Staff Favorites - David Othenin-Girard

David Othenin-Girard
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Reviews

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2002 Balvenie 14 Year "Peat Week" Vintage Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-13-2017
I couldn't love this special limited edition Balvenie ANY more than I do. It strikes a chord with me on so many levels. Balvenie is a stupendously high quality operation, but there are a few things about their standard bottlings that trouble the nit picky nerd in me. They're bottled at lower proof with chill filteration, this whisky is not. They utilize both industrial and floor malted barley, this whisky does not. They represent a relatively modern style of Highland Whisky, where the complete lack of peat has meant ultimately less complexity even if you create a whisky that might appeal to more people. Before the industrialization of the maltings pretty much everyone was drying barely in house using some mixture of fuels to do it. But the Highland peat gives you very different flavors than those Islay bogs and the result should not be considered off limits for non-peat lovers. The Highland peat adds some smokiness, but also a bouquet of intense floral, herbal and fruity aromas. Right out of the bottle you'll notice the distinction and with a bit of air that first wave of intensity settles into one of the most pleasurable and complex $100 you could spend in Scotch today.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Cadenhead's Classic 100 Proof Caribbean Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 09-13-2017
The insanity of this product is that there's not a regularly available rum on the market today that comes anywhere close to delivering this much rummy complexity for the price or any price for that matter. There are some wonderful blended rums available, but few capture the exotic intensity of this special product. Dense nose of ultra ripe pineapple syrup, funky Caribbean pot stills, sweet Tahitian vanilla, and roasting Demerara sugar. The palate entry has tons of structure, with an obvious molasses note at the front the builds to a dry mid palate filled with tropical fruit. The medium funk from nose persists on the palate, but not to the extent of taking over the other flavors. Long and satisfying like a day on the beach. Bravo to our friends in Campbeltown!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Bowman Bros Small Batch Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 09-06-2017
The wonderful Bowman Bros Bourbons are an odd thing. This is one of the only triple distilled bourbons out there and it starts with distillate from Buffalo Trace (mashbill #1 & #2) being trucked out to the Bowman facility in Virginia. It's distilled a third time (the continuous still and again on the doubler at BT should count as two) on the Bowman's pot still, which looks as though it might be a component on a space rocket built in the 1800s. The resulting distillate is rich and supple, unique, but familiar. The small batch is a great balance between the sweet Bowman's style and some nice rye spice. An easy going whiskey at a great price that hints at the potential of some of Bowman's higher-end offerings.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Old Forester K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #2023 Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 08-29-2017
A splendid example of what this special distillery is capable of. A powerful nose of toasted vanilla, dried cherries, mellow spice, and hardwoods. With some air we start to get fresh forest floor, melted brown sugar, overripe orchard fruit and some type of peppercorn medley. Warm and mouthwatering on the entry, bold sweet grains moving toward dark pepper and spicy oak as it finishes. There are very few single barrel on the shelf that deliver such an all encompassing and overtly pleasurable drinking experience.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2016 Lucy Margaux "Noir de Florette" Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills South Australia (Biodynamic / Natural)
Review Date: 08-24-2017
This is one of the cleanest sulfur free wines I've yet to try. Very clean, light fresh tart red fruit and subtle earthy. Natural wine making is the hot new thing, but few producers are daring enough to bottle their wines without an sulfur additions before bottling and than ship them around the world. That's now possible thanks to some higher quality wine making and transport methodology.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Te Mata "Estate" Syrah Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 08-24-2017
I'm pretty picky about my syrah. I like them fancy and cool climate. Very few under $20 suit my palate, but this exceptional offering should prove to everyone that Hawke's Bay is capable of making world class syrah for an incredible price. We already know Te Mata is the gold standard in NW, but at this price point it's also becoming one of the best value driven producers on our shelves. A nose of dense dark pepper, herbal brambly red and purple fruit and heady sandalwood. The palate is perfectly structured with evident but approachable tannins and a lovely lifted acidity. This is one to buy by the case and drink over the next 5+ years without questions one of the best values of the year.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 A.J. Adam Dhron Hofberg Riesling Kabinett Mosel
Review Date: 08-24-2017
There's very little in the store that offers so much overt pleasure, complexity and versatility than this special Kabinett. The nose is just crammed full of juicy yellow fruit, strong petrol fumes, crunchy pulverized stone. The palate is vibrant, super fresh wonderfully balanced showing formidable acidity to offset any obvious sweetness. Few wines spark the appetite more readily than this little magic bean, have it with spicy thai, spetzle, or my favorite pairing with Double Double animal style.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2013 Rudi Pichler Riesling Federspiel Wachau
Review Date: 08-24-2017
Pichler is just a stellar producer and each time I taste it I realize that the glowing accolades aren't hyperbolic whatsoever. The Federspiel Riesling delivers everything you could ever want from a dry Riesling and more. A nose of incredible freshness, crushed stone, lemon oil, vibrant and piercing mineral note. Not as brooding as some, but still with a hint of petrol. Long structured and full of crunchy acidity. A world class wine from a world class name.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2004 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 08-24-2017
Aye I couldn't believe that this was showing better than the 2005 in the last tasting. The 2005 feels downright shutdown next to this gorgeous and mature 2004. Surely the 05 is still the vintage to hold, but for drinking now there's very little in the store that will offer more for your dollar than the special 04 Langoa. Gorgeous soft black and red fruits, totally integrated and seamless. The ultra elegant style is the hallmark of this special property and the 04 delivers that experience to a T.

2007 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 08-24-2017
Another '07 that is out performing the price point. The ultra old school style, which is usually pretty darn tannic until they're 20+ years old is actually showing extreme elegance in this cooler vintage. Big perfumed nose of mineral, gravel, dark cherry and exotic aged woods. Structured and mouthfilling, but not heavy or tight at all. For the quality and reputation it's great to take advantage of the odd vintage discount.

2007 Tronquoy-Lalande, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 08-24-2017
I love Tronquoy's Merlot heavy St Estephe style. Leafy, mineral driven red fruit, subtle licorice and earthy underbrush. The palate shows great structure, lovely acid driven style that just keeps you wanting more. Some gravelly notes, but more on the red fruit and leafy earth. Medium bodied but with a long subtle finish. Awesome example of cool vintage merlot and how fab it can be. A reminder that you should always buy the chateau not just the vintage.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2009 Branas Grand Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 08-24-2017
Bold powerful and robust nose of dark blackberry fruit, subtle hints of incense and lacquer. Lush, soft and rich on the palate with the tannins totally integrated. A very open and bold style without compromising it's origin or throwing to much sweetness or oak at you.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90

2014 St Estephe de Calon-Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 08-24-2017
A gorgeous little example of how special the seconds can be for your dollar. Ultra drinkable and open, with a slight bit of funky earth and vibrant red fruit. The palate has tons of acid and a medium body but not green or under ripe at all. A beautiful old school claret for drinking now at a stupendous price.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

Siete Leguas Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 08-09-2017
The Siete Leguas Blanco stands as a pillar among all spirits. Proof that agave can produce spirits unlike almost any other spirit in that they can be superlatively good without the addition of any flavoring, aging or adulteration of any kind. I'd put the 7 Leguas Blanco up at the top of my list of wonderful white spirits along with other great authentically produced tequilas like El Tesoro, Tapatio and Fortaleza. I'm not a complete purist though as this tequila is not 100% Tahona press like the Fortaleza, but the exquisite character, supreme drinkability and obvious quality sets 7 Leguas apart from only the very best competitors. The nose is strongly floral (honeysuckle and rose hips) and surprisingly less fruity than the reposado yet showing plenty of gorgeous green agave notes and easy earthy pepper. On the palate the fruit is turned up before moving back toward this earthy almost green tea flavor. This is NOT tequila for vodka drinkers, but does stand out (as it always has) as one of the most exciting spirits in the store at any price.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

Siete Leguas Reposado Tequila
Review Date: 08-09-2017
The special 7 Leguas brand of tequila continues to be one of the most underappreciated operations in Mexico. Founded in 1952 by Ignacio Garcia Vargas in Atotonilco, this tequila stands a pillar of tradition and passion for this great spirit. Easily in my top five tequilas brands and unique in their production technique, 7 Leguas produces tequila exclusively for their own brand and no third party brands from what I can tell. Siete Leguas actually operates two distilleries in the highlands. El Centenario uses traditional Tahona, wooden fermenters, old brick ovens, the inclusion of bagazo in the mosto (wort), and tiny copper pot stills. The other is called La Vencedora and is their "modern" distillery. Here they use mechanical mills, larger steel fermenters without the bagazo included, large brick ovens and larger copper pot stills. So still pretty old school compared too many of their contemporaries. These two distillates are blended by taste and then rested in ex-bourbon barrels for 8 months to create one of the most overtly pleasurable drinking experiences on the market today. This gorgeous reposado exhibits heady agave fruit, candied pineapple, subtle oak spice and rich vanilla. The palate is very rich, but always remaining on the fresh agaveness with the oak only serving to frame the beautiful authentic quality of this special spirit. It doesn't matter how you drink this, cocktail, shots, or sipped straight, if you're drinking 7 Leagues, you're gonna have a good time.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 90 - 95

Berry Bros & Rudd "No. 3" London Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 08-02-2017
The wonderful Berry's No 3 Gin is a classic, but there's no better way to experience this special gin than sitting down at DUKES Bar in London's West End and having the illustrious Alessandro Palazzi mix you his famous Martini. The key isn't the way he shakes it, but instead the incredible Amalfi lemon that he uses for his for his garnish. Otherwise, his Martini consists of a vermouth rinse (of course he makes his own) and an ice cold bottle of No 3 right out of the freezer. Nothing more nothing less. You can get 98% percent of that experience by following those simple steps at home with a high quality lemon and a fine Italian dry vermouth. It's pure pleasure.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

Letherbee Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 08-02-2017
Letherbee's captures Chicago's independent spirit perfectly. This is what craft is all about. It's basically a group of solid drinkers/bartenders who believed that they could do something special. Their good taste and exacting standards speak for themselves once you taste their flagship gin. Big bold juniper note on the attack with cardamom, coriander, cinnamon and citrus to round it out. The addition of java pepper brings dark pepper and subtle ginger. An herbal finish with hints of anise and nutty spice. A gin made for anyone by bartenders. One of the most versatile and enticing offerings on the shelf.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

Jensen's Old Tom Bermondsey Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 08-02-2017
Jensen's Gin is quickly becoming one of the most well liked craft gins on the market. The reason they're having such great success is their commitment to creating authentic, historically relevant and delicious of the highest gin. Their Old Tom is distinct from every other commercial Old Tom on the market today. Taken from a handwritten recipe in an 1840s distiller's manual, the Bermonsday Old Tom is the only UNSWEETENED Old Tom on the market. Intensely flavored and achieving that sweet Old Tom flavor via the heavy use of angelica root rather than the addition of sugar, this is the perfect gin to create OT Classics like the Martinez or the Ramos Fizz. The lack of sugar gives the bartender much more control over the final flavor and the big bold botanicals lends itself to use in other classics like the Negroni or the Last Word.
Price: $33.99 Add To Cart

St. George Gin 3-pack 200ml (cannot ship)
Review Date: 08-02-2017
The perfect gift for any gin drinkers. St George is California's premier craft distiller and they've exploded onto the gin scene with these three magical offerings. The cute little bottles and easy to wrap packaging make it the perfect gift for any occasion. Of course, these three unique and special gins are second to none and represent the completely different styles. Playful and full flavored each lends itself to different application and transcends the old ideas of what gin should be.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

Mulholland New World Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 08-02-2017
Mulholland Spirits is LA's newest brand. These guys are all about having fun and giving people spirits that they love to drink. This gin definitely falls into the gin for non-gin drinkers category, although I've seen plenty of London Dry drinkers come back for a second bottle. Tons of citrus, cucumber, and a distinct lavender note, this is perfect for someone who LOVES Hendricks.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

Wyoming Whiskey "Private Stock" K&L Exclusive Barrel Strength Single Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-29-2017
I've enjoyed the Wyoming Whiskey and now count them as one of the best of the recent craft whiskey boom. They sent us many samples to try and while all were interesting NONE had the incredible depth and maturity of this special cask. A massive nose of freshly shucked corn, candied apricots, lacquer box and Tahitian vanilla. This one loves air and with some time you get some real flavor development. Fresh cacao nibs, freshly cut pine, barrel spice, walnuts and honey. On the palate, tons of sweet corny grain at the front. More candied stone fruit and a rich texture that remains lifted. A twinge of spice runs down the mid palate to keep it from being cloying. The finish is dry and brings big barrel spice, soft old drift wood and a slight leafy forest floor. While I'm extremely tempted to compare this directly to some of our Weller picks, we're really treading into new ground here. A triumph of a first showing from our friends in Kirby.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2010 Poggio dell'Otto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Coming across a great Brunello is not hard to do. We've got tons of them. Finding a great riserva is equally simple, if you've got the extra coin to throw at it. But, finding a riserva from a great vintage like 2010 for less than $30 that is absolutely UNHEARD of! It's just not something that happens. A nose of big dark fruit and earthy fresh herbs. Deep and powerful, but not inky. This is serious wine appropriate for anyone looking for a rich red. Grab a decanter and get to it!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2012 Rivella Barbaresco
Review Date: 07-18-2017
We are just so lucky to have these Rivella wines, the fact that we're able to sell such a stupendous wine at such a reasonable price literally makes me proud to be a part of this organization. The nose explodes from the glass with gorgeous dark red fruits, savory spice, rhubarb jam, figs, and black flinty earth. Juicy and structured, built for at least another 10 years in the cellar, the vibrant nebbiolo fruit is pointed by a wonderful smoky incense quality. A truly world class wine that gets absolutely no attention from the international wine community because WE BUY IT ALL!
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

2014 Rivella Barbera d'Alba
Review Date: 07-18-2017
Wonderful juicy serious Barbera. Ultra clean and vibrant on the nose with tons of red fruit and subtle hibiscus fruit. The crunchy fruit on the palate just goes on and on. Very approachable despite the significant structure and I'm very intrigued to see what a couple of years in the cellar does to this little guy. Absolutely world class wine making here resulting in exceptional complexity achieved at this very reasonable price point.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart

2015 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-18-2017
Another one of these awesome Rossos that's reinvigorating my interest in Montalcino. Bold savory nose of spice, slightly smokiness, and distinctly old school character without being unapproachable. This is old school in a way that almost anyone could appreciate. It very generous and lively on the palate and finishes long and quite clean considering the striking savory quality on nose. Stupendous stuff, which serious buyers should be trying to buy by the case.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 WS 90

2015 Talenti Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-18-2017
A wonderful example of everything I wished Rosso was today. Does that make sense? Anyway, we've been drinking so much of these unusual 2010s that you kind of forget the normal parameters for Montalcino. Now having come back to a traditional producer like Talenti in a top tier vintage albeit a hot one, we get reminded what Montalcino is really about, gorgeous expressions of Sangiovese in it's truest form. While this one isn't ultra funky, it does have a lot of the earthy depth you'd expect from an traditional producer, fresh tobacco, tilled earth etc. The palate, however, has tons of juicy red fruit and lovely acid. It's fun to love Sangiovese and this wine makes it easy for you.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Edi Keber Collio Bianco
Review Date: 07-18-2017
Keber is a legend in Collio. The wines are always delicious. The nose is a monsterous bouquet of musky angelica, fresh anis seed, pithy tangerine and a subtle savory white pepper. The intense bouquet doesn't interfere with the incredibly delineated palate showing tons of juicy acidity and a fabulous creamy citrus. It finishes long and dry with the savory herbs poking back out at the end. Totally in love here.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2015 Sarno 1860 Fiano di Avellino
Review Date: 07-18-2017
Sarno is one of the greatest for Fiano and I had high hopes for this. Truly text book here with tones of white flowers, ripe peaches and acacia honey. The honey becomes freshly harvest beeswax on the palate with tons of texture and a long finish. Fiano is great when there's acid and this one integrates it perfectly. Another stupendously drinkable wine from Sarno and easy to integrate into almost any meal.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

2015 Porta del Vento Catarratto Sicilia
Review Date: 07-18-2017
This wonderful expression of the often maligned catarratto grape is going to change peoples minds about the whole varietal. The perfect balance between aromatic depth (pithy exotic citrus peel) and mineral intensity (flinty rocks being smashed together). In the mouth it's dense but not flabby at all, an acidic counterpoint allowing it to remain refreshing and open. More flinty rocks, soft yellow fruits and tiny touches of fresh herbs. This is a pretty serious little wine for the price.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

1984 Caol Ila "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength 33 Year Old Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-18-2017
We've been lucky to find some great old whisky over years, the best values for very old blue chip malts are coming from Caol Ila. With that said, price on the stuff have skyrocketed in the last couple of years. And while this may represent a stupendous value compared to the rest of the market, we didn't buy it simply because we could sell it for a comparatively good price, we bought it because it's DELICIOUS! The vibrancy and intensity of flavor on the nose is out of control. The crystalline character is unmistakable, but please give this one some time as some air truly provides some incredible changes. The nose is all lemon oil and subtle oyster shell, yet something rich and creamy behind those classic Caol Ila notes. Bits of seaweed, hints of old leather, and camphor burning under the camping stove. The palate is straight up ashy, bold and textured, smoldering pipe tobacco with sweet lemon peel and juicy salted covered fruits pulling back the freshness as it coats the back of the throat. It's a great old sooty lemony beast. A true expression of Islay.
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Aurelien Verdet Hautes Côtes de Nuits "Les Prieure" Rouge
Review Date: 07-08-2017
Easy drinking and awesomely priced, the spectator review says tart, but at this point it's totally softened up. While it may be easy to appreciate it ain't simple by any means. Splendid dark wild fruits, Marasca cherry, forest notes, and spice. Medium bodied with very easy soft tannins that keep you grabbin' the glass. Another stellar value from Verdet that's likely to have the most universal appeal in the batch.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99

2015 Domaine Jean-Michel Giboulot Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-05-2017
The approachable Giboulot wines are the perfect cross over producer. Approachable and affordable aren't typical descriptors for Burgundy. Yet, the entry level Bourgogne is easy and open without feeling to modern or overly extracted. Vibrant red fruit, hibiscus extract and subtle a minerality remind us that it's Burgundy! Great medium body structure keeps this one interesting and the acidity is well integrated so we're not on this laser-beam style we get sometimes with the inexpensive burgs. All in all this is a great value not just for red burgundy but one of the best Pinot values in the store.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

Hochstadter's Family Reserve 16 Year Old Kentucky Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-05-2017
Everyone in the bourbon world always talks about the golden age of whiskey being behind us. "Remember when we could walk into the store and get Pappy Rye for $90 all day long?" Actually that era never existed, but although things have changed, if you do your homework you can still pick up gems like this one. What we have is a world class fully mature rye whiskey bottled a full strength in a tiny batch and its absolutely stunning! Sure it's from Canada, but if you need to relinquish your biases to appreciate one of the best Rye whiskey we've ever had on the shelf than modern decency OBLIGATES us to do so! Bold, rich textured, spicy and unmatched by any other product on the shelf right. The world about lost it's mind for Booker's 13 Year Rye at $300 and in my estimation this is twice the whiskey that ever was. I wouldn't have been surprised if they'd asked $400 for this bad boy. Yes it's still not cheap, but if this isn't the deal of the year then I'm going to be buying lots more whiskey this year!!!
Price: $189.99 Add To Cart

Wild Turkey "Master's Keep - Decades" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-05-2017
The Wild Turkey Decades is distinct from your every day Wild Turkey as it contains nearly two decades of production. The concept actually seems crazy considering how much old whiskey is actually in this blend (it's likely 90%+ 15 years old) but the inclusion of both the very old 20 year and the standard 10 year add some incredible edges to the exquisite center. Expect powerful WT spice on the nose pointed with sweet burnt sugars, cedar, spearmint, cocoa and blackberry jam. The old whiskey comes forward on the palate allowing some of those mahogany and roasted walnut flavors out from behind the bold spice and sweet oak. The finish is long a pleasing, leaving you with just the right amount of Tellicherry pepper to balance the sweet fruit. For sales purposes I wish I could say this is 100% over 15 years old, but honestly the balance between young and old does wonders here and I'm certain that it would be a lesser whiskey without the inclusion of the powerful young WT.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart
WA 93

VING "KLC" Kale, Lemon Peel, & Cucumber Infused Organic Farm Fresh Vodka (750ml)
Review Date: 06-30-2017
When Flo Vinger came into my shop to tell me that she'd been making kale vodka in her bathtub, I honestly thought it was a joke. But, when she produced a shimmering elixir moments later I was astounded. It was totally wild unlike any other I'd come across previously. And of course it wasn't just KALE because kale just doesn't taste very good. But you slice some cucumber and a squeeze of lemon and we're in business. Industry skeptics and geeks will likely scoff, but in the end Ms Vinger has produced something total unique with an integrity rarely seen in the vodka category. She cares about her product more than anything else in the entire world and she's spent four long years perfecting it. Now anyone can experience the world's first KALE vodka for themselves. While it's stupendous cold or on the rocks, ultra easy and approachable, where this stuff really sings is in the cocktails. Adding subtle nuance and structure to what would otherwise be a neutral base does wonders in the classics, but also lends itself to experimentation.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Black Cow Vodka (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
What is this sorcery? Made from 100% West Dorset milk? Nothing else. How can it be? It's just impossible. But nonetheless here we are. Pure Milk vodka. And it's delicious! Soft, supple, slightly sweet and creamy. This stuff is textured and nuanced in the perfect way. Understated yet still distinctive somehow. Distiller and dairy farmer Jason Barber came up with the plan to utilize leftover whey from his cheese making operation. This is fermented into a wheat beer and distilled before being blended (with what I can only assume is more milk) and filtered to create the utterly (sorry) unique spirit. Keep an eye out for the Black Cow Deluxe Cheddar which is also made by Mr. Barber. Should pair perfectly!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Tequila Fortaleza Reposado Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
I go on and on about how much I like Fortaleza. They're the most authentic. No one else comes close. Most of the rest of the agave in Mexico is wasted on crap industrial production. blah blah blah...While all these things are true that's not what matters most. What matters about Fortaleza is that it's absolutely delicious. The Reposado is often the one I find myself reaching for. Their repo is the perfect balance between the gorgeous and complex agave spirit that they produce and the oxidative complexity of barrel aging in the hot Jalisco climate. The perfect showcase for this juxtaposition. But regardless of any intellectual exercise, it just tastes utterly delicious. Soft barrel influence envelopes the gorgeous peppery fruit and floral components of the spirits. Nuanced spice and touches of smoky barrel. Very few come close indeed.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Tequila Fortaleza Anejo Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
I often catch myself waxing poetic about Fortaleza. How it's the most authentic and old school. How they went back when everyone else was moving forward. How their tequila represents the true soul of Jalisco and makes their competitors look kind of stupid. Of course there are other great distilleries in Jalisco, but none is more committed to producing exclusively old school single estate real deal tequila. There base spirit is so good in fact that some aficionados look down on their exquisite anejo because it doesn't taste enough like the blanco. That said, taking this product out of that context reminds us how exceptional it really is. The quality of agave is matched perfectly by the quality of the oak and the confluence of those two flavors reminds us that great tequila doesn't have to be blanco! This delectable treat is all tropical fruit (coconuts, pineapple and passionfruit), butterscotch and subtle earthy pepper. A legend deserving of every accolade it's already received.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

Arette Artesanal Gran Clase Extra Anejo Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
The Arette Artesanal is the first Extra Anejo I really fell in love with. The Gran Clase Suave is one of the easiest to drink spirits in the store. Crème caramel, sweet tropical fruit and a smidge of peppery agave fruit found out this exceptional offering from one of Tequilas great distillers. I love the classic looking bottle, but very few extras match the balance and complexity without overpowering with sweet oak. There's no questions that El Llano distilleries commitment to quality remains second to none.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2013 Fuenteseca Huerta Singular "El Maguey" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Agave is the magical near mythical thing. No other product (save for the ultra expensive European Eau-de-Vie) can be superlatively good without any intervention or additions from the distiller. What other white spirit with no flavorings or additives is as delicious or complex? A challenge you to find my anything comparable. And within that frame work no product exhibits more purity and expressiveness of terroir than this incredible single field tequila. Rested for several years before bottling, the result is an absolutely unparalleled experience, which extorts the senses and boggles the mind. I'm not going to bother trying to describe how this tastes, but if you love spirits and don't own a bottle you will eventually regret it.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Mezcal Vago "Tio Rey" Espadin En Barro Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
This is the real deal clay pot distilled mescal. Tio Rey does it again with this stupendous oily unctuous funky style. Sweet agave fruit dense mesquite smoke and tons of vegetal earthiness. An absolute pleasure to drink although it can kind of take over you night/life if you're not careful.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2000 El Jolgorio "Vintage" Espadin Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
I don't know what it is about aging mezcal in glass, but this is the second vintage espadin we've had and it's easily my new favorite spirit in the store. The nose is ultra complex showing tons of agave, deep pepper, gusano salt, but none of the bold carbonized smoke that mezcal drinkers are likely used. Instead expect a heady blend of smoked citrus peel, mesquite embers and earthy fruit. The palate is shockingly soft and filled with agave fruit, pointed by black pepper, roasted nuts, lemon and more salt. Very few spirits achieve this kind of complexity, while remaining so inviting and almost NONE that have not been aged in oak or otherwise rectified by the producer.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

1974 L'Encantada 42 Year Old "Le Sablé" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Wow this stuff is good. We're so lucky to be bringing these Encantadas in and the brand is just on fire. This wonderful estate only produced a tiny amount of brandy nearly 40 years ago. This is the most classic of ultra aged Armagnac. The nose is all dried apricots, prunes, five spice heavy on the cinnamon a subtle smoky woodsy note. The palate is unctuous but not syrupy. The exotic woods take over with a building spice. There's a huge contrast to the sweetness of the nose as the pepper and spice builds on the finish. Dark, dry, long with a gravelly note that picks up at the end. It's not a sweet one for sure. A truly tremendous example of what happens to Armagnac unattended to after 4 decades.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

1999 Thierry Darrimajou "Domaine du Berdet" 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
I'm totally in love with this gorgeous vintage from the new Domaine du Berdet. Like all Thierry's armagnacs this is distilled from 100% baco, but it's not as soft and supple as the 1999. Instead expect bigger notes of fresh oak spice, fresh earth, dried fruit, exotic wood and a sweet burnt sugar finish. This one might for the bourbon drinkers thanks to the notes of vanilla, varnish, caramel and sweet fruit. The long spicy finish is drier than the 1999 and really highlights the vanilla extract notes from the nose. Another rockin' price as well.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

1995 Thierry Darrimajou "Domaine du Berdet" 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
When I first arrived at Domain du Berdet a didn't expect to meet one of the most forward thinking producers of Armagnac. Theirry Darrimajou is a farmer, winemaker, and eleveur of Armagnac, but he has a vision for the future like no other producer in Gascogne. He envisions buses of tourists pulling up to his property and entertain them in his new clean and inviting tasting room/warehouse. IN order to keep the authentic aging environment, his warehouse is open ground with a drip irrigation system installed in the ground to keep the humidity at the correct level. The whole thing is unseen beneath a layer of gleaming white stones. Thierry spares no expense in the cellar, springing for new oak for every vintage and aerating the brandies several times a year to soften the strong esters. The baco here is very delicate on the sandy calcareous soils and the resulting spirit is one of the finest and most supple we've come across. Thierry adds a tiny splash of water every time he aerates believing that reduction at bottling time is sacrilege - I'm trying to convince him to leave them alone altogether, but that doesn't preclude this brandy from being exquisitely delicious. Big nose of dried plums and barrel spice. The palate nicely weighted without being overtly thick. Long and balanced on the finish. It's not one of these ultra funky armagnacs, but it might be the most inviting on the shelf and the price is unbeatable.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Highland Park "Valkyrie" Isle of Orkney Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-13-2017
I'm predisposed to dislike releases like this one. Fancy new bottle, danish design partnership, etc. But, as it turns out this is really well put together new product. An absolutely delicious example of why own floor maltings make better whisky and a reminder of why Highland Park remains one of the highest quality distilleries on the market. Today a tiny percentage of the whisky we drink is produced using barley that is malted at the same distillery. This age old practice of drying barley is extremely expensive and time consuming. Since 95% of all malt is used in blended whisky the cost and consistence advantages of using industrially malted barley are crucial to the success of that industry. But, what you gain in efficiency and consistency you may forfeit in complexity. With the new Valkyrie, they've taken the venerated malt dried with special Orkney peat and unleashed it's potential in a way unseen in modern bottlings of HP. The result is something extremely pleasurable. Matured in a combination of first-fill American oak sherry, bourbon, and Spanish oak sherry butts as well as a selection of refill casks, which regardless of the lack of age statement have been married to create one of the best malts for your dollar available in the store right now. That Orkney peat is so unique, much more underbrush and earthy campfire than the Islay salty brine and the cask selection for this one was clearly excellent. Big nose of sweet fruit, candied citrus, and smoldering chaparral. Creamy rich textured and balanced with the sweet American oak playing perfectly with the smooth smokiness of the Orkney peat. The finish is long and soft and satisfying. A truly fun and somewhat didactic offering that nearly any scotch lover will appreciate.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Damrak Amsterdam Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
DANG! I just couldn't believe it when the supplier dropped this CRAZY price on us. This is actually GOOD gin that should be much more expensive. It's higher proof super clean and zippy, but with the complexity of 17 botanicals. Very easy to appreciate and even easier to afford!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2015 Domaine Les Pins "Les Rochettes" Bourgueil
Review Date: 05-31-2017
This gorgeous example of cab franc is the perfect introduction to this special grape. The varietal is so often neglected, although a darling of the serious nerds, it rubs so many people the wrong way. Here we have this incredible vibrant example of the special grape of the right bank in it's most approachable yet authentic expression. Vibrant earthy red fruit and only the slightest hint of greenness followed by a lovely lifted medium body. Perfect red to have around as summer bbq season starts to heat up.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

Amaro Angeleno (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Angeleno is the hotness right now. It's not your grandma's amaro though so don't expect the sweet easy richness of Averna or the mellow bitter qualities of Nonino. Instead, the boys at Angeleno have created something distinctly Californian, not in the mold of any Italian Amaro, but with a great respect for those venerable products. The secret recipe includes locally sourced fresh and dried botanicals, many hand picked at a local farm. The base spirit is distilled from Pinot Grigio and a multi-step maceration and blending process before filtration and resting. The unusual concoction has a huge orange element, pointed with powerful herbal aromas, in particular chamomile and gentian. On the palate it starts a bit vinous and zippy sweet before the bitter orange peel and gentian peel pull it back. As you sip the bitterness builds. Very effective as a digestive, but works wonders in aperitif, as Spritz or even can sub-out orange liqueur or Lillet when you want to dry up or spice up a classic recipe. This is a modern classic in every sense of the word and will likely be everywhere before you know it.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

High West Campfire Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
I'm not usually one for oddness for oddness' sake. It strikes me as a waste of time. So if you're going to do something different or new it had better taste goddamned delicious. Luckily our dear friend Mr. Perkins up there in Park City has got his big boy pants on. So this odd blend of American Whiskey and Scotch is actually extremely satisfying. It's smoldering and complex. Vibrant and well integrated. The nose is sweet caramel, dry spice and smoldering smoky peat. On the palate it's definitely on the bourbony side, long and mellow, with the malt peaking out and building in the background. A great drink for any whiskey/whisky lover.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

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