Staff Favorites - David Driscoll

David Driscoll
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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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Copper & Kings "Butchertown" Reserve Casks Brandy (750ml)
Review Date: 11-16-2015
This is the ultimate crossover bottle for bourbon fans looking to explore the new age of brandy. It's a 62% monster that drinks more like some of our Four Roses single cask selections than our French imports. The flavors just explode from the 124 proof blast of oak, fruit, spice, and herbaceousness. I've found that I love this brandy on the rocks, straight, but also as a highball cocktail. The spirit cuts through all that soda water and never tastes diluted or minimized by the additional liquid. It's a brandy that will change the way you think about brandy. It's a brandy that will change the way you think about spirits in general.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Henry McKenna 10 Year Old Bottled in Bond Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 09-17-2015
McKenna is one of those under-appreciated gems of the booze industry. A throwback Bourbon made by Heaven Hill (the home of Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, Rittenhouse Rye, and many other great brands) that's all from a single barrel, bottled-in-bond at 100 proof, and well-priced to boot. There's not much of a reputation for it out west, so it tends to go rather unnoticed, but the quality is highly-regarded by those in the know. Our inventory on McKenna is inconsistent and spotty so we tend to load up when it becomes available again. I taste inferior Bourbons every week that sell for $40, $50, and $60 per bottle based on hype and perceived rarity. But this guy just keeps truckin' along. What a deal. What a whiskey.

Potocki Polish Rye Vodka (750ml)
Review Date: 09-02-2015
The best vodka in the world. Period. Next!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 90 - 95

Cut Spike Nebraska Single Malt Whiskey (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: $49.99 Add To Cart

Macallan "Rare Cask" Single Malt Scotch 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 Cart

San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut
Review Date: 06-10-2015
This is stunning for the price. Light, airy, a touch of stone fruit with a hint of what seems like sweetness, but really is just ripeness. It's fresh and dry and lovely. And the price!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

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 Cart

Glenlivet 15 Year Old "French Oak Reserve" Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-28-2015
One of the last great deals in age-statement whiskies. At a time when maturity labels are dropping like flies, Glenlivet still has the 15 year French oak reserve for $40. That's something to hang your hat on!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 91
Limit of 3 per customer

Glenlivet 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch 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: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

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 Cart
WE 90

Westland American Single Malt Whiskey (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: $59.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

El Dorado 12 Year Old Demerara Guyana Rum (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: $32.99 Add To Cart

El Dorado 15 Year Old Demerara Guyana Rum (750ml)
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: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 90 - 95

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: $109.99 Add To Cart

El Dorado 3 year Old Demerara Guyana 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 Cart

Bulleit "Frontier" Kentucky Straight Bourbon 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 Cart
WE 93

Glenmorangie "Lasanta" 12 Year Old Extra Matured Range Sherry Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky (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 Cart
WE 93

Basil Hayden's Kentucky 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: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Bulleit 10 Year Old Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-20-2015
Bulleit 10 offers big spice and rounded oak flavors to bourbon fans looking for polished and balanced nuance rather than power and high proof. Good stuff.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

Bulleit "95 Rye" Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-20-2015
Of all the LDI-distilled bargain ryes on the market, the Bulleit has reigned supreme due to its low price and high quality of flavor. It's hard to justify buying more Templeton when Bulleit is the same stuff for almost 10 dollars less.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Auchentoshan 18 Year Old Lowland Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2015
I LOVE this whisky. This is my new Glenmorangie 18. A classic sweet barley and vanilla flavor, but with extra viscosity and more weight on the palate. It's thick and chewy. You can almost bite into it. The Glasgow distillery is becoming relevant once again. Watch out other distilleries!
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

Springbank 15 Year Old Distillery Bottling Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2015
All the great richness and weight of the 10 with more sherry and more spice cake. A true classic.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
WE 98

Ardbeg 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2015
Still the best deal for 10 year old whisky. Still the best deal for peated whisky. Still the best deal in whisky--period. I'm never without a bottle on my bar. A true classic of the single genre. You're never too cool, too rich, too knowledgeable, or too refined for Ardbeg 10.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
WA 93 WE 90

Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth (1L)
Review Date: 04-19-2015
The classic sweet vermouth. THE one. End all. Be all. Period.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

Caol Ila 12 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2015
The most classic and most reliable of the Diageo "classic" malts. God bless Caol Ila and its peaty goodness with a rich, round, fruity core of flavor to balance it all out. I'm never without a bottle.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 92
Limit of 3 per customer

Laphroaig "Quarter Cask" Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2015
All the peat and power of Laphroaig, put into smaller barriques for extra richness and vanilla flavor.
Price: Hidden View Price
WA 91

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Venezuelan Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2015
A classic darker rum that offers richness and bold vanilla flavor, but without the sweetness and added caramel that many big brands offer. A true insider's rum if there ever was one.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Nikka Yoichi 15 Year Japanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2015
Nikka's northern distillery on the island of Hokkaido makes a slightly peated style of whisky; more along the line of Talisker, however, rather than Lagavulin. It's rounded and supple on the palate as well, making it one creamy, and slightly smokey delight.
Price: $299.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 94 WE 94

Darroze Les Grand Assemblages "20 Year Old" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2015
The great Armagnac we carry at the moment. A marriage of 20 year old brandies from various properties, distilled by Marc Darroze, and packaged at one hot price. Bourbon drinkers might want to take note. This smokes Pappy 20 any day of the week.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

Bank Note Blended Scotch Whisky (1L)
Review Date: 04-19-2015
Still the best bang for you buck in the world of blended whisky. Still a ridiculous deal for $19.99
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

Nikka 17 Year Old Taketsuru Pure Malt Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2015
Nikka 17 is the lightest and least heavy of the small portfolio the Japanese distillery has sent stateside. It's still packed with flavor, albeit more nuanced and less obvious than some of their other expressions. It's a concentrated palate of toasted almonds, soft vanilla, creme brulee, and sweet barley. One of the great whiskies of the world, let alone Japan.
Price: $249.99 Add To Waiting List

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

Westland Sherry Wood American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-02-2015
A stunning sherry expression that really redefines my entire perception of American single malt. This is incredible stuff, on the level of some of the younger Glendronach and Aberlour single whiskies from Scotland. Westland is already on another level that all other American single malt distilleries. Based on this incredible whiskey, I have to think it's only a few more years before they're completely dominant. Buy in now, while the gettin's good. That's my advice.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

Bowmore 15 Year Old "Darkest" Sherry Cask Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-31-2015
I think the 15 year is probably the most iconic of the standard Bowmore selections because of the extra sherry maturation. The richness really drives home that combination of sweet and peat that makes Bowmore what it is. Campfire smoke, phenolic elements, but ultimately a softer, more rounder mouthfeel. Lovely stuff.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart
WE 95 WA 90

Glenmorangie "The Original" 10 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-17-2015
The best single malt deal there is--period.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
WA 93 WE 90

2001 Lagavulin "Distiller's Edition 2017" Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-06-2015
The 2014 is the softest and most restrained version of this whisky I've yet tasted. The initial flavors are rounded sherry notes and toffee, but the finish is all classic Lagavulin filtered through a velvet glove. The peat comes through, the bright phenolic notes are clean and vibrant, but they never explode or overpower the balance of the whisky. It's perfectly graceful from beginning to end, which isn't usually an adjective I use to describe Lagavulin. It's incredibly refined. I'm tired of in-your-face whiskies. I want subtlety. This 2014 DE is exactly what I want.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

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

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

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

Maker's Mark Cask Strength Bourbon (375ml)
Review Date: 02-26-2015
I can promise you that every store from here to Bangor, Maine is sick and tired of the question, "Do you guys have any Pappy?" The only question even more frustrating that that one is: "What do you have that tastes like Pappy?" Not because it's a stupid question, but mainly because there isn't anything available that even remotely tastes like Pappy that isn't Pappy. Except the Maker's Mark Cask Strength Bourbon. Now HERE is a whiskey that DOES rather taste like Pappy. The only problem is getting your hands on some. Big power, creamy texture from the wheat, and bold spice on the finish. This is something you can hang your hat on if you're tired of the Pappy hunt. If you ask me, the MM cask strength is even better than many of the younger Van Winkle expressions.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

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

Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-19-2015
10 year old Bourbon for a hot price. Buffalo Trace's classic whiskey is still a steal of a deal.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart

Sazerac 90-Proof Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-19-2015
The ultimate rye whiskey for the money. It doesn't get better.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

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

Compass Box Great King Street "Glasgow Blend" Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-11-2014
It's not often we get new, limited releases that are both plentiful, affordable, and this tasty. Imagine the regular Great King Street, but richer, fuller, and with a healthy dollop of peat smoke. That's all there really is to know! Just a super tasty, well-formulated blend from our buddy John Glaser.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Singani "63" Bolivian Muscat Brandy (750ml)
Review Date: 09-15-2014
The is the do-it-all spirit for your liquor cabinet (and you don't even know what it is!). Fruity, floral, and clean, this can be substituted into a number of different cocktails in place of tequila, vodka, gin, and rum. I've made Singani Daiquiris, Singani Margaritas, Singani Negronis, Bloody Maries, Singani and Tonic, Singani Sangria--they're all fantastic. Bolivia's finest export may indeed be Singani. Now you just need to queue up "Che" on Netflix-instant, imagine you're Soderbergh drinking Singani on the set, and drink until your heart's content.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Lot 40 Single Copper Pot Still Canadian Rye Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-15-2014
Like other "American" rye whiskies, such as Whistle Pig, Masterson's, and Jefferson's, the Lot 40 showcases more of that great Canadian-distilled rye whiskey backstock. I was blown away by this whisky when I tasted it. Then I read Davin de Kergommeaux's amazing review and learned about the story behind the brand. This has been one of the most talked about whiskies by Canadian and European collectors for years. For the entire back story, check out Davin's post here: http://www.canadianwhisky.org/reviews/lot-no-40-2012-release-43-alcvol.html
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
WE 97

Rey Fernando de Castilla Amontillado Jerez
Review Date: 09-19-2013
This is a crazy complex sherry full of candied caramel, nutty almondy flavors, and a rich, deep, long-lasting finish. Super good.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

Taittinger "La Française" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-19-2013
I was quite taken aback by the quality of wine in this major brand-labeled bottle. The Taittinger "La Francaise" is a wonderful combination of leesy richness with firm acidity, that glides effortlessly over the palate, hitting all the right notes. The finish is full of citrus and rich, bready flavors. It tastes like it should cost twice as much. It tastes way better than 2003 Dom, which does cost twice as much.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
RP 91 WS 90

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