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Staff Favorites - Andrew Whiteley

Andrew Whiteley
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Reviews

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2013 Fuenteseca Huerta Singular "El Maguey" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 08-01-2020
It is the end of an era. This has been the best blanco tequila in the store for over 3 years. If you've talked to me in person about tequila since this first landed on our shelves in 2017 I have certainly implored you to purchase this bottle before. I have no doubt the several bottles I've stashed away will be the best blanco in my spirits collection for years to come. In terms of flat out quality - it's one of the best bottles of any wine or spirit I've laid my hands on. A one off - distilled in 2013 and rested for years in tank until it was perfect. Enrique Fonseca - the largest agave farmer/owner in Jalisco - has quietly identified his best fields and singled them out to produce this elixir. This has been done for centuries in wine making (Burgundy anyone??) and nothing like this has been done with agave - arguably an even more terroir expressive plant than the vinus vinifera. The flavors are nearly impossible to describe and words will not do it justice. The nose is tropical fruit mingled with zesty citrus, crushed sea salt, flowers in full springtime bloom, and of course, cooked agave. If you ever have the luxury to bite into cooked agave before it gets mashed and distilled, your palate will be forever changed. It's a remarkable flavor - honey sweet and endlessly complex. The higher than usual ABV of this bottle provides tremendous lift and a backbone from which everything else hangs neatly. The finish can only be classified as ultra long - it lingers for minutes if you let it. If you're sick of the adulterated crap that gets passed off as tequila in today's market - stock up, because we are at THE END of the greatest 10,000 bottle run ever produced.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Inverroche Classic Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 07-29-2020
Drawing on the fynbos that are endemic to the coastal limestone rich hills and cliffs on the Cape, Inverroche's classic gin sets an extremely high bar for the lineup. It drinks like a more exotic London Dry. It's decidedly junipery with a fresh grassy cut when tasted neat. This blends perfectly with any quinine heavy tonic. The fynbos provide a unique floral component that is painted with a set of colors no other artist or landscape can copy. Citrus and rose petal begin to describe the combination - but by no means capture it. There is too much spice and verve to leave it at that. While I've been to Cape many years ago, I must admit my experience with fynbos remains nil. They are so unique it's impossible to capture their essence in words. It is captured in this gin.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Nao Spirits Jin Jiji India Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 07-29-2020
From time to time a new gin blows you away in flavor. In our world of $40+/btl gins, it is rarer still for that same gin to then take your breath away in affordability. For just 25 bucks, Jin Jiji checks all the boxes. From the spiritual homeland of the G&T comes a gin that feels like a traditional London Dry but brings so much more to the table. The complexity of black tea marries perfectly with classic ingredients like juniper and coriander while at the same time highlighting a slight savory component of cashew nut and basil. It's refreshing on its own (read: perfect for a bone dry martini) and yet so easy to mix. Try it with the Fever Tree Citrus Tonic for an added blast of zip in your next G&T or pair with the myriad aperitivi and vermouth available in your next Negroni. I've already tried several combinations and I'd be shocked if you can find one that doesn't taste delicious.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

The Japanese Bitters Umami Bitters (100ml)
Review Date: 07-29-2020
This is the essence of Umami. It's insane to taste on its own and extraordinarily versatile. This can be used in any number of ways in cocktails that need a savory touch to bring them together or especially in the kitchen. Think mushroom risotto or steak marinades. It basically is a blast of mushroom, fish sauce, seaweed, beef jerky, miso soup, and oysters all in one. Add it to your next Bloody Mary and start dreaming of your next brunch before the first one has even ended.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Oka Kura "Japanese Bermutto" Japanese Sake Vermouth (720ml)
Review Date: 07-29-2020
This is insane - while not technically a vermouth because it doesn’t use wine, it’s basically Japanese sake based vermouth. It drinks like a less sweet blanc vermouth, but not quite dry. It’s got all the lift and bright aromatics of sake taken to 11 by the addition of Japanese citrus’ like Yuzu and Kabosu and made even still more complex by peppercorns and mugwort along with a host of other bitters and spices local to Kumamoto. Try it in a martini or just on the rocks with a twist. It’s exceptional.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Hellyers Road 15 Year Old Tasmanian Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-29-2020
A stunning whisky. The nose peaks in a glorious bouquet of citrus flowers and fresh squeezed juice. The mouth feel is much broader than expected, cereals fill the palate rich, earthy, and nutty all at once. The aftertaste is sweet and lingering with a piquant sense of ginger and lemon grass. It's buttery and wholesome and all around delicious.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

Arran Machrie Moor Cask Strength Peated Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-29-2020
The color of dried straw and with a nose of smoldering peat, the cask strength Machrie Moor gives us a brief glimpse into what we might expect from the Lagg distillery in a number of years, albeit on a different set of stills. Rather than being very heavily peated, the Machrie Moor clocks in at 20PPM peat levels, just enough to shine against the light and fruity background of Arran without overwhelming it. It's really a perfect summer time peater. Fresh and salty with tons of sweet citrus. Dusted in cocoa powder and redolent with caramelized almonds. The peat hangs like the air after a forest fire is put out - warm and heavy.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Arran 12 Year Old "Master of Distilling II" Palo Cortado Finished Cask Strength Isle of Arran Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750)
Review Date: 07-15-2020
While I drink nearly all types of sherry gladly and often, if I had to choose, Palo Cortado, in its extraordinary complexity, is my favorite style of sherry to sip and savor. Ill-defined and hard to pinpoint exactly what makes a P.C. sherry, it offers the best of what Fino, Amontillado, and Oloroso have to offer in a unique and ethereal wine. It's hard enough to find a decent selection of more common sherry styles in this world, but Palo Cortado can be especially difficult to hunt down on the shelf. The rarity of it means there are precious few casks that make their way to Scotland for whisky maturation. Fortunately for us, when they do, the results can be spectacular. Under the watchful eye of MacTaggart...James MacTaggart...this whisky expresses everything you could hope for in the combination of Arran's fruit and malt forward spirit and the world's most underappreciated wine. It's impossible to dissect whether the robust citrus notes on the nose come from the malt or the finishing. It's a breathtaking combination of candied satsuma, burnt orange peel, grapefruit freshness, and lemon zip. Mix that with a sultry nuttiness clearly provided by the cask and you've got a nose you can sniff for hours. The palate is mouth coating, but not thick. It highlights the oxidative side of the P.C. without losing the freshness of its time under flor. A very different experience compared to Oloroso aged or finished whiskies. Like many of Arran's cask strength whiskies, a little bit of water brings out a sweeter profile. It shows a wide array of candied and dried stone fruits and a toasted sweet spice. The finish goes on and on. If oxidation had a taste separate from the thing that had oxidized, I think this would be it. It's very pleasant, but also a bit unusual. Overall, this is a striking whisky with massive complexity and highly enjoyable for those looking to branch out from the usual set of sherry flavors found in Scotland.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Arran "The Bothy" Quarter Cask Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-15-2020
The glorious combination of pure, clean, unadulterated concerto malt and first fill bourbon is unmistakable. The malt is so crystal clear that it's like walking through a barley field after a fresh rain. It's bright, sweet and cereal driven. Fresh baked bread intermingles with the sweeter pastries at the shop - marzipan, apple turnover, baklava and custard tarts. A finish in quarter casks brings out a touch more woody notes. Fresh cedar saw dust, vanilla, a gentle pull of tannin on the finish livens the whole drinking experience up. It's a light and bright malt at cask strength - a wonderfully mellow 53.2%. If you do choose to add water you'll unlock more stone fruit notes and a rounder and very supple mouth feel. One of Scotland's hidden gems, the independent Arran distillery has quietly produced some of the very best malts since its opening in 1995. The Bothy is a must buy for anyone who loves a malt forward whisky.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2010 Port Charlotte "MRC:01" First Growth Bordeaux Barrel Aged Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-14-2020
Goodness Gracious - this is a hell of an Islay whisky. Adam Hannett has crushed the ball out of the park, off the island, and into the sea with this one. Typically I'm not a huge fan of red wine cask whiskies, but there have been a few releases over the years that have caught the attention of my palate. I had a sneak peak at this beauty when wandering the warehouse with Mr. Hannett back in the Spring of 2018. There is a veritable treasure trove of casks from Bordeaux's top producers hiding mere feet from the edge of Loch Indaal. These casks represent the first time I've been truly excited for red wine finished whiskies to come to market. While the MRC:01 first hit shelves in the US last year, we only received a minuscule amount of product at that time. The peculiarities of different markets has somehow meant that a sizable portion of this rare release has found its way to CA in the middle of 2020. Finally some good news for the year! The peat is intense - the nose smells like you're walking through the rubble of a burned down malting facility combined with a BBQ pitmaster's best cherrywood smoked brisket. Add to that the salt air of Islay, dazzlingly deep ruby red fruits courtesy of MRC's finest Bordeaux, and you have a complex powerhouse. The all Scotttish Barley stands up strong against all this peat and wine. It's easy to see how a lesser malt would simply be lost here, but at the generous ABV of 59.2% everything lines up just right. Whether it's Bruichladdich itself, Islay in general, wine finished whiskies, or all of the above that you love, this bottling is not to be missed any aficionado or collector.
Top Value!
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2006 Balblair 13 Year Old K&L Exclusive Cask No. 76 Single Spanish Oak Oloroso Seasoned Butt Cask Strength Single Cask Highland Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 07-14-2020
The vinous character of this sherry cask is a huge standout. It feels more "wine"-y than most sherry aged whiskies. It's golden raisin sweetness melts into the depth of a zesty chocolate orange. Rather than the nuttier oxidation of most Oloroso, the nose and front end of the palate shine with vinified fruit and a yeasty brilliance. The palate has loads of fudge, dusty yet sweet graham crackers, and a bit of creamy mallow. It's basically a S'more and a whole lot more in a glass. This off the radar distillery is well worth a visit next time you're up that way in Scotland - it's beautifully situated and the old dunnage warehouses are exactly what you'd hope every Scottish distilleries warehoues looked like. If you can't make it that far, just grab a glass and transport yourself there with this whisky.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2008 Highland Park 10 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Cask #7774 Refill Sherry Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-14-2020
This is the sexiest example of Highland Park we've ever seen. Power and grace abound. While the word's "First Fill Sherry" adorning the title of our other HP cask gets a lot of blood pumping - it's the elegance of this refill cask that stands out. It's certainly not lacking in power - it's a beastly dram at 61.6% ABV - but it's supple and balanced beyond belief. The rich mahogany meets burnt amber color looks like it should be a first fill sherry cask, but "refill hogshead" is printed right on the label. The nose is a cornucopia of orange peel, cocoa nibs, fresh cut heather, crisp apple slices, fig marmalade, and a hint of smoky bacon. The palate has what you get when elegance and balance meet power: tension. It's alive and kicking ass, but holding it on your mouth is a serene experience. The finish last for minutes. At first the smoke fills your senses and that gives way to much more floral and candied notes. After a good long while it resolves into the finest of dark chocolate and fresh citrus zest with a touch of coffee. A beautiful performance that you can repeat every night. At least until it's gone. The cask yielded just 299 bottles.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

El Tesoro "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel #B64 Reposado Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 07-14-2020
Even just popping the cork the aroma launches out of the bottle. Fresh sweet apples, cracked black pepper, cooked agave along with a host of tropical fruits ranging from mango and pineapple to lychees and papaya. And all that sweetness is balanced by a hint of fresh cut grass and salty earth. That's all before you even get close to tasting the tequila. The subtle barrel notes lay underneath all that fruit providing a foundation of baking spices and a glazing of vanilla. Once you actually taste it, you're wrapped in a very soft palate. The sweet fruit tones hide any hint of alcohol on the midpalate. The finish is robust with a zingy pepper pop that is perfectly balanced by the 40.4% ABV. The barrel notes really shine on the finish - it's been rested just long enough for them to enhance everything about the agave, but not overpower anything. A sublime barrel of reposado from one of the very best tequila brands in Mexico.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2006 Highland Park 12 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Cask #5036 First Fill European Oak Sherry Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-23-2020
A veritable powder keg. This whisky is as beastly now that it's bottled as the day we first sampled it. It's wound up tight just waiting to burst forth. The European oak is simply stunning. The depth of the sweet baking spices is rivaled by the bright fresh cracked pepper and balanced out perfectly by Highland Park's signature heather peat smoke. The nose is bold and dry at first - raisined fruit and citrus peel fight against a beautiful oxidized nuttiness. The rich orange marmalade comes out with a touch of water as do the sweeter more candied sherry notes. The finish is a long dissertation on chocolate and nuts and how well they go together. When you take something as great as Highland Park and select out only the finest barrels of the highest quality and bottle them at full proof - it's pure magic. Truly a bottle to hang your collectors hat on.
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart

5 Sentidos K&L Exclusive Ensamble De 6 Magueyes "Batch 6M-19" (Atenogenes and José Garcia) San Isidro Guishe Uncertified Oaxacan Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 03-26-2020
It's no secret that 5 Sentidos is an house favorite here at K&L. But every single bottling is exquisite, and it's very hard to say no to great mezcales. The brand originally was created, not to be sold in the US, but as a house brand from El Distillado — the much acclaimed and very delicious restaurant in Oaxaca Centro. Their mission is to showcase nano-batch agave spirits that highlight the extremely varied production processes from village to village and producer to producer. They try to place the talent and tradition of the families that make the spirit at the forefront of every single release. This stunner is no exception. Mezclas, mixtos, or ensambles — essentially blends of multiple agave types, are really the traditional norm in Oaxaca. There is so much diversity in a natural agave field that the mezcalero would simply harvest what was ripe. It wasn't until the 1990s that single agave production became a thing. This is a throwback batch of serious complexity. When poured in a traditional copita, the robust aromas take over the room. Banana, green pepper, moist earth, and sweet cooked agave abound. The texture is sublime. It's rich and mouth coating, but feels fresh and lively too. Each sip feels like taking another step through the fields, a blooming prickly pear here, wild flowers over there, fresh cooked agave and mesquite wood burning in the palenque wafting out into the world. It's a stupendous trip in a single glass. The finish is long and cool despite the 47.4%ABV. It's another home run from 5 Sentidos' careful batch selections, and is right at home in any serious liquor collection.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2004 Domaine de Jouanda - Cask #43 "K&L Exclusive" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-25-2020
The estate at Jounada is stunning. It's exceptionally traditional and magnificently beautiful. The brandies are the perfect match for the elegance of the property. Cask #43, distilled in 2004 from Ungi Blanc (as are all of their brandies for many years now) is a prime example of the quality and balanced achieved by their rigorous standards. All of the barrels are made from trees grown on the property and staves are air dried for 7-8 years before being coopered. Barrels are repeatedly rinsed before ever seeing a drop of spirit ensuring that any bitter tannins are removed before the aging process even begins. After just 15 years the level of complexity is mesmerizing. This cask displays both fresh and cooked fruit on the nose, gobs of freshly caramelized sugar, a hint of saw dust savor, freshly tanned leather, and much more. The palate is even more engaging. Sweet at first and supple it runs through the market from fresh apples to sweet peaches and nectarines and hints of herbaceous greenery along the way. The finish is lovely and showcases high quality loose leaf tobacco, caramelized wood sugar, and a saddle shops worth of leather complexity. At 49% ABV it's big for it's age, but has more than enough stuffing to stand up to the proof. If you have even a passing interest in the world's finest brandies, this cask of Jouanda is a must.
Top Value!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Kaiyo "K&L Exclusive" Cask #543 Cask Strength Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-24-2020
Like its sister cask, this comes from some of Kaiyo’s oldest stocks – after nearly seven and half years in Japanese Mizunara oak the whisky was transferred into a ruby port pipe for another year of finishing. The result is a spectacular array of red fruits and raisins to frame the spicy yet tropical flavors of Mizunara oak. The hallmark sandalwood notes are particularly persistent on the finish. It’s amazing how much power the famed Japanese wood carries into the spirit, to see it with a unique finish that compliments it so well is a real treat. With a dash of water a much more complex array of red currants, dusty cocoa, and candied nuts come forward on the nose and palate. It's as though that water is the key that unlocks the port pipes Mizunara cage.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Kaiyo "K&L Exclusive" Cask #541 Cask Strength Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-24-2020
The first selection ever of a Kaiyo single cask. After 7.4 years in Mizunara oak, this beauty was transferred to a 2nd fill hogshead for a little mellowing. It’s chockablock full of vanilla, coconut, honey and sandalwood. The stylistic preference in Japan for whiskies that are balanced and nuanced is clearly present, but this is not a shy malt. The barley shines from the get go, but add a little water and it explodes. At 56% ABV it’s a robust and full throttle whiskey that screams of its time in Mizunara with its bold and spicy wood profile.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Compass Box "Myths & Legends II" Single Malt Scotch Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-19-2020
Another single malt designed to challenge your notions about Scotch. This one is 100% Glen Elgin. It ranges from 16 years old on up to 23 years old and sports a variety of barrel types. There is a touch of 23 year old sherry aged malt and a combination of refilled, recharred, and re coopered American oak. The bulk of the blend is nearly 60% 18 year old laying down a foundation of baked apples, sweet baking spices, and tropical fruits. The palate has plenty of richness and presence with lots of sweet butterscotch hard candy, but ultimately falls into the bright and light category. The spiciness persists for a long time on the finish. Sweeter spices like cinnamon and nutmeg intertwine with cracked black pepper, cocoa nibs, and crushed green walnuts.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Compass Box "Myths & Legends I" Single Malt Scotch Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-19-2020
I love Compass Box for so many reasons. The first is that every whisky they bottle is absolutely delicious. The second is that they always push the boundaries of your expectations. The third is their irreverence for convention. Myths & Legends gets at everything I love. M&L I is 100% Balblair - making it a single malt and explicitly challenging the common idea that single casks are the best expression of a distillery. 57.7% of the blend is 22 year old first fill bourbon. 26% is a recharred American oak barrel which notched a respectable 16 years old. The remaining 16.3% of the blend is 15 year old Balblair, also in recharred American oak. The whisky itself is a spectacular combination of sweet fruit (heavily geared toward the citrus and stonefruit varieties) and a rich and creamy profile both on the nose and the palate. Salt water taffy and a background floral note keep the spirit feeling bright and lifted from entry to finish. It's one of the best expressions of Balblair on the market. When you consider the age of the whisky and the price, it's also a stunning value.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Knappogue Castle 21 Year Old Irish Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-12-2020
An extraordinary single malt. While Irish whiskey has long been defined by the classic Irish Pot Still combination of malted and unmalted barley, there is also a long history of producing single malt from 100% malted barley in what we think of as the Scottish tradition. There is no difference between the two save the more common practice of triple distillation in Ireland. This 21 year old Knappogue is the perfect expression of cleanly distilled malt aged in first fill bourbon casks. It's bright and cereal forward, loaded with stone fruits, honey, and caramelized granola. The spectacular smoothness is unmistakable. Whether you're looking for a top notch whiskey for St. Patty's Day or just to add to your cabinet for year round enjoyment, this Single Malt is tough to beat, regardless of country of origin.
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart

Ragnaud-Sabourin "K&L Exclusive Fontevieille #35" Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-05-2020
It's almost criminal to compare this to anything else available on the market. When you do, you realize the prices being charged by the big Cognac houses are what is criminal. This is 35+ year old Grande Champagne Cognac for substantially less than $200. When you consider something like XO from a big house is easily 200 bucks, not all Grande Champagne fruit, heavy with sugar/caramel coloring, and just brushes past the 10 year mark (XO's legal minimum) with dollops of older spirit, it's laughable. This single estate in Fontvieille makes the most compelling Cognac available. Specs aside, the Cognac itself — it's sublime. The aromatics feel like fresh and baked apples have been drizzled with brown sugar and baking spices and held together with tons of brioche. It's livelier than any 35 year old spirit has a right to be. The oak is so beautifully integrated and balanced. The texture is supple and velvety. It's easily the best Cognac we have to offer at any price.
Price: $169.99 Add To Cart

Golden Devil "K&L Exclusive" Dark Navy Strength Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 03-05-2020
Objective quality and amazing value rarely go together this well. This rum is absolutely perfect for all of your dark rum needs. It's Jamaican base lays down a funky estery sexy layer of flavor and the Guyanese rum stretches everything out into a wonderfully balanced and friendly spirit. It's Navy strength stands up perfectly in any cocktailing application. For $20 on the shelf there is nothing anywhere in the world delivering this kind of quality for serious rum drinkers.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Corner Creek 10 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-04-2020
This is a modern classic. Just down home delicious bourbon with a proper age statement coming out of Kentucky. The landscape has been changing for years in what qualifies as a value in Kentucky Bourbon, but prices have dramatically accelerated in the last year making this rarity a truly exceptional deal. Soft and open its loaded up with candied citrus fruits and sweet barrel spice notes. At 88 proof it is more than little reminiscent of Hancock's.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

1997 Ledaig 21 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Unchillfiltered Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-03-2020
One of the great peated whiskies of Scotland, but sadly often overlooked. This particular cask is an incredible rarity and smells of apple crisp and quality tobacco burning hot. Cooked fruits mingle with caramel, burnt orange peel, nutmeg, a sprinkling of seasalt and a faint background of iodine and herbs. A bit of water and it opens into more of a saddle shop complexity of leather and oil. The savory components make this a perfect whiskey for deep contemplation. It's more subtle than many an Islay dram. A dream for any lover of island malts. Add to the exquisite nature of the whisky itself that Chieftain's is no longer in the independent bottling business and this is sure to become a collectors item.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Arran Brodick Bay 20 Year Old Isle of Arran Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-12-2020
As with so many things, I find balance to be preferable to extremes. So it is with this beautiful dram from Arran. The limited 20 year expression - the first release in their Explorers Series - is a superb sherried expression without being an over the top sherry bomb. The robust malt after aging for nearly 20 years in a blend of bourbon and sherry hogsheads was already sublime (just taste the standard 18 year!). It is pushed over the edge by a finishing in the highest quality bodega direct sherry butts from none other than Bodegas Tradicion - a house of impeccable balance and nuance. The graceful vinous quality of the sherry isn't lost here as it is in so many sherried Scotches. A buffet of dried fruits and nuts is on display in every phase. They're gracefully salted. Sweet malt and honey complete the picture.
Price: $229.99 Add To Cart

Rey Campero Tepextate + Pulquero K&L Exclusive Single Batch Lot#D5001-TP Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 02-08-2020
With the amount of mezcal becoming available in California, we have been able to be extremely picky with our K&L Exclusive batches. We only purchase the highest quality and rarest distillates we can get our hands on. This is simply put, an epic distillation from Rey Campero. While the vast majority of mezcal rests for 1-3 months after distillation before bottling, its not unusual for a distiller's favorite batches to be kept much longer as they only improve with additional resting. We were able to pry half of this exquisite and rare 50/50 blend of Tepextate and Pulquero from Campero after 30 months resting in glass. The other half was kept in Mexico. Just 120 bottles are in the United States and the flavors are otherworldly. The Tepextate provides a shocking amount of fruit and floral notes ranging from honeysuckle and hyacinth to candied orange and ripe apple all with a bit of fresh cut grass. The Pulquero (now officially recognized, but previously lumped in as a Salmiana) adds an intense pepper medley. It ranges from sweet and crunchy pepperoncini to a more vegetal jalapeno. The real magic is not in the individual flavors, but in the way everything comes together - thanks to the expertise in distillation of Romulo Sanchez Parada and the extended resting period before bottling. It's as though all of those flavors were pureed into a creamy soup or reduced to a sticky glaze. The texture is supple yet the flavors explosive. A perfect batch of mezcal is a thing you can't define, but you certainly recognize it when you taste it. There was no way we could pass this one up.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

Arran 18 Year Old Isle of Arran Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-05-2020
Few great distilleries still offer their 18 year old whisky for such a great price. This special whisky distilled on the Isle of Arran showcases sweet malt and a hint of wood sorrel. Lots of caramel mingles with a piquant ginger and mellow brown sugar. It shows a slight salinity and earthy component that is reminiscent of some Islay whiskies, but without the peat smoke. A vinous finish encourages a second drink. A delightful whisky and a great value from the top of Arran's core range.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

Grand Mayan Ultra Aged Extra Añejo Tequila (750ml) (Cannot ship - Local Delivery/Curbside Pickup Only)
Review Date: 02-05-2020
Many brands are inextricably linked with their fancy bottles - especially when it comes to Tequila. Grand Mayan, while in a beautiful hand painted talavera pottery bottle, is really known for the tequila inside. The Ultra Anejo is an exceptionally balanced blend of very old tequilas that retains a bright and robust agave flavor. While the sweet vanilla and winter spice of the wood influence is an important part of this tequila's profile, it's really all about the gentle pepper spice and the amazing fruit of the agave coming through. With agave prices continuing to climb through the roof, Grand Mayan, which has always offered tremendous value, seems to get better and better everyday.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Bardstown Bourbon Company "Discovery Series #2" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-05-2020
Discovery Series #1 was a huge hit with staff and customers alike. I think batch #2 will shake the bourbon industry. It's exceptional. Everything in the blend is over 10 years old. The rye in the mashbills really stands out. It's a large-and-in-charge whisky that carries a ton of spice. Yet it doesn't lake for sweetness. It's full of caramel, maple syrup, and vanilla notes. The oak is very pretty and well integrated. A sweet cherry cola profile fills the middle of the palate. It's balanced and very sippable at 122.2 proof. A supremely high quality whisky that is worth buying in multiples. You'll definitely want one or two to drink now and a couple to stash in the collection for later.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

Bardstown Bourbon Company "Fusion Series #2" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-05-2020
Bardstown collaborative approach extends well beyond their unique finished barrels. They involve the entire Bardstown team in the blending process bringing together their distilling, culinary (they operate an exceptional restaurant) and beverage (and a top notch bar program) teams to make sure they have a blend that truly reflects what they're trying to accomplish. They've succeeded in a big way. The first release of Fusion won major accolades, both from us here at K&L, and folks like the Whisky Advocate - who named it #11 on their top 20 whiskies for 2019. I daresay, that Fusion #2 is a better whisky. It makes use of 40% 12 year old KY Bourbon and the 60% remainder is a combo of Bardstown's wheat and high rye distillate. The whisky is very similar to series #1, but the hard edges have been sanded down. It's more round and supple. The rye component stands out a little more in flavor, but it really maintains the supple creamy wheat texture. It is an impeccable blend of different ages and mashbills in one of the best new bourbons to hit the market in 2020.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Myrtle Bank 10 Year Single Cask Pot Still Jamaican Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 02-05-2020
As the rum world continues to emerge from the shadows of the tiki bar and step into the spotlight, new brands are popping up left and right. The trick is making sure you're getting the good stuff. Myrtle Bank is a new brand that has begun by bottling a tremendous cask of 10 year old Jamaican pot distillate that has been aging in the UK. The ex-bourbon barrel has imparted some gentle vanilla and coconut which sands the harsher edges off of a robust and flavorful high ester Jamaican rum. I'ts got some funky Jamaican fruit, a bit of leather, tons of spices ranging from herbal to sweet, and a subtle chocolately aftertaste. It's the perfect thing to take back into the dark corner of the tiki bar and mix yourself a drink.
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Seedlip "Spice" Distilled Non-Alcoholic Spirit (700ml)
Review Date: 02-05-2020
Seedlip is the first mover in a new category of distilled non-alcoholic spirits. They've created an exceptionally delicious product made in a process that would be reminiscent of making gin, but with no juniper, and no alcohol in the finished product. The Spice utilizes botanicals ranging from barks to citrus and spices. It's a wonderful combination of zesty, savory, and warm. The recommended serve is with tonic water or ginger ale over ice. Garnish with citrus.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Seedlip "Garden" Distilled Non-Alcoholic Spirit (700ml)
Review Date: 02-05-2020
One of the fastest growing categories in the drinks world is "non-alcoholic spirits." At first what seems to be a bit of a misnomer is in fact a wonderful untapped world of flavor. With lessons learned from the perfume industry, Seedlip has created garden herb distillates that just don't contain alcohol in their final form. The result is a "gin like" libation (no juniper here though) that is focused on peas and other leaf/herb/pod ingredients. It's a wonderfully refreshing celebration of the English countryside. While your creativity is the limit of what you can do here, Seedlip recommends serving with tonic water over ice and garnishing with a handful of peas.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Woody Creek Colorado Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 02-05-2020
The X factor that most people don't talk about in so many gins is the base spirit. The vast majority of gins on the market use neutral grain spirit purchased in bulk from some industrial distilling facility. They say "it's neutral, it doesn't matter." But the truth is, better gin is made when you use a better base. Woody Creek knows this and that's why they actually make their base spirit from potato grown just down the road. Giving themselves this leg up immediately sets their gin on a more advanced playing field. Add to that the excellent balance of traditional and a-typical botanicals and you have a very enjoyable gin that is versatile in many cocktails and unrivaled for quality.
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COIT Russian Caravan Tea (Lightly Smoked) American Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 02-05-2020
This tea gin is insane. I have never tasted anything like it. There are many tea gins on the market today, but typically their mediocre and not very creative. Coit's gins are all about expressing the complexity of the tea itself without losing the fact that it's a gin and should be recognizable as such. The Caravan Gin uses Lapsang Souchong as the highlight. This tea is traditionally dried over burning pine needles which impart a complex and resin driven smoke. Forever seeking a balanced profile, Gerry and Linda at Coit mixed this with Black Assam tea because it turns out if you use just Lapsang Souchong, it's much too overwhelming. Add to that their expertise in balancing tea with classic gin botanicals and you have a stupendous gin.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

COIT Cape Gin - RooibosTea American Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 02-05-2020
The subtlety and complexity of Roobios tea is on full display here. A technical achievement in distilling - the Cape Gin from Coit expertly expresses the fruity and herbal flavors of the finest Roobios. It's not just a tea infuesd eau de vie though, it also sports the juniper backbone I expect from a gin and a little extra citrus and nutty cardamom flavors to balance everything. A splendid Martini maker.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

COIT Earl Grey Tea American Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 02-05-2020
Coit Spirits is producing the very best tea focused gins available. With the explosion in craft gin there have been many tea gins to come to market, but few of them actually taste good. Coit captures the essence of Earl Grey tea perfectly. While it isn't lacking for juniper and citrus notes, the focus here is the complex and earthy flavor of the tea itself. It's the perfect gin for a refreshing afternoon G&T to replace tea time.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Juniper Grove American Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 02-05-2020
There is something romantic and exciting about the notion of estate produced spirits. It's such a common thing in wine, so but few distilleries are capable of growing their own raw materials for distillation. Enter Bentley Heritage. The epic estate in Minden Nevada provides ample farmland for all the necessaries and the converted historic buildings in town make for one of the most beautiful distilleries you'll ever see. The Juniper Grove is a juniper forward and brightly flavored gin. The citrus wheel lights up in a G&T and the juniper carries the flavors forward in a Negroni. If you love Martini's, the texture here is impeccable thanks to the careful distillation and farming of the raw materials - oat and wheat. It's an impressive new gin that really sets itself apart from the competition in more ways than one.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Lloyd Distillery Bixby Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 01-30-2020
A splendid gin made as an homage to California's coastal mountains and to Lloyd, the distiller's grandfather. Distilled in Gonzales, CA this gin is true to its roots, both in its geographical sense, and a London Dry sense. It does not lack for a juniper backbone - a fault in so many contemporary gins. It also does not shy away from incorporating its natural surroundings and expressing what it means to walk amongst the trees in Big Sur - it's inspiration. In particular, the sage and California bay stand out, yet blend in perfectly. This gin is equally at home in a G&T or Martini and certainly feels right sitting on your bar.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Old Forester K&L Exclusive Single Barrel "#OF201497 (Warehouse H, Floor 4)" Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-30-2020
Old Forester is one of those old school brands that delivers massive value in every bottle. The single casks we've been able to secure lately are no exception. This is old school bourbon at its finest. The patent warehouses at OF seem to draw the best out of every cask. Redolent of sweet cherries and milk chocolate the complex nose is balanced by a woodshop worthy array of sawdust, maple sap, and varnish. One of the best expressions of pure American oak in the store the underlying vanilla and caramel sweetness really shows up on the palate in a big way and meshes with both popped and buttered corn and the candied variety. If you need a session whisky for balanced Manhattans or Old Fashioneds, this cask is it.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Rare Perfection 14 Year Old Canadian Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-30-2020
It's remarkable how different this is from its older brother. The nose evokes a deeper, sweeter feeling. The aromas are decadent and nutty. Mounds of candied pecan and walnut atop fudge and hard toffee all drizzled in a butter cream frosting. Wood spice plays more of a secondary role on the nose, but has the same soft yet full presence as the 15 year. Labeled "Overproof 100.7" there is no lack of punch here, but it does evoke the sense of a velvet glove wrapping a confident handshake rather than an iron fist. The flavors dance around, flitting from crushed nuts to sliced fruit and then expressing all of the complexity of a cigar box fresh from the walk in humidor. The four grain mashbill seems to show up more in the 14 year old - there is a hint of fresh cut grass from the rye, like driving past a beautiful golf course in the summer after they've mowed. At the same time, the softer wheat component seems more present as well, while the 15 year shows more sweet corn. Tasting both of these whiskies side by side leaves only the conclusion that there is no blueprint for Rare Perfection. Who can conclude that a Van Gogh is more perfect than a Monet? Perfection can certainly be achieved in more ways than one.
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart

Rare Perfection 15 Year Old Canadian Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-30-2020
There simply aren't enough superlatives to adequately describe this whisky. The uniqueness of the four grain bourbon mashbill, the extended aging in new charred oak, the cold warehouses, the unfiltered and cask strength bottling, all contribute to a sublime drinking experience from start to finish. It begins when you pop open the bottle - you immediately are greeted with an intense caramel and vanilla before you even pour the whisky into your glass. With a pour and a swirl without even bringing the glass to your nose you're assailed by complex cedar and oak notes, sweet spices, more Madagascar vanilla, Cassia, and a sensation that every corner of your nasal cavity has been fulfilled. Nosing the glass more carefully reveals a pantheon of fruits ranging from crisp apples to decadent candied citrus and exotic tropicals all bathed in fresh sweet cream. It reminds me a bit of decades old single grain from Scotland, but with much more intensity. While it wouldn't be hard to spend hours nosing this, the palate is where things really start to get interesting. Cracked peppercorn melds with toffee, chocolate, caramel, and vanilla fudge. Incredulity forces a glance at the 119.7 proof on the label - it can't possibly be that high - but there it is. The whisky carries all of the power of 60%ABV with the grace and subtlety of a master blender's heavily proofed back nosing glass. The wild fruits abound and the fine wood tannins roll gently around providing structure and verve. The finish is long and lingering, a reprise of the epic dram that seems to have effortless evaporated from your glass.
Price: $189.99 Add To Cart

2007 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 01-14-2020
Vina Tondonia is not only one of the world's greatest wines, it's one of the most affordable. The 2007 vintage is terrific. It's a concentrated wine with tremendous finesse and purity. There is a great earthiness to balances very sweet red fruits and it has lively acidity and freshness without being prickly. One of my favorite vintages in a long time, and I've loved nearly every previous vintage I've ever tried. While this is gorgeous now, like all Lopez de Heredia wines, it could certainly age in your cellar for years to come. It's the best of both worlds for any wine collector.

New Riff "Single Barrel" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-09-2020
The nature of a single barrel SKU is that with each delivery the whiskey will be slightly different. Of course like all of New Riff's whiskey - it's bottled without chill filtration. Just raw, unadulterated whiskey goodness. Selected for exceptional quality and bottled one barrel at a time. The single barrel SKU never gets old. Each one is a unique, but complete expression of the quality New Riff produces every day. Updated Review - barrel 15-5852 114.6 proof - Distilled Fall 2015, bottled fall 2019. Barrel 15-5852 is loaded with cherry fruit, caramel, vanilla and tons of wood spice. The palate is wonderfully rich but still bright and fresh. Lots of pepper spice both on the nose and the palate and a little herbaceous flourish on the finish. The sweet caramel and vanilla carry from start to finish and surround a bit of candy corn in the middle.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Sonoma Distilling Co. "K&L Exclusive" Straight Cherrywood Smoked Cask Strength Bourbon
Review Date: 01-05-2020
The art of innovation comes in two forms: radical and subtle. While many American producers have tried more radical approaches to making a bourbon smoky, Sonoma Distilling has nailed the subtle side of the equation. This bourbon is made from what appears to be quite a traditional mash bill: 67% corn, 20% rye, and 13% malted barley. The key difference is in that small 13% portion. They've smoked that barley over cherrywood. The final product is a double pot distilled bourbon of supreme quality with a unique and sophisticated smoke influence. Maraschino cherries combine with sweet vanilla and sarsaparilla laden with caramel, spice bush, and just an elegant touch of smoke. Not overpowering, it's still quite clearly bourbon, but with an edge of intrigue. Just enough to encourage you to dig deeper into the glass and farther down into the bottle over and over again. Bottled at a whopping 55.5% it's got a lot of power behind it as well. At 4 years old this is just a perfect balance of raw ingredients and time in barrel.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

1998 Glenburgie 21 Year Old "Old Particular" Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-03-2020
With Scottish single malts offering an amazing array of flavors and it's not really correct to say there is an archetypal profile - but this is a stone cold classic. Almost a caricature of single malt. It's barley, fruit, wood, spice, and sweetness wrapped in a velvet cloak and drizzled with honey. It smells like my grandfather at 5 o'clock. It's sweet cereal driven at first and has a robust layer of tropical fruits just under the surface, like an açai bowl. The palate is fleshed out by a perfect level of wood spice, cinnamon, flaky pastry crust, and sweet vanilla. Crushable comes to mind. A little water and even more sweet fruit abounds, but so too does the spice pick up. Everything opens just a little bit. Its the kind of malt that other malts wish it could be. At 21 years old and just pushing the $100 mark slightly, it's the kind of malt we used to know and love and just so rarely see today.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2017 Nor'Wester by Greystone Pinot Noir North Canterbury
Review Date: 12-31-2019
Greystone has done it again with a beautiful cool climate moderate alcohol pinot at a great price. Bright acidity and juicy fruit combine for pure pleasure drinking. Silky smooth tannins provide just enough structure without overwhelming the palate - a very Burgundian style coming out of Canterbury that deserves a place on the table.

Four Pillars "Faultline" K&L Exclusive Australian Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 12-31-2019
The single most asked for gin has returned and just in time to ring in 2020 in style. Four Pillars just won "Best Gin Distillery In The World" and while we've known that for a long time here at K&L - we're stoked to see our friends at Four Pillars be internationally recognized for their dedication to exceptional gin production. The Faultline Gin was originally conceived to showcase some of our distillery partners creativity and expertise in unique one off batches, but when our original batch of Four Pillars Faultline sold out, we struggled to find a suitable follow up. This gin had become such a staple in so many customer's drinking habits and the requests for more bottles were so voluminous, that we simply couldn't forego a second batch. We asked them to recreate the exact same gin for batch #2. It's a spectacular blend of unique Australian botanicals—a real terroir-driven gin. And of course it smacks of the beautiful citrus that is the hallmark of Four Pillars. The most special thing about this gin is the combination of texture and liveliness. It has a sultry mouthfeel, but perks up feeling fresh and zippy at the same time. It's a fascinating combination that lends itself to savoring on its own, or in a martini (but the G&Ts and Negronis go down real easy). Your wait, and mine, is finally over. Faultline Gin is back in a big way.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

1974 Invergordon 45 Year Old "Old Particular" Single Refill Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-04-2019
It's hard to put this whisky into its proper context. We've tried to explain grain whisky in so many ways over the years, but nothing ever quite does it justice. It's simply not malt and it's certainly not bourbon. While it may share some characteristics with these, the single grain we bottle deserves its own focus. I believe part of the unique character of these whiskies comes from the fact that they were never meant to be bottled on their own. They were supposed to go into blends long ago. Unlike the forgotten malts that reach this type of age - grain is often filled into quite neutral barrels - perfect for decades long aging without becoming overly woody or tannic. If you've ever had 40+ year old malt, while it's undeniably special, it can often be a little extreme and massively tannic. At 45 years of age, this grain in refill bourbon wears just enough wood to highlight the natural form in all its beauty. It's like lingerie for whisky at this point. You know it's there, but all you can see is underneath. In this case insane richness, melted caramel, fruit in fresh cream, butter pudding, orange zest and vanilla candy. It stands alone as an experience in the whisky world unlike anything else. Complex, smooth, friendly, sweet, and luxurious. All for a modest price tag considering this was distilled the same year Nixon was impeached. Any malt or bourbon that old would not only cost many thousands of dollars, it might just be undrinkable. This is why single grain truly stands apart.
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart

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