Trying Times

Fires are raging. Some friends have lost everything, but we’ve dealt with tragic fires before and we will come together like only Californians can. Look for a way to help here very soon.

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David Othenin-Girard
The Enchanted Ones

The home of some of the most iconic French foods and of course one of the world’s most underappreciated brandy, Gascogne has captured our heart and imagination for years. The closed culture and traditional attitudes of the Gascogne people mean thousands producers of Armagnac may be out there that we’ll never try. Thanks to a group of industrious locals, we’re starting to unlock the treasures hidden in the barns and cellars across this rural region. L’Encantada…The Enchanted Ones.

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David Othenin-Girard
Whisky Season 2018 is HERE!

Whisky Season is finally here. 40+ Casks from nearly as many distillers. 6-52 Years old! We’ve got something for everyone coming over several weeks. And endless supply in nearly every price point. One of the most exciting selections we’ve ever had.

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David Othenin-Girard
A Night with Courvoisier: An Essence of History & Soul

A good glass of Cognac has a life to it. There’s heft and zip that come from more than just the liquid you drink – a great Cognac has the weight of history and a vibrancy that you can taste and sense as you sip. My fellow K&L spirits liaison, Jackson Lee, and I experienced the many faces Cognac has to offer – all its nuances, shades, and depths – at a dinner in San Francisco for Courvoisier’s L’Essence.

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Spirits Journal
The Revolution Will Be Pot Distilled

The rum revolution is in its infancy, but we’re finally starting to see change. Thanks to the hard work and exceptional vision of the fabulous Italian importer Velier and their French partner La Maison du Whisky, we’re getting access to some very exciting stocks. Their American partnership La Maison & Velier has just launched a number of new rums that represent a real sea change in the American rum market. This is what the revolution looks like. 

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David Othenin-Girard
Whisky Live LA

One of the year’s benchmark Whisky Events is nearly here and they’ve offered K&L Customers an incredible 40% off the ticket price. Both standard and VIP tickets are still available. You’ll have an opportunity to taste over 150 different whiskies from all over the world. It will be a night to remember, but you probably won’t. Taste safely and be sure to use a ride sharing service.

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David Othenin-Girard
A Terroir Unlike Any Other in the World

At K&L, we can get pretty nerdy about terroir, especially when discussing the nuances of fine wine and the subtle expressions that emerge from the vineyard. But rarely does this conversation extend to spirits. That is until recently, when we received a gin from South Africa that is all about its distinctive terroir. Not only does this gin capture a sense of place, but the place that it reflects is so unique and small that it can be argued that no other spirit in the world has a similar profile.

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Megan Greene
A Season of Sipping and Togetherness

As the Whisky Season starts to heat up we’re going to start tasting and drinking together. This stuff really isn’t as much fun if you do it all alone. Come out and join myself to inaugurate our new Russell’s Casks (sorry Jimmy won’t be there) tomorrow night at the Everly Hotel. On thursday, the Southern California Whisky Club is hosting an awesome tasting with the newly opened Raasay Distillery at The Phoenix. Both represent unique opportunities to experience whisky like you never have before. Whether we’re choosing among our favorite barrels of bourbon or tasting a completely new distillery, we’re going to have fun expanding our minds and palates.

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David Othenin-Girard
The Big Boy is Back

The exceptional older expression from the special distillery at the end of the road on Islay’s southern coast is back. Distilled entirely in the Spring of 1996 and bottled in July of this year, this limited release is certain to become a modern classic. Bottled without chillfiltration at 46.4%, it represents some of the oldest stocks left from this venerated distillery

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David Othenin-Girard
Whisky Season Cometh

We have nearly 50 casks coming over this Whisky Season. Hepburn’s Choice is back. Sovereign Grain and Single Malt is back. Old Malt Cask is back in a big way. Signatory is FINALLY BACK. And of course our dear friends at Old Particular have put together one of the most exciting offerings we’ve seen in years. Thanks to the exchange rate, even though prices are up in Scotland, we’re able to continue offering absolutely unprecedented value. And for the real connoisseurs we’ll see some truly collectable offerings that few others will match anywhere in the world. And that’s JUST the Scotch.  Tidal waves of bourbon, rum, tequila and much more are headed our way. Beware…

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David Othenin-Girard
Old Potrero: The First Craft Whiskey

With hundreds of craft distilleries making whiskey across the country, it can be hard to remember that the modern craft spirits movement is only a few decades old. It started with a smattering of brandy distilleries – Germain-Robin started up in 1982 in northern California making French style grape brandy and Clear Creek in Oregon followed with fruit brandies in 1985.

 A few years later, the first craft whiskey distillery set up shop. San Francisco’s Anchor Steam beer was a micro-brewery before the word existed, so it’s appropriate that it would also be a pioneer of the craft distilling movement. Anchor’s Fritz Maytag founded Anchor Distilling way back in 1993 and started making rye whiskey. 

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WhiskeySku
Labor Disputes of Love

We’ve loaded up on some incredible products over the last couple of weeks, but these three barrels of Four Roses are easily the best bourbons in the store right now! I held off on marketing those products because of a politically sensitive situation at the distillery. Thankfully the distillery and their workers have come to a tentative deal to resolve the current impasse. I’m finally prepared to remind everyone how freakin' AWESOME these whiskies really are. Tons of people have already jumped on board, but these casks represent some really unique selections unlike any we've done before.

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New K&L L’Encantada Armagnacs

The world of brandy geeks is small; in fact, it’s microscopically small compared to the whiskey geek world, but few things cause that small world more excitement than new brandies from L’Encantada, the relatively new independent bottler which has been bringing out excellent Armagnacs.  

To understand what makes this stuff special, you have to understand a little bit about Armagnac. French brandy production, especially in Armagnac, is much different than the American distilled spirits industry. There are a few large producers, but by in large, Armagnac is made by farmers and wine makers who distill some of their extra grapes in a travelling still that comes around to the farms.  Many of them just stick the casks in their barns and basements, a little bit here, a little bit there. Eventually they will bottle them, maybe for family and friends, maybe for small markets, or sell them to a larger company that bottles brandy or even makes liqueur; it's sort of a Gascon retirement fund.  

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Sku
Book Review: Hacking Whiskey by Aaron Goldfarb

Over the past few years, whiskey has transformed from an anyone/anytime drink to a thing to be treasured, consumed only neat in a glencairn glass in optimal conditions to best enjoy and note every passing scent and flavor.  Add water – a travesty!  Add ice – you’re out of my will!  Add soda – may a curse descend upon you and your heirs! Now Aaron Goldfarb has come along to turn all of that on its head. In his new book Hacking Whiskey, he instructs you on how to mess with your whiskey, and I mean really mess with it.

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WhiskeySku
Just Dropped: K&L Barrel Aged Exclusives from Modern Times

Back in March of 2018, we ran a small piece detailing the full cycle of the K&L Spirits single barrel program. Our spirits buyers, after tasting through dozens of samples/barrels at the source, hand select the best single casks from Bourbon country to be bottled up and sold a few times a year. Occasionally, we end up with the empty barrels which we hand deliver to local breweries. This program really gained steam in late 2014 when David OG from K&L hooked up his childhood friend Jacob McKean of Modern Times. Don’t miss this thrilling new release!

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Bruichladdich Dinner with Simon Coughlin

The new Port Charlotte 10 year old release from Bruichladdich has finally arrived! If you're in the Redwood City area next week you have a unique opportunity to join Simon Coughlin for an exclusive in depth look at the new age stated malt and a chance to taste a few other goodies including some Laddie Legends like Octomore and Black Art.

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Andrew Whiteley