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Back in the 1970's we went by the name "K&L Liquors" and while some things have changed, our dedication to bringing you the finest spirits remains the same. We have the familiar names at great prices, but do yourself a favor and try some of the interesting and unique top picks we've located. Inventory listings are updated in real time. Find out why Time Magazine said we provide "good value and selection."
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K&L Staff Recommendations
90-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Best Buy** Soy sauce, olive brine, peat, honey, oloroso Sherry, brewer’s yeast, bread dough, barley malt and cigar smoke in the bouquet. The flavor that magically includes the innate intense peatiness of Islay malts and the masterly employment of oak barrels phase defines “classy Islay.” Concludes sweetly, without sacrificing the tangy, astringent peatiness that is inherent. Gorgeous." (4/2004) 94 points Whisky Advocate: "An old classic, but how do the newest bottlings fare? Rich, chewy, slightly oily texture. Deep peat, thick smoke, iodine, brine, charcoal, seaweed, tea (Earl Gr ...Read More »
On the strength of the previously popular young, peated whiskies we've been importing, we went back to the well again this year. This time, however, we asked the folks from Hepburn if they had any of that same fiery Caol Ila aged in sherry cask. Luckily they did and it's that little highlight of sweetness that makes all the difference between this year's selection and older editions. The classic elements of Islay are at play, of course: smoke, peat, earth and sea salt, but they're accented by a richness from the sherry. There's a nice little coating of c... Read More »
Indian spices meet lemon and raspberry in this soft and supple gin that combines 19 different botanicals into the smoothest gin yet in the label’s short history. St. George distiller Dave Smith worked with our spirits buyer David Driscoll to create the ideal gin and tonic gin: packed with enough aromatics to handle the tonic, but with accents of fresh fruit and coriander to add an extra dash of intrigue. The mouthfeel is soft and round, creating an incredibly delicate texture on the palate that forces you to consider whether you even need ice or tonic wa... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Vibrant gold with orange highlights, fruity scent of apples and pears plus a whiff of vanilla. Soft, velvety feel. This is a pleasant and drinkable Scotch, but the flavors are relatively muted. It mixes well with other flavors, making it a good contender for cocktails. Good value." (12/2011) Whisky Advocate: "As with the ‘Fiddich (reviewed in this issue), here’s a malt where an improved wood policy has brought a dram to life and added complexity. The Glenlivet has always been about lightness, but the trick is to have sufficient solid base to allow its flower to blossom, so ...Read More »
While Bowmore seems to play second (or even fourth) fiddle to the Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig selections on our shelf, we've always been enamored with Islay's most historic distillery. We've never let popular whisky culture or changes in the portfolio diminish the fact that Bowmore tastes pretty damn good in a number of iterations. While tasting through single-cask selections this year, we found a 14-year-old sherry butt that was so dark and so soft we couldn't pass it up. The best part about this particular expression was the texture; it mirrored th... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "**Best Buy** Lush and rich, this honeyed whisky is loaded with dense notes of creamy custard and tropical fruit, finishing with a flourish of baking spice." (12/2013) K&L Notes: Gold Medal winner in the 2007 International Wine & Spirit Competition. The Glenfiddich 12 Year is distinctively fresh and fruity with a hint of pear on the nose. The palate for this single malt is characteristically sweet, with undertones of butterscotch, cream, malt and a hint of oak. It finishes long, smooth and mellow. See for yourself why this is one of the world's most popular single ma... Read More »
90-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Superb/Highly Recommended* Sophisticated and delightful aromas of tangerine and rhubarb. The palate entry is delightfully citrusy and sweet; the midpalate phase offers just enough herbal bitterness to balance. Ends up refreshing, orangey sweet and delectably herbal. This deserves to become a popular pre-dinner quaff." (8/2007) K&L Notes: Aperol's unique flavor and color is achieved through a subtle blend of bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb and an array of herbs and roots--using a secret recipe that has been unchanged since its first creation in 1919. Try the classic ... Read More »
From the distillery of Enrique Fonseca, the man behind the legendary K&L Fuenteseca, comes this value-priced label of liter-sized tequila that seems almost too good to be true. I'm willing to bet we'll have a problem selling the Cimarron selections, rather than the ridiculous success we should experience, simply because people will wonder why it's so cheap? Don't let the price tag sway you, however -- this is clean, fresh, easy-drinking tequila made from 100% agave that is definitely up to Enrique's high standards. This blanco is cleaner and lighter than... Read More »
95 points Whisky Advocate: "With the Ardbeg 17 year old off the market, it's nice to see a new Ardbeg in the line-up. Uigeadail costs about the same as the Ardbeg 17 did but, with Uigeadail, you're getting a much more interesting whisky. Uigeadail consists of a marriage of younger whisky (from 1990 and 1993) with much older whisky matured in sherry casks. The marriage works exceptionally well, with the younger whiskies providing the classic Ardbeg intensity many of us have come to expect, while the older whiskies contribute depth, maturity, and complexity. And bottling the whisky a ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Silky and downright succulent, this Scotch is made with two types of oak casks—as the DoubleWood name suggests—but it’s really all about the influence of the ex-Sherry cask. Aromas suggest golden raisins and dried apricots. The silky palate starts out moderately smoky, but glides into a richer, honeyed, nutty profile that finishes with cocoa and clove accents." (12/2015) K&L Notes: "The Balvenie Doublewood Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a 12-year-old single malt which gains its distinctive character from being matured in two woods. During its period of maturation, the ... Read More »
90-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "The initial aroma is sweetish, winey and oaky; aeration allows the aroma to expand to include marzipan, treacle, molasses, honey, vanilla bean, cinnamon and cocoa butter. The palate entry is sweet, creamy and assertive; at midpalate the flavor becomes intensely nutty, buttery and bacon fat-like, with the beginnings of rancio. Remains one of Speyside's standard-bearer 12 year olds." (4/2008) K&L Notes: In his book, Kindred Spirits, international Whisky authority Paul Pacult describes The Macallan 12 as "simply the best 12 Year Old single malt around," and we wholehear... Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "This dark, mysterious vermouth is rich, complex and layered, boasting aromas of mint and other herbs, plums and figs, reminscent of Madeira. The rich flavors are hard to pin down: cocoa, red wine, almonds, bitter marmelade, hints of spice and toffee all play across the palate, finishing with a bracing bitter edge. This delectable sweet vermouth would shine in a Manhattan." (2/2011) K&L Notes: Carpano's Antica Formula, from the original recipe developed by Antonio Benedetto Carpano in 1786, is a sweet vermouth of the highest quality. This distinctive and powerful arom... Read More »
We've been doing gin and single malt for years, and now rum, so why not throw our hat in the bourbon pool? One of the obstacles that kept us from making a Faultline bourbon earlier was availability: the current demand has made the extra barrel a thing of the past. One of the only distilleries that would sell us a cask for a private label was the old LDI distillery in Indiana, but with the already overcrowded LDI market (Bulleit Rye, Templeton Rye, High West, etc) we didn't think our product would be different enough, or of the quality we desired, for the... Read More »
90-95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Intensely woody aromas and succulent marshmallow, bakery and lanolin scents spring forth. The fat palate entry oozes butter cream, dark caramel, and brown sugar tastes; the midpalate focuses more on the grain aspect as the flavor becomes toasty, fruity and honeyed. Ends honey sweet, decadent and maple-like. An unbelievable bargain." (4/2007) K&L Notes: Named North American Whiskey of the Year at the 2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and Best Buy of the Year at the 2006 WhiskeyFest. Rye was the first Colonial American whiskey, and was the most popular spiri... Read More »
The newest incarnation of Suntory's hugely popular Hibiki series, this time without an age statement attached. The same soft, mellow, vanilla-laden flavor is still here, however. It's a true Harmony of pure Hibiki flavor.
While Bas-Armagnac gets all the press and the Haut-Armagnac gets completely ignored, the Tenareze region of Armagnac is quietly producing some of the best brandies in the world. Much like the Borderies region in Cognac, the Tenareze brandies seem to have more fruit and a bit more life than the more classic Armagnac style. Using only new or first-fill barrels for the beginning years of maturation, the Armagnacs have richness, weight, and spice. The 2001 vintage is going to be a bourbon-drinker's delight: there's a rich, round mouthfeel of charred oak and ... Read More »
The romantic story of Monkey 47 gin is as follows: in 1951, a British man named Montgomery Collins moved to Germany's Black Forest and opened a guesthouse named "Zum wilden Affen" -- the wild monkey. A renowned gin drinker, Collins' taste for the spirit was not particularly renowned until renovation work at the country guesthouse led to the discovery of a weighty old wooden box containing a bottle and a letter. The dusty bottle had been labeled and decorated by hand, showing a sketch of a monkey and the words "Max the Monkey - Schwarzwald Dry Gin" in bla... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* A good workhorse for all manner of cocktails, this bright amber Bourbon has a butterscotch aroma and oaky, relatively dry flavors that elongate into a rich caramel finish." (7/2013) 90 points Whisky Advocate: "Light bronze color. Thick, mature aromas, with notes of subtle spice (vanilla, mint), toffee, light molasses and leather. Adding a little water revealing notes of teaberry, anise, and dark candied fruit. Pleasantly sweet at first in flavor, with notes of brown sugar and spice (vanilla, mint), becoming dry with enveloping flavors of oak and leather. With a little wa ...Read More »
We firmly believe that Belvedere is one of the best vodkas in the business and at this price it's a steal. An award-winning hand-crafted Polish Vodka, made according to centuries-old traditional methods, this is 100% Polish rye, distilled 4 times and charcoal filtered. The illustration on the back depicts the Belvedere House, the Polish equivalent to the White House, the official residence of the Polish president in Warsaw. Additive-free and diluted with water from Belvedere's own artesian well. It exhibits delicate aromas and flavors, with hints of van... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* This amber whiskey is made with 95% rye, which puts it on the very high-rye side of the spectrum, and gives it a spicy zip. In some ways, this evokes an ultradry version of an orange liqueur, with juicy orange notes dusted with black pepper, clove, nutmeg and a faint hoppy note." (7/2012) Whisky Advocate: "No age statement, but it includes 4 to 7 year old whiskeys. The mashbill is 95% rye - much higher than most standard rye whiskeys out there. It’s brisk, vibrant, and loaded with spice (crisp mint, warming cinnamon, cocoa, hint of anise). Fruit - ripe nectarine ...Read More »
Whisky Advocate: "A much-beloved malt in the U.S. Some say it’s because it is easy to pronounce (though having said that, remember it’s ‘OH-bin’ and not ‘O’Bahn’). I’d prefer to think its popularity is because there is something about the fresh cleanliness of the nose, its orange oils, chocolate, and zesty-zingy and yes, occasionally salty spiciness that is instantly appealing. (Vol. 21, #2)" Wine Enthusiast: "The early aroma is a combination of malt, wood and sea breeze; the later bouquet is a deliciously harmonious, even creamy marriage of maritime atmosphere and malted barley. Palate entr ...Read More »
The pride of Australia is now available here at K&L! After sweeping Double Gold at the San Francisco Spirits competition and wowing serious fans of gin around the world, Four Pillars is bringing its incredible gins from down under to the U.S. Utilizing "four pillars" of success (quality German copper stills, pure Yarra Yarra Valley water, unique Australian botanicals, and love, of course), the team of Aussies has created what we think are the best portfolio of high-quality, serious gins we've ever tasted. The standard Rare Dry release takes a clean and p... Read More »
Nikka's Miyagikyo distillery is back on the market with a fantastic new offering that doesn't disclose the age, but has no problem disclosing serious flavor. The sherry integration of the whisky is utterly marvelous. It's clearly marked by classic notes of fudge, fruitcake, and toffee, but all three profiles are so harmonious and fluid that it's difficult to hold on to them for more than a second. Nikka's whiskies are always delicate and feminine in style, and this malt is no different. The beauty is what stuns you, rather than the power or the concentra... Read More »
92 points Whisky Advocate: "Amber with gold streaks. Its aroma and flavor is fresh, powerful, and medicinal, with notes of peat smoke, band-aids, tar, rich toffee, seaweed, and brine. Thick in body, with an almost molasses-like viscosity." Wine Enthusiast: "Aromas of new shoe leather, iodine, smoked trout, flowers, intense grain, soft cheese, peat-reek and dried seaweed. The palate entry is pleasantly smoky and grainy sweet; the midpalate flavors range from olive brine, seaweed, iodine, and wood smoke to baked pear, toffee and marshmallow. Concludes warm and toasty." (12/2007) K&L Notes: This 10 year old malt epit... Read More »
Ketel One is made in Holland. It is a family-owned business which has been carrying on the tradition of vodka-making for eleven generations. They report that the focus at Ketel One is quality, tradition and personal commitment to their customer. This shows in their vodka by offering only the heart of each distilate, tasted by a member of the family before it is released. One of the best Martini vodkas available.
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Top 50 Spirits of 2011* This dark, mysterious vermouth is rich, complex and layered, boasting aromas of mint and other herbs, plums and figs, reminiscent of Madeira. The rich flavors are hard to pin down: cocoa, red wine, almonds, bitter marmalade, hints of spice and toffee all play across the palate, finishing with a bracing bitter edge. This delectable sweet vermouth would shine in a Manhattan." (2/2011) K&L Notes: The world's most beloved sweet vermouth, now in a size that won't oxidize before you can finish the bottle! Hooray!
From the distillery of Enrique Fonseca, the man behind the legendary K&L Fuenteseca, comes this value-priced label of liter-sized tequila that seems almost too good to be true. I'm willing to bet we'll have a problem selling the Cimarron selections, rather than the ridiculous success we should experience, simply because people will wonder why it's so cheap? Don't let the price tag sway you, however -- this is clean, fresh, easy-drinking tequila made from 100% agave that is definitely up to Enrique's high standards. The reposado is mellow and soft on the ... Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Top 50 Spirits 2013 & Best Buy* Golden and bright, this straight bourbon whiskey is one of the most versatile around. Though it starts with a sweet flavor profile with hints of vanilla and cookie dough, it finishes supple and dry, with notes of leather, black tea and cinnamon. Bracing alcohol levels." (7/2013) Whisky Advocate: "Soft, elegant, and nicely rounded, with honeyed orchard fruit and gentle spice on a bed of vanilla and caramel. Very versatile; a pleasing, unchallenging bourbon to suit most moods and situations. I actually like it better than the new, older 10 ye ...Read More »
93 points Whisky Advocate: "Fresh, vibrant, and beautifully complex. A clean, malty foundation accentuated by bright complex fruit, delicate spice, dried flowers, and gentle honeyed vanilla notes that linger on the palate. This is a wonderful whisky which is very versatile, but I can only imagine what it would taste like at 46% and unchill-filtered like the wood finish expressions. (Vol. 17, #2) Reviewed by: John Hansell" 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Smooth and mellow, like nuts drizzled with honey or Bit O’Honey candy, with a light vanilla finish. Matured in Bourbon casks for 10 years." (12/2011) Wine Spectator: "Even without a ...Read More »
Nikka's latest release from Yoichi distillery no longer carries an age statement, but it does bring a classically Japanese whisky profile back to the market. All the delicacy, grace, and subtle complexity is alive and well in this release, buried deeply into a whisper of malt for those who take the time to let it be heard. The first sip is almost ghostly, but it's the second and third return that yield the slightest hint of peat smoke, the creamiest of malts, and the lovely roundness of sweet stonefruit. This is textbook Japanese whisky: a flavor reserve... Read More »
92 points Whisky Advocate: "Sweet, with subtle, crisp, nutty oak, then comes fudge, ripe banana, and peach. The overall effect is like eating vanilla ice cream with toffee fudge and hazelnut sprinkles. The structure is thick and physical, the palate sweet and quite fat, with light hints of raspberry, fruit salad. A jag of acidity freshens the delivery on the finish. With water there’s more toffee, and it becomes slightly more yielding, with less oak. For me the gold standard of grain. (Fall 2015) Reviewed by: Dave Broom." K&L Notes: Grain whisky is one of the least understood components of the ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "The nose offers wave after wave of botanical and floral perfumes, with the end bouquet focused on cucumber and spring garden floral scents. The palate entry is moderately oily, semisweet and gently herbal; the midpalate stays spirity, vegetal and earthy. The aftertaste features juniper with a dry and minerally undertaste." (11/2006) K&L Notes: We love this new gin coming from Scotland. This handcrafted gin has been infused with cucumber and rose petals. Very aromatic with a smooth sweet flavor and very long length. Try it over ice with thin slices of cucumber!
From St. George distillery: Terroir Gin is our ode to the wild beauty of the Golden State. Distiller Lance Winters has a passion for exploring place and memory through distillation, and the aromas of the coastal forests on California's Mount Tam were what inspired him to start making gin in the first place. Terroir Gin has an intense earthy, woodsy nose and flavor derived from Douglas fir, California bay laurel, and California coastal sage complemented by bright, citrusy top notes. This is a unique and proudly Californian gin with a sense of place and po... Read More »
So you've heard that Japanese whisky is quite popular these days. You're right; it is. But while the mainstream choice is always going to be Suntory, it's Nikka that is quietly bringing the goods to your local boutique retailer. Founded by Masataka Taketsuru in 1936, the Nikka whisky company is one of Japan's best kept secrets (at least with other Americans). Taketsuru studied whisky production in Scotland during the 1910s and brought that knowledge back to Nippon to make Scottish style whisky at home. Nikka's Pure Malt Taketsuru is a marriage of single... Read More »
Finally here! You've tasted the amazing Nikka Coffey GRAIN whisky, now see what happens when you run malted barley through a Coffey column still. The result is ethereal. It's like a butter biscuit in a glass with soft vanilla and cookie flavors. Truly special stuff while it lasts!
90 points Whisky Advocate: "Another that should need no introduction. The thing to look for in Talisker, as with all smoky whiskies, is sweetness that gives the requisite balance to the drying effect of smoke. Underneath Talisker’s smoke, which ain't as all-pervading as Lagavulin, is a sweet pear-like quality. When young there are notes of the land: heather, moor, sweet seaweed, and a finish that has a distinctive cracked black pepper hit. (Summer 2012)" Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* The piquant nose offers immediate and stunning notes of sea salt, peat reek and black pepper; aeration time encourages ...Read More »
While the proliferation of "new" bourbon brands continues, prescious few of these can actually claim a history in Kentucky distillation. The Medley Family is a real exception to the rule for a "non-distiller producer". With centuries of family history in the business and Charles Medley's decades of hands on experience at the Owensboro Distillery in northwestern Kentucky, Medley brands stand as a unique example of an old school contract distillery starkly different from the bulk brands on the market today. The Medleys are distilling royalty in Daviess Cou... Read More »
93 points Whisky Advocate: "Straw-gold color. On the nose, sweet toffee, citrus notes, seaweed, and spice complement a powerful peat smoke infusion. In body, it is thick and oily. On the palate, a somewhat sweet maltiness up front is run over by a powerful peat smoke locomotive. Again, the whisky is enriched with citrus and pear notes, spice, and seaweed. The finish is powerful, long, and warming. The smoke lingers for minutes, if not hours. Style: Islay single malt Scotch whisky... If you like your Ardbeg to go to a phenolic extreme, you will cherish this one. This big, powerful w ...Read More »
Almost 100% of Inchgower's single malt whisky production goes into Johnnie Walker and Bell's blended whiskies, so the chance to taste a single, unblended cask of the Speyside facility's whisky was something we were definitely interested in. This sherry-aged beast of a malt should attract the attention of Mortlach and Blair Athol fans who have feasted on the dark, dense, meaty flavors of heavily-sherried casks we've purchased in the past. The richness of the Oloroso density is buffered by a strong note of earthy, savory, almost sulfury intensity; a broodi... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Top 50 Spirits of 2011* A light, breezy apéritif for white wine lovers. This golden-orange liquid has a tart apple and citrus scent, with a touch of honeysuckle behind that, and a honeyed flavor with a dry, faintly spiced finish. Light-bodied and drinkable, made even more so with the the addition of lime juice and club soda. Pair with cheese or charcuterie." (2/2011)
Buffalo Trace was named Distiller of the Year by Whisky Magazine in 2005 and 2007 and by the Wine Enthusiast in 2006. Paul Pacult of the The Spirit Journal gave it four stars and said: "Easily one of the most tactile yet assertive and expressive bourbons I've tasted in the last two years; fasten your seatbelts." Honey-colored, with aromas of toasted wheat bread and hints of tobacco, opening up to almond butter, melon and lanolin. On the palate it is oily and toasty with flavors of cereal grains and oak. The finish is long and corn sweet with a little spi... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "A classic, can’t-go-wrong workhorse spirit that provides a versatile option for a wide range of cocktails. This clear liqueur has a bright, true orange scent with a hint of bitter orange on the aroma. The flavor mix is of candied orange slices and lightly bitter orange peel. The finish is warm and clean. Good balance." (2/2012) K&L Notes: A must-have classic.
Wine Enthusiast: "The vodka inside the pretty rainbow-shaped bottle reads almost like a light rum. It has a sweet, marshmallow-like fragrance as well as a sweet vanilla flavor, unmitigated by ice. Very smooth. Made from organic white corn and distilled seven times." (7/2011)
In yet another of our lost whisky collection (meaning distilleries that have since closed and/or been demolished), we bring you an absolutely stunning cask of 42 year old Garnheath, a grain whisky from the once-active distillery site inside of Inver House's Moffat site located just east of Glasgow on the road to Edinburgh. The distillery was located next to another closed malt producing site: Glenflagler. Closed in the mid-eighties, now just a memory and a story to share among friends, the spirit of Garnheath lives on (literally) in this single barrel, c... Read More »
One of the more interesting and intriguing independent bottlings of bourbon since Black Maple Hill went out of production, the Lost Republic whiskey is made of three different bourbons from three different states: Indiana, Tennessee, and California. Matt Weese and his team in Healdsburg are contracting spirit and aging the barrels separately in their Napa warehouse, using them to create a fruity, grainy, and gritty style of American whiskey. The fruity, young whiskey aromas are potent on the nose, but the woody, vanilla notes balance out the youth on the... Read More »
With a nod to Charles Dickens, the folks at Ferrand teamed up with renowned cocktail historian David Wondrich to create a serious pineapple rum that focuses completely on flavor, rather than sweetness. Made by infusing the flesh of pineapples in the standard Plantation Dark Rum. Then, seeking more aromatics, Ferrand distilled the pineapple rind with the classic white rum, then blended the two and matured them for an extra period in barrel. The result is something completely unexpected and absolutely delicious. Not at all sweet, goopy, or in the vein of M... Read More »
This is the original Americano, a low-alcohol, wine-based aperitif from the Asti region of Piedmont intended to be consumed before eating to enliven the palate while whetting the appetite. It has been produced in Asti since 1891 and is still made according to the original recipe, which is essentially white wine aromatized with many herbs and spices. All the ingredients are natural, with no artificial additives or coloring of any kind. It is produced in limited quantities and matured for a year before being released for sale. Traditionally, it is served c... Read More »
The new release of Anchor's highly sought-after straight rye. Bottled at slightly higher proof this year, but, as usual, this whiskey was aged for 3.5 years in new charred oak barrels. Very limited.
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Top Spirits 2013* Versatile, crisp, and an ideal match for cocktails that also include orange liqueur, as well as its namesake classic cocktail. Light aromas include vanilla and a touch of juicy citrus. Flavors run to bitter orange, dark chocolate and black tea, finishing with a pepper tingle. Velvety feel, despite the brisk alcohol." (7/2013) K&L Notes: The K & L Sazerac Cocktail: 1/2 oz Kubler absinthe, 2 oz of Sazerac Straight Rye, 1/2 oz simple syrup, 2 dashes of Peychaud bitters, Lemon - twist as garnish. Fill an old fashioned glass with ice. Add the absint... Read More »