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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Potocki Polish Rye Vodka 750ml
Review Date: 09-02-2015
The best vodka in the world. Period. Next!
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 90 - 95

1987 Domaine de Maouhum 28 Year Old K&L Exclusive Bas-Armagnac 750ml
Review Date: 08-26-2015
This is one of the best Armagnacs we found on the 2015 trip--period. It's classic in flavor, shedding the sweetness you get in something like Pellehaut, and replacing it with a drier, dustier profile. There is plenty of richness from the oak, vanilla from the barrel, and spice from the maturation, but it's so much more elegant. There's a flutter of dried herbs on the finish. Lovely.
Price: $72.99 Add To Waiting List

1983 Domaine de Maouhum 32 Year Old K&L Exclusive Bas-Armagnac 750ml
Review Date: 08-26-2015
Getting 32 year old brandy of this quality for $99.99 is just crazy, especially when you compare the price to what's currently happening with single malt. There is more richness and texture to the 32 year, versus the 27 year, and the fruit has yet to get erased by the three decades in oak. Just haunting.
Price: $99.99 Add To Waiting List

2004 Claude Thorin K&L Exclusive Vintage Grand Champagne Cognac 750ml
Review Date: 08-26-2015
A new vintage of Thorin comes to K&L, but with the same classic flavor of the beloved 2002. There is no caramel in this Cognac. Zero. It's straw colored, light, fruity, and pure in flavor. It's so clean and refreshing that you almost wonder how you're going to go back to regular Cognac afterward. And remember...this is is twice as old as many VSOP Cognacs. It makes you wonder what's in those VSOPs, eh?
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List

1986 Chateau de Pellehaut 29 Year Old K&L Exclusive Vintage Tenareze Armagnac 750ml
Review Date: 08-26-2015
29 year old Armagnac for $79.99!! That should be all that needs to be said. But, it's also delicious, and rich, spicy, and robust. It's everything you hope it will be.
Price: $79.99 Add To Waiting List

2001 Chateau de Pellehaut 14 Year Old K&L Exclusive Vintage Tenareze Armagnac 750ml
Review Date: 08-26-2015
Simply one of the most delicious products in the store in any category, at any price. It has all the big wood and spice of a 14 year old bourbon, but with a lovely richness of fruit and a sweetness that rounds out the flavor on the finish. If you like bourbon, you like this--you just don't know it yet.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

1998 Ladeveze Plaint de Graisse Tenereze Armagnac 750ml
Review Date: 08-26-2015
Simply put: this is my favorite Armagnac we carry. It's the anomaly of the bunch. It's the brandy that actually tastes like the wine from which it was distilled, rather than having that fruit flavor buried under heavy doses of new oak. The aromas are off the charts: exotic fruit, a subtle cheesy note (yes!), and then green mango, before moving into a finish of cinnamon, baking spices, and classic vanilla. It's a wild ride and it's made from a totally bizarre grape called Plaint de Graisse. I can't get enough of it. You need this in your life!
Price: $119.99 Add To Waiting List

Glendronach Cask Strength Batch #3 Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 08-25-2015
All I could say when David OG and I tasted this whisky in the LA store was, "WOW!" This is not at all the rich and sherried whisky you expect from Glendronach. This is like cask strength Springbank; oily and supple with a bit of sherry richness, but much more of a malty profile than the standard core range of whiskies offers. This is fantastic. It's a throwback whisky that reminds me of my first days tasting Scotch in this business. Get some.
Price: $89.99 Add To Waiting List

2000 Arran 15 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Cask Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 08-11-2015
Arran just continues to quietly pump out some of the best single malt in Scotland, under the radar and without much pomp or circumstance. This 15 year old sherry hogshead beautifully balances the malty core of great single malt whisky with the lovely accents of sweet Oloroso sherry. A real winner in a market with fewer and fewer values.
Price: $129.99 Add To Waiting List

Cut Spike Nebraska Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 07-13-2015
When I first tasted the Cut Spike whiskey, I thought it was simply the best American single malt out there; a true revelation for the domestic category. However, as I'm now tasting the newest batch from the Nebraskan producer, I'm realizing that the whiskey is starting to morph into something very particular and unique to the brand. That classic creaminess is still very pervasive, but for the second time in a row there's a pronounced note of pine that soon mutates into ginger and Asian spices before quickly turning back into rich vanilla and oak on the finish; smoothly seeping its way into my taste buds as that last little sip goes down. What we're starting to witness here is the development of a house style--a flavor that defines this distillery. It's very exciting, and it's becoming infectious.
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 07-08-2015
This is made by the guy who founded Cloudy Bay. It's basically a better version of Cloudy Bay for $10 less a bottle. Nuff said, right? Super crisp, lots of citrus, and all bio-organically farmed.

2013 Te Mata "Awatea" Bordeaux Blend Hawkes Bay
Review Date: 07-08-2015
Lush and soft, like it's already been matured for a few years, with dark-fruited goodness and textures of earth and spice on the mid-palate. If you're going out for steak and you need a well-priced bottle that drinks perfectly right off the bat (no decanting) then this is the guy for you.

2014 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Chardonnay Marlborough
Review Date: 07-08-2015
The TWR Sauvignon Blanc has been the best SB we've carried for the last year. Now the 2014 Chardonnay has arrived, and I think it might be the best Chard we now carry. Crisp, with minerality and a bit of richness from oak, it drinks like a fine white Burgundy. Absolutely stunning.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "Toru" White Blend Marlborough
Review Date: 07-08-2015
Made from aromatic varietals (predominately Gewurztraminer) this little blend refreshing white will wash away all your troubles. Sauvignon Blanc and Gris round out the backend. We've been waiting for years to build up TWR enough before bringing this in. A staff favorite.
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List
RC 93

2014 Alkoomi Estate "Old Vine - Black Label" Riesling Frankland River Western Australia
Review Date: 07-08-2015
Unbelievably racy with tons of flinty, petrol notes. You would think this is classic German-style trocken, but it's not. It's a crazy deal from Western Australia, a region that lately has been making more good white wine than just about anywhere on the planet. Bone dry. So dry your teeth will hurt.
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 97

2013 Luna Beberide Mencía Bierzo
Review Date: 07-01-2015
This is a juicy, lovely little food wine that brings just enough ripe fruit flavor to help balance out the mineral undercurrents. Nowhere near as overpowering as a Cote du Rhone or jammy Zinfandel, think of this Mencia as a more restrained bistro wine, or California red before the new wave of big points/big power took over. A true throwback wine at a hot price.
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 91 AG 90

2013 DePaula Monastrell Jumilla
Review Date: 07-01-2015
My new favorite Spanish wine for under $20. This is just a stunning wine with layers of complexity. Dark black fruits morph into savory and earthy notes, before mutating into bits of dried spice and leather. It's a whole lotta red wine for $14.99 and it should pair well with just about anything. Made by wine geeks for wine geeks.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 91

2013 Ermitage "Victor" Costieres de Nimes Rouge
Review Date: 06-28-2015
This wine is going to be a serious competitor for our already beloved Montfaucon. This is Rhone wine with seamless flavors of dark berries and currant, and a juicy character that just hits the spot. Our French regional buyer Keith Mabry was in search of a new K&L exclusive bistro-style wine and he found it. For $10 this is your new party red. Find me someone who doesn't like this wine.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Cave de Tavel "Lauzeraies" Tavel
Review Date: 06-28-2015
A great deal for Tavel rosé with plenty of soft pink fruit, but plenty of crisp acidity to balance it all out. A bit rounder than your standard Provence fare, but just as clean and refreshing. I could drink this all day (and probably will at some point).
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Clos de l'Anhel "Lolo de l'Anhel" Corbieres
Review Date: 06-28-2015
Our French regional buyer Keith Mabry went to Corbieres in search of a simple, down-home, organic, hands-off table wine and he came back with this stunning little number. Not nearly as fruit-forward and juicy as most Carignan-based wines, the Anhel is a drier, more restrained expression of black currant and subtle earth. It's a great food wine to pair with roasted meat dishes and for the money it's a total steal.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

Macallan Rare Cask Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 06-16-2015
I'm one of those guys who would rather drink the richer, more robust flavor of sherry on the palate rather than an age statement or a number. There's no 12 or 18 on the label of the Macallan Rare Cask because the distillery uses a variety of ages, from top quality sherry butts, to create the Rare Cask. If you can get past the uncertainty, you'll be rewarded with fudge, decadent cocoa, and spice cake. If you like Macallan, there's no way you'll be disappointed.
Price: $269.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Ugo Lequio "Gallina" Barbaresco
Review Date: 06-11-2015
This is one of the more approachable and drinkable bottles of Barbaresco I've ever tasted. It has all the classic Nebbiolo flavor but with a softer, juicier center and delicate tannic structure. It's THE bottle for date night at your local Italian place because you can open it without decanting and still enjoy the flavor. That's a huge reason why I DON'T take more Nebbiolo wines out to dinner, but with the Gallina it's not an issue. Fantastic stuff that really delivers for the price.
Price: $44.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 95 RP 92

2012 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana
Review Date: 06-10-2015
This just a whole lotta Sangiovese flavor for an incredibly reasonable price. The Carato really tastes like a baby Chianti and it's less than $10. Dark cherry, dusty earth. Seriously?
Price: $8.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Ferrero Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 06-10-2015
This is the most elegant and seamless vintage of Ferrero Rosso I've yet to taste. It's subdued with soft cherry fruit and a long, lithe finish that's hauntingly beautiful.
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico
Review Date: 06-10-2015
The most graceful Chianti in the store. It has all the red cherry fruit, dusty, earthy texture, but with the finesse of the finest red wines we carry. Wonderful stuff.

2011 Proprietà Sperino "Uvaggio" Costa della Sesia
Review Date: 06-10-2015
This is dynamite Nebbiolo, of the highest possible quality. It has such an perfectly balanced core of dark fruit, earth, minerality, and spice that you'll be back for second sips faster than you originally planned. That will make the bottle go that much quicker, so you might as well get two. It's worth it.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
AG 92 WE 90

2013 Sequillo (Eben Sadie) White Blend Swartland
Review Date: 05-21-2015
Sometimes hyperbole isn't enough to get your point across. "This is the BEST, ever, ever, ever, ever!" wouldn't really even do this wine justice. The quality of Eben Sadie's wines speaks for itself, but usually you'll have to pony up about $40-$60 a bottle to test out that quality for yourself. Somehow, someway, our wine buyer Ryan Woodhouse worked out a deal to bring in Sadie's Sequillo wines direct: for $19 freakin' 99!!! That's just unreal. The Sequillo white is like elegance in a bottle. It's soft and seamless, yet never lacking in acidity or minerality. I took a bottle of his T'Voetpad white (the single vineyard version of this wine) to my anniversary dinner with my wife this year. She fawned over that bottle like a school girl at a New Kids on the Block concert in 1989. Get a bottle of this wine. Get two cases. Get in while it's here. ASAP. You won't be sorry.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

Daniel Bouju K&L Exclusive Cognac Fines Saveurs 750ml
Review Date: 05-19-2015
No caramel, no additives, just fresh, vibrant Grand Champagne brandy at a hot price. Nothing more to be said!
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List

Germain-Robin Coast Road Reserve Brandy 750ml
Review Date: 05-19-2015
One of my favorites from the GR portfolio, the Coast Road utilizes heavy doses of pinot noir brandies to create a supple and silky smooth spirit of supreme quality. A sure fire winner if you're looking to branch out from Cognac and into something new and exciting.
Price: $64.99 Add To Waiting List

Chokaisan Junmai Daiginjo Sake (720ml)
Review Date: 05-14-2015
This is one of the best sakes we carry at K&L - period. I would bring this bottle to a dinner party and just drink it like a bottle of white wine or rose. We need to get out of the habit where we only drink sake when we eat Japanese food. This is the bottle that should prove to serious wine drinkers that sake can easily hang with a great Sancerre or an Alsatian pinot gris. Crisp, vibrant fruit on the entry with hints of pear on the finish. Made with a unique yeast derived from flowers, the sake is one of the most aromatic and delicious we carry, as well as one of the most special.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Relyea-Wood "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-13-2015
Good God, what a deal! This is real Santa Cruz Mountain fruit balanced with a judicious amount of oak and plenty of acidity. This should be at least $35 considering the price of the grapes and the quality of that fruit, but for some reason it's only $21.99. I don't get it, but I'm not complaining.
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Edmunds St. John "Fenaughty Vineyard" El Dorado County Syrah
Review Date: 05-13-2015
Not your normal dark, extracted, overly-inky California Syrah. This wine from E St J is full of soft red fruits, with a tinge of tartness and a much lither, lower-in-alcohol profile that makes it much more food-friendly and easy to drink. I wish more CA producers would go back to making wine this way. I'd drink a lot more of them if that was the case!
Price: $27.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Kismet "Papa's All Blacks" North Coast Red Blend
Review Date: 05-13-2015
It's wines like this that make me excited to be from California and fill me with pride for our local offerings. The Kismet is deliciously juicy, but soft textured and restrained, with real acidity and structure underneath that initial blast of fruit. It's a pretty wine; a pure and straightforward expression of California ripeness, but made in a style that never pushes that ripeness too far. It's as much an example of good winemaking as it the quality of our grapes. Bravo!
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Textbook Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-13-2015
This wine is classic in its dark-fruited, restrained character. There's no jammy sweetness or extravagant oak here. Just good old Cabernet from California, the old fashioned style, and a great price tag to go along with it.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Kalinda "Rawiri Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 05-08-2015
WOW. The best Kalinda wine to date. Your quality-to-price ratio is off the charts here. New Zealand Pinot Noir flavor can often clock in somewhere between California and Burgundy and our new Kalinda expression does just that. You get the ripe drinkability of California fruit, but with the complex, foresty, and spice-driven character of great Burgundy. Crunchy red fruits, baking spices, hints of earth and forest floor. Sign me up. This is a hot deal.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

Glenlivet 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 04-28-2015
Glenlivet is removing the 12 year old from many major markets in favor of the new "Founder's Reserve", which has no age statement and a higher price. Get your Glenlivet 12 before it goes the way of the Dodo.
Price: $27.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 90
Limit of 3 per customer

Ketel One Vodka 750ml
Review Date: 04-28-2015
$20 is a hot price for the biggest brand name in all of vodka. Get it while the gettin's good.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

Westland American Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 04-24-2015
The great American single malt has finally arrived and it's being made in Seattle, Washington. Don't believe me? Get a bottle and see for yourselves. This is made on real Forsyth pot stills just like in Scotland, aged in bourbon and sherry casks, and brimming with Macallan-like flavor. It's still a bit young, but man is it going to get better.
Price: $69.99 Add To Waiting List

Glenmorangie Túsail Limited Edition Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 04-23-2015
I love that there are a few distilleries interested in playing around with different strains of barley. What they've shown us without a doubt so far is that it absolutely DOES make a difference (whether you care about it, or not is a different question). The Bruichladdich Bere Barley was the first example of a unique and wildly different style of malt, and the Tusail now is the next great presentation. It's spicy, gingery, mealy, and full of inherent flavor that obviously doesn't come from the wood. It's textural and exotic, malty and rich. It's a home run from the best whisky development team in Scotland.
Price: $99.99 Add To Waiting List

El Dorado 12 year old Demerara Guyana Rum (ships as 1.5L) 750ml
Review Date: 04-23-2015
A must-try-before-you-die spirit. One of the all-time greatest deals in all of spirits in general.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

El Dorado 15 year old Demerara Guyana Rum 750ml (ships in a 1.5 box)
Review Date: 04-23-2015
The best rum on the planet for under $50. It's made mostly from DDL's old wooden pot still with more of that funky molasses note through the mid-palate. Love it. All day, every day.
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List

El Dorado 21 year old Demerara Guyana Rum 750ml
Review Date: 04-23-2015
Made from older stocks of DDL rums before the big transition into one consolidated Guyanese distillery, this is the ultimate aged rum. Rich oak, pure cane flavor, a bit of funky molasses, and a spicy, robust finish. I can't believe it's still $99.99
Price: $99.99 Add To Waiting List

El Dorado 3 year Old Demerara Rum 750ml
Review Date: 04-23-2015
In lieu of Havana Club 3 year, the El Dorado 3 year is just as good and made the same way: three years in wood, then filtered to be a white rum. It's round and easy-drinking with pure rum flavor. Why use anything else for Daiquiris?
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List

Mezcalero Release #10 Sierra Negra Mezcal 750ml
Review Date: 04-20-2015
A rare combination of power and suave in the mezcal category. Big spice, lots of spice, but a mouthfeel that is creamy and smooth in texture. A wonderful and very limited batch of agave spirit from the people at Danzantes and Germain-Robin.
Price: $74.99 Add To Waiting List

Casa Dragones Sipping Tequila 750ml (Ships as a 1.5L due to bottles shape)
Review Date: 04-20-2015
One of the truly great luxury products out there--and there aren't that many of them. Casa Dragones is worth the extra money if you want pristine beauty and are willing to pay for it. Clean, fresh, elegant, and smooth on the finish. A true masterpiece.
Price: $249.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 96

Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey 750ml
Review Date: 04-20-2015
Four Roses makes this lovely little number for the boys at Bulleit. It's still a great bargain for a light, easy drinking, mixing bourbon.
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 95

Glenmorangie 12 year old Lasanta Extra Matured Range Sherry Cask 750ml
Review Date: 04-20-2015
This is the original 10 and 2 whisky--10 years in bourbon casks, with 2 years finishing in sweet sherry wood. Glendronach, Balvenie, and Aberlour all do it down, but Glenmorangie did it first and they're still the best at it. Lovely spice cake and dark toffee notes round out the finish.
Price: $47.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 93

Basil Hayden's Bourbon 750ml
Review Date: 04-20-2015
The best and the most classic of the Beam bourbon portfolio. Big oak flavor, smooth and rich on the palate, and a finish that brings baking spices and vanilla goodness. YUM!
Price: $36.99 Add To Waiting List

Guillon Painturaud VSOP Cognac 750ml
Review Date: 04-20-2015
This is still my go-to VSOP Cognac. In fact, it might be the best Cognac we carry for the money. Textural, oily, and round on the palate with a viscous mouthfeel and rich vanilla flavors. All estate-grown fruit, all estate-distilled brandy, and nothing added on the back end. No caramel, no boise, all natural. What's not to love here?
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List

1995 Domaine d'Esperance 17 Year Old Bas Armagnac 750ml
Review Date: 04-20-2015
Big bourbon-like flavor from this 17 year old brandy. Esperance is putting their Armagnac into new wood, so the oak is powerful and the spices bright and lively on the finish.
Price: $89.99 Add To Waiting List

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