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.


Reviews

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2012 Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 1-15-2015
There's nothing like shopping in an off vintage to really illustrate how meaningless terms like "good year" or "bad year" really are. 2012 isn't a "good year" for Bordeaux, but you wouldn't know it after drinking a glass of the 2012 Poujeaux. The fruit is soft and open on the initial sip, but slowly fades into mineral notes and more earthiness. This is a wine that will definitely reward a few years in the cellar, but with decanting can be enjoyed now with a steak (or two).

2009 La Cardonne, Médoc
Review Date: 1-15-2015
Despite the ripe vintage, the 09 Cardonne doesn't stray from the classic Bordeaux flavor profile. It uses the fantastic ripeness as a strength, but it still maintains a leaner, more subdued, classically claret-style of palate with dusty tannins on the finish. A great grab to drink now for those that appreciate the most restrained French flavor.

2010 Maison Blanche, Médoc
Review Date: 1-15-2015
If you're looking for a more fruit-forward style of Bordeaux to drink now (as in tonight) then look no further. It doesn't get much better than this. The aroma is just stunning: lush red fruits that linger long on the nose. The palate has more of that promising aroma, but with just enough tannic structure to balance out the ripeness. California drinkers could easily crossover with this one. No need to lay it down. It's drinking perfectly right now.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart JS 90 BC 0

Bushmills 21 Year Irish Whiskey 750ml
Review Date: 1-9-2015
$79.99 for this whiskey is one HOT steaming deal. What many don't know (and I had completely forgotten until retasting this week) is that the Bushmills 21 is finished in Madeira cask, lending the whiskey a rancio, burnt orange peel sweetness on the back end. It's a damn fine whiskey for $120. For $79.99 you have to start thinking about a case.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bottled in Bond Straight Kentucky Bourbon 750ml
Review Date: 1-3-2015
The E.H. Taylor series is an interesting side project from the Buffalo Trace distillery portfolio (Eagle Rare, Weller, Elmer T Lee, Pappy, etc) offering a drier, less sweet profile than what many of us expect from Bourbon. For me, the Taylor Small Batch 100 proof is the most intriguing of the series; truly a grainy and evocative Bourbon that goes from oak, to oil, to sweet corn, and then back to a dry grainy finish. For me personally, the whiskey is great on the rocks, but really shines in a Manhattan or Old Fashioned. The 50% helps bump up the flavor, allowing it to hold its own with the added sweetness, and the drier profile doesn't add too much extra sugar. The oak and corn flavors are really well balanced as well, creating a back and forth of sweet vanilla and baking spices that goes on forever even after you drink it down. It's a fun change of pace from the standard Bourbon fare and a chance to really delve deep into the complexity that Bourbon can offer. There's a lot going on in this whiskey; perhaps more than you're really looking for. Each time I taste it I find something I didn't taste the previous time. It's almost like the Boigneires Armagnac equivalent; that's a brandy that cuts out all the sweetness and gets right down to the core flavor. It's the Bourbon version of that.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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 24 Year Old 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

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: $14.99 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: $14.99 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: $19.99 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

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

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