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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc Prestige (which was already in bottle at the time of this tasting) is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah aged all in concrete tank. Fresh, elegant and thrillingly pure, with first rate aromas of blackberry, fresh plum, licorice and ground herbs, it is decidedly sexy and forward, yet stays perfectly balanced, with juicy acidity and fine tannin on the finish. Enjoy this superb value over the coming 4-5 years (although it will evolve longer). Easily one of the top estates in the Languedoc (if not southern France), Chateau ...Read More »
97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The bigger, richer 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petite Sirah aged 16 months in 50% new French and American casks. This is a bigger wine and close to 2% higher in alcohol at 15.5%. There are 11,000 cases of this big, full-bodied, boisterous Cabernet Sauvignon that has a dense ruby/purple color, notes of underbrush, forest floor, tobacco leaf and oodles of blackcurrants and black cherries, with a touch of woodsmoke. The full-bodied wine hits the palate with a cascade of glycerin, fruit and purity. This is a beau ...Read More »
***Please Read (11/29/16)*** Due to concerns about bottle limits on Pliny the Elder, we will require ID for pickup on ALL Pliny orders from now on. If your name does not match the order, we will not release it. Limits have been upped to three per customer. Each customer must pick up their own order in person. NO EXCEPTIONS! ***ONLINE WEDNESDAY AFTER 7PM*** One of the most sought-after craft beers on the market. This brew, with a cult following, is an homage to Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveler, officer and writer. Altho... Read More »
This brown ale is aged in used French oak Pinot Noir barrels from local Sonoma wineries. Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus and sour cherries are added to each barrel to create this funky sour ale. 7.0%ABV / 1.064 O.G / 27 BUs.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa, which is Girard’s least expensive wine, has a healthy dark ruby/plum color, juicy blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, medium body and soft tannins. It is somewhat of a sleeper of the vintage at this price point and should be drunk over the next 7-8 years. (RP)" (12/2016)
The brewery: "Redemption is the younger sister to our award-winning ale, Damnation. Fashioned after a Belgian-style 'single,' this ale is rarely brewed in America, let alone Belgium. Typically, 'singles' are brewed only at the Trappist Monasteries for the monks to enjoy with meals. They often drink only half a bottle with lunch and the rest with supper, despite the beer's low alcohol content. Redemption is modest in strength, robed in warm golden hues, and soft on the palate with a smooth dry finish." 5.0% ABV / 1.048 O.G / 23 BUs.
Fürst makes this easy-going white to be delightful as a picinic wine or aperitif. It is made in a feinherb style which means it's a whisker off-dry, but to be honest doesn't show any notable sweetness at all. Elbling is a historic vinifera grape varietal that was cultivated primarily in the Mosel Valley since Roman times and eventually spread to dominate the extensive plantings of medieval Germany. Very few producers are left making wines from this varietal but Fürst take theirs very seriously and this is a fantastic bottle of wine. Ultimately quaffable,... Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Very pretty balance and refinement with black currant, leather and hints of toasted oak. Full body, delicate tannins and a savory finish. This makes you want to drink it." (1/2016) 89-91 points Vinous: "Sequoia Grove's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is dark, fleshy and supple, especially for the year. Plum, blackberry, sage, mint, mocha and leather open up in a dark, brooding Cabernet that should drink well with minimal cellaring. The blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec and 1% Syrah. (AG)" (10/2015) 90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Good Value* From ...Read More »
96 points Wine Enthusiast: "Bold and well structured, this Bourbon features warming vanilla and caramel accented by orange peel, stone fruit and a dry baking-spice finish. Sip it with a chunk of ice, or mix up a round of juleps. The trademark round, faceted bottle with the horse-topped cork is perfect for Derby Day. (KN)" (9/2014) Wine Spectator: "Custard, pepper, orange peel and grassy rye fill the nose. In the mouth, it's a breakneck ride: an initial rush of dry corn and grassy rye, a broad wave of sweeter corn in the middle, and a finish of sugar and rough spearmint. One of the first specialty Bou ...Read More »
Grand Prestige is a classic recipe from out friends at Hertog Jan in the Netherlands. We brewed this beer to their specifications here in Chicago, but we added a new depth to the flavor by barrel aging it in a combination of first and second use bourbon barrels.
95 points James Suckling: "A very exciting and subtle red with tar, licorice and dark berry character. Full-bodied, yet subtle and balanced. Lovely density and freshness. Better than 2010. Drink or hold for many years." (4/2015) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Barolo Ginestra Casa Matè sees a fresher quality of fruit compared to the Barolo Gavarini Chiniera. Vines are picked at slightly lower altitudes and harvest starts a few days earlier in this vineyard. The wine reveals an elegant and streamlined bouquet with lively tones of wild berry, spice, white truffle and balsam herb. The complexity here is very ...Read More »
Mecca Grade Estate Malt, Raw Wheat, and Rolled Oats. Heavily hopped with Chinook, Simcoe, and Citra.
96 points Wine & Spirits: "The wines that make up this Palo Cortado have an average age of more than 25 years. Originally, it was aged in Calle Ponce in the city of Jerez; hence the initials still printed on the label. During aging, the wine is refreshed with Fino Inocente and Amontillado Tío Diego, two other top bottlings in Valdespino’s portfolio. The end result is a wine that smells smoky and rich in caramelized flavor, but tastes dry to the bone; all those ripe flavors become the purest mineral impressions. A sense of chalky albariza soil floods the palate as the acidity tingl ...Read More »
This bourbon, bottled in bond, was aged for seven years in the famous Colonel Taylor's warehouse built in 1881. It is the latest from the sought-after E.H. Taylor line from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Soft and subtle, this is easily the most approachable and affordable of the recent Taylor releases. The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 means that the bourbon come from barrels all produced at one distillery, in a single season, and then stored in a bonded warehouse for at least four years before being bottled at 100 proof.
91 points Whisky Advocate: "Drier, less toffee and fruit, more dried spice and oak when compared to the standard Oban 14 year old. A beautiful combination of rich, nutty toffee balanced by polished oak, salt, pepper, seaweed, distant smoke, and dried fruit. Somewhat oily in texture. Wonderful depth, too! An improvement on what is already the biggest-selling Diageo single malt scotch in the U.S. Very exciting and dynamic. (Vol. 17, #4, by John Hansell)" K&L Notes: Always tough to find - this is a limited edition bottling for the U.S. only. As the canister states, "only so much can be made,... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Despite the mild licorice scent, this clear, thick liqueur is surprisingly bold on the palate, showing lots of candy-like black licorice. It feels quite fiery, especially with repeated sips. (KN)" (4/2014)
Producer notes: "Named after the father of Bourbon Rev. Elijah Craig this limited release Small Batch, twelve-year-old Bourbon is bottled at Barrel Proof and without chill filtering, preserving the natural flavors produced during the aging process. At full Barrel Proof, you can enjoy the Bourbon much the same way our Master Distiller does when he samples straight from the barrel or, if you choose, add water to reduce the proof to your liking."
Codigo 1530 is private recipe tequila that has been contracted by a family in Los Cabos for almost a decade, before finally becoming a commercial product in the U.S. Made at NOM 1500 by Tequileria las Juntas, the product was nameless for many years, exisiting solely as the house brand for family members and friends. Now availalble for the first time in retail stores, Codigo brings an exciting and diverse line up of unique tequilas to a market that's long been saturated by similar products. The Codigo really begins to showcase its individuality with the... Read More »
Influenced by his experiences making wine in Europe as well as from two decades working with the respected wine importer Kermit Lynch, Bruce Neyers was an early adapter of the hands-on, natural and organic winemaking approach in the Napa Valley when he and his wife Barbara founded Neyers in 1992. His point of reference for Chardonnay are the great Burgundies of France. "After you try a Chablis from Raveneau or a Burgundy from Méo-Camuzet," he tells us in an Uncorked interview from April of 2011, "you have a frame of reference, an objective to seek." The ... Read More »
The 86 Company launched four spirits in Sepetember 2012, with Aylesbury Duck being one. From the distillery: "Aylesbury Duck is a truly noble woodland bird, well deserving of its own vodka. It can be seen flying around the rolling hills of England, frolicking in the great lake district or holding its own in a casserole. Our vodka has taken its inspiration from this exceptional breed. Aylesbury Duck is made in the Western Rockies of Canada, 4000 miles from the woodland birds natural habitat."
98 points Wine Enthusiast: "This silky single-vineyard Cognac hits all the right notes, layering rounded vanilla, sherry and butterscotch with the freshness of apricots and white flowers. Just a touch of baking spice rounds out the mouthwatering finish. Aged 15 years. (KN)" (12/2015) K&L Notes: Following a decade working in the London wine trade for Corney & Barrow, Berry Bros. & Rudd and then his own business, Dominic Park decided in the early 1990s to move to France and create a new Cognac house. Maison Cognac Park was born to make straightforward, unadulterated Cognacs presented in simple pa... Read More »
Buffalo Trace distillery's classic wheated-bourbon formula, substituting wheat for rye as the flavor grain in addition to the corn. The result is the same creamy, full-bodied whiskey that made the Van Winkles so famous. Now that all the Pappy is made at Buffalo Trace distillery, it's actually all made from the same formula. This one just happens to cost $24.99 instead. Our official house bourbon here at K&L.
This Special Reserve is the bottle of bourbon that our staff take home and enjoy! W.L. Weller replaces the rye in their bourbon recipe with wheat, creating a Kentucky straight bourbon with an exceptionally smooth, full-bodied taste.
The creators of Cazadores Tequila are back with this wonderful, value reposado. The Bañuelos family, one of Mexico's most succesful tequila producing families, sold their label to Bacardi but never their recipe. This is the original, and the reason Cazadores is so well loved. Its attractive agave spice and well balanced use of oak make this bottle good enough to sip, but you don't have to feel bad if it ends up in your "agave cocktail."
89-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Three Rows reveals a more gamey, meaty, Burgundian personality with notes of forest floor, underbrush, Asian plum sauce and red cherries. This elegant, spicy 2013 should drink nicely for a decade. Production was only 100 cases. The consistently run Walter Hansel winery (now in the capable hands of Steve Hansel) has over 40 acres of Chardonnay and 40 acres of Pinot Noir, all family-owned. Visitors to the Sonoma Valley, especially the Santa Rosa area, will also enjoy a stop at the Walter Hansel Wine Bar and Bistro on Guernville Road, a ...Read More »
100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A perfect wine, that seems to have gone from one strength to another since I first tasted it, the 100% Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 1 is absolutely amazing wine. It was aged 21 months in 87% new French oak, finished at 15.3% alcohol and was another abundant vintage, as this lot produced 850 cases, which is even more than 2012 and slightly less than 2003 and 2014. The wine has an inky purple color, a gorgeous nose of graphite, blueberry liqueur intermixed with cassis, blackberry, espresso roast, chocolate and graphite. Dense and incredib ...Read More »
Scarface - 46% of blend Imperial Stout aged 13 months Black Hand - 18% of blend Imperial Stout aged 37 months Experimental Stout II - 12% of blend aged 20 months Experimental Stout III - 11% of blend aged 19 months Imperial Payback - 10% of blend Imperial Porter aged 19 months Scarface - 2% of blend. Imperial Stout with Philz Coffee Aged 13 months Joe’s Ale of Strength - 1% of blend, Old Ale aged 18 months
According to the winery: "This is a velvety wine with a complex nose of plum, blueberry pie, cedar and dark cocoa. A fleshy mouthfeel is followed by flavorful notes of black cherry, smoked caramel, espresso and toasty vanilla. With full, generous tannins that coat the palate, this wine has impressive length, lasting acidity and a soft, elegant finish."
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "The neutral aroma hints at orange peel. On the palate, this vodka is silky, with a faint anise note and a brisk, bracing finish. It's ideal for vodka martinis and other cocktails. Made from 100% organic rye. (KN)" (10/2016) K&L Notes: Square One is the world's first certified organic rye vodka. It is handcrafted from 100%-certified organically grown rye grown in North Dakota and produced with an unprecedented organic fermentation process. Using only a single distillation in a four-column still, the resulting spirit is richer and smoother than any vodka on the market.... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Fino Inocente must be one of the few wines in Jerez that is still fermented in 600-liter American oak botas, which is an incredible amount of work compared with fermenting tens of thousands of kilos of grapes (or even more) in a big stainless steel tank. This method was the norm of yesteryear, but is so labor intense that it was discontinued in most wineries, and gives a big diversity of wines, as each barrel has its own character, which contributes to the complexity of the blend. Furthermore, the bottled wine is on average 8 to 10 years old. One ...Read More »
The Cherry Tart bottling pulls fruit from three distinctive vineyards in different parts of California: Sonoma Coast, Santa Lucia, and Santa Barbara. From the winery: "The 2014 Cherry Tart Pinot Noir jumps from the glass with aromas of raspberry, nutmeg, sandalwood and light smokiness, lifted by a floral note. Silky and delicate up front, with ripe acidity framing the rich, sweet flavors of red berries, red cherry and earth. Offers good fat without excess weight, finishing with a fine dusting of tannins and very good length."
Wine & Spirits: "Named after the village celebrations for which mezcal was originally produced, El Jolgorio Mezcal presents a study in agave species with nine different bottlings. Each one is made from wild-harvested varieties by Zapotec distillers, with the names of the villages, makers, agave types and age inscribed on each bottle. The Mexicano, made by Valentín Cortéz, is wonderfully herbal, almost oregano-like, with mineral notes and a light, plummy sweetness. The Arroqueño is made from an enormous variety of agave, blended to yield a magnificently fruity and herbal ...Read More »
The perfect growing season of 2012 made for excellent wines across all styles in Napa Valley. Stony Hill's Chardonnay is sourced from 20-30 year old vines and aged in previously used French oak so the fruit and terroir can speak without being dominated by wood. They describe: "Pale straw in color with bright, fresh aromas of pears and apples and a hint of lemon zest. In the mouth you’ll taste the flavors of pure Chardonnay fruit and a distinctive minerality coming from our stony vineyards. All in all, it’s a classically pure Chardonnay with a low alcoho... Read More »
This wonderful concoction from Kurt Charron captures the essence of California's natural wonders and puts them right in your glass. Kurt started with the complex and unusual flavor of fresh aloe vera macerated in California grape eau-de-vie. This magical member of the Lily family is renowned for its healing effects on sunburned skin, but what we didn't know was how darn delicious its earthy flavors would be in your cocktail. From that base, Kurt has built a wonderfully balanced and versatile spirit. He first adds fresh cucumber and muskmelon to add depth... Read More »
VacuVin's Wine Saver is a vacuum pump that draws air out of an open bottle of wine and reseals it with a reusable rubber stopper (one included). Just place the stopper in the bottle, attach the Wine Saver and start pumping. When you hear the "click" you know that you've reached the optimum vacuum level to slow down oxidation and preserve your open bottle of wine longer.
91 points Wine Spectator: "An enticing aroma of oyster shell and seashore graces the white peach and lemon flavors in this harmonious white. Lingers nicely on the stony finish. Drink now through 2020. (BS, Web-2016)" Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A pungent nose features notes of petrol, straw, pear and a hint of tea. The round and supple middle weight flavors possess a suave but vibrant mouth feel before concluding in a saline-inflected, persistent and balanced finish. This is really quite good for a villages level Chassagne..." (6/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Chassagne Montrachet Village Blanc, which is already in bottle, has ...Read More »
Flanders ale from San Leandro, California, aged in wine barrels for one year with sour cherries.
Sommeliers around the world will tell you: there's nothing like a waiter's corkscrew. From the producer: "Double the hinges, double the speed: our double-hinged corkscrew is an efficient, effective take on the sommelier-style classic. Its non-stick worm slides smoothly into cork with minimal friction and a robust hardwood handle maximizes the power of your leverage."
Fromt the Brewery: "Pt Bonita is our Bohemian Pilsner. It’s nice and spicy from the rye, 14%, and it has just enough noble hop character and body from the rustic grains. It’s light, crisp, refreshing and it’s named after the Point Bonita Lighthouse in the Headlands, in case you couldn’t figure that out on your own."
90 points Vinous: "Keenan's 2013 Merlot is powerful, intense and structured, especially for an entry-level offering. Leather, smoke, tobacco and anise are all pushed forward in a savory, complex Merlot that offers plenty of nuance as well as personality. Hints of menthol and sage add further notes of complexity. A serious Merlot, the 2013 has enough depth to drink well for a good handful of years. (AG)" (10/2015)
94 points James Suckling: "Very perfumed with flower, truffle, light wet earth and cherry character. Full body and full integrated ripe tannins and caresses your palate. Very fine and pretty. Slight soya undertone. Succulent and enticing. You want to drink this. Better in 2016." (12/2014) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino represents a return to the traditional values of Montalcino. The bouquet is buoyant and bright with lingering tones of smoke, ash, balsam herb, licorice and soy sauce. Those kinds of aromas make Brunello such a wonderful wine and thankfully you get them in abundance ...Read More »
95 points Bob Campbell: "Reasonably light Pinot Noir but certainly not lacking in intensity or power. Cherry, violet and spice flavours with a savoury, herbal edge. A complex wine, with layers of subtle flavours that might at least in part be linked to the bio-diverse soils achieved through biodynamic viticultural practices. Drink 2016 to 2025." (6/2016) 94 points James Suckling: "A wine that really acts like the village wine for Felton Road with a number of vineyards contributing to an overall look and feel of the vintage, and this is full of pleasure. Smells super bright and fragrant with rose-like perfum ...Read More »
96-100 points Wine Enthusiast: "Bouquet offers hints of mead, almonds, pencil eraser, coffee grounds, pork and old leather. Palate entry is intensely resiny, smoldering warm and waxy; at midpalate, taste explosions of honey, oloroso sherry, dark caramel, hard cheese, malted milk, and Christmas pudding treat the taste buds to an extraordinary library of flavors. Ends deliciously sweet and honeyed. The best Balvenie I’ve ever reviewed." (2/2005) 90 points Whisky Advocate: "This is a big and brooding dram. The aroma suggests it is aged in both bourbon and sherry oak. It’s complex and richly flavored (sweeter up front ...Read More »
92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Embazées, which was bottled after 11 months in oak, has a beautiful nose with citrus lemon, shaved almond and a touch of nutmeg -- pleasing complexity and nuance here. The palate is fresh and vibrant on the entry with bitter lemon and orange rind, good depth and a slightly austere but compelling, Puligny-like finish. Another great white from Drouhin. (NM)" (12/2015) Jancis Robinson: "11 months in oak. Cedary citrus aroma with a touch of quince and clementine freshness. Firm and deep in texture. A slight pear-grain grip to balance th ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Soft, delivering ginger, brioche and pear notes, with a friendly, open finish. Drink now. (Web Only-2013) (JM)" K&L Notes: A pale yellow wine with tiny bubbles, this Cremant de Loire Brut is rounded and delicate with a fine, nervy, complex nose and the freshness of Chenin Blanc, floral Chardonnay and fruity Cabernet Franc from 20- to 30-year-old vines. With its lively attack, it evolves gracefully across the palate with nice aromatic persistence in the mouth and lingering notes of fresh peaches and pear. A great opener to a memorable night! 12.5% abv. (Eric Story, Lo... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* The bouquet is basic but pleasing, with sweet molasses scents and some delightful cocoa and tobacco notes. The palate entry is surprisingly bittersweet and nearly dry; the flavor turns tobacco-like, almost smoky, yet appealingly sweet at midpalate. Finishes with simple, no-frills charm." (2/2008) K&L Notes: If you want a rum with pure tropical spirit, this may be it. The One Barrel rum, from the country of Belize, smells like a tropical breeze with its aromas of passion fruit, hibiscus and papaya. On the palate it is smooth and round, with just a hint of m... Read More »
92-94 points Vinous: "Building off the considerable success of their 2009 Beaune 150th Anniversary 1er Cru, Jadot has decided to make the wine again in top years. One of the highlights in this range, the 2012 boasts stunning power, depth and harmony. The lifted aromatics recall the Ursules, but here the fruit possesses more volume and creaminess. An explosive, layered finish rounds things out in style. Some of the parcels in the blend are Avaux, Cent Vignes, Pertuisots, Vignes Franches, Perrières, Toussaints and Chouacheux. (AG)" (1/2014) 92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "blend of 17 different owned 1ers plus a ...Read More »