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Staff Favorites - Will Blakely

Will Blakely


Hombo Shuzo Mars Shinshu Komagatake "Limited Edition 2019" Single Malt Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 08-05-2020
I will never forget the first time I tasted a Komagatake. Like most people, up until that point my exposure to Japanese whisky centered around Suntory and Nikka, and I had only recently seen Mars' Iwai label hit shelves. That first bottle changed my perception of Japanese whisky forever, and I am so happy to reacquaint myself with this line. Looking at the label, you can immediately see this is something special, and the liquid inside truly lives up to the expectation. A striking nose of stone fruit, cut hay, spring flowers and lemon oil extract sets the tone. The palate presents a refined and fully realized amalgam of gorgeous flavor- grilled peach, marzipan, creamy vanilla, nutty toffee, mountain herbs and barrel spice, all beautifully intermingling with a whisper of smoke. The craft is evident in how these components come together, perfectly integrated, to create something almost deceptively simple, yet intricate and delicate and complex. These bottles are always a special treat, and I implore you to plumb its depths, savor its full array of flavors, and experience the tranquility that can only come from this divine facility tucked into the mountains.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

2018 Santo Assyrtiko Santorini Greece
Review Date: 07-05-2020
Just one whiff of this wine is enough to make your mouth water. As though you're walking through tide pools on a bright, windy day, the scents of sea spray and wet, sun-baked rocks leap from the glass and latch onto your olfactory glands. Vibrant acid brilliantly suspends the fleshy nectarine and pineapple flavors, tempered by that ever-present salinity and a generous helping of lemon peel. What sets this year apart for me is the texture - viscous and toothsome, but in no way heavy or overbearing. It clings to every nook and cranny of your taste buds, washing away with a tingly sensation like a wave breaking on the shore. Enjoy this cold alongside any and every kind of seafood imaginable; it has me craving scallops with beurre blanc. That said, it would also make for a dynamite pairing with a cheese plate or roast chicken and Greek potatoes.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

Foursquare Rum Distillery 14 Year Old "Nobiliary" Exceptional Cask Selection Mark XII Single Cask Blended Barbados Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 06-26-2020
I am always excited to see new Foursquare releases, and this one might be my new favorite. All that time in bourbon barrels gives it impressive weight and richness while maintaining the freshness and sweet caramel of a more youthful rum. On the nose, a jubilant carnival of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and chicory make the most noise; beneath that, however, a quiet but steady beat of wild cane and fresh thyme adds dimension. Despite its impressively high proof, this is unbelievably soft and inviting. Rich, deep molasses, roasted Brazil nuts and a wealth of vanilla make up the bulk of its flavor with ripe banana and papaya tinged with clove playing background roles. All these intense pieces coalesce into something truly harmonious and beautiful even without water, though you could add a drop or two to cut the spice a touch and ramp up the fleshy fruit. Personally, I can't get enough of it straight out of the bottle - its concentration and decadent texture keep me coming back again and again. It seems uncanny that two more years in barrel would translate into such a more complex, fleshed out flavor profile, but here we are. Easily one of the most well-crafted and enjoyable spirits in this or any category.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2019 Antidoto "Roselito" Rosé Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 05-17-2020
As we hit peak rosé season, I'm always on the lookout for my next obsession. The Roselito is my new favorite, and it's easy to see why. Brimming with fresh, wild berries and subtle melon flavor, this is a wine I would greedily gobble up as quickly as I could. But if you take a step back, you can appreciate the full extent of its brilliance. Stony minerals and a lime skin tartness add to its lip-smacking goodness, and its texture is also tremendously enjoyable, thanks in part to the inclusion of Albillo in the blend. The white grape that was only recently allowed for use in classified Ribero DO wines brings vivid tropical aromatics and provides a rich mouthfeel. This might be one of the most exciting wines of the year in an already competitive category. Get yours before they're gone.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2015 Marqués de Murrieta "Capellanía" Blanco Rioja
Review Date: 05-17-2020
Murrieta's Capellania represents a benchmark for white Rioja wine, and this might be the finest vintage I've tasted yet. Boasting marvelous tension, it rivals white Burgundy twice the price in its poise and texture. Citrus and stone fruit sit atop a brioche-like layer of toasty lees with a saline edge. Creamy vanilla adds depth and gentle wood tannin provides solid structure, while a slightly herbal finish makes the ideal partner for the abundant acid and fruit. This would be a dream with poached cod or a cheese plate (complete with aged Manchego), but I highly recommend cracking one open for your next sushi dinner. Whether with food or by itself, you'll enjoy this bottle for years to come.

2014 Seavey "Caravina" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-17-2020
What a delightful and surprising bottle this turned out to be. Though not a total outlier among Napa Cabernet, it definitely carves out its own niche. Lively and honest, its tannins have begun to smooth out, but it retains its vibrant, youthful feel. Black and boysenberry puree combine beautifully with the firm tannin and superbly integrated oak to create a wonderful, expressive wine. I cannot wait to see how this continues to develop as it ages, and I look forward to future vintages.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

1994 Auchroisk 25 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-03-2020
I find Auchroisk's single malts go consistently underrated and under-the-radar. The wild and fruity character of their older stock is unmistakable, and like a siren's call, lulls me into a defenseless stupor; I simply must submit. The nose, awash with fragrant white flowers, honey and ginger gives way to a similarly concentrated palate. Glorious golden malt at the forefront with dried and baked fruit rounding out the middle- already there is a lot to love. Delightful spice and more ginger make for a fine counterpoint and tasty finish, albeit tantalizing; I immediately want to dive headlong back into the sticky sweet depths of this dram. Pear and berries on the exhale hint at the myriad dimensions contained therein. Though this runs a bit more than our previous barrels from this gem of a distillery, it is absolutely worth every penny.
Price: $96.99 Add To Cart

2016 Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Merlot
Review Date: 04-03-2020
This makes a strong case for how great and underappreciated Merlot is here in the states, and might just be the best representation out of Napa for the price. Bursting at the seems with juicy blackberry, it counters with high-grade cacao and creamy vanilla. By no means lazy or flat, it provides ample lift to keep those decadent flavors in focus. Finishing with exotic wood, baking spice and hint of plum pudding, this compelling number should find a place in everyone's collection. You honestly can't afford *not* to try it.

2017 Ridge Vineyards "Pagani Ranch" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 04-03-2020
This makes a striking first impression, blooming with exquisite aromatics of fresh berries, spring blossoms, potpourri and tropical flowers. I could spend all day with my nose in the glass. Despite that tough act to follow, the palate holds up, alight with raszzleberry, pomegranate, and fine-grained tannins. This could definitely use some time in the bottle - the flavors will continue to develop beautifully as it settles and matures - but it's singing already with a quick decant. If you have the patience to hold onto it for a few years, you will be handsomely rewarded. Just grab a few more bottles of it to drink while you wait.

2016 Bootleg Napa Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 04-03-2020
Striking packaging and evocative name aside, this is serious wine. Imagine a team of dedicated professionals willing to do whatever it takes to deliver proper booze to a receptive audience, and you basically have the whole story. To compile a noteworthy blend of purely Napa-sourced fruit would seem unthinkable, but they've succeeded admirably. Ripe blueberry, raspberry and cherry at the front, followed by nutmeg and a touch of black pepper. It's rich, but not overly extracted, riding a fine line on its well-honed acid edge - nothing flabby or gummy like other blends I won't call out by name. The finish brings cozy tones of mocha, but with a bitter herb quality. Is it rhubarb? Quinine? Both? Though the specifics elude me, the total package sets a new high bar for wines of its kind.
Price: Hidden View Price

2006 Deanston 13 Year Old Cream Sherry Finish Highland Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-02-2020
I have long been a fan of Deanston's sherry selections since I cut my teeth on a 10 year-old Pedro Ximenez finished bottling of theirs. What that release lacked in complexity this makes up for several times over. Unmistakable whiffs of Oloroso on the nose - roast walnut, dried fruit and woody syrup - perfectly frame Deanston's earthy malt. Dark fruit and healthy spice abound, wrapped up in the caramelized sugars of the cream sherry. Not as dessert-y a dram as one might expect, this alludes more to the nutty character of Emilio Hidalgo's Morenita than to the Bristol Cream from Grandma's cupboard. It's a serious sherry finish for a serious whisky, though with a satisfyingly sweet finish. Delightful to drink.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Compass Box Great King Street "Artist's" Blended Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-02-2020
I think blended Scotch gets a bad rap these days. It may lack some of the distinctive traits of the more coveted single malts, when you consider how much cask blending occurs in the massive production at big-name distilleries, you might reconsider any prejudice you may have for the category. Especially because some of it is damn delicious. Enter the Artist's Blend from Compass Box's Great King Street line. Though it's perfectly suited for a wide variety of cocktails (I recently used it for the base in a batch of Penicillin) it's endlessly enjoyable on its own. Vanilla, sweet cream, stewed peach and golden grain meld seamlessly with savory malt, ample spice and a hint of minty peat. The name of the game here is balance - something the blenders at Compass Box are exceptionally skilled at maintaining. That same artistry is at work in all the nationally available single malts, but you can get a bottle of this for a fraction of the price.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Corner Creek 10 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-25-2020
A delight to drink, and a stunning value for a 10-year age statement. Sure it lacks the fire of Elijah Craig's barrel proof, but it by no means lacks flavor. Plus, it's one you can feel confident giving to someone not as experienced with cask strength offerings, who just likes it neat or with a single ice cube. Easy-going and fresh, it delivers a soft, corn-focused nose - sweet and delicate, almost floral. But there is serious weight on the palate, with sticky salted caramel and savory herbs. Oak and vanilla give it richness and satisfying texture, while the surprisingly long finish offers a dry, mineral quality that offsets the sweetness upfront. I think even the most fickle bourbon fans will find a lot to enjoy in this humble bottle. It's a sleeper, if I ever saw one.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Chateau de la Grangerie K&L Exclusive Armagnac (1L)
Review Date: 02-21-2020
This bottle is consistently one of the best values in the store. Any customer in need of a versatile cocktail brandy, especially for batches, I point to La Grangerie. Delicate and oh-so drinkable but by no means simple, expect to find layers of flowers, stone fruit and almond with a pleasing texture and a honey-like finish. Whether using it as an ingredient or looking to end your day with a spirit that's not challenging, you cannot find a better, easier brandy for this price.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine Giraud "Tradition" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 02-20-2020
Another stunning example of Chateauneuf du Pape, the 2017 Giraud delivers on every level. Sticky black fruit, sumptuous and decadent, balanced by sufficient spice and river rock minerals. The oak is present without feeling overwhelming thanks to concrete aging on a sizable portion of the final blend. Though this could age for years to come, I would encourage anyone crack it open right now, make some cassoulet and go to town.

2017 Susana Balbo "Crios" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 02-20-2020
Few things satisfy like a juicy, well-made Malbec. Susana Balbo has been one of the most celebrated winemakers in Argentina for some time, and bottles like this spread word of her legendary skills far and wide. How can something so cheap be so tasty?? With superb balance, it gracefully delivers dark, brambly fruits and just enough flowers and herbs to lift the profile. Unmistakable quality and an uncanny value, this is one you should pick up by the case.

2011 Chairman's Reserve 8 Year Old "Master's Selection" K&L Exclusive Barrel #151 John Dore Pot Coffey Column Blended Single Barrel St Lucia Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 02-20-2020
What a treasure this fiendish bottle is. Expect a hell of a lot of rum for the price, but keep in mind how volatile and oily these tropics-aged barrels can be. Exquisite vanilla, toasted almond, fleshy coconut and a touch of baker's chocolate waft across the sticky, funky molasses of the John Dore distillate. Combined with the column still juice that provides an almost crystalline sweetness, layers of complex fruit and spice rise and fall in waves. This sip shows baked banana dipped in sticky brown sugar; the next, caramel coated nuts crumbled atop charred banana leaves with a sprinkling of acetone. Remember also that air and water are best friends for these types of brooding, impossibly deep spirits. They prop him up, remind him of his best qualities, and let the rest of the world appreciate the beauty inside.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Maker's Mark 46 K&L Exclusive "Equal Parts Baked American Pure 2 & Maker's 46 Barrel" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-20-2020
Every day, I encounter folks looking for the big-name, low-volume bottles that cause all of us whiskey fans to salivate and shake in anticipation or anguish. So often those seeking one or two particular bottles that long since sold through our tiny allocation will leave empty-handed without giving a second glance to our freshly stocked shelves. Yet bottles like this Private Select continue to deliver the quality and endless drinkability of the coveted few, only with sufficient availability that you don't feel guilty when you find your bottle empty. This thing is so soft it's almost criminal. Caramel and baked apple tussle with tons of well-integrated vanilla, forming a rich, enticing palate. There's plenty of salted nuts, ripe banana and cinammon spice on the back to keep things interesting even after multiple glasses. Anyone can enjoy it, but wheat lovesr will absolutely devour this with abandon. What strikes me is how it seems so unpretentious and wholesome. Like slipping under a cozy blanket with a fire going, this makes me feel safe, warm and nurtured. Sure, it's no Pappy, but what else is? Do we really need Pappy? I'd rather have a 6-pack of this - just wake me up when it's all gone, because I will have slept through several alarms.
Price: $69.99 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: 02-20-2020
Cinco Sentidos continues to deliver unique "mezcal" experiences of singular and exceptional quality. This latest iteration knocks it out of the park, especially as there will never be another bottling quite like it. The ratio of the plants depends entirely on which magueys were mature and showing the greatest potential - a field blend in the truest sense, made just as nature intended, and one cannot argue with the profound results. A rush of fresh-tilled, fertile earth and dried herbs on the nose sets the stage for superbly balanced dried fruits - tamarind and mango - with ample spice and a mineral-laden finish. Definitely a must-have for any aficionado's collection, it is simultaneously approachable enough for those looking to break into the next echelon of agave-driven spirits.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2017 Quinta Vale do Meao "Meandro" Douro
Review Date: 01-30-2020
This might be the best vintage of Meandro that I've tasted yet, a prime example once again of the quality and value in Portuguese reds. The quintessential Duoro razzleberry flavor is ever-present, but lifted this time by perfumed aromatics and vibrant acid. A touch of oak spice and gentle tannin make this extremely versatile for pairing with food. At this price point, you don't have to feel guilty about opening it at a party, but you may want to pour yourself a few hefty glasses before you share.

2019 Brokenwood Sémillon Hunter Valley New South Wales
Review Date: 01-30-2020
If any wine could convince you to drink more Semillon, this is it. Brimming with acid, it creates brilliant tension to support a complex array of flavors, holding everything in perfect suspense. Fresh grass and meadow flowers, subtle peach skin, mandarin orange and pristine, stony minerals achieve beautiful balance. Completely dry, but with sufficient weight, I could easily see this pairing with roast chicken, rich seafood or pork, but I would gladly drink this on its own any day of the week.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)
Review Date: 01-30-2020
An impossibly pretty wine, this is one I would gladly smell all day. Aromas of rose, strawberry and thyme lead seamlessly into those same flavors on the palate. With a perfect counterpoint of earth and bitter herbs plus acid that just won't quit, this is a steal for the price. Since it's super approachable for most any wine drinker, you'll want to keep this stocked at all times. Whether opened in a wine emergency or just on a Tuesday night, it will never disappoint.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2017 Guy Farge "Reynarde" Cornas
Review Date: 01-16-2020
I hesitated before writing this review, because if more people buy this wine, there will be less of it for me to cellar. However, I must spread the gospel and share the joy of this beautiful bottle for the greater good. Sandwiched between two of Cornas' best-known and most accomplished producers, this parcel has yielded some tremendous fruit. It's frankly not fair how delicious this is even in its infancy. The smell of a whole meadow of flowers immediately transports you to windswept hills - by this point, you're already under its spell. From there, you only sink further into its inviting depths. Voluptuous blackberries, braised meat and acid that not only sings, but also dances, all culminate in a bottle that's simply too good to pass up. If you don't buy it, we will.

2017 Malmont Côtes du Rhône-Villages Seguret
Review Date: 01-16-2020
The 2017 Malmont offering from this underrated village is quite possibly their best version yet. A dry growing season led to low yields and tough conditions, but the resilient grapes that survived through ripening resulted in exquisite flavors and sublime structure. The ripe Grenache and Syrah truly shine here, with bright strawberry and lush blackberry, balanced beautifully by mocha and garrigue. I'd wager this gives Beaucastel's Côtes-du-Rhône a run for its money.
Price: Hidden View Price

2017 Guy Farge "Harmonie" Cornas
Review Date: 01-16-2020
Every time a new vintage of this arrives in our stores is like a second Christmas. I am admittedly a huge fan of French Syrah, but this wine will appeal to most any palate. An enchanting nose of jasmine, lilac and freshly tilled earth leads to an equally pretty palate boasting ripe boysenberry, stewed meat, dried herbs and pristine acid. It's such a joy to taste that I could not resist the impulse to revisit this bottle several times over the course of the day. I highly recommend stocking multiple bottles to avoid the disappointment of running out.

1976 L'Encantada 42 Year Old "Domaine Le Sablé #19" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-16-2020
I love old, static-aged casks like this where, as they lose proof, their flavor concentrates toward a singular, focused expression. Herbaceous and complex, it still feels remarkably alive for a 40+ year-old brandy. A hint of old leather and wood furniture does give away its age, but otherwise this shows remarkable freshness and poise. Rosemary and thyme, baker's chocolate, rock salt and roasted nuts meld with subtle citrus peel and yellow fruit to create something unique yet approachable. Nowhere near as powerful as the younger bottlings, this instead possesses a certain nobility and self-assurance. It has nothing to prove; it's simply outstanding.
Price: Hidden View Price

1988 L'Encantada 30 Year Old "Domaine Le Frêche #17" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-16-2020
This is one of the most pretty and nuanced Armagnacs I have had the great pleasure to taste. It takes a deft hand to so perfectly combine power and grace, and I still have a hard time wrapping my head around it. Mandarin orange, berries & cream, exotic woods and fresh tobacco float out of the glass, and the palate delivers those same flavors on a bed of fresh red berries, cola nut and mocha. The finish here is insanely long and displays tremendous finesse, with coriander, cardamom and cinnamon gently reaching the far reaches of the palate. A touch of water creates an explosion of strawberries and cranberries, soft and bright, combined with peach and more spice. I just can't seem to get enough of this one.
Price: Hidden View Price

2007 Fine Pot Distilled Jamaican (Monymusk) 11 Year Old "Thompson Bros." K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Jamaican Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 12-08-2019
It is an increasingly rare treat these days to find properly aged pot still Jamaican rum, and this provides the perfect example of what that age can do. Like a fruit salad someone lit on fire, the aromas are intense, varied, and wild. It triggers an impulse in some primitive part of my brain that is at once terrified and enchanted. Waxy funk carries cherries jubilee, cinnamon stick, eucalyptus, and Thai basil across the palate, unabashed and unrepentant. It assaults all the senses and takes them prisoner, and I find myself succumbing to Stockholm Syndrome. A healthy dose of water reveals delicate citrus, banana and pineapple, as well as subtler sage and teak flavors, showing that this beast does have a tender side. No matter how you drink it, this a fantastic rum, and it won't last long.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

1998 Orkney (Highland Park) 20 Year Old "Thompson Bros." K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-08-2019
Perhaps I've grown jaded or entitled (or both) from so many high-proof cask-strength offerings of late, so when I saw this clocked in at only 50% ABV, I was less enthusiastic. This gorgeous whisky made quick work of showing me what a fool I'd been. Turns out that in the 20 years of barrel aging, its alcohol reduced to 50% naturally, packing all that exquisite flavor into every coveted drop. This isn't your hedonistic sherry bomb or caramel-sweet bourbon barrel like the distillery release 17 years - what tumbles elegantly out of this bottle is superbly refined. Sultana, baked apricot, sea spray, and windswept grain build on the palate with the perfect amount of heat and ashy smoke. The finish is long, but not rushed, lingering with that oily texture we've come to love from properly aged Highland Park. Considering the price, this should be on everyone's short list this season.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Rock Rose Premium Scottish Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 12-08-2019
This is dangerously good. I would drink a full glass of this neat without hesitation. Though juniper-forward in the traditional English style, it is superbly balanced. Bittersweet citrus peel, fresh herbs, cinnamon, and a touch of cardamom complement the piquant juniper flavor perfectly. But perhaps most impressive is the quality of the base spirit. With an immaculate sweet grain note, it shows the expert craftsmanship at play here. Truly a masterpiece.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Old Forester K&L Exclusive Single Barrel "#4478 (Warehouse O, Floor 1)" Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-08-2019
These barrels always represent some of the best values in bourbon. Complex, full-flavored and endlessly drinkable, it makes for the perfect introduction to Old Forester's style as well as a great gift. Caramel corn, a touch of citrus and elevated spice form a strong first impression, but the finish smooths out with almond sandy and creamy vanilla. I just want to sink into a plush armchair and nurse a healthy pour of this all night. In a word: superb.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2017 Veronica Ortega "Quite" Bierzo
Review Date: 12-01-2019
Veronica Ortega has quickly become one of my favorite wine-makers in the region because of bottles like this. Pristine fruit, savory herb, and refreshing acidity achieve sublime balance. There's dark, fleshy berries and a touch of smoked meat reminiscent of Northern Rhone reds, but with far less weight on the palate. Instead, high tone floral aromatics and the aforementioned acid provide ample lift, culminating in a lasting, satisfying mineral impression. The whole way through, black and white pepper play in the background, leaving a tingling sensation on the tongue that enhances the flavors rather than taking focus from them. Altogether, this is superbly crafted wine, and I cannot wait to share it at gatherings going forward.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

5 Sentidos K&L Exclusive Espadin "Batch ESALB01-19" (Alberto Martinez) Santa Catarina Albarradas Uncertified Oaxacan Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 11-13-2019
This exemplary mezcal shows how time, dedication and impeccable technique can acheive some of the highest quality spirit imagineable, certified or not. Careful cultivation and handling of this Espadin yields something altogether different from the overcooked and ruddy tastes of high-volume cocktail-only mezcal. The flavors are immaculate and fresh, snapping into focus from the moment the liquid leaves the bottle. Piquant lime zest and mellow roasted roots up front transition seamlessly into chamomille, fresh herbs and green agave. On the back end, a meaty char and the requisite savory smoke give the feeling of serious weight, but all of it is held in perfect balance by a lingering mineral character that leaves the finish just as dry and crisp as the start. Honestly, it's dangerous how easily this goes down; pace yourself, but don't be surprised if you have to buy several bottles before this batch is gone.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

Balcones "K&L Exclusive" Cask Strength Single Barrel #16003 Texas Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-03-2019
Make no mistake - this is a hell of a lot of whiskey for the price. High poof aside, rich, powerful malt delivers an intensity of flavors you don't normally find from under 3 years of barrel age. Dried fig, dark sugar, and dense chocolate wash across the palate with a prominent and pervasive spice. Something about the American oak in this reminds me a bit of bourbon, though the malt definitely delivers a more hearty, savory profile. With a healthy dose of water, the full breadth of flavors really shines, lifting vanilla and summer flowers and wild honey from the murky depths while retaining the full weight of the spirit. We are truly at the dawn of a new age of single malt spirits, and bottles like this are at the forefront, paving the way and battling our preconceptions with damn fine whiskey.
Price: Hidden View Price

2018 Comte Louis de Clermont-Tonnerre (Alain Corcia) "Cuvée Patricia" Ventoux Syrah
Review Date: 10-17-2019
Headturning wine at this price point is always a welcome surprise, and this particular bottle might be the best kept secret in the store right now. Very friendly and endlessly quaffable, the Syrah boasts ripe blueberries, cozy mocha, mellow vanilla and pleasant spice. Wherever Alain Corcia sourced the grapes for this Ventoux, I need to make a pilgrimage to stock up on fantastic, affordable wine. Until then, I'll gladly and gratefully settle for the allotment we have in the store.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club


2017 Susana Balbo "Signature" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 09-13-2019
If ever I need to explain why Susana Balbo is such a celebrated winemaker, I simply point to this wine. Dark, perfumed, and voluptuous, it might appear at first sniff to be a dense beast of a wine. Not so: silky tannin, exquisite fruit, and high-toned acid paint a perfect picture of Mendoza Malbec that is at once easily approachable yet remarkably refined. Endlessly drinkable, this is one you'll want to revisit again and again.

Foursquare Rum Distillery 14 Year Old "Empery" Exceptional Cask Selection Mark IX Single Blended Barbados Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 09-05-2019
An unexpected blend from one of the foremost experts in rum, this release is a godsend. One shudders to imagine what the stock aged in Oloroso barrels tasted like before it was married with the purely bourbon-aged batch. Even 4 years in the tropics caused the sherry cask to fill this bottling to the gills with a wealth of savory, nutty character. Impossibly dense, it features the same charred caramel we know and love from Foursquare, but with it stone fruits, a touch of waxy honey, and ample baking spice. But this is by no means sweet; all this flavor is balanced perfectly with a snappy, spicy, gloriously dry finish. My words do not begin to do this justice; you'll just have to try it to see for yourself what makes this so special.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2007 Foursquare Rum Distillery 12 Year Old "Ex-Bourbon Cask" Exceptional Cask Selection Mark X Single Blended Barbados Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 09-05-2019
Foursquare was the first rum that captivated me and led me down the lengthy rabbit hole that is sugarcane spirits. I used to say these static-aged ex-bourbon barrel releases drink like cask-strength bourbon made from molasses instead of corn. While there's an element of truth to that with flavors of caramel, toasted oak and woody spice, these rums show distinctly tropical qualities you don't find in Kentucky whiskey. Hints of ripe banana and papaya play off the dark sugar tones, though the finish remains perfectly dry. The concentration and density are unparalleled as well, a result of time spent ageing on the island.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

Leopold Bros. "Summer" Limited Edition Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 08-09-2019
Personally, I remain adamant that if you're going to use a gin in cocktails, it should be perfectly palatable without adulteration. Leopold's Summer Gin accomplishes that feat with aplomb. It smells like a summer breeze through a picturesque garden complete with citrus trees on the outskirts. The juniper here is ever-present, but by no means aggressive. Clean, fresh, and right on the mark in every respect, it carries its weight with poise and finesse, but there's nothing pretentious about it. This gin would do just as well with a single ice cube as in an extravagant cocktail that looks like a peacock in a Collins glass and costs you an arm and a leg in Hollywood. I highly recommend picking up a bottle before it hibernates for the winter.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2017 Sierra de Toloño Rioja
Review Date: 07-25-2019
Sandra Bravo is working with some top-notch fruit from high elevation sites in Rioja Alavesa. I am a huge fan of her winemaking philosophy, which is to highlight the natural acidity and purity of her grapes. This 100% tempranillo shows juicy cherry and blackberry, with pungent, fresh floral aromas. Aging in neutral oak allows the fruit to remain prominent against the backdrop subtly savory oak. This is the perfect Rioja to enjoy right now while you let your Gran Reservas mature.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Hillrock Estate Solera Aged Single Barrel K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-11-2019
A wave of sticky nectars and brown sugar rushes from the glass, betraying the decadence therein. Looking past that, however, one finds subtler aromas akin to fine armagnac, and perhaps a whiff of flor as though from serious aged sherry. Stewed peaches, cherry compote and crème brûlée achieve an effortless harmony without feeling too heavy. A youthful undercurrent of sweet corn and fresh grass does remind you that this is, in fact, bourbon, but one could easily mistake this for fine brandy. Be sure to pick up this one-of-a-kind bottle before they're gone.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

2018 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 06-27-2019
Astrolabe arrives just in time to replace the breakout hit from Fromm and save your summer. Gorgeous tropical fruit flies out of the glass without a moment's hesitation. Tautly balanced and intensely aromatic, it defies logic with a wealth of passion fruit and guava but a firmly crunchy, dry finish. This wine is what caused us to fall in love with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which is something I have had more and more trouble finding in recent months. The enviable freshness and ease will have you coming back for more every time. Get it before it's gone.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Dérot-Delugny "Cuvée Fondateurs" Brut
Review Date: 01-23-2019
Being 100% Pinot Gris makes this an oddity, but it is certainly not a gimmick. This is serious, world-class champagne. Vivid aromas of ripe apple and citrus blossom fly out of the glass, and the complexity therein is immediately apparent. Apples, pears and nectarines strike the palate accompanied by bright acid and further wake the senses. The finish brings crisp limestone and a supple, mouth-coating texture. One of the most unique bottles for the price, and its quality is unquestionable.
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Westward American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 11-29-2018
The gorgeous and effusive nose indicates this whisky has nothing to hide. White peach, sweet apricot and soft, pale wood paint a delightful picture of what you're going to taste. The sweetness of the malt is balanced by a hearty savory quality and sufficient salinity. Fruit, sage and perfectly integrated oak create something undeniably approachable and uniquely American. Truly a delight to taste.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Compass Box "Story of the Spaniard" Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-18-2018
This latest release from Compass Box reflects the mastery of their blending techniques in a bottle everyone can enjoy. Cozy scents of sea air, marzipan and apricot greet you immediately, imploring you to sit and savor the dram. Though relatively light in body, it provides impressive concentration of flavor. Its complex charactger pairs candied citrus and salty caramel with delicate spice and a savory finish. I consider myself fortunate to sample such a friendly, generous whisky; I encourage you to treat yourself to a taste.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2012 Louis Roederer Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-11-2018
Another example of why they call 2012 "The Miracle Vintage," Roederer's 2012 Brut boasts gorgeous structure and an elegant, long-lasting finish. Marrying light brioche toast, orange marmalade, soft floral aromas and pleasing minerality, it is easy to see why this house commands such respect. Their vintage bruts serve as a bench-mark for champagne year after year, and this iteration could be the best yet. A credit to the winemakers, the wine feels impressively deft on the palate despite the weight of its pinot-heavy blend. This bottle is a consummate companion to any celebration, as it is a celebration in and of itself.

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Tradition" Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-23-2018
An easy pick for any fan of Blanc de Noirs, the Cuvée​ Tradition presents opulence at a beyond reasonable price. The smell alone conveys the Pinot Meunier's richness exuberantly. Unctuous flavors of dried fruit and candied almonds envelop the palate but finish cleanly. Instantly appealing for anyone who wants more body in their bubbles, this makes a strong case for being one of the best values in Champagne right now.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Auchentoshan "Three Wood" Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-22-2018
The Three Wood beautifully showcases the movement away from age statements and toward creative cask finishes. On the nose, it immediately offers enticing aromas of dried fruit, orange peel, caramelized sugar and ample spice. On the palate, it tastes full and complex despite its three distillations. Vanilla and dry sherry dominate at first but give way to soft tones of toffee and raisins. Typical of lowland malts, the finish brings a lingering nutty sweetness, but with a hint of charred wood. Altogether, it makes for an endlessly enjoyable dram that satisfies most any palate. I highly recommend this bottle for fans of bourbon or Irish whisky trying to break into Scottish single malts. It's also a great pick for scotch drinkers looking for something new in a sherry-focused style.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart