Staff Favorites - David Driscoll

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.


Reviews

  
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Westland Peated Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 04-02-2015
MAN, this is delicious. It's like an American version of Talisker or Springbank in terms of richness and oiliness, but it has its own fruity, malty character that helps it stand out from the pack. Soft stonefruit, creamy vanilla, earthy undertones, soft campfire smoke, rich malty sweetness on the finish. This stuff is already the total package. I can't wait to see what the future holds for Westland. By the end of 2015, they'll be the talk of the country.
Price: $69.99 Add To Waiting List

Westland Sherry Wood Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 04-02-2015
A stunning sherry expression that really redefines my entire perception of American single malt. This is incredible stuff, on the level of some of the younger Glendronach and Aberlour single whiskies from Scotland. Westland is already on another level that all other American single malt distilleries. Based on this incredible whiskey, I have to think it's only a few more years before they're completely dominant. Buy in now, while the gettin's good. That's my advice.
Price: $69.99 Add To Waiting List

Bowmore 15 year old Darkest Sherry Casked Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-31-2015
I think the 15 year is probably the most iconic of the standard Bowmore selections because of the extra sherry maturation. The richness really drives home that combination of sweet and peat that makes Bowmore what it is. Campfire smoke, phenolic elements, but ultimately a softer, more rounder mouthfeel. Lovely stuff.
Price: $74.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 92 WA 90

Jefferson's K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Reserve Very Old Bourbon 750ml
Review Date: 03-17-2015
This is quite lush, a soft and savory palate of oak and herbaceous notes that, to me, tastes like it might come from Heaven Hill. It's not a whiskey that impresses you with power, but rather with restraint. I haven't had a bourbon in this style for quite some time. I rather miss it.
Price: $45.99 Add To Waiting List

Knappogue Castle K&L Exclusive 12 Year Old Single Barrel Single Malt Irish Whiskey 750ml
Review Date: 03-17-2015
In the vein of Glenmorangie or Clynelish, this is 100% single malt whiskey with a soft vanilla flavor and a lovely, rich smack of stone fruit on the finish. In classic Cooley fashion, there's a note of white wine, Sauvignon Blanc maybe, and a kiss of sweet barley on the finish. I wish wea had access to more stuff of this quality and this concentration, but the occasional cask will have to do!
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

Nikka 21 Year Old Taketsuru Pure Malt Japanese Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-17-2015
A marriage of 21 year old whiskies from both the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries, the Pure Malt 21 is a stunning display of incredible balance, sweetness of barley, richness of malt, and depth of flavor. One of Japan's true treasures.
Price: $169.99 Add To Waiting List

Glenmorangie 10 year old The Original Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-17-2015
The best single malt deal there is--period.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
WA 93 WE 90

Faultline K&L Exclusive St. Lucia Rum 750ml
Review Date: 03-17-2015
Root beer, fruit tea, juicy fruit, oh my. Big, bold flavor like you've never tasted in a rum.
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List

Nikka 12 Year Old Miyagikyo Single Malt Japanese Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-17-2015
The price seems steep for a simple 12 year old single malt, but the quality is there and the flavors explode with malty richness and soft stonefruit. One of the two main Nikka distilleries, Miyagikyo is Japan's version of a Highland malt. Lovely.
Price: $99.99 Add To Waiting List

Nikka 12 Year Old Taketsuru Pure Malt Japanese Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-17-2015
Soon to be a thing of this past due to supply issues, the Nikka 12 year old Pure Malt will become simply the "Nikka Pure Malt" with no age statement. That means snap up what you can get while you can get it. This is simply one of the best deals in whisky. There's a rich, and layered core of toffee, but it's nowhere near as sweet as Glendronach or Balvenie with the sherry. It's more like Macallan 12 meets the soft fruited Glenmorangie, but with more elegance. A great bottle of hooch.
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 93

2010 Torbreck "The Steading" Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro Barossa Valley
Review Date: 03-13-2015
Just lovely, lovely, supple, classically appealing red wine. The fruit is lush and deep, but gentle and peripheral. The tannins are delicate and accent the palate with finesse. The flavors themselves are complex, graceful, yet reserved. It's a complete wine from beginning to end, never forceful or in-your-face like we've come to expect from many big market Aussie Shiraz wines. This is a Bordeaux lover's Shiraz. It's for people who appreciate nuance and subtlety.

Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 year old Blended Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-07-2015
Yes, it's Johnnie Walker, but that doesn't mean it's a blended whisky! The Green label is actually a blended MALT, meaning it's comprised only of single malt whiskies from Diageo's prestigious chain of malt distilleries. Rich, creamy, supple malt flavor, brimming with fruit and soft toffee come strong on the entry. The finish shows a trace of smoke from the addition of Caol Ila to the formula, but it's never more than a whisper. Considering the size and scope of the Green's production, the quality is incredible. I'd easily drink this over a number of pure single malts in the same price range. Great stuff.
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 94

Lagavulin Distiller's Edition Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-06-2015
The 2014 is the softest and most restrained version of this whisky I've yet tasted. The initial flavors are rounded sherry notes and toffee, but the finish is all classic Lagavulin filtered through a velvet glove. The peat comes through, the bright phenolic notes are clean and vibrant, but they never explode or overpower the balance of the whisky. It's perfectly graceful from beginning to end, which isn't usually an adjective I use to describe Lagavulin. It's incredibly refined. I'm tired of in-your-face whiskies. I want subtlety. This 2014 DE is exactly what I want.
Price: $109.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Mortlach 7 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
We bottled this cask for those folks who like light, fruity-style whiskies and for those super geeks out there who want to see what young Highland whisky tastes like before the wood has completely taken over. It's bright, fresh, floral, and entirely reliant upon the inherent flavors within the Mortlach spirit itself. If you want to know what Mortlach tastes like before all the sherry maturation has sunk in, this one's for you.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

1990 Girvan 24 Year Old Sovereign K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
Of the three grain whiskies we just brought in, this is the most definitive. This is the light, fruity, somewhat grainy (who would've thought?) profile that we've come to love in whiskies like the Nikka Coffey. Loves to love, and over ice it's an absolute dream.
Price: $99.99 Add To Waiting List

Enmore 25 Year Old Faultline K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Guyana Rum 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
25 year old wooden Coffey still-distilled rum from the old Enmore distillery in Guyana. Dark, rich, decadent stuff, but not really all that sweet. It's more about the inherent flavor of the molasses and therefore the rum. Good stuff from a lost distillery.
Price: $199.99 Add To Waiting List

St. George Green Chile Vodka 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
Love it. My Bloody Marys will never be the same. It smells like a big bowl of salsa and tastes like an explosion of Mexican cuisine. The applications are endless. It's basically gin made entirely with chiles.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

St. George All Purpose Vodka 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
Again, don't let the vodka moniker fool you: this isn't some BS, grain neutral throwaway. This is an art that Lance and Dave have perfected over at St. George. The all-purpose is actually made from a large proportion of pear distillate to give it a creamy and soft texture. They're not just trying to make a flavorless spirit. They're trying for ethereal beauty. And they've done it. The great vodka from the U.S. is now here.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

St. George California Citrus Vodka 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
While you may think of this as flavored vodka, this is really just orange gin. At least, as far as the process is concerned. Lance and Dave made this incredibly beautiful spirit through multiple macerations of separate varietals of orange, along with individual distillations. The amount of skill and blending is paramount to the finest of ginmakers. It's just that they didn't use juniper. Don't let the vodka moniker make you think this isn't something great. It is.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

Uitvlugt 20 Year Old Faultline K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Guyana Rum 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
This is just a shining example of how great column still rum can be if you just leave it alone (don't add sweeteners or coloring agents) and give it time. It's mild and light, but it's not boring or monotonous. The sugar cane flavors are subtle and haunting, and the added richness from the wood just rounds it off perfectly. What a beauty.
Price: $149.99 Add To Waiting List

Hampden 14 Year Old Faultline K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Jamaica Rum 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
My personal favorite of the three Faultline rums we just brought in, the Hampden is full of pot still goodness (i.e. funky stuff), but never goes over the line. The kiss of sweet vanilla rounds out the finish and really balances everything out. Great, great stuff. I can't stress this little guy enough to our best customers.
Price: $74.99 Add To Waiting List

1978 Port Dundas 36 Year Old Sovereign K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
I'll say it: this is my favorite barrel from the new shipment of casks that just landed. It's just ridiculously awesome, especially for the stupidly cheap price. 36 year old whisky for the price of most 18 year old single malts, and it's full of rich vanilla, decadent caramel, and a long, enveloping finish. It's like sucking on a Werther's Original candy. Incredible stuff, and again: the price. It's just crazy how undervalued grain whisky is right now.
Price: $149.99 Add To Waiting List

1964 North British 50 Year Old Sovereign K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
When was the last time we had 50 year old whisky at any price, let alone less than $1000? Grain whisky is just completely undervalued and appreciated at the moment, so we snapped up this cask of grain whisky for the price of a 20 year old single malt. It's still surprisingly soft and youthful despite five decades in wood, with creamy vanilla and plenty of fruit. The great part is the gift-ability: you can buy this for anyone and they'll love it. 50th b-days, anniversaries, go for it. This is universal stuff.
Price: $249.99 Add To Waiting List

1998 Tamdhu 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
Another one we almost passed on that really came around after bottling. Lovely Highland whisky with rich fruit and vanilla on the nose and more of that texture right from the initial sip. Delicious.
Price: $99.99 Add To Waiting List

1997 Laphroaig 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
I love finding mid-range Laphroaig simply because I find I really like the Islay stalwart right between 15-20 years of age. There's more weight and soft, supple texture than the classic 10 year, but the medicinal peat isn't completely eaten up by the oak. This is no-nonsense, no-gimmick Laphroaig. Peaty and complete.
Price: $139.99 Add To Waiting List

1996 Tobermory 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
I was on the fence with this cask when we tasted it in Scotland, but now that it's here and I've gone back to it, I'm not sure what I was originally thinking. It's awesome whisky; lots of oak spice and sweet vanilla with malty grains and nice texture.
Price: $109.99 Add To Waiting List

1993 Macallan 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
I would've been happy just to get a cask of Macallan 21 that was just good. To get one that's absolutely stellar was like a cherry on top. Soft vanilla, but despite the lack of classic Macallan sherry, there's still plenty of weight and richness. The vintage character is still there, but it's effortless and easy-going. We really lucked out with this one: especially given the price and availability of Macallan right now. You might wanna get one of these ASAP.
Price: $249.99 Add To Waiting List

2004 Smoky & Peaty Tobermory (Ledaig) 8 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
Those who enjoyed the Ledaig cask we did with the Exclusive Malts will really dig this one. The peat is clean and fresh, the flavors are pronounced and linear. It's Island whisky without the medicinal notes or the oily, dirty smoke. It's just peat and salt and bright, fresh flavor.
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List

2001 Bowmore 12 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
I cannot get enough Bowmore 12 year. This is like the fifth cask of 12 year old Bowmore we've bought in the last few years and it might be the best one yet. It's the most complete with equal levels of peat, vanilla, and supple weight on the palate.
Price: $79.99 Add To Waiting List

1995 Miltonduff 19 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
Classic Scotch whisky. If you like Glenlivet, or Glenfiddich, but want a little more punch and vivacity, then this is for you. Sweet grains, vanilla, balanced wood integration. Classic. And for a good price.
Price: $99.99 Add To Waiting List

2008 Caol Ila 5 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
I love this whisky. It's young and fiery with lots of phenolic Islay action, yet with a soft core of round fruit and hints of vanilla on the finish. It's like getting a glimpse at a planet in the early stages of development. If you're a fan of Caol Ila, you can't afford NOT to buy this whisky. It's classic Caol Ila, but at an almost blinding level of brightness.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

1995 Craigellachie 18 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
For those who enjoyed the sherry casks we once were able to secure from Glendronach, this is our current replacement--and it's far less expensive. Lovely richness, cakebread and spice, good weight on the palate. It's a solid 18 year old sherry-aged whisky for an outstanding price.
Price: $99.99 Add To Waiting List

Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-03-2015
This whisky will eventually speak for itself. The reviews are in, the news has hit the internet, and the buzz is ablaze. You cannot beat the Faultline Blended Whisky for the money. The question now is: how much of it can you drink?
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

Maker's Mark Cask Strength Bourbon 375ml
Review Date: 02-26-2015
I can promise you that every store from here to Bangor, Maine is sick and tired of the question, "Do you guys have any Pappy?" The only question even more frustrating that that one is: "What do you have that tastes like Pappy?" Not because it's a stupid question, but mainly because there isn't anything available that even remotely tastes like Pappy that isn't Pappy. Except the Maker's Mark Cask Strength Bourbon. Now HERE is a whiskey that DOES rather taste like Pappy. The only problem is getting your hands on some. Big power, creamy texture from the wheat, and bold spice on the finish. This is something you can hang your hat on if you're tired of the Pappy hunt. If you ask me, the MM cask strength is even better than many of the younger Van Winkle expressions.
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List

Bruichladdich Botanist Gin 750ml
Review Date: 02-19-2015
Fantastic gin from Bruichladdich distillery on the famous island of Islay. Potent and punchy flavor with an elegant mouthfeel. You can't go wrong.
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon 750ml
Review Date: 02-19-2015
10 year old Bourbon for a hot price. Buffalo Trace's classic whiskey is still a steal of a deal.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

Blanton's Original Single Barrel Bourbon 750ml (oversized bottle, ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 02-19-2015
Blanton's is always my first choice when someone asks me for a "nice" bottle of Bourbon. It's about as "nice" as Bourbon gets. Extra richness, a smooth and silky finish, and an elegant bottle. It's still the one great value in today's high-end Bourbon market.
Price: $46.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 95

Sazerac 90-Proof Straight Rye Whiskey 750ml (3 bottle limit)
Review Date: 02-19-2015
The ultimate rye whiskey for the money. It doesn't get better.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 95
Limit of 3 per customer

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon 750ml
Review Date: 02-19-2015
Still one of the best bang for your buck spirits of any kind on the market. Serious Bourbon that gets overlooked in the face of Pappy, even though this is the distillery's flagship product. There's a reason the distillery is called Buffalo Trace. This is the workhorse.
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 92 WA 90

2009 Château Musar "Hochar Père et Fils" Red Bekaa Valley
Review Date: 01-20-2015
This is a total shocker. It's not like I didn't know that Musar has a reputation for greatness, it's that I didn't think their wines would be this good for the money. The Hochar vineyard gives this great old school Bordeaux flavor, but with a concentrated core of sweet red fruit (almost like a combo of Rioja with Bordeaux). This is a fantastic wine that no one should be afraid to spend money on. It's not esoteric or weird, just classic old school wine with great flavor.
Price: $27.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 92

2006 Château Musar Blanc Bekaa Valley
Review Date: 01-20-2015
If you're going to splurge on a white wine, you want one with complexity and stunning nuance. This is that wine. Slightly oxidative on the nose, the aromas are nutty and slightly earthy. The palate has a bit of subtle oak flavor before moving into a saline note and a bit more mineral of a direction. Fascinating and delicious.
Price: $46.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 01-15-2015
Off vintages? Cos d'Estournel doesn't have off vintages. That's why their 2011 (an "off vintage") is still loaded with soft, succulent fruit, an earthy core of integrated goodness, and pretty notes of flowers and spice on the finish. The price is right as well. A good Cos vintage to invest in considering the lower bottle cost and the outstanding quality here.

2012 Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 01-15-2015
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: 01-15-2015
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.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 89 - 92

2010 Maison Blanche, Médoc
Review Date: 01-15-2015
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 Waiting List
JS 90

Bushmills 21 Year Irish Whiskey 750ml
Review Date: 01-09-2015
$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 Waiting List
WE 93

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 Waiting List

1990 Glenfarclas 24 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 12-04-2014
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 Waiting List

Glenfarclas "The Faultline Casks" K&L Exclusive First Fill Oloroso Sherry Casks Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 12-02-2014
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 Waiting List

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 Waiting List

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