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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.


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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: $69.99 Add To Cart

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: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 95 WA 90

Nikka 21 Year Old Taketsuru Pure Malt Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-17-2015
A marriage of 21 year old whiskies from both the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries, the Pure Malt 21 is a stunning display of incredible balance, sweetness of barley, richness of malt, and depth of flavor. One of Japan's true treasures.
Price: $279.99 Add To Waiting List
Limit of 1 per customer

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

Lagavulin "Distiller's Edition" 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

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: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WA 90

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

2009 Potensac, Médoc
Review Date: 06-05-2014
This is as good as a deal as you'll find in 2009. It's just incredible wine with subtlety and finesse, a solid core of sweet fruit, and lovely tannins that almost melt on the finish. Potensac has been overdelivering as a Chateau for the last decade. This is a case-worthy purchase.

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin (375ml)
Review Date: 05-01-2014
Up until now, Monkey 47 Schwarzwald gin was only available in Europe, which is why David OG, Kyle, and myself all purchased a bottle while traveling through Scotland earlier this March. I smuggled my bottle home and gave it to my mother -- another esteemed lover of gin, who inherited quite the palate from her mother. I opened the bottle and poured her a glass; her eyes widened and her face went slack. "Wow," she said. "I know!" I answered. "Now you know why I smuggled this tiny little expensive bottle of gin back for you to taste!" When I found out the Monkey was set to hit the states, I made sure K&L was ready. The combination of berry flavors, fresh juniper, heady spices, and the ease with which it flows down is unmatched in any gin I've ever tasted -- and I've had a TON of gin in my life. Now this gin is expensive -- it's $45 a half-bottle (making it a $90 bottle, really). But man is it worth it. You can just drink it straight, no mixer, no ice. My mom and I are in for a case each. I don't ever want to be without this.
Price: $39.99 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:
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
WE 97

Collard-Picard "Cuvée Selection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-15-2013
The fruit on this CP selection is ripe but it's balanced by amazingly vibrant acidity. The finish is rich and the chardonnay marries beautifully with the pinot meunier. This is one of the better big house bottles I've tasted.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

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

2011 Halcon "Esquisto" Yorkville Highlands Rhone Blend
Review Date: 09-19-2013
This is one of the most overachieving, surprising, delicious and delightful wines in the store. The Halcon comes from a site far North and the fruit is simply fantastic. Bright, peppery, crunchy red berries burst on the palate. It's far and away the best Rhone style wine I've ever tasted from California. It smokes anything from the central coast.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart
JD 90 ST 90

Nikka Coffey Still Japanese Grain Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-11-2013
I am a BIG fan of grain whisky, but I'm always sure to express to customers that it's not for everyone. Grain whisky is much less supple, much less round and rich, and more spicy and herbaceous. In a Scotch and Soda, it's unbeatable. I absolutely LOVE the new Nikka Coffey Still grain whisky in a cocktail. I killed a third of the bottle the first night I opened it. It goes down way too easily. The vanilla notes are rich on the entry, but the finish is more intense. Give it a whirl and see what you think.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WA 92 WE 90

Canard-Duchêne "Authentic" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-12-2013
This is fabulous bubbly for a great price. The richness and nuttiness of this wine make it easily accessible to the newcomer, but the bready, mineral notes offer the expert some nuance and depth. I'm a big fan - especially for the price!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Fleury "Cuveé Robert Fleury" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-22-2012
I was in the mood for some bubbles last night, so our Champagne buyer, Gary Westby, suggested that I take home the new Fleury "Cuvee Robert Fleury" Brut Champagne as an accompaniment to my cheese and chutney spread. What a fantastic recommendation! The wine is made from one-third each Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir and it's all barrel-fermented. The richness from the wood is fabulous because it never overpowers the crisp apple fruit present on the palate. I was also quite excited to drink a Champagne with actual Pinot Blanc in it, knowing that the grape is legal to use, but no one actually uses it! The depth of flavor in the Cuvee Robert Fleury is simply stunning - delicate bubbles allow for more of the rich, bready notes to stand out when sipping. The apple notes come and go on the finish. I would have expected to easily pay over $100 for a wine this good. Luckily, I don't have to!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Rusty Blade Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 10-15-2011
Gin in the modern age has become like a set of golf clubs - you need a specific tool or club for each particular task. A good martini gin, a good gin for citrus drinks, and a gin that marries well with sweet vermouth are all necessities for the well-stocked bar. The Rusty Blade may be the absolute best sweet vermouth gin that we've ever seen. The maturation of the gin in the barrel adds flavors of baking spices and vanilla that really take a Negroni to the next level. This is the future of gin. I'm glad that we've been a big part of bringing it to the public.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

1990 Chasse-Spleen, Moulis
Review Date: 07-14-2010
These old Chasse Spleen wines help me to better understand this whole wine aging thing. Why am I supposed to wait 20 years to drink this wine? Oh, this is why: soft, integrated tannins that ease effortlessly over the palate with a combination of flavors that just don't make it into the youthful versions. This is stunning wine that will impress you and whoever you decide to drink it with. Worth the money if you're going to really shell out for something nice.

2008 Bruno Michel "Les Roses" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-31-2009
Wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow wow! WOW! My God. This is very good Champagne.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

North Shore No. 11 Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 07-29-2009
This is the best gin I have yet tasted and I loooooove gin. Need I say more?
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 07-13-2009
This wine is always our answer to the Billecart Salmon, which by the way sells for more than twice as much. This is all about the red Ariston fruit and their champagnes are permanent staff picks. Cherry notes from the pinot noir, crisp and vibrant acidity and brioche flavors swirl together with delicate bubbles. Anyone care for some?
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Arette Artesanal Blanco Suave Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 07-01-2009
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, and, now that I'm the spirits buyer, maybe my opinion will hold more weight: Arette makes the best tequila that we carry! The blanco is so elegant and ripe with pure agave flowers, unfettered from any contact with an oak barrel. There are some purists who believe that blanco is the only real tequila, and to them I say, the Arette blanco is tequila in its truest form.
Price: $42.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur (750ml)
Review Date: 07-01-2009
I've heard from a few bartenders that the sign of a quality bar is a bottle of Luxardo sitting on the shelf behind it. It is considered a signal that the bartenders there are committed to using quality ingredients in their libations. It is the only maraschino liqueur that you should ever use and is the ultimate addition to a plate of fresh fruit.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

Los Danzantes "Los Nahuales" Reposado Mezcal (750ml) [Cannot ship]
Review Date: 05-31-2009
So, so smooth and oh-so-smoky. Mezcal has a distinct flavor profile that clearly separates it from tequila, and this bottle highlights those differences. The barrel aging imparts the richness and the vanilla notes, but the smoky, mineral character dominates and lingers long on the finish. I opened this bottle with a group of native Mexicans y tuvimos una fiesta! This is quality mezcal that puts low-grade tequila to shame.
Price: $62.99 Add To Cart

Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond 100 Proof Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-26-2009
This is my whiskey of choice when making a Manhattan. The Rittenhouse is spicy, bold, rich, inexpensive, and delicious. I like a kick with my cocktails and I hate to mix expensive booze. I could sip the Rittenhouse, but at 100 proof, it's perfect over ice, or with sweet vermouth and a maraschino cherry.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

Marolo "Milla" Chamomile Liqueur (375ml)
Review Date: 05-20-2009
I was soooooooooooooo skeptical when our Italian expert Mike Parres told me to buy a bottle of this delicious grappa. "Camomile in my grappa? Come on!" I said to him. However, this stuff is exquisite. It's thick, coating, and heavenly with pure notes of fresh camomile gently blended into the more subtle grappa flavors. If you love grappa, you'll love this. If you hate grappa, you'll still love this.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Barbolini "Lancillotto" Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro
Review Date: 04-20-2009
This is sparkling wine with acidity and tannin! A combination of refreshing bubbles with that classic robust and earthy Italian style. Bone dry and not overtly fruity, this wine is as interesting as it is delicious. Made entirely of Grasparossa from Emilia-Romagna, and it's a dynamite match for almost anything from pizza to pasta and beyond.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

Clear Creek Eau de Vie Pomme 8 Year Old Apple Brandy (375ml)
Review Date: 03-18-2009
I'm not sure if anyone else read Mr. McCarthy's article in the New York Times about making Eau De Vie spirits, but I was fascinated by the process of how he captured the essence of the Douglas Fir tree in a bottle. This Pomme apple brandy, essentially an American Calvados, is absolutely outstanding and would make the perfect after dinner drink for almost any fine meal. Rich barrel flavors combine with can only be described as the soul of an apple to create a robust, yet smooth drinking spirit. My hat is off to Clear Creek.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
WE 96 - 100

Arette Artesanal Reposado Suave Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 01-24-2009
I finally ponied up for the Arette Reposado the other night, after promising myself I would buy it eventually. I opened it for the staff before bringing it home, and everyone literally ooohed and ahhhed just smelling the nose in the glass. The aromas of pure blue agave are intoxicating. The delicacy and grace of the tequila as it slowly coats your mouth is even more impressive. By far the best tequila I have ever tasted; and I've had my share. Arette is known for being a hands-on, old-school distiller as well, so their reputation for quality craftsmanship lives up to the hype. I couldn't recommend it strongly enough.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Four Roses Yellow Label Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 10-22-2008
So smooth you won't think it's bourbon. Honestly, the distiller himself said he has problems selling it sometimes because people don't think it's bourbon, but I can vouch for him. It's bourbon alright, and it's divine. Your friends will be asking where you got it.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Blason Isonzo Bianco (3L Bag-in-a-Box) (cannot ship)
Review Date: 08-26-2008
OK, so this wine doesn't need a third review, but I can't help it! This box is pure genius because it is GOOD! If you are in my situation, which I am sure many out there are, one bottle a night is not enough and two is too many! I like a glass of white right when I get home, and then a nice bottle to pair up with my food. That means I have to open two bottles, or save some from a previous night. With this bag in a box, the wine lasts for weeks, if not months! I can come home and get my glass while I cook, then find the right bottle for dinner. I am sooooooo psyched about this. UPDATE: 6/10/09 THE BOX IS BACK!! SOOOO HAPPY!! SUMMER CAN BEGIN!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

High West Rendezvous Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 08-12-2008
Who said we had to review just wine? I just remembered that I love whiskey! This High West bottling is a superb blend of two casks that the producer found in the basement of another distiller; a 6 year old and a 16 year old. The flavors are semisweet and caramel-based, but the finish is pure rye. I have to be careful when I pull this bottle out because I might get a little greedy. Then I wouldn't be able to remember how it tasted!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 96 WA 95

Franck Bonville "Prestige" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 07-14-2008
This was the first champagne I tasted when I started working at K&L and it is still my favorite, when talking bang for your buck. This blanc de blanc will grab anyone's attention with its grace and its beauty. So elegant a palate for so little a price.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
WS 92

2005 Château de Montfaucon "Baron Louis" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 05-20-2008
Southern Rhone wines (outside of CdP wines) are always a great value when it comes to a week-night dinner; maybe for Wednesday night when I only have time to grab a whole roasted chicken from Safeway. For just a few dollars more than the average $10-15 range of bargain bottles there is the "Baron Louis." It is more than just the typical Grenache-Syrah blend, regardless of what the description says. It actually has 40% grenache with almost equal parts syrah, carignan, cinsault, mourvedre and counoise. It has finesse, complexity, grace and style. That's not true for most of it's fellow colleagues. It is a true standout dating back to last winter when they actually let me pour the Rhone tasting at Redwood City. Everyone who attended thought this bottle was the best-valued Rhone wine we had. Now we have it again, thank heavens.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

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