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Staff Favorites - Jackson Lee

Jackson Lee

Reviews

Cuish Cuishe Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 01-10-2019
This varietal from Cuish is produced by Francisco Garcia Leon and is the most vegetal of the three expressions currently available. I got cucumber skin and broken ice plants on the nose with very clean, vegetal, briney flavors on the palate. This bottling is so clean with a perfect sweetness coming from the cooked agave; highly recommended if you’re looking to branch out from espadins and delve into the Karwinski’s
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Cuish Ensamble Espadin-Cuishe Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 01-10-2019
Another offering from Jose Santiago, this ensamble blends cuishe with espadin. On the nose I get an aged cheddar quality mixed with a grassy/vegetal note with bbq smoke wafting in the background. The juice itself is very smooth with that bbq smoke translating to the palate as well. I also got a blue cotton candy flavor and a texture like drinking from a fresh mountain stream, making this expression almost too enticing.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Cuish Espadin Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 01-10-2019
Cuish is working with a few select producers for most of their expressions. This espadin is harvested around the Santiago Matatlan area and is produced by Jose Santiago. The nose gives off a sweet fruitiness coupled with honey baked ham and a fairly medium smoke note. The texture on this was grippy with a nice mineral component and a light brine paired with orange peel and vanilla. The finish was very nice, long and soft with a hint of lemon citrus.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2000 Velier Caroni 17 Year Old "High Proof" Trinidad Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 01-05-2019
One of the more interesting and dynamic spirits I’ve tasted recently. This dram seemed to change and morph so much in the glass that I felt like I needed to revise my notes every few minutes. The nose started off with a strong scent of roofing tar, petrol, lemon balm and overripe pear but as it sat in the glass, I started to smell caramel and licorice slowly developing like a black and white photograph in a tray in the darkroom. Eventually the funkier aromas started to balance more with the sweet tones. The palate was equally weird and complex, causing me to pause and scratch my head. The petrol note was definitely still there but this time it was accented by a cross between anise seed and fennel bulb; I even got a little five-spice chicken. Towards the end a strong menthol note reared its head, coupled with unripened banana. This is definitely a bottle you can sit and get to know yourself over.
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart

George Dickel "K&L Exclusive" 9 Year Old Single Barrel #L8263K1002 Tennessee Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-05-2019
This is a whiskey for the candy lovers. The nose gave off what I could only picture to be a Sees milk chocolate candy truffle with raspberry nougat filling kept in a wooden box. End of story. While I usually avoid that particular selection in the mixed chocolate box, it was very alluring to the nose and I loved how the bright, fruity esters played against the chocolate. The palate told a similar story except the fruitiness was more like cherry syrup, vanilla, and a very rich and opulent texture and sweetness. Roasted coffee notes started to come out at the end and the raspberry snuck back into the party as it was dying down. This is a must have for those Tennessee whiskey lovers.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

George Dickel "K&L Exclusive" 9 Year Old Single Barrel #L8269K1006 Tennessee Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-05-2019
This Tennessee whiskey is right in my wheelhouse. So much going on in the nose, starting with the fruitiness of baked apples and strawberry combined with more robust notes of toffee, earthy mushroom, and roasted coffee. The palate was rich and full of toffee, caramel corn, and Asian pear. The finish was mild but gave off a very pleasant, sweet, charred wood flavor.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-05-2019
Smelling this rye brought me back to the days of working in a bakery and smelling the rye dough as the bakers were kneading it. The grain on the nose is unmistakable, but past that you get wonderful baking spices like nutmeg and mild clove mixing with stewed cherries and a green banana note at the end. The palate reminded me of the opening to the Power Puff Girls, “Sugar, spice, and everything nice. These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect…” whiskey dram. Ok, maybe not perfect, and in this case, I would liken Chemical X (the extra ingredient Professor Ultonium added) to a cherry jolly rancher. The finish was mighty powerful too, long and daring me to take another sip, the rye grain made sure to say goodbye as it slowly sauntered away.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
WA 93

Wathen’s Barrel Proof "Barrell #69 San Francisco" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 01-05-2019
After much anticipation, we have finally received a private cask from Wathen’s at barrel strength! As a fan of their other whiskies and lover of high octane spirits, my excitement when this landed was almost fanatical. With that being said, I was a little disappointed with the nose after pouring it into the glass. It was hot but not too bad; it was the tightness that made it tough, faintly detecting notes underneath the alcohol. Initially notes of wet wood and Ume plum were pretty distinguishable, but there was another sweeter note hanging out underneath, something that reminded me of brown butter sugar cookies being baked in a neighbor’s kitchen. As time passed in the glass, the sweeter notes seemed to take more of a step forward.

The palate was an entirely different story. Soft, full, and lush were just some of the words that peppered my brain as I sipped the bourbon. Despite the high proof, it did not drink hot, on the contrary- it felt warm and soothing and I noticed that it got sweeter the longer I held it. Some of those grassy/wet wood notes came back, almost playing tug-of-war with the sweetness that was developing. The finish felt like the feelings I get in a nice relationship, it was long and warm and tingly.

I did add water for a second go around and found that it did loosen up the nose a bit, but not much, but more than that, it killed the silky texture that I found so nice on the palate. Taking this home, I’d say to let the glass sit and give the dram a bit of time before you drink, but be careful because once settled, it’s very easy to drink.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Old Forester K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #0755 (Warehouse H, Floor 7) Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-29-2018
After coating the walls of my glass, I watched- mesmerized by the long, evenly spaced, oily legs slowly meander down the glass. The aromatics began their run with heavy oak notes at first and then hurdling into cherry Italian syrup with just a hint of vanilla waiting at the finish. Sipping this was way too easy. A sweet note sprinted forward first, quickly passing the baton to a cherry cough drop (in a good way), and a hint of brown sugar balanced the slightly medicinal quality of the cherry. The finish left nothing to hide as I got a distinct lidocaine sensation and slowly came to my senses about where that faint medicinal quality was coming from. The red fruit note lingered a bit, as if I had a “Gusher’s” gummy stuck in the recesses of my molars, giving a bit more dimension at the end.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

1996 Tobermory 22 Year Old "Old Malt Cask" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-21-2018
A beautiful, light straw colored pour into the glass and the fumes were bouncing my nose but bringing some water to the party allowed me an all-access pass. Like being in a dark club surrounded by people dancing, the aromas seemed to be jumping up and down, always excited and dynamic. The first note to hit was green apple skin and pencil shavings. After adding a bit of water the crowd seemed to open up and back spices, rubber, and sweet malt joined the dance floor. The first moment of the first sip was astonishingly sweet. Not syrupy or cloying, but a pure, natural sweet note that paved the way for a floral, almost gardenia-like tone which was balanced by spiced pear and finishing with a light band aid flavor. The finish was just like leaving the club; I was left with remnants and fond memories of the dram yet not nearly as sweaty from the experience.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2004 Fettercairn 14 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-09-2018
A single malt from a distillery that usually goes into blends, I haven’t had a lot of experience with Fettercairn but after this, I wish I had. Amontillado Sherry was the first and most distinguishable note for me but the briney aspect dissipated quickly and was then left with white sage and heavily buttered caramel. That brine stuck through the palate, but just barely as light cola, honey, and whipped cream overran it as it lingered. The finish was short and sweet, not one for long goodbyes.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2010 Glen Garioch 8 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-08-2018
A scotch for the rum lovers! This 8 year old reeked with notes of agricole: funky banana, grassy, and then the floral jasmine, smoked honey, scotch notes come in to remind you what you’re actually sipping. The flavors were a bit more traditional, straying from the rebel nose notes that almost had me fooled. Sweet cream and a light floral component floated across the palate leaving a warm, tingly sensation on the tongue before fading into a dry finish.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2007 Benrinnes 11 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-08-2018
What a lovely little Speyside from Benrinnes. I added a dash of water to my dram as I felt it was a bit tight out of the bottle, but once the water hit, it opened up into honeyed graham cracker, sesame brittle, and dried cedar wood on the nose. The palate mirrored those notes with a wonderful sweetness at the start. The finish was a bit hot but the sweet note prevailed through to the end.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2005 Highland Park 12 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Refill Sherry Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-08-2018
I’m not usually the one to tell you how to enjoy your whiskey- neat, water, ice, mixed- as long as you’re enjoying and most importantly, appreciating your spirit, do what you like. With that said: ADD WATER. This bottling is coming in at a big 129 proof and there’s no denying it when you pour it into the glass. It’s hot and tight, not necessarily bad things day to day, but not something I want from my whiskey. After a generous addition of dihydrogen monoxide, the aromas and flavors made themselves more accessible past the alcohol vapor obstruction. Deep black plum, dark chocolate, whole cinnamon sticks, toasted sugar, and Worcestershire sauce saw fit to make themselves known. On the palate, the oak and baking spices were accentuated but sweet butter brown sugar notes also came forward to balance the woody spice. The spices lasted through the finish and departed with a light fruitiness.
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart

2006 Isle of Jura 12 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-07-2018
In my mind the Isle of Jura is one of the dark horses of scotch. It’s the only distillery on the small island off the west coast of Scotland and in my experience, often gets overlooked. Their distillery offerings have always been a go to for me when recommending a bottle at a lower price point and I often felt they weren’t getting the attention they deserved. Now that we’re able to offer a private barreling of their juice, the word will spread and us scotch drinkers will be giving the town of 200 a lot more work. More on the savory side of the spectrum, on the nose brown butter, nutmeg, salted toffee and lemon pith were apparent but I felt like it was constantly changing and daring me to take another whiff. The first sip was a wondrous moment; full bodied and chewy with a sweet caramel note to start, while star anise and Chinese five spice were trailing close behind. The finish was long and tingled the tongue as sweet oak notes slowly faded away.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

1984 Caol Ila 34 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-06-2018
As a casual drinker of Caol Ila, I was very much looking forward to trying this dram and it didn’t disappoint. Classic Caol Ila honeyed smoke on the nose, much like a slow smoked honey ham, followed by a little peat, green apple, and sweet soy sauce at the end. The palate mirrored the smoked honey note I got on the nose but also included pencil shavings, charred strawberry, and a hint of brine. That brine became more noticeable throughout the finish, pairing with a sweet note that reminded me of salted caramel just not quite as….caramel-y; add wood and a nice fruity note and it’s a wrap!
Price: $375.00 Add To Cart

Còdigo 1530 K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Anejo Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 12-05-2018
If you haven’t had Codigo, or know about their product, I highly recommend checking them out. Their standards are uncompromising, starting with the agave. The minimum brix level (sugar content) that they accept at their distillery is 32% (trucks containing agaves with less than that have been known to be sent away). They also use a proprietary shredder designed to help minimize the amount of ethanol that ends up in the product. What we lucky tequila drinkers are left with is an opulent, sweet, yet balanced anejo that put simple, makes you go, “mmmmmmmm.” Black peppered caramel, pineapple skin and pine wood greet the nose and after the initial moment to savor the juice, strong notes of roasted agave, oak and butterscotch play across the palate. The finish is long and mirrors the richness in the palate; letting this anejo have the final word has never been so sweet.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Còdigo 1530 K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Rosa Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 12-05-2018
This Rosa, aged in Napa Valley Cabernet wine casks pours out a beautiful millennial pink, perplexing the mind of this agave enthusiast. Alluring bitter, floral notes of hibiscus and rose petals with a distinct orange zest citrus note wafted from the glass, mixed with that familiar and comforting smell of sweet, cooked agave. Surprisingly, I didn’t get anything that would immediately bring wine to mind on the palate save the same floral notes that came off the nose and a tannic type of texture. This is most likely due to the short time it spends in the barrel, anywhere from two weeks to a month. The finish was lighthearted and fun with a light sweetness and tart lemon flavor that consciously or unconsciously made me think of nothing but pink lemonade.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Westland K&L Exclusive "#2479" Single PX Sherry Hogshead Single Cask Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-29-2018
Before I could even put my nose to the glass the aroma was already overtaking the room. Prunes and candied plums followed by a distinct sherry note reminded me of the comfort of being with my late grandmother and put me in a nostalgic mindset. After the addition of some water, nutmeg, tobacco and oak became more prominent on the nose. The palate was a little tight going in so I added a splash of water to see how it would open up. Initially I got some fruity and oaky esters and with the addition of water cherry pits and brown sugar notes started to emerge. The finish was long with some nice spice and red fruit to it with a familiar coco nib nod at the very end.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

1995 Springbank 22 Year Old "Hunter Laing Old & Rare" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2018
Lightly peaty on the nose to start, I was surprised to get a blueberry and pineapple fruity notes, with even a hint of cooked agave and woodiness at the end. The palate told a different story as the fruity notes staved themselves off until the end. The main players- peat, light smoke, and a green bitterness with a hint of sweet almost like wheatgrass played across the palate with caramel covered blueberries making a cameo appearance at the end. The finish was full of oak tannins and as they began to fade, exhaling through the mouth provided a fruit punch note that took the dram full circle.
Price: $399.99 Add To Cart

1998 Tamdhu 20 Year Old "Old Malt Cask" K&L Exclusive Single First Fill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2018
This enticing dram hooked me the moment the first stream from the sample bottle crashed into the bottom of my glass and released aromas of caramelized apricots (seared), cedar plank, white flowered honey, and finishing with a tangy meyer lemon zest. After taking a small sip at cask strength, I added a splash of water and this 20 year old became even more approachable. Sweet and soft with notes of brown sugar and orange blossom honey, I struggled to imagine how a bottle like this would last more than an evening with friends. It shouldn’t. Drink and enjoy in moderation, with lots of good friends as this is definitely a crowd-pleaser.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

1995 Blair Athol 23 Year Old "Old Malt Cask" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2018
This cask offering from Blair Athol is unapologetic in the way it presents itself. When first poured into the glass notes of iodine, peat, astringent, leather, and oak- stereotypical but then a honeyed apricot and Nilla wafers come in to soften those hardened players. On the palate that sweetness at the end of the nose comes through on the tip of your tongue, hitting you with sweet cashew brittle and green apple undertones. The finish is long and you get a little spice and heat on the end, while that sweetness keeps its promise to the end, drawing out notes of pencil shavings after it.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2006 Foursquare 11 Year Old "Golden Devil" Single Barrel Barbados Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2018
Wow. Nosing this rum I couldn’t stop thinking that this is a scotch drinker’s rum. Lightly smokey with notes of bacon, baking spices, honey, dried sage, oak and brown sugar, this rum reminded me of a very light Islay or something from the Highlands. Sipping this turned into a totally unique experience for me. It kept some of those scotch like qualities while introducing complexities more associated with Rum. Sweet, spicy, and complex with notes of wintergreen, brown sugar, and quince; this kept me coming back to try and see the complete puzzle.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Russell's Reserve Single Barrel "#17-314" (Rickhouse B, 6th Floor) K&L Exclusive Kentucky Straight Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 11-10-2018
Despite being at cask strength I found this expression to be quite approachable on the nose, giving off notes of spiced caramel apples, apricots, sweet leather and pencil shavings- a great bottle to enjoy by the mantle during the holiday season. On the palate, a red berry medley opened while black cherry and sarsaparilla showed up soon after. Lingering oak notes were the last to the party yet didn’t seem to stick around for very long.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

Tequila Montejima Blanco (750ml)
Review Date: 11-10-2018
Sadly, I am one to judge a book by its cover when it comes to food and beverage. We consume with our eyes before any of our other senses can join the party (with the exception of maybe the aroma). While I don’t let that judgment affect my impressions from the senses that really matter, this tequila did fall short (pun intended) on the shelf. What it lacks in looks, it makes up for in quality. On the nose, this tequila screams lowland agave: Rocky minerals, iron, and beach sand after a retreating wave are first on the scene, followed immediately by a banana biscuit with a slight hint of vanilla and key lime. On the palate I get a soft, chewy feel- especially for sitting right at the 80 proof marker. Sweet roasted agave stands up and runs alongside a clean minerality with hints of the banana making yet another appearance. That hot peppery-ness that can end up in some of the lower tiered tequilas is almost nonexistent, making this perfect for a daily sipper or if you want to elevate your cocktails. The finish has a slight sharpness about it, letting you know not to forget it. As the heat dissipates, you’re left with a light vanilla note accenting the cooked blue weber agave. For a sub $30 blanco, this one is hard to beat.
Price: Hidden View Price

2010 Ben Nevis 7 Year Old "Signatory" 1st Fill Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-02-2018
For whatever reasons, Ben Nevis has flown under my radar in the world of Scotch but no longer. Signatory’s bottling of this young dram is very expressive and a damn good pour for seven years of age. The nose brought me back to my childhood (no, I wasn’t born with a bottle of Scotch in my hand) of going over to a friend’s house and getting to eat their sugary cereals that were banned by my parental units. Apple jacks cereal wafted from the glass, warm and inviting with a more brown sugary sweetness as opposed to a frosted one. There was also a light note of sherry that hovered around at the end of the whiff. For a young, cask strength whiskey I got a ton of flavor on the palate. Brown butter and lemon bar crust were first on the scene with cherry wood and sugar coated anise seed developing at the end. Great neat or could benefit with the addition of a few drops of water.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2009 Caol Ila 8 Year Old "Signatory" K&L Exclusive Single Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-02-2018
This dram was a bit of a chameleon, every time I put the glass up to my nose it seemed to morph from my previous impressions. A strong, woody smoke was first out of the gates, followed by what was undoubtedly my dentist’s office (kind of a menthol-y antiseptic). Preserved lemon and orange blossom honey gave it a nice, bright, citrus component with demerara sugar tying it all together. The first sip was dangerous, as we’re required to spit while tasting at work and I had to fight my instinct to imbibe. With a medium body a sweet, light, smoke flavor tickled the palate as rock candy with flowery notes and an almost maraschino liqueur flavor walked the line between sweet and bitter. A distant smoke lingered in the finish, as if smelling a far off fire.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2010 Caol Ila 7 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Finished Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-02-2018
As a huge fan of smoked meats, I’m always excited to try an Islay Scotch, especially Caol Ila. I find myself dipping my nose into the glass more frequently than tipping it back against my lips, not from a lack of taste, but just the sheer pleasure my brain receives from the scent. For this independent bottling, I get a perfectly smoked slab of pork belly as its resting after being taken out of the smoker. Hickory wood naturally follows with a light candied fennel and a butterscotch hard candy. On the finish the sweet BBQ smoke lingers almost as long as it would on your clothes after manning the grill.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2008 Tullibardine 10 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-02-2018
Pouring a small, light golden dram into my glass in a large, empty room, the aroma instantaneously enticed me, like the vapor took the shape of a hand and made the, “come hither,” motion under my nose. Sweet honeyed apples wafted up from the glass on the heat of the alcohol. Once it had time to settle, I got other notes of buttery, light brown sugar underneath a bit of oak. A floral note floated above everything else, reminding me of white flowers or the way Hawaii smells. While the heat dissipated on the nose, the cask strength took its toll on the palate and I would recommend adding a little splash of water to help access the delicate tasting notes hiding behind the ABV. I got notes of graham cracker and with the addition of a bit of water came a dark caramel with oak spice and roasted apples; definitely a nice selection to get you through the holidays.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

El Rey Zapoteco Joven Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 10-16-2018
Driving out of Oaxaca City on the International Highway, rows of agave plants butt up against towing mountains that line the narrow two-way highway. El Rey Zapoteca’s palenque imposes on the foreground and is unmistakable, clean, and inviting; easy for the curious and inquiring to pull over to the side of the road and enjoy learning about Mexico’s biggest craft spirit. While the group I was with declined the opportunity to explore the palenque, I was finally able to try a mezcal from one of the bigger mezcal producers (still producing under the “Traditional” designation under NOM-70) here at K&L.

Carefully approaching the rim of the glass with my nose, I get pepperoncini, spearmint, vanilla, overripe peach and raspberries, a little hot (thus the guarded approach), and low smoke. On the palate a mellow, soft texture greets your tongue, gently depositing flavors of sweet caramelized agave and smoked ham deli slices. Towards the end I get an awakening heat, which lays way to a tingling sensation on the tip of the tongue. A nice mineral brininess backs up the finish, leaving you with a dry texture and a flavor reminiscent of sweet rainwater.
Price: Hidden View Price