Staff Favorites - David Othenin-Girard

David Othenin-Girard
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1997 Mortlach 24 Year Old "Hart Brothers Finest Collection" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Sherry Butt Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
Review Date: 05-18-2022
Mortlach deserves to be thought of as one of Scotland's very finest, the blue chip distilleries that command extreme respect for their quality and reputation. Except Mortlach, thanks to the indifference of the owners to its prowess, has remained altogether in the shadows. While connoisseurs and the cognoscenti often refer to its in revelatory language, the everyday drinker does not necessarily distinguish a Mortlach from a Loch Lomond or Mannochmore, just another goofy Scottish name. And while the other great Dufftown distillers have become global sensations, Mortlach's recent attempt to bottle their own whisky has been met with a collective yawn. Not because their lacking in quality, but because the owners price and brandy strategy has left little room to wonder. But the relative obscurity affords the likes of yours truly some serious opportunity and while there is no doubt that this whisky commands a premium for blenders and bottlers, it still punches way above its weight. This exquisite single sherry butt is honestly the quintessential Mortlach in so many ways. It captures the power and grace of the beast of Dufftown without relying exclusively on the sherry card. Instead it's a more nuanced and subtle offering, one that might be this years very best cask in terms of objective quality. Subjectively it's exactly what I love to drink and something that feels very rarefied indeed, a sort of antique style that is very hard to ferret out. Shall we? The color is an attractive deep copper. Immediately enveloping offering a deep array of savory and fruit aromas - Sandalwood, incense, dried apricot, Seville orange peel, bone broth, canned peach, sorrel leaf, mint, antique wood, varnish. This one need not water to open, only several minutes in the glass to come alive. On the palate, big and juicy stone fruit, more orange, a creamy texture and building oak spice. Following toasted vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted malt, hints of peppermint and clove oil. The spice and savory side tends to win in the end, but the fruit stands strong. With a few tiny drops of water, this because absolutely TOO easy to drink. Adding tons of chocolate and rich raisin-y fruit. If you like it big and spice, don't touch it - if you want your glass to disappear almost immediately - three or four drops max. An absolutely stunning whisky, that I'd honestly feel comfortable selling for many hundreds of dollars more than we have priced it. Of course people will look at it compared to some other DI whisky and say - Wow fancy price, but there's simply nothing comparable on the market at anywhere close to this price. The last independently bottled older Mortlach we saw was 18 years old, not sherried and nearly the same price - so I guarantee we'll be looking back at this one and saying, "wow, we had it so good once." While this might not be as intense or tannic as the Clynelish Signatory black label we did a couple of years ago, I'd put this right up there with that whisky in terms of how special it is. I doubt we'll ever seen another quite like this one.
Price: $279.99 Add To Cart

2010 Foursquare 10 Year Old "Hamilton" K&L Exclusive Barrel #8 Cask Strength Single Barrel Barbados Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 05-12-2022
This excellent barrel of Foursquare came to us through our old friend Ed Hamilton. Ed was one of the first to believe that we could move significant amounts of rum and sold us some of our very first Faultline barrels - the infamous St Lucia tire fire casks. Those wonderful barrels were not everyone's cup of tea, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone to argue with this exceptional cask. The wonderful Foursquare distillery is often referred to as the "Pappy of Rum" although I always felt that diminished exactly how much thought and effort that its owners had put into it. While the distillery doesn't do much bulk shipment there is a small amount of rum that's shipped from Barbados to blenders in Europe and occasionally we get access to a great cask like this. The distillery itself won't sell us single barrels, but if Ed keeps getting amazing barrels like this, they don't have to. What's especially interesting here is knowing this barrels exact history, spending equal time in tropical and continental climates and the use of two ex-bourbon barrels for aging. The color is a vibrant old gold. The nose is a fabulous mixture of fresh tropical fruit, butterscotch, toasted vanilla bean, melting brown sugar and cola nut. Wonderfully oily in texture on the palate with the potstill character really coming through, hints of industrial funk masked with burnt sugar, French press, toffee, raspberry preserves and molasses candies. It's very long and builds some clove and cinnamon on the second and third sip. This is really very special rum and while it's not as sweet and oaky as some other versions of Foursquare, I think it's hardly over the top on the potstill funk. Even the most casual drinker will certainly love this, but the rums nuts should really take note here. This barrel is not to be missed.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Bardstown Bourbon Company "Discovery Series #7" Blended Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-12-2022
I just about fell out of my seat when I saw that this is a blended whisky. WHAT? What an outrageously risky thing to do! I absolutely love it when companies do crazy stuff like this. If you're not aware, this whisky includes a not insignificant amount of old Canadian corn whisky - there by removing it from the bourbon category. But what it lacks in namesake, it more than makes up for in quality. This is EASILY the best Disco in years, handily beating the excellent 6 and definitely better than 4 and 5. What's so impressive about the Disco 7 is how complete it feels. It certainly doesn't feel at all outside the category (straight bourbon) and has a very old school vibe to it - almost to the point of feeling slightly antique in the best way possible. Let's have a go. The nose is a gorgeous conglomerate of dense red and black berry fruit, exotic spice, antique wood (sandalwood especially), freshly ground medium roast and hints of honey lathered saddle. Why you'd put honey on your saddle I don't know, but leather and honey go together surprising so I'm not judging you. The entry starts very sweet and honeyed as well before being pushed back with a bold clove-y spice and some caramel covered apple. The finish is long and surprisingly spicy with this gorgeous dusty note that gives it that antique-y feel that I love so much. This is a very modern whisky in everyway, but flavor. An absolutely exceptional diversion from the last few batches an a welcome change to exemplifies the name perfectly! What a find!!!
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

1978 The Rare Armagnac Collection (Domaine de Pouchegu) K&L Exclusive Vintage Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 05-11-2022
The Rare Armagnac Collection is one of those brands that I think we'll look back on and agree that their bottlings set a benchmark that few will ever achieve. This is mainly due to their fortuitous purchase of the special stocks from the incredible Domaine de Pouchegu near Castelnauve d'Auzan. This special Domaine on the boarded between the Gers and La Landes is one of Armagnac's most iconoclastic producers. Some might have pegged Pierre Laporte for a new wave producer, but his techniques were rooted in tradition and his devotion to the historic style was imbued in every decision he made. But the trouble with making it the old school way is that it takes four decades to start to come around. These are the oldest stocks we've yet to see out of the collection and represent a level of complexity that has hitherto not been available even from this special domaine. While some of the younger offerings might offer more intensity and power, the '78 sets a bench mark for me in melding that intense complexity into a beautiful balanced package. What's most incredible is that it was a relic of history that acheived such greatness, an near accident that we're even able to sell this incredibly special and rare product. And while the price of entry is comparatively high, the experience dollar for dollar is one of the most affordable in the booze world. Like all the Pouchegu Armagnac, I recommend at least 30-60 minutes of resting in the glass before enjoyment. This will be a bottle were the last glass is so significantly better than the first that you'll be kicking yourself for not having decanted it sooner. In any case, let's taste it. This bottle has been open for several weeks and the glass was rested for 30 minutes before tasting. The nose is a massive yet somehow precise mixture of exotic and antique wood, the darkest cacao, the finest 20+ year balsamic, cherry jam, sandalwood, rhubarb, Candelas, oolong tea, black pepper, clove and leather. The aromatic depth is seemingly endless. Absolutely huge on the palate with a bold tannic structure that's only tolerable thanks to a massive of sweet stewed fruit and gorgeous sweet vanillin. Wild and dense, the pointed balsamic note also helps to keep it feeling vibrant and some how adds a freshness that is so unusual and unlike any other spirit in the world. If you had to compare it to something - it would be ultra aged sherried scotch, but there's something more here that even Scotland can't match. The long finish pushes the dense cherry fruit to the forepalate and the wild exotic wood spice and savory character lingers and develops for several minutes after the swallow. I find this spirit to be absolutely stunning and while some might prefer the brash power of certain younger bottlings from this series, this cask of '78 is easily one of the very best Armagnac I've ever had.
Price: $299.99 Add To Cart

Kavalan Solist "Moscatel" Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-04-2022
The recent release of single casks from the King Car Distillery are without a doubt some of the most special bottlings that have ever come to market. The Moscatel is easily the most approachable and decadent of the new special single casks from Kavalan. I was worried we'd get too much floral, perfumed quality out of this cask, but instead, I find a host of outrageous dried and fresh fruit flavors condensed into one of the most precise and delineated deliveries I've ever seen. Expect an intensly concentrated orchard of of figs, plums, guavas, and peaches on your palate. No wonder this whisky won double gold at the SF World Spirits Competition.
Price: $299.99 Add To Cart

1997 Strathisla 24 Year Old "Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseur's Choice" K&L Exclusive Cask #47793 Single Refill Hogshead Nonchillfiltered Cask Strength Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-10-2022
This exceptional cask is easily one of the most exciting we've come across in ages. Yes it's expensive, but it represents a style that is basically completely an available in the modern scotch market. Strathisla is an exceptional distillery and it's no surprise that we've never yet imported a cask from any of our suppliers. The owners simply won't let go of this exceptional juice, but our friends at G&M have the hook up. Aged for nearly 2 and a half decades in exceptional quality wood and it's very easy to see why it's so prized. No, it's not some sort of sherry bomb or super intense peater, but it offers depth that only the choicest casks we've ever purchased have achieved. With only 177 bottles in existence, there's no question that the real malt lovers will fall in love with this product and snatch up before we know it. Let's have a taste. The color is a distinctive deep gold. The nose offers a precise and robust attack of fresh crisp fuji apples, raw manuka honey, freshly snipped heather, sweet candied lemon peel and wild herbs. On the palate it's creamy and waxy -with a slight resemblance to the fabulous Clynelish- sweet citrus and wild tropical fruits (guava, mango, lychee) linger for many minutes during the finish. With water an incredible mineral character emerges adding to the citrus tones and bringing in baked apple note that lingers for ages. Like the finest GG Riesling in the glass and now more chocolate on the palate as well. A seamless and simply incomparable experience which will be so familiar and inviting to many of the long time malt drinkers, but likely a totally new and exciting for many new drinkers. There's simply not a lot of malt out there like this one any longer. Invigorating in every sense of the word.
Price: $300.00 Add To Cart

1991 Alembix 21 Year Old Napa Valley Merlot Alambic Brandy (750ml)
Review Date: 02-18-2022
The merlot brandy from Alembix is definitely their most unusual product. Aged, apparently, in similar barrels to the much darker cabernet based brandy, the merlot is all freshness and airy brightness to the cabernet's deep rancio and woodsy spice. The nose is a powerful floral and fresh fruit bouquet with an unprecedented elegance that isn't often achieved in the brandy world. Sweet yellow flowers, peach skin, golden raisins, wild flower honey. On the palate it's so supple and round it's difficult to imagine that this has spent more than two decades in oak, nary a tannin to be found. The bright freshness and non-perfumed floral character continues adding slight hints of fresh grass, zesty lemon oil, white chocolate and sweet tarts. A tiny hint of spice ticks up in the finish. This is the most unusual and arresting brandy of the three because it doesn't fall neatly into any category we might easily recognize, but that makes it no less drinkable and delicious. A truly lovely and obviously well cared for product that might never have an equivalent available in the future.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

1991 Alembix 21 Year Old Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Alambic Brandy (750ml)
Review Date: 02-18-2022
This product has no business being this good. Created on a lark from young vines in what might be considered a seat of the pants fashion, but when you're dealing with Narsai David you know he's going to do it right. This, for me, is easily the most exciting and unusual domestic brandy on the market today. Normally we avoid Cab based brandies because the acidity levels are not ideal for creating high quality brandy, but the young fruit and higher yields mean the wine produced was likely perfectly suited for distillation. Add high quality new barrels and two decades of slow maturation and you've got yourself a recipe for an absolutely stunning brandy of the highest order. The nose is a pungent mixture of rancio flavors. Deep aged leather, Medjool dates, chocolate covered toffee. The palate has great freshness despite the deep and heady nose giving a subtle tannin and tons of rich flavors of clove, nougat, espresso bean, candied cherries and sarsaparilla. It's dryer than most cognacs, since of course, they haven't dumped any sugar in, but it's not astringent or hard edged. Though it doesn't have the intensity of texture that some of the cask strength Armagnacs, it's definitely in the flavor range you might expect from a high quality product of that special region. It's truly a shame they haven't produced more of this, but we'll savor it til the last drop.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

1991 Alembix Napa Valley Cabernet/Merlot Grappa de Venus (375ml)
Review Date: 02-18-2022
The Alembix project is unlikely in every way. What's not a surprise, coming from a family of such vinous distinction, is that each of these products is exceptionally delicious. Their grappa, made from the left over pomace of the other two brandies is everything you want it to be and more. Even a hardcore grappa drinker will find something to appreciate here, but this is not your hard edge funk bomb you might expect. Instead decades of mellowing has softened the flavors, yet the tiniest hint of grippy grappa reminds us that this is not standard brandy. The nose is chalked full of bright apricot, pulverized stone, honeysuckle and quince. On the palate it's mellow and fresh with an invited texture and almost no heat whatsoever. A twinge of earthy stem balances the fresh fruit and the subtle oak is a perfect frame for the well honed canvas. A lovely expression of domestic grappa that tops any other available and most everything from Italy as well.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Don Julio 1942 Añejo Tequila (1.75L) (cannot ship - Will call or Local Delivery only)
Review Date: 02-08-2022
Tasting Don Julio 1942 is always a SHOCKING experience. It truly doesn't compute how they're able to create something so heady and sweet using just highland distilled agave and oak barrels in the quantities that they do. The nose is an explosive mix of sweet coconut, fresh vanilla bean, chocolate nibs, and tropical fruit. On the palate, the richness is jaw-dropping, I can't help but let out a guttural exclamation. Uhhhhhh ... what the hell did they do here? Yes, it's sweet, but it's so decadent you almost want to compare it to Sauternes or Quart de Chaumes. Baked tropical fruit, smooth silky texture, and a long, lingering finish. I tasted this next to slow-barbecued cacao crusted short ribs and couldn't imagine a better pairing. We've also got this at a killer price, so there's that too.
Price: $350.00 Add To Cart

Maguey Melate "Papalometl" José Erubíel Mota Martínez Zapotitlan Lagunas La Mixteca Uncertified Mezcal (375ml)
Review Date: 01-28-2022
We have two Papalometl's from the same part of Oaxaca, the Mixteca, that couldn't be more different. This wild meaty one from David Herrera is made super traditionally, fermented in cowhide, hand crushed and clay pot distilled. This one using mechanical grinders and copper pots is no less interesting though. The nose is a bit of a spice bomb tempered by overripe tropical fruit, passion and papaya. Big cinnamon and pepper coming through on the palate and some grapefruit rind along with a creamy mouthfeel. This stuff is very fun and completely unique in the line up. Totally in love with the Mixteca mezcals, a highly underexplored and undervalued region with a massive amount of diversity of flavors available.
Price: Hidden View Price

Maguey Melate "Papalometl" David Herrera Rivera Santa María Ixcatlán Oaxacan Uncertified Mezcal (375ml)
Review Date: 01-28-2022
These cowhide fermented ones can be really interesting and David Herrera is making top notch stuff in the Mixteca. Not only is it fermented in cowhide, but crushed by hand and distilled in clay pots. This is the real old school shizzle. The nose a wild and complex, a mix of cured meats, ripe guava, Texas style beef ribs, roasted pineapple and sweet corn atole. On the palate the saltiness remains as does some of the beef, but the fruit turns up too. Mango, mint and maybe some parmesan cheese. Totally wild, but utterly delicious. This one makes me very hungry.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Maguey Melate "Pulquero" (Felix Hernandez Ruiz) Santiago Matatlan Oaxaca Uncertified Mezcal (375ml)
Review Date: 01-28-2022
This is a pretty rare expression from a great producer in the most important mezcal producing village in Oaxaca. This plant isn't typically used for mezcal production, but when they are it can offer some very unique flavors. The nose is a splendid mixture of briny green earth and zesty lemon. There's almost an earthy olive-y note here and tons of freshly tilled soil. Around that floral and fragrant herbal character On the palate, a very pointed and appealing oak smoke character coupled with a juicy salinity which plays well with the green earthy note and the continuing citrus tones which balance the sweet roasted agave flavors perfectly. It is way to easy to drink this stuff, despite it not being super straight forward, it's extremely delicious!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

W.B. Saffell Limited Edition Batch #1 107 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (375ml)
Review Date: 01-05-2022
It's no secret that I'm a total Wild Turkey fan boy. I've been pining for this whisky for the better part of two years. While this batch was released in most markets in 2019, we didn't see it in California until two years later. While most other markets have sold out and the few stores that still have it are asking nearly double the original price, we've done everything in our power to purchase every single bottle we could find. There's simply nothing on the market as delicious and available as this incredible product. If you ever wanted to taste what pre-prohibition bourbon might have tasted like, this is about as close as you're going to get. The nose is never ending in its complexity. Every trip back is a different story. First it offers tons of sweet corn, rich caramel and brown sugar. When you return, now a powerful spice focused on cinnamon, but more complex and some added herbal savory character. Finally, zesty burnt orange peel and freshly toasted vanilla bean. On the palate, that fab WT earthiness, which I'm certain comes from the old 12 year element (of course distilled at the now demolished Old Ripy plant). Sweet oak, peppery spice, caramel syrup, it's full bodied but not obtrusively heavy, with a vibrant zesty-ness no doubt thanks to some excellent work by the blender. This is a whisky I'd like to be drinking all the time in perpetuity. It simply never gets old. After days with this bottle it continues to grow on me. There will be a the occasionally hater that quips about the price, but considering the junk that people throw money at these days, this is about the best bourbon we can sell to you dollar for dollar. This gets my highest recommendation!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Kirin Fuji Japanese Single Grain Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-05-2022
Many people are rightfully skeptical of new Japanese whisky. Indeed there are so many fake and/or low quality products on the market, the industry has collectively agreed to stop the obfuscation that has led to multitude of sub-par "Japanese" whiskies. But ultimately the great distillers of Japan make exceptional whisky across the board, even when they might blend in a bit of Scotch. The few distillers that do release Japanese distilled whisky are often times extremely hard to get. There are several famous names that were once very available that are now ultra-allocated. One of the saddest departures from regular appearance on our shelves is the wonderful Nikka Coffey Grain whisky. That lovely high quality grain whisky was many drinkers introduction to the category. Now, we have very little non-imported grain available and most are usually made using sochu style methods. That's where this excellent whisky comes in. The Fuji Gotemba distillery has long been prized in Japan thanks to it's high quality techniques and pure water source. Located at the base of Mt Fuji, the label has rebranded for the release of this highly anticipate grain and is known simply as Fuji. What's most striking about this product is simply how overtly delicious it is. Not as wood driven or nutty as the Nikka Coffey, but with much more texture or character than any Scottish grain, it's simply a wonderful thing to have in you glass. Let's taste it! The color is yellow gold. Immediately a pungent basket of fresh ripe stone and citrus fruit. Subtle nutty character and hints of both vanilla and cinnamon. The entry is honeyed and very sweet before adding some baking spice, gingersnap cookies, fresh biscuits and a touch of licorice bark. It's so easy to drink, but not at all boring and singular. An excellent choice for anyone looking to try something new in the category or trying to fill a Coffey Grain shaped hole in your heart.
Price: $94.99 Add To Cart

Torabhaig The Legacy Series "Allt Gleann" Isle Of Skye Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-04-2022
To say I'm skeptical of the multitude of new distilleries launching in Scotland these days is an understatement. Every time I see someone build a modern new distillery with steel washbacks and impressive efficiency estimates I think, who the hell are they making whisky for? Why would you spend a ton of money to build a new distillery to make whisky just like the big boys do. Efficiency is often the enemy of character in single malt production. But there are a choice few who have taken a different path - Ardnahoe, Ardnamurchan, Dornoch and this exceptional little distillery. These guys have really got their heads in the right place and while they're releasing very young whiskies, there's no question that the quality is top notch. Let's taste this, their second release. The color is old gold. The nose shows more briny ocean character and more citrus than the first release, which had harder edged tarry aromatics. This is exactly what Skye drinkers crave I think. The fresh ex-bourbon barrels also show up offering plenty of vanilla and subduing some of the brackishness. Zingy citrus, baking spice, baked orchard fruit and rich dark smoke offer great tension on the palate. It's got a very old school vibe to it and although the PPM seems lower on paper, the sticky lingering smoke on the palate is very welcome. Wonderfully balanced with a zesty citrus on the finish with keeps it all very lifted and fresh. Top notch stuff and a great indication of excellent whisky to come.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Bardstown Bourbon Company "Discovery Series #6" Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 12-21-2021
For those who haven't had Bardstown's Discovery series, it is really the product that's setting them apart from many other young distilleries. Of course they didn't distill it, but they've managed to acquire some exceptional stocks and they've got a great group of blenders there putting together these lovely whiskies. We ALWAYS have people coming back after finally opening their bottles asking for more, but usually we only get a handful of cases. Now we can actually spend some time talking about these excellent products and I'm certain anyone who cracks a bottle will be considering coming back for more, let's have a taste. The nose is a pungent medley of toasted pecan, butterscotch, wild honey, dried citrus peel, dark charred wood, soft dried stone fruit and the most subtle mineral character - not at ALL vitamin-y which is a flavor I'm very sensitive to. It feels very old on the nose, but on the palate shows a more medium age. Medium bodied and full of vanilla, white pepper, charred oak, baking spices and candied citrus. The finish is rather long and the tiniest earthy twinge reminds us it's got some very old Dickel in there, while the spicy fruit takes top billing as is lingers on the palate. A truly fun drink and an exciting example of the power of blending.
Price: $135.00 Add To Cart

1994 New Yarmouth 26 Year Old "Golden Devil" Single Barrel Jamaican Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 12-02-2021
The New Yarmouth distillery is not a name we regularly see but it's one of the most important in Jamaica. The "other" Appleton distillery makes a much higher proportion of the rums coming from this old special brand than the actually distillery baring it's name. We don't have a lot of information about how this was produced but it was very likely aged for nearly it's entire life in Jamaica. Distilled on a column, it should be light to medium ester, but no info is available on the chemical breakdown. IN any case let's have a taste. The color is burnished amber. Not like ANY Jamaican whisky I've ever had previously. Instead it's much more reminiscent of the old Demararas I've had. Of course the nose starts with big rich oak, bitter herbs (licorice bark, anise seed, cinchona), maple wood and aged cohiba. With air both fruit and saline come through, offer sweet tropical character pointed with wisps of camphor smoke and brine. On the palate, it's very intense and woody, but a bold sweet molasses character keeps the astringency at pay. Dark and dense, offering raisin-y fruit and endless savory spicy character. The high proof is evident but in the most appealing way and I wouldn't recommend more than a drop of water as this actually adds significant spice. It's an absolute spice bomb the palate already and it achieves the perfect crescendo after just a few drops of water. There's absolutely no reason this should still be in stock and if it said Enmore on it (which is much closer to the flavor profile than what you might expect from this product) it would have sold out long ago. A true rum oddity, but delicious and further proof that rum remains one of the most underexplored categories.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

Amrut 6 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Ex-Oloroso Sherry Butt #3890 Unpeated Indian Barley Indian Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-19-2021
I can't tell you how long I've been asking for single barrels from Amrut. It must have been at least a decade of begging and pleading with the importer to try to get it done. Ultimately, it was well worth the wait because the two casks that they ended up bottling are simply legendary. We may have been offered a hand full of bottles of previous single casks but aged stated single cask at reasonable price points is not something we're used to with this brand. This gorgeous ex-Oloroso butt is easily the best Indian Malt I've ever had and one of the most delicious malts of any kind I've had in at least the last year. There's not much more I can say other than it's time for anyone on the fence to come on down and get on board. Let's taste! Color is a fabulous Auburn. The nose starts out with powerful old school sherry character, but doesn't forget the malt behind the wine. Christmas cake, roasted chestnuts, new full grain leather, dried plums and mango, ginger bread and molasses cookies, an earthy chocolate maltiness to keep it tied up nicely. It's not as aggressive as the port pipe or the Solist sherry and would much more readily be mistaken for an old school highland distillery than a modern tropical whisky. On the palate, it's absolutely thick as oil and any perceived heat from the 120 proof is covered by the sweet nutty sherry. More leather and now burnt orange peel, the old schoolness of it is really the main attraction. Unctuous and long on the finish with a building exotic spice, some subtle black tea flavors, but far from it feeling tannic or bitter at all. With a splash of water both the tropical fruit and the spice are heightened leaving some of the nutty savory-ness behind on the nose, but not so much on the palate. Still ultra rich and velvety. It has this wonderful duality of being both balanced and quiet powerfully flavored. Simply one of my favorite whiskies in the shop right now and maybe ever. A true gem.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Amrut 8 Year Old "SCWC Exclusive" Ex-Port Pipe #4672 Unpeated Indian Barley Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-17-2021
This 8 year old Amrut is exactly the type of whisky that gets people excited about a new distillery. Not that Amrut is new by any means, but the two casks we're offering now are the very first single casks EVER sold in the US by the venerable Indian distillery. The lack of these sorts of offerings is honestly why I believe more hardcore whisky fanatics don't consider Amrut to be in the top tier. It's not because that can't make great older whiskies, it's because when they do, they're so limited and expensive no one can get to taste them. That's not to say that this whisky isn't expensive, but compared to equivalents from this distillery and the few others like it, it represents a very good value. I was so happy that they agreed to sell it to SoCal Whisky Club because they would only allow me to buy one barrel at a time! And now we get to sell both! Let's taste it. The color is dark brown sherry with reddish glints. The nose is just an massive explosion of aromas stewed red fruit, exotic wood, earthy bay leaf, heady nutmeg grinds, the finest roasted arabica. On the palate the sheer power and intensity is nearly unprecedented. Only Kavalan can match this absolutely explosive entry, filled with rich black cherry, pungent cinnamon, sweet and savory treacle syrup, dark roasted coffee and pine resin. It doesn't have the tannic bite that some of the Kavalans have but has all the length and texture. This stuff is TNT. It's the type of bomb that any sherry head or even bourbon lover will appreciate. No one leaves this one unscathed.
Price: $200.00 Add To Cart

2010 Linkwood 11 Year Old "Signatory K&L Exclusive" Charred Wine Hogshead Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-29-2021
Wine barrels are scary! We never know if the malt will be sound and there are so many pitfalls. Will it stink of Sulphur? Will it be sour? Will it be sickly sweet? Add the fact that this red wine cask is CHARRED and it's a total crap shoot. I was very skeptical when I saw these come across, but we know Signatory has a good reputation for finding high quality casks so we gave it a whirl and we're damn happy we did. Linkwood is often in less active casks from the IBs so having a well balanced version that's most cask driven is a refreshing change for us. Here's what I thought. The color is mahogany. The nose offers a bright red cherry compote, rich oak spice, high tone red floral character and savory sweet underbrush note. On the palate at cask strength, there's excellent balance wavering between sweet candied cherry again, stewed red fruit, burnt sugar and golden roasted malt. I love the richness and the sweet, savory interplay is exciting! With a sploosh of water, we start to see more chocolate and spice, leading to less red fruit and more woodsy-ness on the palate. It's still lovely, but I think I like this at full proof best. Something quite sauvage about it all. It's not necessarily very polished, but it's overtly attractive and totally wild! No off notes or weirdness just intensity of flavor and endless enjoyment.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Highland Park "Cask Strength" Release #2 Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-20-2021
The new cask strength release was a welcome departure from the regularly available lower proof bottlings, but also one of the few opportunities we've had to see how the blending team at the far flung distillery work across multiple release with the diverse stocks in their warehouses. It's not secret that they love a good sherry butt up there in Kirkwall, but the first batch didn't have quite the forward sherry that so many HP lovers crave. While I thought the first batch was perfectly delicious, this second release is garnering some serious hype thanks to the use of mostly sherry in the blend. Let's have a taste. The color is Chestnut. Immediately much more intensity of oak and obvious wine/sherry influence than the first release. Dense woodsy spice, dried stone fruit, tobacco leaf, pecan pie tempered with a rich vanilla and sweet toffee character. Throughout a pungent line of sweet floral smoke and tiniest hints of ocean spray and dried nori. The deftly balanced aromas on the nose lead to a rich oily texture on the palate. The tannin from the Euro oak is definitely evident and the dryness is welcome considering expectation of great sweetness. It big and spicy and totally mouth coating. Of course, a whisky at this age craves some water. With a few drops the savory sides gives way to pure orchard fruit, both fresh and dried. The savory salinity is tamed and now we just get a pinch of salt and smoke behind the absolute waterfall of fruit. One the palate, some gorgeous peppery smoke remains to balance out the almost two easy to swallow mixture of sweet maltiness, candied fruit and dark chocolate on the finish. This is about as close as we can get to the monster single casks we bottled for the store last year, but the blenders have added something extra here. If they keep the quality of these lovely batches up, it will no doubt be a staple on our shelves and should be considered a deserving deity in the pantheon of great yet relatively affordable regular cask strength releases -in a club with the likes of Laphroaig CS, Aberlour A'bunadh, Lagavulin 12 year, Springbank 12 etc.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Wild Turkey "Rare Breed" Small Batch Barrel Proof Unchillfiltered Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 08-27-2021
The fabulous Wild Turkey distillery has always made a killer rye, but this is the first time we've been able to get the stuff at barrel proof and it doesn't disappoint in the slightest. It's no secret that I'm a HUGE fan of the kickin' chicken and while it's not everyone's cup of tea, Wild Turkey has slowly become the sleeper bourbon of the people. They do one or two special release every year, which of course have become extremely difficult to get, but mostly they just make great stuff and sell it for a great price. This stuff is no exception. The color is amber. The nose is expansive and overtly appealing. Huge aromas of dried spice, fresh mint, exotic woods, leather, burnt orange oil and spruce nibs. Some hints of tobacco leaf and behind something sweet and baked. On the palate it's got a wild core of tangy oak framed with fresh pepper, dried herbs, candied citrus peel, roasted nuts and warming mint on the finish. A total gem that just over delivers on every level.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Prohibition Craft Spirits "NULU Reserve" California Exclusive Batch #CA1 Barrel Proof Small Batch CA1 Indiana Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 08-10-2021
I was really excited to see the NULU products making their way out to California, but when I found out that they'd be offering us a unique small batch, instead of the typical single barrel, I just about bought the entire batch. There's no question that we fetishize the single barrel in our industry, and while they offer unparalleled uniqueness, few single barrels can stand up to a well-crafted small batch in terms of balance and complexity. This gorgeous little batch of Indiana bourbon is the perfect example. Let's taste it. The color is yellow gold. The nose starts out a bit restrained before opening up considerably with just a few minutes in the glass. Aromas of sweet corn oil, caramel candy, toasted vanilla, and yellow fruit. Wonderfully supple on the palate, with an oily texture and some strong barrel spice coming through on the back end. It turns out to be a quite a big, spicy one with building pepper and clove heat. The richness keeps it in check, and altogether this is incredibly enjoyable bourbon!
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LAWS Whiskey House "Barrel Select" K&L Exclusive Barrel #508 Cask Strength Single Barrel San Luis Valley Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-29-2021
This delicious single barrel of San Luis Valley Rye is one of the very best craft ryes we've tried so far. There's a huge influx of craft distillers offering rye of various quality and character, but LAWS has found a formula that's as delicious as it is unique. Using the heirloom varietal of rye grown by farmers in south-central Colorado, their Straight Rye is derived from an equal blend of malted and unmalted rye. This semi-wild varietal now being cultivated exclusively to produce this particular whisky offers character unlike the industrial ryes grown in Canada and Germany for the rest of the industry. Expect a stupendous, complex mixture of rich salted caramel, mints, and licorice bark on the nose. On the palate, a vibrant mixture of sweet earthy oak, bold cacao, tangy green herbs, and burnt Seville orange peel. It's truly incredible what these guys have managed to achieve in such a short time, and we couldn't be prouder to be partnered with them.
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Isle of Harris Sugar Kelp Infused Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 07-15-2021
Never judge a book by its cover, they say, unless it’s gorgeously appointed and unrivaled in its beauty, I’d add. There is no question that in the booze business, your bottle is nearly as important as the stuff that goes in it. Indeed, it was the striking package that drew my eye to this product on the backbar of a Glasgow pub five years ago. I asked to see the bottle and realized that this was not some crass, overdesigned marketing exercise. This was a legitimate and thoughtfully crafted Scottish gin with a character unlike any other I’d tasted. One sniff out of that bottle and I knew I needed to have this stuff – EVERY DAY if possible, but for one massive hurdle. The tiny distillery on the far-flung island in the outer Hebrides was already struggling to keep up with local demand, and the incredible care in the design of the bottle meant that creating a bottle suitable for the US market, which only recently allowed the sale of spirits in 700ml bottles, was next to impossible. So, we waited. I staged a relentless campaign with emails and phone calls to the distillery to make clear our interest. And when this special product final popped up with a small distributor, I bought every single bottle they had on hand. I’ve called this the next great Scottish Gin, and I truly believe that. It offers a complex expression of flavors that are perfectly balanced and wildly appealing. The nose is an ever-evolving explosion of aromas beginning with an ocean breeze. This sensation of being near the sea is so distinct, one must experience it to understand. On second nosing, a flutter of citrus and a deep whole pepper note give way to a bright piney character before the sweet, earthy aromas of licorice, Orris, and cassia come online. The underlying sweetness balances the subtle salinity perfectly on the palate. Of course, no sugar added here, and perhaps it is psychosomatic, but the sugar kelp seems to give it a voluptuous richness that balances the savory perfectly. And while this is slightly lower proof than I usually like in a gin, the texture and balance seem to be perfectly suited for the gin's character. Altogether one of my favorite products to drink, hands down from any category. Plus, that bottle is so beautiful.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars "Faultline" K&L Exclusive Australian Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 06-03-2021
The exceptional Faultline Gin is part of a long series of excellent gins we've created with our favorite distillers. This one was created by David Driscoll with the help of the boys down at Four Pillars. Our first batch was so fabulous we had to re-create it. I might notice the unique Australian botanicals even more in this batch with powerful lemon myrtle and fresh kumquat coming straight to the front. While it's citrus driven and fresh, it doesn't forget it's roots as a classic dry gin and the complex host of botanicals works perfectly on the palate to create something utterly unique yet hauntingly familiar. While I used to say this was better suited for G&Ts than Martinis and think you could sneak this little baby into just about any drink to give it some complexity without adulterating the result negatively.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Doc Swinson's "Alter Ego" Triple Cask Sherry & Cognac Finished Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-11-2021
In a general sense, I'm skeptical of bourbon finishes. It's not because there's anything wrong with the idea, but simply that so many people execute it so poorly. There are so many places where the project can go wrong. Certainly, if you're using barrel finishes to improve a subpar bourbon, you're going to have a bad time. Likewise, if you take great bourbon and hammer it with wine or wood flavors, you risk having a muddled or unbalanced character that's worse than the bourbon was to start. The key is to retain all the greatness inherent in your base whiskey, while adding something new or interesting that enhances the flavors of the original product. On that count, I think the new Alter Ego has succeeded wholeheartedly. I'm already a fan of good middle-aged MGP. The careful finishing, blending, and marrying process that Doc's has developed add the perfect nuance to that already solid core. Let's taste! The color is burnished gold, not as dark as you might expect with a PX element involved. What starts rather woody at first, quickly opens up to a bevy of gorgeous stone fruits and fresh spice. Sherry notes aren’t obtrusive, but it's not your standard bourbon nose either. With more air the nose is very polished offering vanilla, toasted oak, some roasted nutty character, hints of marshmallow and candied citrus. On the palate, it's surprisingly textural and velvety. Here we start to see some of the bold spice of the French oak, but the sweetness of the bourbon (and the PX I guess) keep it at bay. Now we have some rich almond character, zingy cinnamon, sweet tarts and caramelized fruit. All this is extremely approachable and not at all heavy handed. For those who might avoid finishes, you'll be pleasantly surprised, but it also has enough there to satisfy someone who's looking for something outside the standard Indiana bourbon profile. Couldn't be happier to be supporting these little guys, they've taken some serious risks here in terms of the cost and potential for failure and honestly I think they've done an impeccable job. Another great offering from our friends in Ferndale, WA!
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Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-12-2021
Perhaps our greatest triumph to date because making good whisky cheap (or should that read “cheap whisky good”) is DANG hard work. I don't know if there is a product that we sell that I've spent more time or energy on getting right. We literally went through hundreds of samples of blended whisky from multiple suppliers. I worked meticulously with the artist to create the perfect label to exemplify this special blend. Ultimately, what we chose to blend wasn't necessarily the most powerful or intense option, but instead the goddamned most drinkable thing we could find at any price. We insisted it not be colored and bottled at 100 proof because while it was tasty at 80 proof, a whole lot of this stuff was going to go into long drinks and over rocks. Nothing else on the market stands up so well in a drink -long, short, classic whatever! The added proof does wonders to improve the flavor not to mention add texture. The inclusion of the beautiful bevy of Islay, Island, and Highland single malt give it depth, but the lack of caramel coloring might be the real reason this worked so well. The color will undoubtedly scare some old school whisky drinkers–it’s really really light in color. We’ve been conditioned by the industry to think, darker is better. Producers believe (and not without reason) that consumers will taste with their eyes first and therefore the negative flavor effects of the chemical coloring are vastly outweighed by the psychological effects of the dark color – it should be noted that some believe the addition of caramel color might enhance flavor of blended whisky, I am not one of those people. It is indeed true that consumers prefer darker colored whisky even if it’s the exact same stuff. Conditioning is a powerful thing. If the light color is a problem for you, please close your eyes (figuratively) because we are indeed incredibly influenced by our visual perceptions and this whisky deserves a fair shake. I'm very happy with the final product, but we knew the true test would always be when the real whisky geeks got hold of it. You know the guys who NEVER hold their tongue, no matter how obviously important or irritating something might be to you. Love those guys. While some diehards have remarked that it was "pretty darn good for the price,” others whisky heads just about fell out of their chairs when they tasted it. "How much of this stuff do you have? I'm gonna bunker at least 2 cases…no 3 cases. Do you have enough?" Music to my ears. For now, yes we have enough, for now…
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-17-2020
A great mousse, clean apple, subtle cherry. Lovely freshness with a distinct bready top note. Rare to find a better value than this in Champagne, the Ariston's commitment to quality is second to none and thanks to our DI relationship, we're selling this at crement prices!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club


1993 Jamaica's Top Pots (Hampden) 27 Year Old "Golden Devil" Single Barrel Jamaican Rum (375ml)
Review Date: 12-17-2020
David's review: We were absolutely astonished when our friends at Golden Devil phoned up to say they'd found a few barrels of really old Hampden. Now there's new issues with the trademark so this can't be sold with that special distillery's name on the bottle, but I'm certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was distilled at the special distillery in Trelawny parish almost 30 years ago. To appreciate the rarity and uniqueness of this special cask, one must first understand why Hampden is regarded by many to be one of the best rum distillers in the world. Hampden has changed little since its creation several hundred years ago. For centuries it was more or less traded as a commodity. Its ability to produce high quality high ester spirits was prized by blenders, perfumers, confectioners etc. These high ester rums maybe never were intended to be consumed on their own, their intensity making them perfect as a tiny part of a larger flavor profile. But just like the big smoky Islays, which were once seen by the industry more as a tool of the blender than as a style to be marketed outright, these rums have developed a following among the few who have had the chance to experience them. And to further the analogy to single malt, while there are many excellent distilleries on the island where this is distilled, nothing is more highly prized than old versions of the most traditional distillers—Bowmore, Ardbeg, Laphroaig. Except all of those distilleries have updated their technology more or less to join the modern era. Hampden is still creating spirits as they might have a century ago and they were doing just that in 1993 when this special cask of rum was distilled. Back then, there was likely no market for this as a standalone cask and the fact that it has survived this long is as incredible in and of itself. And of course, the price reflects the great rarity here, but in the grand scheme of things, there will be a moment when someone realizes what an inexplicably reasonable price this ultimately was. After nearly 30 years this ultra-high ester rum has achieved a level of complexity that few drinkers will ever experience. It won't suit every palate—like Islay Scotch, you're either in the ester club or out, but for those in the club, this will likely go down as a legend. Let's taste! The color is old gold. Immediately on the massive nose fresh paint, shellac, and varnish stun the senses. Once the initial ester wave numbs the brain slightly, we begin to pick up a stunning bouquet of aromas: midrace F1 pit stop, salted lemons, green & black olives and their brine, bananas in all stages of ripeness and putrefaction. An absolutely impossible mix of intensity and near sensory overload on the palate. Simultaneously wildly rich, sour, salty and sweet. The heat is numbing and helps to temper the initial shock. Vibrant with a freshness that's undeniable but coupled with a near heart stopping power. Now this spirit is full strength and adding water is obligatory. Just a few drops and the varnish relinquishes its hold and the whole thing is taken over by the tropical fruit and the salty olives. The smoke is there still, but it's clean and linear. If you could get limestone to ignite, I'd imagine that's close to what you might smell. The texture is now downright thick—mostly on the lemons and the salt, but with a bevy of exotic herbs and botanicals added. Ardbeg lovers rejoice. Absolutely in love. I'm desperately afraid because all I want to do with my life is sit here and drink this. Very dangerous stuff.
Price: $179.99 Add To Waiting List

Ragnaud Sabourin K&L Exclusive Reserve Speciale #20 Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-21-2020
The big bold character of the Ragnaud 20 is an interesting contrast to the much rounder 35 year. Here we're a few ticks up on the oak, but still with an elegance the pervades the entire Sabourin line up. The nose is chalked full of ripe exotic citrus, creamy vanilla cakes, plum jam, cinnamon, spice box, exotic wood. On the palate is weighty and wild. Powerful ginger and sweet citrus. Delicate rancio, but not quiet into the oloroso stuff. Very inviting, very delicious, pretty dry and spicy. Maybe a good one for the single malt guys to cross over on account of the balanced sweetness and wild complexity. I like this batch better than when we first tasted it 5 years ago. A real gem at this price, but not for the sweet toothed cognac lovers.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Ragnaud-Sabourin "Fontevieille #35" K&L Exclusive Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-21-2020
In many ways, I've come to consider Ragnaud Sabourin the gold standard in Grand Champagne Cognac production. Their tiny estate in the best part of Grand Champagne produces Ugni and Folle Blanche and eau-de-vie for some of the most expensive cognacs on the market today. Before I visited the legendary estate, I didn't really have a good understanding of what the quality difference in Grand Champagne was all about. I was also misunderstood why the elevage of great cognac included so called "additives". On the industial scale I understood that cognac needed to use additives to offer consistency across thousands of cases of young brandy, but I didn't see why a high quality estate would ever do that. Now after hearing from them what they exactly use to create their "boise" (additive), I much more accurately appreciate why the do this. The creation of this additive is not a short cut, but the very opposite. They cultivate and create an "extract of oak" from the ultra old under proof cognacs. So if the additives someone is using are actually 80+ year old cognac that are under proof and therefor not able to be bottled any longer as cognac, I'm all for it. So this blend is essentially 35 years old, but includes eau-de-vie much much older. The nose is surprisingly vibrant with a beautiful bouquet of ultra mature flavors: flambéed citrus peel, cocoa butter, stewed stone fruits - Mirabelle, nectarine etc. ON the palate, very forgiving and round, with tons of wild honey, orange blossom, smattered with clove and cinnamon spice. A truly delicious example of what the best cognac SHOULD taste like.
Price: $169.99 Add To Cart

Château de la Grangerie K&L Exclusive Armagnac (1L)
Review Date: 03-21-2020
The lovely 1L of Grangerie is my go to for mixing of any kind. There is no better deal in unadulterated brandy. This is young brand that's not seeing a lot of new oak because it's intentionally meant to harbor the fresh fruit and floral aromatics associated with the eau-de-vie itself. A gorgeous nose of green pears, yellow cherries and tropical flowers. The palate is fresh and grape-y in a good way. Dry and linear with great texture and a clean long finish. As long as you're not using the brandy as a sweet in cocktail creation this one is perfect. It's also gorgeous in a simple long drink or as the strong in many different punch preparations.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Littlemill "Old Malt Cask" 29 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-22-2019
This one is a bit unfair. Littlemill falls into two categories. Gross and great. Those two categories exist under one umbrella, impossible to find. But what we don't see is great Littlemill at a seemingly sane price. Even if this weren't a closed distillery that's impossible to find I don't think this would be an absurd price to ask for a great old nearly 30 year old malt whisky, but when the owners of the brand are selling their 25 year old version for upwards of $4000, I think we can consider a 29 year old version at less than 1/10th the price a legendary deal. Also, this one TASTES great. The nose starts with tons of toasty oak, but that doesn't overwhelm the wild tropical fruit, mango, exotic spices, hints of fancy tea, savory herbs, a slight briny quality and the tiniest whiff of almond oil. The palate is zesty, totally alive, big fruit and big spice, not at all tannic or over oaked. This one only needs the tiniest drop of water, if that, to tame the toasty oak and bring out the freshness and wild fruit. An obvious choice, but also soon to be ghost.
Price: $249.99 Add To Waiting List

New Riff Bottled In Bond Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 09-26-2019
While everyone is talking about the New Riff bourbons, I think it's the rye that's secretly their most exciting product. New Riff bourbons are high rye already, but they follow sort of the standard Kentucky process. With the rye, New Riff is actually riffing a bit on the classic Larry Ebersold Seagram's mashbill that's made the rye from the distillery down river so famous. This is 100% rye with 5% of that being malted rye. The resulting whisky is earthy and complex. It doesn't have the obvious mint qualities of some other 100% ryes, instead replacing those with a dark underbrush aroma that's really appealing. Still, an evergreen quality and some sweet oak give this an obvious forest essence that I think will become a hallmark of New Riff's wonderful ryes. The palate is very forgiving without relinquishing the savoriness, but offering tons of flambeed citrus, roasting herbs, Manuka honey and a round creamy texture. This one loves a bit of water.
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New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 09-26-2019
Easily one of the most exciting new distillers in KY, and we're proud to be the partner for these incredible products. This isn't your run-of-the-mill craft distillery, this is a proper, modern Kentucky style distillery. It's not a tiny capacity, working on experiments and trying to reinvent the wheel. They're just cranking out great whisky and we're along for the ride. The flagship BIB bourbon is extremely well balanced and proof positive that craft whiskey doesn't need to be old to be delicious. I'm not sure if they're heat-cycling these warehouses, but they are rubbing all the edges of this little gem. A soft nose of sweet tea, deep oak, caramelized orange peel, and hints of earthy maltiness. On the palate it's somewhat tropical, with a strawberry candy front palate building into a strong spice toward the back. It's not a slouch and definitely has a spice backbone that's going to suit lovers of Four Roses or Wild Turkey just fine. Despite the name, New Riff isn't new school at all. Just great classic bourbon from an independent distillery that we're unbelievably lucky to be a part of.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

New Riff "Single Barrel" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 09-26-2019
While the bottled in bond stuff has proved to be superlative at this new distillery in Northern Kentucky, it will surely be the wonderful single barrels that seal the deal with so many whisky fanatics. These barrels deliver so much depth and complexity, I'm always shocked that we're able to sell them for so little. So few of Kentucky's great distillers are offering us cask strength single barrel and going forward we'll be scouring New Riffs warehouses for the very best cherries. This barrel shows a very different character than the standard BIB right now. The nose explodes out of the glass with exotic aromas: sandalwood and white flowers, grilled stone fruits, and surprisingly low spice on the nose. On the palate here comes the oak spice and vanilla! Long, warming cinnamon, and slight hints of roasted corn. A pretty tidy package filled with tons of flavor and wrapped in a silk ribbon.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin (375ml)
Review Date: 08-26-2019
The first time I saw it we were in Scotland. I full on freaked out at a small spirits shop in Edinburgh when I noticed this quirky bottle of gin sitting on the shelf. For years, the Monkey 47 had been unobtanium, a regrettable situation for the knowledgeable and gin soaked. None of us had experienced this legendary gin yet, but thanks to the UK's lax wine shop regulations -the old "taste whatever you like" rule was in full effect. We were soon dunking our noses in a few splashes of its magnificence. I think tasting this after several other gins really put into perspective how special it really is. Created through the confluence of British aesthetics, Indian flavors, and the distinctly Teutonic natural treasure that is the Schwarzwald, The Monkey packs an enormous amount of complexity into that little bottle. It's the sort of gin that will save that cocktail you're about to ruin. You could have just as well served it straight because it sips beautifully even at room temperature. It’s quite a departure from your standard recipe gin, although some familiar elements are layered throughout. There is a strong yet soothing evergreen presence. A keynote if you will, but by no means the only focus. On the nose a dried floral aroma is accented by a twinge of spicy ginger. At the front, what seems like a citrus or chamomile quickly morphs into tea tree and sweet herbs, lemon verbena -now cucumber peel and pepper, it just keeps on going. No point in continuing to describe its flavor, its not working. It has a glorious tendency to be completely different with each sip, a true roller-coaster of flavors. Every single one of its 47 botanicals is tuned to the same perfect frequency. It's wild and utterly fabulous, but not in an awkward way. Instead, it seems to be all very deliberate, even stoic. I gladly forked over the £s the shop was asking, as did my colleagues. We nearly cried when we heard it would finally be arriving stateside.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin (1L)
Review Date: 08-26-2019
The first time I saw it we were in Scotland. I full on freaked out at a small spirits shop in Edinburgh when I noticed this quirky bottle of gin sitting on the shelf. For years, the Monkey 47 had been unobtanium, a regrettable situation for the knowledgeable and gin soaked. None of us had experienced this legendary gin yet, but thanks to the UK's lax wine shop regulations -the old "taste whatever you like" rule was in full effect. We were soon dunking our noses in a few splashes of its magnificence. I think tasting this after several other gins really put into perspective how special it really is. Created through the confluence of British aesthetics, Indian flavors, and the distinctly Teutonic natural treasure that is the Schwarzwald, The Monkey packs an enormous amount of complexity into that little bottle. It's the sort of gin that will save that cocktail you're about to ruin. You could have just as well served it straight because it sips beautifully even at room temperature. It’s quite a departure from your standard recipe gin, although some familiar elements are layered throughout. There is a strong yet soothing evergreen presence. A keynote if you will, but by no means the only focus. On the nose a dried floral aroma is accented by a twinge of spicy ginger. At the front, what seems like a citrus or chamomile quickly morphs into tea tree and sweet herbs, lemon verbena -now cucumber peel and pepper, it just keeps on going. No point in continuing to describe its flavor, its not working. It has a glorious tendency to be completely different with each sip, a true roller-coaster of flavors. Every single one of its 47 botanicals is tuned to the same perfect frequency. It's wild and utterly fabulous, but not in an awkward way. Instead, it seems to be all very deliberate, even stoic. I gladly forked over the £s the shop was asking, as did my colleagues. We nearly cried when we heard it would finally be arriving stateside.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Kilkerran (Glengyle) 12 Year Old Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 08-08-2019
There are few more interesting and important whiskies on the shelf than the wonderful Glengyle Distillery malts. The Kilkerran brand has such an interesting story, basically Springbank's big middle finger to the SWA for trying to screw them out of a regional designation, but what's even more interesting than the origin story are the incredible malts themselves. Many of our customers know and love the idiosyncratic malts distilled just down the road at Springbank. The 12 year old Kilkerran is the perfect example of how slight difference in the process can significantly affect the flavor, texture and character of a whisky. This is essentially a slightly less peated version of the same malt that goes into the classic Springbank. It sees a more modern mashing process and a similar, if slightly cleaner, fermentation in traditional Larch vats. The wash is then distilled on the old Ben Wyvis stills, modified slightly to fit in the stone walls of Glengyle and produce the character of whisky that Mitchell was looking for. Tilted slightly up the spirit produced here has some oiliness but also a purity that is that isn't as obvious at Springbank. This is in many ways my perfect malt whisky. The nose billows out of the glass with sweet citrus, mineral/petrol, powerful herbs and deep clean smokiness. On the palate, it's obviously peated, but not acrid and so wonderfully old school. Chewy texture lemon balm, lanolin, chalk mineral, salted stone fruit and ocean spray. Tangy, structured, long, salty and satisfying as it finishes- there's almost nothing out the quiet like this today.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Small Batch Bottled in Bond Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 02-07-2019
It's been a little while since I've sat down and evaluated this product thoroughly. A standard in my back bar when I can get it, but I tend to drink and not think this one if you know what I mean. The fact that it's recently become slightly more available (for what will certainly be a short period of time) means I get to take some time to consider this one thoroughly for once. Supposedly the same mash bill as George T Stagg I actually get a strong similarity one of the other famously hard to get Buffalo Trace Bourbons, Rock Hill Farms. Maybe it's a warehousing thing or the fact that they're both 100 proof, but the mashbills on the two should be different. The nose still has tons of sweet dark oak spice, strong Tahitian vanilla and caramel. Touches of barnyard and dried vegetation. Big sweet corn on the palate with a lovely kick thanks to the higher proof. This is the perfect whisky to go in between Eagle Rare and Blanton's and the shoe fits perfectly, figuratively speaking. Sad we don't get to sell this on the regular, but hopefully more stocks will continue to open up on this excellent brand.
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
Limit of 1 per customer

Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill "Tom Cat" Barrel Aged Old Tom Vermont Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 12-28-2018
Caledonia Spirits had me hooked the moment I opened a sample of the outrageous honey they use to make their gin. This veritable nectar of the gods could literally make anything delicious. Now take an ultra high quality gin, age it in good quality oak, and add just enough honey to feel it, but not enough make it particularly sweet and you've got one of the most dangerous concoctions on the market. Aromatically unique, encompassing a huge variety of complex flavors, Barr Hill has created one of the most successful barrel aged gin I've yet come across. Sip it straight or in the place of whiskey in certain spirit driven cocktails.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

1965 Carsebridge 52 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-13-2018
It's still incredible to me that we're still able to sell whisky distilled before the moon landing. This whisky, likely forgotten somewhere deep in a dank Scottish warehouse, survived the blenders for more than a half century to end up here in our store. What's even more incredible is how overtly delicious this one is. The concentration after 50+ years creates an aromatic character almost like cognac, but without the syrupy sweetness. You'd expect the thing to be bitter with extracted oak by this age, but you'd be wrong. It’s sweet, nutty and packed full of rancio fruit. This is a singular experience that just can't be had anywhere else in the whisky drinking world. A steal and a deal considering the only other 50+ year old grain whisky being sold in the states costs $900 and a sister cask of this same whisky costs $550 in London.
Price: $599.99 Add To Waiting List

Barbadillo "Solear" Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda
Review Date: 09-06-2018
Wow, it's been a while since I've had this. Perfect nose of powerful flor and dense saltiness. The palate is slightly atypical for Manzanilla since we've got a lot more weight, but the texture is balanced perfectly and there are no edges at all. The fun fabulous wine from Sanlucar are such stupendous values and while you need to be initiated into the flor club to really fall in love, once you catch the bug it's so hard to go back.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Clairin Vaval Single Estate Haitian Sugarcane Juice Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 07-11-2018
Wow the incredible Vaval is easily the equal to the other two Clairins, but a third distinctive style. Not having the vegetal intensity of the Casimir or the clean crispness of the Sajous, it might be the most versatile of the three. The nose is the most phenolic of the three as well. Pungent and bold nose of camphor, fresh soil, sweet grass, pickles, smoked meats, but then freshness behind. On the palate less phenolic but still very meaty -diesel oil, asphalt/gravel, mineral salts and touches of roasted citrus peel. The finish is dry and distinctive with a strong zesty lime note coming through. An absolutely idiosyncratic experience and something I want people to love as much as I do. This one will be extremely fun to mix with as well.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Clairin Sajous Single Estate Haitian Sugarcane Juice Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 07-11-2018
Clairin is so hard to pinpoint, but there's no question that these special spirits are the next level for real lovers of distilled spirits who crave complexity and depth. They fall squarely in a round hole. Or is that roundly in a square whole? The sum of the squares is great than the whole. Anyway, expect something in between Agave, Agricole and Islay. Sajous is a pretty different terroir than the other two Clairins and has a slightly different style type, but we're no less impressive. This one can use a bit of water just a tiny drop. Still tons of savory, but less black olive and more castelnuovo, fresh teatree bark, engine oil, sour dough, underbrush and endless bouquet of aromatics. The palate just explodes. It's so delineated and enjoyable I can't stop drinking it. Crushed rocks covered in lime juice. Sea water thrown on a smoldering fire. Mangos covered in Tajin. Just ridiculous. Unfair. Nothing else matters but this...
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

A. Smith Bowman "Isaac Bowman" Port Barrel Finish Virginia Straight Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 07-05-2018
So I almost always dislike Port Finished bourbon. It’s not that they’re always bad, but often they don’t ADD much to the already wonderful whisky that went into those barrels. Indeed some work well. Angel's Envy and the tiniest kiss of sweet red fruit the port adds would be an example. But others simply over do it, adding a syrupy saccharine quality to already sweet spirit or even worse providing an overt bitterness from too much time in French oak. In general I believe it draws away from the inherent character of the a good bourbon, assuming you started with good bourbon. That said this new offering from Bowman strikes the perfect balance. It's not as mild as the Angel's, yet remains as balanced and delicious as all the Bowman Bourbons. Expect dense dark red fruit popping out from the first moment. Slight hints of candied stone fruit balanced by big sweet oaky vanilla and spice. This morphs into dense roasted nuts and cinnamon apple tart on the palate. Definitely on the sweet side, but avoiding the overtly sugary flavors with the highish proof and bold spice. A totally wonderful new addition to the Bowman line and my new go to pair for almost ANY dessert.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Daniel Bouju Tres Vieux "Brut de Fut" Premier Cru de Cognac Grand Champagne Cognac 750ml
Review Date: 01-12-2018
This insane offering has always been something we've wanted to carry, but the very high price tag (upwards of $250) made it seem out of reach. Now that we're able to offer it at a somewhat more reasonable price, it might be one of the most exciting cognacs we've ever stocked. It's a total bomb, not suited for cognac drinkers looking for something easy and sweet, but will easily win over lovers of old unobtainable American whiskey. This is a selection from Bouju's oldest stocks with a minimum age of around 40 years and a significant proportion of brandies much much older, maybe 80-100 years old. It's bottled without additives according to the producer and not filtered or reduced before bottling. Mr. Bouju insists the reason for the excessively dark color is the lack of reduction, something that normally happens several times during an eau-de-vie's maturation and blending. Instead, he says, he distills and reduces slightly before barreling and does absolutely nothing else for over 4 decades. When it hits 100 proof naturally, the resulting cognac is a force of nature. This nose puts us square in bourbon land, dense dry woodsy with fruit compote (figs & plums), cacao nibs, sweet herbs, all kinds of baking spice. Relatively gentle on the palate considering the high proof, but very dry, dark fruits and a big minty herbal finish. A benchmark by any standard. 5 Stars.
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart

Daniel Bouju "Royal" Brut De Fut Grand Champagne Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-09-2018
This is a monster. We rarely see high proof cognac that's both affordable and delicious, but the Royal is exactly that. The Royal is bottled at an astonishing 120 proof, yet the nose exhibits no alcohol or burn. Instead we get a pungent mixture of dried stone fruit, varnishy old wood, tobacco and wooden cellar. The palate is ultra textured and concentrated with a building peppery spice that overwhelms the fruit by the finish. Heavy almost thick and sweeter than expected entry leads to a bold spicy dry finish. It's an absolute treat. Bouju claims to add absolutely nothing to this special cognac and that big dry finish might confirm his claims.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

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