Staff Favorites - David Othenin-Girard

David Othenin-Girard
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Nikka Coffey Still Japanese Grain Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-26-2015
Nobody expected this goofy little whisky to explode the way it has. It's odd, but so inviting and unpretentious. Sure it's column distilled, but that doesn't mean it's any less flavorful than it's malted potstilled brothers. Just different. Candied melon, sweet oak, fresh sawdust, and peanuts. Medium bodied, with a pointed finish that really turns up the oak. Not only is this awesome Japanese (distinctly Japanese) Whisky, but it's also available and relatively affordable. Can't say that about many products out there right now. Get it, drink it, love it, repeat.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WA 92 WE 90

Macallan 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-26-2015
Often dubbed the "Royals Royce of Single Malt," the Macallan distillery continues to have one of the best reputations in the business. Of course with Scotch, a good reputation always equals a higher price! However, over the last several years as Macallan's competitors have chipped away at this behemoth of a brand, the lowly 12 year old hasn't really increased much in price. That means we're getting 100% sherry 12 year old whisky for Speyside's best regarded distillery for only $50. Is Macallan a value brand again? We see people selling young sherried malts of lesser quality for much much more than this. And it's taste good too.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Angel's Envy 86 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-26-2015
So what happens when one of Kentucky's most respected distillers source ultra high quality bourbon and finishes it in sweet Port wine casks, the bourbocalypse? Perhaps. But what's really going on here is one of the most successful examples of the potential of wine finishing in modern whiskey. Be it the Henderson's deft palate or their monumental experience - the Angel's Envy is unquestionably a sensation. Easy enough for you mom to love it, yet NOT boring in the slightest. The flavor profile is never dominated by the port, so it still tastes like bourbon, put the sweet rich flavors are there to enhance and envelop the already wonderful profile of the bourbon. The late Lincoln Henderson was clearly a genius and we know his legacy will be well looked after by the brands current custodians.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart
WE 98 WA 93

Dudognon Heritage 40 year Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 05-26-2015
For all the stuff I say about Dudognon being the highest quality cognac house, it's not until you taste the big boy Heritage that you truly begin to understand why they're so special. At 40 years, we're beginning to see the real full potential of these stupendous EDVs. Ultra decadent while never cloying, the Heritage has everything that the big house brands strive for in their ultra-premium offerings at 10 times the price. Only this one is made without a single additive. They've achieved such incredible depth and balance it's almost hard to believe this isn't much more expensive. Yet here we are.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

Dudognon "Vielle Reserve" Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 05-26-2015
Somethings in the world our are subjective. Other things are not. For instance, I can unequivocally that Dudognon is the most open, transparent, and honest producer in Cognac. They have some of the best terroir and use only the highest quality wood (100% of their cognac sees at least 1 year in new oak). They are the only producer who I can honestly tell you have not utilized additives in their cognac in any way. All of these things come together to make me say highly subjective things like, "Dudognon is the best producer in Cognac!" One might quibble with the details, but what is clear is that Dudognon makes their brandy like no one else in the region. Absolutely the purest expression of terroir with nothing in the way. The real complexity starts to show when their brandies at the Vieille Reserve level (20 years). Always drier than most people are used to with cognac, Dudognon's house style is this wonderful tension between freshness and age. Always keeping you guessing, this is the superlative product for the price point, a base from which I believe all others should be judged.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Glenfarclas 25 Year Old Distillery Bottling Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-26-2015
It's still astonishing that this whisky is on the shelf for $150. Just absolutely flabbergasted by the continued price/quality ratio here, even while their competitors are raising prices every quarter. Glenfarclas is of course one of my favorite distilleries, not only because it's producing some of the most consistent and delicious malt in Scotland, but also because of the magnanimous family that's owner is for centuries - The Grants. The 25 year is the Grant's flagship product, often compared to their neighbors the Macallan, but truly in a class of it's own. While 'Farclas has a great amount of Sherry butts in this blend, unlike the Macallan, their not married to only using that type of cask. The result is something that is big and bold enough for a Mac drinker to appreciate, but with a subtle complexity that the most discerning palates could spend hours analyzing. And then there's is the price. Not even Scotland' WORST distilleries sell their 25 year old for anywhere close to this bad boy. This is unequivocally the best value in mature Scotch...maybe ever.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Benromach 10 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-26-2015
This is the stupendous new presentation of the well regarded distillery owned by Gordon & Macphail. G&M have established BenRomach as one of the most consistent and high quality Speyside malts on the market today since they purchased the distiller in 1992. Recent package changes have pushed the price up, but we're in the business of keeping our prices low, so this final batch of 100 bottles will be the last at this ridiculously low price. Expect an increase of as much as $15 when this stock is gone.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

Mezcal Amaras Espadin (750ml)
Review Date: 05-19-2015
This magnificent new Mezcal has been the darling of the Mexican mezcal revolution in the DF for a little while. It's definitely one of the categories most overtly palatable products, showing distinct character but with an openness that's rare in the category. 98 points from the well respect Ultimate Spirits Challenge, garnering them the Chairman's Trophy as well as the Great Value Seal. A tremendous product by any measure.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Glengoyne 21 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-30-2015
This is a ridiculous value. I'm pretty sure they hate us at GG for stocking the 21 year at this ridiculous price, but who can blame me! This stuff goes regularly for upwards of $170 and it's totally worth that, but since we can we do. This whisky is exclusively aged in sherry casks and although it doesn't have quite the sherry intensity of the Mac 18 or the high-end 'Dronach, it makes for a magnificent replacement when things are a little bit tight.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

Green Spot Single Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-30-2015
Green Spot has been the holy grail of Irish Whiskey since my start in this business nearly 10 years ago. I remember a famous restaurant in Los Angeles used to display a bottle on the bar (smuggled illegally) but refuse to pour it unless you owned the place. When I finally convinced them to let me taste, I finally understood why everybody made such a big deal out of it. The legacy of the prominent Dublin wine merchant, Mitchell & Sons, who'd matured and bottled those original stocks of sherry cask pure pot still whiskey, is solidly considered one of the world's great whiskies. Today it's aged at Midleton to a specific recipe, from one of the distillery's three pure pot still recipes. This is not a smack-you-in-the-mouth powerful whiskey like the Red Breast cask strength. Instead, it's supple and soft and drinks like a dream. This is probably why Irish Whiskey was the best selling whiskey before Prohibition and they responded to the popularity of blended Scotch with consolidation and the creation of blended Irish, a style Irish distillers had resisted until the 1970s. We bought all we could get and have no clue when we'll be getting more.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Ardbeg 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-30-2015
The south side of Islay is filled with magical places and none more so than the little inlet just beyond Lagavulin Bay. Ardbeg has been the darling of whisky geeks and professional drinkers for many years now, but the most astonishing thing about it is that we've keep the price low. Every other brand sees an explosion and works quickly to get their prices up. Ardbeg, however, have worked closely with us to keep their products affordable despite an incredible increase in popularity. Only the Laphroaig 10 year rivals this whisky for affordable heavily peated single malt and while Ardbeg doesn't match Laphroaig for power and intensity, it does deliver an absolutely unique and altogether elegant version of the typical south shore profile (i.e. SMOKE). This is the perfect whisky to cut your smoke tooth on and should be a staple in any serious drinkers repertoire.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
WA 93 WE 90

Louis XIII de Remy Martin Grande Champagne Cognac 750ml
Review Date: 03-25-2015
Louis XIII is all about history and authenticity. It's absolutely silly the time and expertise that goes into creating this special blend. It's the ultimate luxury experience and a window into the History of Cognac. This special cognac represents a continuity between the first bottling many decades ago. Want to actually taste the cognac that Charles De Gaul opened at the end of WWII - this is the stuff. With a minimum age of 40 years, none of the 4 master blenders has actually tasted their final blend, but they have compared them to older bottlings to make sure that the quality remains identical through out each bottling. The gorgeous hand blown crystal just adds to the majesty. Truly decadent and totally worth every penny.
Price: $2,999.99 Add To Cart
WE 90 - 95

1792 Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 02-19-2015
We do love Barton/1792. Always so soft, so easy going. The distillery is tucked down in this gorgeous little valley, so that the stacks stick up as you drive in before you can actually see the distillery. Feels like the perfect place to hide your still. One of the last great Bardstown operations, this stuff is always a solid choice when you want something easy, but interesting. It's kind of Like Woodford Reserve 10 years ago--nobody has caught on yet!
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

Anchor "Junipero" Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 02-18-2015
Junipero has become the iconic gin of both craft distillation and California. That stark understated label does not prepare you for the bold bouquet of aromas in the glass. Bright and crystal clear, the flavors are extremely well delineated as well. I love this with tonic, but when I want a martini that’s going to make me stand up, this is usually what I reach for.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Whistle Pig 10 Year Old Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-17-2015
Whistle Pig has become an industry leader in the rye resurgence. Maybe the first distillery to release a Canadian Straight Rye as a craft style brand. Now they're growing rye, having it contract distilled, and stocking their warehouses with farm to barrel rye whiskey of the highest order. Why they don't highlight how and where they get this wonderful whiskey is their marketing departments problem. My main concern is how it tastes. Brimming with rye spice, the 100 proof WP always keeps you on your toes. Not soft or overly sweet, it's one of these that really hits the balance between intensity of flavor and textural complexity. The overlying theme is bold dry rye flavors. Behind the earthy rye, some sweet floral and exotic herbal tones. A great example of why Canada (via Vermont?) is still the Rye capital of the Whisk(e)y world.
Price: $71.99 Add To Cart
WE 96

Alexandre Le Brun "Passion" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-11-2015
Le Brun is like one of these culty type producers. He's one of these guys that treats his vines like his children. Probably reads them a story each night before bed and it shows. His entry-level wines are good, but once you cross the threshold into his upper level, it's a whole different story. Elegance like a Hepburn, depth like Death Valley, everything on this wine is firing on all cylinders. What a fabulous expression and proof positive that Le Brun is one of Champagne's most exciting producers.
Price: Hidden View Price

Michel Couvreur "Peaty Overaged" K&L Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-14-2014
The magnificence that is Michel Couvreur has always been clear, but it wasn't until we stepped into the special cave, carved out of the rock, in Bouze-Les-Beaune that you can full appreciate the incredible endeavor in process at this fine producer. While this is by definition NOT scotch, because it is aged outside of the country, the old school practices utilized at here are unusual back in Scotland. The fact that these guys literally drive to Jerez to pick out fresh sherry casks (from Equipos Navazos no less) is totally unique in modern times. In fact, no producer of malt whisky is getting access to fresher barrels than these guys. Despite not being able to use the famous moniker, does not preclude this from being one of the most authentic and absolutely delicious malts on the market. Stupendous depth and complexity even at 86 proof, while the sherry is toned down from the standard version a subtle fino/amontillado quality exists in the back ground. This is pointed by a fabulous smokey sweetness, which hints at the source whisky. Maybe an island somewhere, maybe a drop of Islay, wildly high-quality Highland whisky with a French sensibility. A truly unique gem.
Price: $79.99 Add To Waiting List

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-25-2014
Gwah?!? $24 champagne that taste great! The French must be pissed. Fruit tart candies, slight brioche,leesy on the palate are evident, but not cheesy. Wonderful texture and great freshness. An inexpensive champagne with a wonderful personality.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JG 90

Michel Arnould Verzenay Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-25-2014
This lovely dry extra brut is perfect for ringing in the Spring. The minerality is bracing and magnificent. Lot's of white berries and chalk. Surprising balance despite the overt dryness.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

123 Tequila "Tres" 100% Organic Anejo Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 09-05-2012
The use of first fill white oak barrels is notable as we don't have any sense of over charred barrel or "whiskiness" that some others have. The anejo's 1 year significantly softens the lowland bite of this great product adding rich sweet vanilla tones, while remaining unobtrusive. A fine product.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

123 Tequila "Dos" 100% Organic Reposado Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 09-05-2012
The 123 Repo adds a hint of Oak Spice to the already lovely blanco. Very subtle use of oak doesn't over sweeten or overpower the character of the distillate.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

123 Tequila "Uno" 100% Organic Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 09-05-2012
A classic lowland tequila made in a sustainable way, this shows plenty of the rich earthy spice that you'd expect from a lowland, but balanced with plenty of fruit. Plus it's ORGANIC!
Price: $42.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-02-2012
Wow what complexity for $35. The nose is nutty toasty rich with some hints of pumpkin seed and spice. Strong smashed apple and fabulous lift. Totally on point for the price.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Clear Creek Cranberry Liqueur (750ml)
Review Date: 09-12-2011
McCarthy's is known world wide for being one of America's finest craft distillery. His forte is fruit based liqueurs and he's been able to successfully compete with French producers with significantly more capital and about 200 hundred more years of experience. The Cranberry liqueur proves that Steve is also one of the most innovative producers of liqueurs around. His skill and commitment to quality is truly on show here, as he develops a perfectly balanced and incredibly complex liqueur from these angry little cranberries.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Combier Liqueur D' Orange Triple Sec
Review Date: 08-28-2011
I'm picky about my triple sec. Most people look at triple sec like a filler, something that doesn't really have to be of the highest quality. I say to them, "look again!" Trying triple sec of varying quality side by side will immediately tell you that this assumption is flawed. Combier is one of the finest triple sec available and should be considered as such. This makes every difference in your drink so don't skimp.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

El Dorado 12 Year Old Demerara Guyana Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 08-28-2011
An incredible example of why the El Dorado Rum should be considered some of the world's finest. From a famous rum producing nation, Guyana, Demerara Distillers Ltd is the last functioning distillery in this Caribbean jungle nation. Using some of the world's oldest stills, DDL has been able to continue Guyana's legacy of producing the finest rums. Every offering from El Dorado is strikingly different, but the 12 year stands alone in terms of bang for your buck. This is a blend of 4 rums from 4 different types of still and represents the old style Guyana rum. Delicious!
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

Barbancourt 5 Star 8 Year Old Haitian Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 08-28-2011
Haiti's largest export is rhum. Barbancourt is essentially the ONLY rhum being exported from the troubled island nation. It is a testament to their commitment to quality. Made in a very similar style to the AOC rums of it's neighbors Martinique and Guadeloupe, Barbancourt 5 Star is one of my favorites. Fresh and light on its feet, you have all the intensity of a great Agricole rhum without the funky undertones. One of the best values in the store.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Distilleries et Domaines de Provence Farigoule de Thyme (375ml)
Review Date: 08-28-2011
This silly little product sounds like a bad idea, but it's turns out to be a really really good one. Powerful and intense, the Farigoule is like taking trip to Provence without the jet-lag. The thyme is evident, but as you explore it more you can tease out a great deal of interesting garrigue aromas. Needs a bit of an experts touch for mixing, but well worth it.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

La Cigarrera Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda (375ml)
Review Date: 08-28-2011
Gwah! Great Manzanilla for nothing at all. If you don't like sherry then we can't be friends, but if you at least try this bottle I'll forgive you forever. An accurate example of this stupendous style of sherry. Intense and nutty, very very rich with a racy balancing acidity. This is what I LIKE!!!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Louis Roque Vieille Prune (750ml)
Review Date: 08-28-2011
I'm smitten with this fun little spirit from the north eastern part of the French Southwest. This plum brandy is one of the easiest to appreciate, but will impress even the most jaded brandy lover. Forward sweet oak proceeds and incredibly deep fruitiness. No heat on the palate, the powerful fruit feels like its been sweetened, but it's in fact very dry.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Del Maguey Tobala Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 08-28-2011
My favorite mezcal at any price, the Tobala is an incredibly rare agave the grows only in the shaded areas of the Oaxacan highlands. This producer is known to use tropical fruit in addition to agave to get the right balance for this spice fruit forward Mezcal.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

Antech Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
Review Date: 03-09-2011
Meaty, beefy, austere, intense. Weird, but fun! GEEKS only.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Sorelle Bronca Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry
Review Date: 03-09-2011
A stupendous effort from one of our favorite producers of prosecco. The nose is intense blooming white flower with a touch of citrus peel. The palate brings out tropical fruit, candied citrus, passion fruit. Touch of ripe sweetness balances the raciness perfectly.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 90 W&S 90

2005 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 03-09-2011
Needs a little time, but classic Poggiarellino with nothing held back. Stinky forest floor, exotic wood, barnyard, ripe fruit, strong yet balanced tannin. For the most adventurous out there, due to the brett element, but perfect for those looking for an old school Brunello.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Maraska Maraschino Liqueur (750ml)
Review Date: 07-05-2009
This is a great little product coming out of Croatia that several in-the-know mixologists insist on having. Specifically, it posseses a touch more sweetness than its Italian counterpart, Luxardo (also extremely delicious), so you can afford to leave out some sugar in your Aviation or other Maraschino cocktail.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart

Rowan's Creek Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 08-22-2008
Incredibly balanced, its zesty aromatics feature some surprising honeysuckle and jasmine notes. The mouthfeel is supple but not thick; there’s also a subdued sweetness with just a touch of pepper and no detectable heat. Attractively packaged and reasonably priced, something this good can’t last forever.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Lillet Blanc (750ml)
Review Date: 07-18-2008
This white wine-based aperitif was created in 1887 in Bordeaux and originally had a high quinine content (presumably to treat malaria). Quinine is synthesized from the Kina-Kina tree, hence the drink’s original name: Kina Lillet. The original recipe was made famous by Ian Fleming in Casino Royal as a key component in the infamous “James Bond Martini.” This blend of fruit liqueurs and fortified wine was originally marketed as a tonic of great medicinal quality. These days there’s a new, friendlier Lillet with less quinine and it still lends itself to making cocktails, like the famous Edith’s Fizz.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur (750ml)
Review Date: 06-18-2008
A first-of-its-kind elderflower liqueur. Wild alpine blossoms are hand-harvested and macerated. Then, through a proprietary fermentation/distillation process the delicate aromatics are released from this wonderful gem, which has a supple but never syrupy texture.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
WE 96 - 100

Domaine de Canton Ginger & Cognac Liqueur (750ml)
Review Date: 06-18-2008
Popular with the French since colonial times, this Ginger Cognac Liqueur melds the subtle heat of baby Vietnamese ginger root with the depth of flavor of Grand Champagne Cognac. The addition of spices, honey, and Tunisian ginseng make for a magnificently complex handmade elixir without preservatives or colorants.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

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Laphroaig 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($39.99)

Ardbeg "Uigeadail" Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($55.99)

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St. George Spirits Absinthe Verte (750ml) ($59.99)

Ocho Plata Tequila (750ml) ($38.99)

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Rhum JM Vieux Agricole VSOP Martinique (750ml) ($44.99)

Old Weller "Antique" 107 Proof Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) (1 bottle limit) ($27.99)

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1995 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac ($189.99)