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Staff Favorites - David Driscoll
David Driscoll | Send Email | Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
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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Canard-DuchÍne "Authentic" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-12-2013
This is fabulous bubbly for a great price. The richness and nuttiness of this wine make it easily accessible to the newcomer, but the bready, mineral notes offer the expert some nuance and depth. I'm a big fan - especially for the price!
Hirsch Straight Bourbon Small Batch Reserve 750ml
Review Date: 6-7-2012
Gotta love this Bourbon. Soft, creamy, banana nose, easy-drinkin' stuff. I remember when I first started working at K&L we used to give this to every person who walked in looking for Bourbon and they loved it! The crazy thing is: I think the new batch is far better than the one we were selling five years ago.
Fleury "Cuveť Robert Fleury" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-22-2012
I was in the mood for some bubbles last night, so our Champagne buyer, Gary Westby, suggested that I take home the new Fleury "Cuvee Robert Fleury" Brut Champagne as an accompaniment to my cheese and chutney spread. What a fantastic recommendation! The wine is made from one-third each Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir and it's all barrel-fermented. The richness from the wood is fabulous because it never overpowers the crisp apple fruit present on the palate. I was also quite excited to drink a Champagne with actual Pinot Blanc in it, knowing that the grape is legal to use, but no one actually uses it! The depth of flavor in the Cuvee Robert Fleury is simply stunning - delicate bubbles allow for more of the rich, bready notes to stand out when sipping. The apple notes come and go on the finish. I would have expected to easily pay over $100 for a wine this good. Luckily, I don't have to!
Rusty Blade Gin 750ml
Review Date: 10-15-2011
Gin in the modern age has become like a set of golf clubs - you need a specific tool or club for each particular task. A good martini gin, a good gin for citrus drinks, and a gin that marries well with sweet vermouth are all necessities for the well-stocked bar. The Rusty Blade may be the absolute best sweet vermouth gin that we've ever seen. The maturation of the gin in the barrel adds flavors of baking spices and vanilla that really take a Negroni to the next level. This is the future of gin. I'm glad that we've been a big part of bringing it to the public.
Talisker 18-year-old Isle of Skye Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 3-23-2011
Diageo owns more than 20 of the best distilleries in Scotland and is famous for their mind-boggling catalog of single malts. In addition to their incredible line up of regularly available malts like Talisker 10, Lagavulin 16, and Oban 14, they hold back a reserve of special edition whiskies that are only available every few years when there is enough supply on hand. One of those malts is the incredible Talisker 18 Year Old. For the money, there may not be a better whisky value in the entire world. No joke. The delicacy of the fruit, the kiss of sweetness from the oak, and the gentle application of peat smoke are all on display and in perfect harmony with one another. Stonefruits, butterscotch, and campfire smoke all in one poetic burst of flavor. To me personally, it is one of the most perfect single malts I've ever had. Unfortunately, it is only available sporadically and I therefore have to carefully ration my one bottle so that I have enough to get me through until the next release. I'm happy to announce that the time for more Talisker 18 is now and we've bought as much as possible so that we have enough for everyone. This is one of the few single malts that I buy repeatedly, over and over again, because it's really that good and, compared to other 18 year olds, it's an absolute steal. - David Driscoll, K&L Spirits Buyer
Michel Loriot "Authentic" Brut Champagne (previously Cuvee Reserve)
Review Date: 11-11-2010
Nutty richness right off the bat and plenty of acidity to balance it out. We've got another fantastic directly imported Champagne on our hands! At this price, I can see myself drinking Loriot into the new year and beyond. Tasty tasty wine that should appeal to those who like it crisp and those who like a bit more body - which is pretty much everyone!
Bruno Michel "Les Roses" Brut Rosť Champagne
Review Date: 10-31-2009
Wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow wow! WOW! My God. WOW.............wow. This is very good Champagne.
Bruno Michel Premier Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 10-25-2009
This is the bottle that brought me back to Champagne recently. I'm not sure where I had gone, but now I'm back and I'm loving it. This 100% Chardonnay-based wine is rich and shows a bit of barrel aging, while maintaining a crisp and lively palate of bubbles. I could drink it all day long.
North Shore Gin No. 11
Review Date: 7-29-2009
This is the best gin I have yet tasted and I loooooove gin. Need I say more?
Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosť Champagne
Review Date: 7-13-2009
This wine is always our answer to the Billecart Salmon, which by the way sells for more than twice as much. This is all about the red Ariston fruit and their champagnes are permanent staff picks. Cherry notes from the pinot noir, crisp and vibrant acidity and brioche flavors swirl together with delicate bubbles. Anyone care for some?
Charles Baur Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rosť
Review Date: 7-1-2009
This is such an overlooked sparkler that deserves more of the limelight. The red fruit really sings in this rose from Alsace, more so than the standard pink champagnes and far better than the domestic options. It's such a good balance.
Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur 750ml
Review Date: 7-1-2009
I've heard from a few bartenders that the sign of a quality bar is a bottle of Luxardo sitting on the shelf behind it. It is considered a signal that the bartenders there are committed to using quality ingredients in their libations. It is the only maraschino liqueur that you should ever use and is the ultimate addition to a plate of fresh fruit.
Danzantes "Los Nahuales" Reposado Mezcal 750ml
Review Date: 5-31-2009
So, so smooth and oh-so-smoky. Mezcal has a distinct flavor profile that clearly separates it from tequila, and this bottle highlights those differences. The barrel aging imparts the richness and the vanilla notes, but the smoky, mineral character dominates and lingers long on the finish. I opened this bottle with a group of native Mexicans y tuvimos una fiesta! This is quality mezcal that puts low-grade tequila to shame.
1999 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 5-30-2009
Heavenly. Just tasted it back in the tasting bar. The aromas are so enticing - full of savory notes and smoked meats. The flavors are delicate and elegant. The acidity is still present and the wine will continue to get better, but man, does it taste good now. A tasting bar really isn't the place to experience this wine, but it'll be a while until I can pony up for one of these guys. At least we had Redwood City...
Rittenhouse Rye 100 Proof, Bottled in Bond 750ml
Review Date: 5-26-2009
This is my whiskey of choice when making a Manhattan. The Rittenhouse is spicy, bold, rich, inexpensive, and delicious. I like a kick with my cocktails and I hate to mix expensive booze. I could sip the Rittenhouse, but at 100 proof, it's perfect over ice, or with sweet vermouth and a maraschino cherry.
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