St Paddy's Barrel Selection

I'm always in the mood for Irish whiskey, but there isn't that much variety when you're talking about the production of only three distilleries. None of the three main players (Pernod-Ricard's Midleton, Cuervo's Bushmills, or Suntory-Beam's Cooley) offer single cask programs, so in order to secure something interesting we have to go third-party. That's where Knappogue Castle comes in. They're an independent bottler with connections to Cooley distillery, so we were able to use their access as an intermediary for a cask purchase. That's why—just in time for St. Patrick's Day—we were able to secure a lovely 12 year old single barrel of 100% Irish single malt whiskey exclusively for K&L. There's nothing gimmicky, or bizarre about this particular selection. It's just classic, soft, easy-drinking, top-quality Irish whiskey through and through. Only 216 bottles available from this ex-Bourbon barrel.

Knappogue Castle K&L Exclusive 12 Year Old Single Barrel Single Malt Irish Whiskey $49.99- Knappogue Castle is a third party label that bottles sourced and purchased whiskies from Ireland's main whisky distilleries. This particular 12 year old cask comes from Cooley distillery, the unloved stepchild to big brothers Midleton and Bushmills. Now that Beam/Suntory has taken over the reigns at Cooley, getting our hands on single barrels of Irish whisky has become much more difficult, so we jumped on this baby while we had the chance. This is just a delicious and classically-flavored Irish whisky through and through. Soft vanilla immediately awakens the palate, with flavors of stone fruit and sweet oak shortly behind it. The backend is creamy and rich, and the finish is malty and round. There's nothing earth-shattering going on inside of this whisky, but it's just darn tasty. It's one of the whiskies where you say, "Man, that's just freakin' delicious. Can I have another glass?" Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, this is the bottle you'll want for your celebration.

We've also got a new barrel of American whiskey in stock—a soft and gentle Kentucky Bourbon from Jefferson's. This isn't going to wow any of your bold, cask strength, Stagg fans out there. This is for those of you who want something mellow and soft.

Jefferson's K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Reserve Very Old Bourbon $45.99 -Jefferson's is one of the few negotiant bottlers left that still has access to real Kentucky Bourbon. Most other second-party labels have moved on to MGP (formerly known as LDI) distillery in Indiana, which makes delicious whiskey, but is rather ubiquitous in today's market. This single barrel from Jefferson's mature stocks is one of the softest, more supple American whiskies we have in stock. The focus is clearly the creamy corn and the richness of the spirit. There's a bit of an herbaceous note on the finish, hints of dried leaves and tobacco, but it's still just a hint in the soft wave of oak and vanilla. In a store full of "cask strength" and "high rye" selections, this barrel clearly stands out from the pack. This is for those who like their Bourbon smooth.

-David Driscoll 

David Driscoll