Three Big NorCal Tastings (Starting Tomorrow)

Ahhh……………good to be back. Two weeks with no phone, no email, and nothing but my lovely wife has had a completely restorative effect on my psyche. I’m ready to rock. When you have jet lag, however, you go into work at 6 AM and start cranking it out, so I've been here digging through all my messages, hoping to get afloat before the day's end. I hope you’re all ready to rock, too. A few informative tasting events to tell you about right now. The really big news will be next week when we unleash our new container of hooch. In the meantime, here are some very important things you’ll want to know about for the upcoming days at K&L.


I know you Hollywood people blew through all those tickets in record time for Jim’s appearance in LA, but now we’ve got him locked down for an event at Donato’s in Redwood City on Tuesday March 3rd. Same price, and with some food as well! Bring a bottle of Bruichladdich with you if you want Jim to sign it! (BUT…be aware that Jim runs a charity for children and asks for a small donation to that service in exchange for signatures, so have a few bucks on hand to contribute).

$10 gets you all the Bruichladdich marks, some kick-ass Donato grub, and a spot for the best whisky show on the planet (right there with Dr. Bill from Ardbeg). They’ll be doing the entire line up, so you’re really going to get your money’s worth.

Get your ticket via the link below. There are no paper tickets, remember, just a guest list that I will add your name to. ONLY 60 spots available and they will go fast.

"Jim McEwan Tasting Seminar & Bottle Signing" Bruichladdich Event @ Donato, Tuesday March 3rd, 2015 - 7-9pm -- $10


As you’ve probably noticed in the last few months, David OG and I have taken over the sake department here at K&L. This Friday will mark the start of the new regime. While the terrible CA tasting laws prevent us from doing proper spirits tastings in the store, sake falls into the wine category. That means I can bring in the best people and the best bottles and charge you a tiny entrance fee for a whole ‘lotta hooch. And I’m going to make it rain on Friday, so if you’re even REMOTELY interested in sake, you need to get your butt over to the Redwood City store tomorrow. Check out this line-up:

Sake Expert Tamiko Ishidate of Young's Market will be pouring a fabulous range of Sake styles, grades and price points. She is incredibly knowledgeable about Sake and will be able to answer every possible question about the history, production and flavor profiles of Sake you can dream up!

Eiko Fuji Ban Ryu Honjozo Sake 720ml $18.99 - Light and smoky, with a notes of honeydew melon and cherry pits.  Fragrant and clean, this is a terrific value!  It comes from Yamagata.

Dewatsuru Kimoto Junmai Sake 720ml $29.99 - Akita Seishu was founded by Jushiro Ito in 1865 in a 150-year old thatched roof estate that was built at the end of the Edo period in Daisen City, in Akita Prefecture, in northeastern Japan. Akita Seishu values everything local, and treasures the harmonious relationships between man and nature. Akita Seishu's Dewatsuru is available in the United States for the first time. The name literally means 'the crane of the Dewa region,' and this sake brings to mind the beautiful, graceful birds, with regal lines, showing off their plumage in the snow country of northern Japan. The Dewatsuru also uses the "kimoto" process which involves creating a starter that ultimately produces a natural lactic acid (rather than simply adding it to the fermentation), resulting in a more powerful flavor. In this case, the earthy aromas are more pungent and there's a mushroomy flavor on the palate. The mouthfeel is also richer, more supple, and creamier. It's very distinctive and wonderfully balanced.

Fukucho "Moon on the Water" Junmai Ginjo Sake 720ml $36.99 - Yamada Nishiki & Hatta Nishiki polished to 55%.The very soft water in this region results in a sake with an extremely floral nose and a soft, very fruity style. This is bottled without charcoal filtering, to allow more of the natural aromatics to make it into the bottle.  And the flowers and fruits in the nose show you why they chose to do this. Made from one of the only female sake brewers in Japan.

Nanbu Bijin "Ancient Pillars" Junmai Daiginjo Sake 720ml $69.99 - Yamada Nishiki Milled to 35%, made by Nanbu Bijin Shuzo in the Iwate Prefecture (one of the coldest and snowiest regions of Japan). This is a nama-chozo (pasteurized only once) genshu (not diluted with water) sake, which means it was pasteurized only once before shipping (rather than twice) and was naturally brewed to 17.9% alcohol. Nanbu Bikin is located in the southern part of the Iwate Prefecture in a region called Nanbu, known specifically for its prestine water. Very fine in flavor, with a juicy note of citrus and a searing mineral backbone. Simply fantastic.

Dewatsuru Sakura Emaki Rose Futsuushu Sake (360ml) $19.99 - The Sakura Emaki is made from the ancient purple rices known as Asamurasaki and Okunomurasaki, two varieties long thought lost.  During an excavation of an ancient fort these grains were rediscovered.  The Ministry of Agriculture petitioned Akita Seishu brewery (home of Dewatsuru) to develop a sake utilizing these heirloom grains and the Sakura Emaki was born.  Deriving its pinkish hue from the grain (which is a deep purple) this has much in common with the wine-based rosés.  The flavor profile is strawberries, watermelon and cherry blossoms.  So unique and so beautiful.

Yuki No Bosha "Cabin in the Snow" Junmai Ginjo Nigori Sake 300ml $18.99 - This nigori (unfilterd) sake is quite special. Often the nigoris are sweet, and not of the highest quality.  In contrast, this is polished to 50%, and is a premium sake with no alcohol added  It has a terrific nose and is drier on the palate than is typical. Leesy, complex, and long, this is a treat.

Tamiko is the lady we went out partying with a few weeks back. She’s a bonafide expert and serious resource for all your sake questions. No ticket needed, just show up with $5 and get your drink on!


I know I was a bit vague about the details before I left, but this all came together pretty much as I was setting foot on the plane (plus, I didn’t want to reveal the big secrets from our container at that point).

But, yes, to answer all your questions: YOU WILL GET TO TASTE THE THREE NEW K&L RUM CASKS AT THE EVENT! We’ll have the two Guyanese casks from the lost distilleries of Uitvlugt and Enmore, as well as the new Faultline from St. Lucia and the new cask of Jamaican Hampden. We never do single casks like this of rum, so come take advantage of this unique experience. It’s a new thing for us and we want you all just to be as excited as we are. The big debut is Tuesday night, so I hope we impress you.

Enmore 25 Year Old Faultline K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Rum $199.99

Uitvlugt 20 Year Old Faultline K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Rum $149.99

Hampden 14 Year Old Faultline K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Rum $74.99

Faultline St. Lucia Rum $39.99

PLUS, don’t forget that Ed will have his own selections and you’ll get limitless cocktails and food. Sound too good to be true? It is. But we love you, so we want to make you happy.

K&L & Bar Agricole Rum Extravaganza Event, Tuesday Feb 24th from 6 PM to 9 PM $50

Hope to see you all at one of these fine events!

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll