Staff Favorites - David Driscoll

David Driscoll
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David Driscoll likes to drink alcohol when he is not working at K&L. His main interests include wine, beer, and distilled spirits. Before he worked here he went to college at a decent school, got a masters degree from an OK school, worked as a waiter and taught elementary school in Chinatown. He decided to get into the wine business after reading a few books about wine and realizing that one cannot seriously learn about wine solely through reading. His career goals include: trying to convince K&L customers that he does know something despite his youthful appearance, and learning everything about everything about every single wine ever made.


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SMWS 36.82 Benrinnes 17 Year Old "Rare Release" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 12-12-2014
Our second cask from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is a BIG winner. I love Benrinnes distillery. When we visited the site during the Spring of 2014, the staff couldn't have been nicer and whisky couldn't have been tastier. We're always poaching casks of Benrinnes from Signatory when we see them available because of its rich, vanilla-laden, cookie dough character. This SMWS bottling is a 59% jolt-in-the-arm version of that flavor profile. Big, chewy richness, tons of power through the mid-palate, and a dessert-like finish that really drives home the flavor. Great whisky from an underrated distillery. That's what we're all about!
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1990 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 12-4-2014
The 1990 vintage is a soft and supple whisky bottled at 100 proof that really captures the rich, cakey, textural elements of Oloroso sherry. A special marriage of sherry butts all chosen from one particularly good year at Glenfarclas, it's a straightforward, easy-to-like, and deliciously round whisky that offers easy accessibility, but also depth. When you're thinking about 24 year old, sherry-aged single malt it's exactly what you hope it will be. Not big, not powerful, not overly-sweet, not sulphured or bitter from too much time in wood, and not all that spicy. Just flat-out awesome in the most basic of ways. This is our replacement to the 18 year old Glendronach casks we used to do annually. We just added an extra 6 years of maturity. Hot deal.
Price: $169.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Glenfarclas "The Faultline Casks" K&L Exclusive First Fill Oloroso Sherry Casks Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 12-2-2014
The Faultline Casks expression is deceptive in that the 57% alcohol overpowers the sherry at first, to the point that you get mostly malt and grain. With water, the magical flavors are immediately unlocked and all the Christmas cake and fudge begin oozing out of their hiding place. Super fun stuff and very holiday-oriented. What I love most about this, and our other Glenfarclas expression, is that there aren't many whiskies on the market that taste like this. It's a big, explosive flavor that isn't just dark sherry sweetness and oversaturation. It's still a very balanced whisky.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 11-18-2014
I've completely curbed my Burgundy spending in favor of our newest direct imports from New Zealand; specifically the Mount Edward wines. The cherry fruit is soft and pretty, the mixture of floral notes and baking spices in the estate selection enticing. Perfect balance of acidity. A fabulous Pinot Noir.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2013 Mount Edward Estate "Morrison Vineyard" Riesling Lowburn Central Otago
Review Date: 11-18-2014
Hot deal. There's not much, so grab what we have. Petrol, minerality, stoney schist, serious Riesling.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Quarter Acre Viognier Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 11-18-2014
Viognier isn't everyone's bag; it's definitely not mine. But this is just pure peaches and pears, not an ounce of overpowering perfume or flagrant floral notes. There's no sweetness either; instead just a crisp layer of acidity. I wish all Viognier tasted like this. Then it definitely would be my thing.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Quarter Acre Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 11-18-2014
This is a barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc and that wood influence makes a huge difference in the flavor of this wine. I'm not a big grassy, grapefruity NZ Sauv Blanc guy. I like the mineral-driven wines with leesy richness. The Quarter Acre is definitely in the latter group. This is a crisp, stony, acidity-driven SB with great weight and balance. The barrel influence just takes the edge off, rather than providing toasty oak or chardonnay flavors. It's like a high-end white Bordeaux but for a way better price.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Elephant Hill "Le Phant Rouge" Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 11-18-2014
This wine is so good, I'm not sure whether to age it or drink it. Again, I'm not the kind of guy who looks too far from Bordeaux for my Bordeaux blends, but this is a serious wine with both pure, unadulterated fruit flavor and serious structure. You could decant it with a steak tonight, or throw it down in your wine cellar for 3-5 years. Either way, you're in good shape. The price is just insane.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Quarter Acre Bordeaux Blend Havelock Hills Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 11-18-2014
I'm not usually one to buy my Bordeaux blends outside of Bordeaux, but for this guy I'll make an exception. This Merlot/Malbec blend is dark fruited, slightly structured, and shows lovely mineral notes underneath all the earth and berries. For the money, it's an absolute incredible find by Ryan, our buyer.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Compass Box Great King Street "Glasgow Blend" Scotch Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 11-11-2014
It's not often we get new, limited releases that are both plentiful, affordable, and this tasty. Imagine the regular Great King Street, but richer, fuller, and with a healthy dollop of peat smoke. That's all there really is to know! Just a super tasty, well-formulated blend from our buddy John Glaser.
Price: $42.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 Glenburgie 19 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 11-11-2014
This baby is as advertised. WOW....does it deliver on the finish. It starts out subtle enough with standard single malt flavor, but then BAM the richness just comes rolling through on the finish, bringing vanilla, oak spices, and rich malty flavor like "a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant," to quote Christmas Vacation. There's nothing out of the ordinary going on here, just really, really good Scotch. And, my God, is it really good Scotch.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Big Peat Islay Holiday Edition Blended Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 11-11-2014
The Big Peat Xmas Edition won best blended single malt from the Whisky Advocate in 2013, and the new edition, in my opinion, is better than last year's. Imagine the lithe, briny character of Ardbeg Uigeadail with the baking spices and cinnamon peat of Laphroaig and Caol Ila on the finish. At cask strength, it really comes on strong at the back, letting you know this isn't some watered-down well drink. The flavors are potent and balanced from front to back. Of course, there's a bit of Port Ellen mixed in as well, just for the fun of it. Those who take the plunge on this bottle will be well-rewarded. It's another solid attempt from the Big Peat team.
Price: $66.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 Imperial 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 11-11-2014
This is just an updated version of a cask we bought a few years back. This one is both older and better. It's just everything you want: oily, resinous, fat-fruited, waxy, chewy, viscous, but never sweet. There's a bit of a tropical element on the finish, but it turns into something almost phenolic instead. Layers, upon layers, upon layers. 52.7% is perfect, so you don't need water. Imperial is no longer in operation, so there's a bit of a collectability factor here as well. One hot price. This is like cask strength Glenmorangie 18 (but for less!).
Price: $84.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1998 Mortlach 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Finish Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 11-11-2014
So this guy started as a couple of hogsheads and was then finished in a sherry butt. You can tell because there's a lot of oak action on the nose, almost Bourbon-like with pencil lead, but then morphing into stonefruit. The sherry turns on however in the mid-palate, but as we saw with the Bruichladdich it only highlights the fruit. Holy cow, this is tasty. Lots of sweet apricot and pear notes, but like they were dipped in a bit of cocoa. I'm going back in again and there's another wave of sweet baking spices that washes over the finish. Wow, this is good.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1997 Glen Ord 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 11-11-2014
We wanted this as comparison to the other 1997 barrels we bought so folks could do a horizontal. Glen Ord is a distillery that we don't see much of and we usually like it (partially because of the exotic nature of drinking Glen Ord). This is more subtle and less-pronounced than the other casks on this list. There's a lot of straight-forward sweetness and soft fruit, but it will take a discerning drinker to appreciate the nuance. But I know there are easily 272 guys who will really enjoy this bottle. 58.3% makes this a great rocks whisky.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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