Staff Favorites - Matthew Callahan

Matthew Callahan

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1997 Glenlivet 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Sherry Butt Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 7-16-2014
This is the type of whisky you buy two or three of because you're going to finish the bottle faster than you expect and the K&L supply will be gone when you come back for more. Sherry-aged whisky of this provenance and quality is becoming incredibly difficult to find, which is why we took as much of it as we could. The round, rich, raisined mouthfeel is what a majority of whisky drinkers are craving right now and none of the regular Glenlivet releases have this much weight. This is more like dessert Macallan. It's going to FLY outta here, so load up.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Chardonnay Marlborough  
Review Date: 7-16-2014
The TWR Chardonnay is basically white Burgundy for a fair price. Rather than overpay for Meursault or Chassagne that won't drink well for another decade, why not indulge yourself now with the Te Whare Ra? The richness from oak aging is apparent, but it's not the focus of the palate. The piercing mineral notes are at the forefront and the fruit offers a counterbalance to the refreshing acidity. Great stuff.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough  
Review Date: 7-16-2014
Once again, the TWR Sauvignon Blanc becomes the best Sauvignon Blanc we carry for the money with its return to inventory. You think you don't like NZ SB because it's too grapefruity or herbaceous? Let the TWR blow your mind and change it simultaneously. There's citrus, of course, but it's subtle and nuanced, balanced completely by a stony minerality and vivacious bouquet of fruit. The price for a wine this good is also ridiculous.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2002 Bowmore 11 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Refill Sherry Hogshead Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 7-16-2014
You stumble at the foot of the stairs, eyes struggling to adjust in the dim interior of the nightclub. Somewhere a piano plays an old jazz standard. You are certain you have heard it before but you can’t recall where or when. Soft voices murmur in the darkness, the words themselves indistinct. Suddenly a cigarette flares nearby, illuminating a face of porcelain etched in shadow. Smoke winds upward, disappearing into the gloom. Silk whispers against soft flesh as she raises a hand, gesturing to the chair opposite. You move to sit. The night is full of mystery and possibility. Who knows what might happen? Each year as I taste through the latest single malt offerings from Scotland painstakingly selected by our K&L Spirits team, one bottle in particular will inevitably speak to me. I never really know which one it will be. This year I was shocked to discover it was the 2002 Bowmore 11 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Refill Sherry Hogshead Single Malt Whisky. Although I enjoy peated whiskies, I am usually more of a Speyside fan. Yet this Bowmore had that extra something – something indefinable, ineffable – something that makes you take a step back, set down your notebook, and just – stop – for a moment. Incredibly soft and silky with a weight you want to savor forever on the tongue. And smoke. Not the raw choking smoke of mistakenly sitting downwind of the campfire. Something deliciously subtle. A memory of old peat fires, permeating the roof beams of a favorite pub. A stolen kiss, the flavor of tobacco on soft lips. A suggestion, a hint, a grace note. Remarkable. Transcendent.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2002 Bowmore 11 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Refill Sherry Hogshead Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 7-16-2014
WOW! This is waaaaay better than I remember it tasting back in the Signatory warehouse. Reducing this cask down to 46% was the right move. With the water added the hypnotic flavors of classic Bowmore come to life - sweet creamy barley, a load of oily fruit, and a heavy dollop of smoke on the finish. It's magical stuff and it's going to be one of the best-received casks we offer this year.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Foucher-Lebrun "Petit le Mont" Sauvignon Blanc   | Approved
Review Date: 7-16-2014
A super delicious combination of lemon zest, green apple, and a hint of minerality make this wine almost too easy to love. Looking for a Sancerre stunt-double? Look no further.
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough  
Review Date: 7-16-2014
The TWR savvy is bright with aromas of white grapefruit, passion fruit, gooseberry and a hint of tarragon. On the palate there is good texture and vibrant acidity that lead to a snappy, zesty finish with fine length. As good as it gets in a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Foucher-Lebrun "Petit le Mont" Sauvignon Blanc   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 7-16-2014
Green granny smith apple, green pears, citrus and zesty mineral with medium plus acidity. A screamin' deal for a proper Loire Sauvignon Blanc!
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

1982 Miltonduff 30 Year Old Faultline Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 7-15-2014
There's no accounting for this single malt, according to what I've read about the Miltonduff distillery. Its supposed light and bright notes do carry over in the spicy apple cidery, apple cinnamint notes on the nose, but it's chewy and meaty on the palate; something of dried beef almost! On the whole, compelling, a whisky for serious contemplation and fishing trips.
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Balvenie 12 year old Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 7-15-2014
Lovers of Glenlivet and Glenfiddich who are looking for something a little different and even a little prettier on the palate might look here. The Balvenie 12 single barrel has a light hue, with pretty aromas of wildflower honey, dates and dried figs, with buttery pear, and a really nice, silky finish. I enjoyed this Balvenie.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Ardbeg Corryvreckan Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 7-15-2014
Not that the "Corry," as the malt nerds call it, needs any more props to sell out every bottle--especially at these prices. But what about the rest of us, maybe exploring Scotch whisky but a little hesitant to spend an extra $10-$20 on a bottle, no matter the fine pricing? Well, after trading up from the Ardbeg 10 to the Uigeadail in perfect succession, I tried the Ardbeg Corryvreckan. Indeed, this whisky presents aromas and a perfectly sippable, lux palate of vanilla, caramel, and maybe a hint of chocolate liqueur--but I don't sense some of the over-the-top characteristics that earlier reviewers have. Maybe it's me; maybe it's the current bottling. In any case, I found it a bit spicy and intense but perfectly enjoyable, and note to the Islay-iffy among you: the peatiness is not strong in an iodine and shoe leather way, it's quite integrated within the sweet sherried aroma profile. For sure, the next time I have enough spare change to be able to decide between purchasing a Talisker 18 or the Corry, I am likely to experience some cognitive dissonance--and I mean before I have had any whisky!
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart WA 96 BC 0

1996 Bowmore 16 Year Old Faultline Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 7-15-2014
This has a distinct hit of cinnamon spice on the nose, plus wet plaster and deep, golden nutty sherry aromas. The oak shows through richly on the palate, and it's pretty good sipping, I think.
Price: $104.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough  
Review Date: 7-15-2014
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Although New Zealand has been almost exclusively known for wonderful Sauvignon Blancs the past several decades, we have seen in the past several years some nicely produced, but not outstanding, Pinot Noirs coming from many producers there. A few of these productions have impressed me to the point that I have told many customers that New Zealand is on the same quality threshold that the Willamette Valley wineries were thirty-five to forty years ago. And I have told customers that while these productions were promising, like those of the Oregon producers, it would probably be another seven to ten years when we would see some incredible quality Pinots coming from New Zealand that would rival the fabulous Pinots that now are coming from the Willamette Valley, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast and the Santa Lucia Mountain range. Then Ryan Woodhouse brings in the 2012 Te Whare Ra, and it was thoroughly impressive. And now with the 2013, I have to take several steps back and tell you that I was off by five to ten years, in that it would not take the New Zealand producers so long to create Pinots that would be on an equivalent level as the aforementioned wines. This is an amazing Pinot from a truly great, great vintage. Medium–deep ruby in color, with opulent, distinctive aromas of dried rose petals, strawberry, red fruits and spicy notes underscored by a slate mineral tone and a mild gamey quality. This carries over to a complex, layered, deep set of flavors with excellent balance, broadness and viscosity, and a lush mid-range and finish. Rusty has told me that this Gem is a truly great wine and needs to be in our collection immediately before it vanishes. Good work, Ryan, and thanks for making me eat my words. 19.0 UC Davis points out of 20.
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Ferrero Brunello di Montalcino   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 7-15-2014
If you were to ask me for one Brunello to try in the store right now, I would point you to this. The 2009 vintage for Brunello is very soft and approachable in its youth. This Ferrero follows the trend, and for the price is an absolutely amazing deal. It's big, expressive, and generous with darker fruit. I'm taking this home for myself!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Westland American Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 7-15-2014
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I hardly need to second the choices of David, but wow this one is very cool! Its rich, deep color at first made me worry that this was going to be a little too woody and sweet, but the nose suddenly changed that. Very full and deep with a somewhat roasted nut nose, and on the palate it has nice, long walnut, vanilla, barley and subtle raisin and caramel notes. Delicious and mouth-filling, yet vibrant and zesty. It has just enough sweet notes and a fantastic finish. The closest I've seen to a single malt Scotch from the U.S.!
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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