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K&L Top Ten - February 2018 - 02/19/2018 - Monthly Newsletter

Each month we dig through our inventory of several thousand hand-picked wines and spirits, and come up with a list of our Top 10 selections on KLWines.com

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
2015 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae - Old Vines GSM" Côtes du Roussillon 93 >60 $11.99 View
2016 Bernhard Ott "Am Berg" Grüner Veltliner Niederösterreich (Biodynamic) 92 >60 $18.99 View
2016 Stolpman "Para Maria" Santa Barbara County Red Blend 93 >60 $18.99 View
2015 Domaine Laroche "St Martin" Chablis 90 >48 $19.99 View
2014 Dierberg "Dierberg Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Elsewhere $35) 93 >60 Price: Hidden View
2014 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion 94 >48 $29.99 View
2012 Cordella Brunello di Montalcino 95 >60 Price: Hidden View
2014 Moss Wood "Wilyabrup" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia 97 >36 $69.99 View
2013 Charles Smith Wines "King Coal - Stoneridge Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah (Elsewhere $100) 95 >36 Price: Hidden View
1997 Highland Park 20 "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) >36 $199.99 View

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2015 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae - Old Vines GSM" Côtes du Roussillon ($11.99)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "An incredible value from Jean-Marc Lafage is the 2015 Tessellae Old Vines Grenache Syrah Mourvedre, which is 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre from 70-year-old vines and brought up all in concrete tank. A ripe, expansive, full-bodied and undeniably sexy red that has beautiful notes of kirsch liqueur, blueberries, pepper and violets, it has ripe and present tannin, straight up fabulous purity and a great finish. This is another one of those wines where you just have to tell yourself you spent more than you actually did. The wine really is this good. (JD)" (04/2017)

Staff ImageJohn Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 31, 2018

"...my love, it's very late, 'til morning comes let's tessellate." These lyrics by alt-J, an English indie rock band, were probably more about seduction than some nocturnal tiling project, but the words reminded me of just how much this tuneful blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre continues to charm and seduce vintage after vintage. A revelation of ripe raspberries, blueberries and black cherries fills the glass with enticing aromas, and the sumptuous flavors carry over with spice and floral notes on the round, lavish and sweetly rich palate. The only instrument you need to employ to fully enjoy this harmonious wine? A corkscrew......

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 30, 2018

Like all Lafage wines, there is no shortage of fruit in the GSM. The wine has the sensation of warm raspberry coulis drizzled over a berry compote. It almost sounds like a little much but Lafage excels at creating finesse where fruit lingers. Great acidity, plush velvety tannins and glycerol richness lead you to believe this is a much more expensive wine and gives you the balance you desire. The name Jean-Marc Lafage has become synonymous with cost to quality in our stores. Every wine is inflected with his joyously exuberant style. For wines that you can drink every day that show pure pleasure in the glass, you need look no further than Lafage's harmonious Grenache Syrah Mourvedre blend.

Staff ImageAlex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 29, 2018

This is my favorite Lafage release to date! The 2015 Tessellae Old Vines GSM has a hauntingly beautiful nose of red cherries, licorice, white pepper and garrigue. On the palate the wine is fresh and lively with great energy and drive. There is copious fruit notes as well as spice with a layered and complex palate. The wine shows excellent integration of its tannins, fruit and alcohol which gives this full-bodied wine a deceptively light on its feet feel.

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2016 Bernhard Ott "Am Berg" Grüner Veltliner Niederösterreich (Biodynamic) ($18.99)

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Lovely, herb-tinged fragranceas fresh as aloe vera and as aromatic as fig leafjumps out of the glass in this wine. The palate contributes yeasty earthiness and concentration, all highlighted by freshness and verve. The finish is clean and zesty. (AK)" (07/2017)

91 points James Suckling: "Lots of lemon, in fact you get the zest, the pith and the juice in this vibrant, lighter Grüner Veltliner. A surprising amount of depth at the finish. Drink now or hold. Screw cap." (10/2017)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Grüner Veltliner Am Berg is a light, bright, fresh and crisp Veltliner with clear and intense white fruit, fine acidity and a delicate mineral backbone. It weighs in at just 11.5% alcohol, is bone dry and really stimulating. Drink young and crisp and with fish! (SR)" (08/2017)

Wine Spectator: "Well-built, with firm acidity that supports green peach and lentil flavors framed by notes of toast, followed by an intense finish. Harmonious and graceful. Drink now through 2020. (BS, Web Only-2018)"

K&L Notes: From importer Skurnik Wines: "The Ott family has been growing and producing wine in the region of Wagram in Lower Austria since 1889. Bernhard Ott is of the fourth generation and has managed the winery since 1995, when he took the helm from his father, expanding the estate to 28 ha in Feuersbrunn and Engabrunn...Bernhard Ott is a cult icon in the world of Austrian wine, leading the way in the Wagram region through meticulous vineyard management in some of Austria’s best vineyards. At a young age he has already received Austria’s highest accolade as Falstaff’s Winemaker of the Year in 2008."

Staff ImageIllya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 07, 2018

Looking for a very serious white wine at a very un-serious price. Bernhard Ott Am Berg is a cut above. This Biodynamic Gruner boasts the classic white pepper, citrus, apple flavors and a vivid acidity. If you are a lover of a good Riesling, Pinot Grigio or some of the fruitier Sauvignon Blancs, this is a great variety to expand your horizons. With incredible mineral characteristics and a dry, zesty finish, this complex wine is a tastebud big-hitter. If you ever wonder what Wagram, Austria would taste like, its right in this bottle. With incredible snap of mineral notes and a dry, zesty finish, this is a great wine to dip your foot in the water for high end Gruner without the price tag. Had this with Indian food the other night but really pairs well with the hard to match vegetables. Enjoy!

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 06, 2018

This is one of my favorite Gruners in the store, and I'm thrilled to see its return. Bernhard Ott is certified biodynamic, employing a "whole vineyard" philosophy by planting cover crops and adding compost to the soil versus fertilizing individual vines, and homeopathic tinctures and remedies to treat vineyard problems. This is one of my favorite wines to drink alone, but it especially shines with food. It's fresh, clean and has some texture without being a full-bodied wine. Notes of snap peas and cucumber lend a sweet green note with classic aromas of white pepper, melon and yellow plum. Just spectacular!

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 06, 2018

This wine has a glacial quality to it. The flavor profile is cool, almost chilled, it is intense but builds slowly, and it has a gentle yet cutting acidity. Chilled grapefruit, soft mineral notes, and delicate spice on the nose. The palate is light, crisp, and mouthwatering, echoing all of the aromatics. This is serious Gruner and at a very reasonable price.

Staff ImageLilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 10, 2018

"Am Berg" Gruner Veltliner from Bernhard Ott has become a beloved wine and go-to for us here at K&L. Consistent and delicious every year, 2016 vintage is brisk, fresh and crunchy. It's full of bright lemon and pomelo fruit supported by serious minerality coming from loess soil in the vineyard. Done entirely in stainless steel to preserve purity of fruit and freshness this wine still has great mid-palate that turns into long lasting finish.

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2016 Stolpman "Para Maria" Santa Barbara County Red Blend ($18.99)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This Syrah, which is enhanced by 15% Petit Verdot, is one of the better wines from the region on the market for less than $25. Awesome aromas of pepper, blackberry and charred beef are intense and deep, while the palate is lifted by bountiful acidity and flavors of boysenberry, white, black and green peppercorns, incense and sagebrush. (MK)" (12/2017)

88-90 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Not yet bottled, the 2016 Para Maria Red Wine is a partnership between vineyard managers Ruben and Maria Solorzano and the Stolpman Family. Its a mix of 88% Syrah and 12% Petite Verdot that was fermented with some stems (just for the Syrah) and was aged in neutral barrels. It has lots of stem and pepper notes as well as tons of dark fruit, medium-bodied richness, firm tannin, and plenty of character. Its an excellent value and will keep for 3-5 years." (08/2017)

K&L Notes: Wine Enthusiast Top 100 List - #51 and Editor's Choice

Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 26, 2018

After spending my first three years working all over Napa and Sonoma County in the wine industry, one could say my palate is slightly burnt out on Napa and Sonoma wine; however, I still love seeking out new and exciting wines from the Central Coast and Santa Barbara, and the Para Maria from Stolpman is definitely a crowd-pleaser. Fruit forward, yet well balanced with acidity, for under 20 bucks, this wine is a very pleasant experience. Want to bring something nice to a dinner party without breaking the bank? Look no further. The Para Maria is an outstanding red blend, truly showing just how good Santa Barbara wine is.

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 10, 2018

Deep purple color and sleek, ripe, purple fruit greet the nose with a slight rustic prickle. Just the right amount of richness on the palate with a touch of tannic grip and lively acidity. This is a wonderful wine with loads of character for a great price; no wonder it made the Wine Enthusiast's "Top 100" list.

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2015 Domaine Laroche "St Martin" Chablis ($19.99)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Chablis St Martin has what you might describe as a "dainty" nose at first, a little timid, but it soon finds it voice courtesy of its apple blossom and fresh pear aromas, perhaps with a hint of peppermint in the background. The palate is well balanced with a crisp line of acidity. I appreciate the tension of this Chablis: taut and linear, quite saline in the mouth and this serves to prolong the finish. This is a well-crafted and very delicious Chablis from Gregory Viennois and his team. This comes recommended. (NM)" (08/2016)

Vinous: "(Laroche chooses the components for this wine based on blind tastings, but Technical Director Grégory Viennois also ages a small percentage of this village offering, as well as his premier crus, in 55-hectoliter foudres 'for concentration and complexity'): Stone and spearmint aromas are more minerally than those of the slightly tart négociant village bottling. Juicy, minty and nicely delineated, offering good intensity to its citrus fruit flavors. Viennois finds this wine less strict but more complex than the 2014 version. (ST)" (07/2016)

Wine Spectator: "Lovely balance and expressive flavors of apple, peach and lemon highlight this juicy white. Leaves a mouthwatering impression on the stony finish. Drink now through 2018. (BS)" (11/2016)

Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A ripe yet agreeably fresh nose features notes of pear, apple, white flowers and just enough typical Chablis character to be persuasive. There is both good richness and volume to the delicious, round and acceptably complex flavors that display a hint of bitter lemon on the dry if slightly warm finish. This is perfectly good but not distinguished as the balance isn't what it could be." (08/2016)

Decanter: "For the first time, about 8% of older oak has been used. It has a subdued apricot nose, leading into a fresh, juicy and precise palate. It is very good for generic Chablis, with some welcome minerality. Well balanced and has typicity.Drinking Window 2017 - 2022.(SB)" (12/2016)

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 12, 2018

This little wine has a lot to offer! With the warmer vintage in 2015, village level Chablis has shown outstanding quality, and Domaine Laroche's "St. Martin" is one of my favorites of the vintage. This wine is fuller and more robust than your typical Chablis, and has all the structure to age for a few years. It has a character similar to one of the lesser Grand Crus, or a top-tier premier cru, such as Montee de Tonnerre, with poised acidity, full fruit and generous minerality. At this price, I'm tempted to "case up" as we say...

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2014 Dierberg "Dierberg Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Elsewhere $35) Price: Hidden

93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard is bright, focused and nicely sculpted throughout. Lemon confit, white flowers and slate are some of the signatures that develop in the glass. This is a classic Santa Maria Chardonnay built on energy and tension. (AG)" (06/2016)

91 points Wine Enthusiast: "The aromas are restrained and mellow in this bottling from winemaker Tyler Thomas, showing mostly yellow apple and citrus peel notes. The palate is racy, high-toned and steely in structure, framed by a razor-sharp edge of zippy acidity, with only faint background notes of ripe stonefruit. (MK)" (12/2017)

Staff ImageStephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 29, 2018

Dierberg's 2014 Chardonnay is bright and refreshing and great for the upcoming summer months! On the nose, there are restrained citrus, honey and graham cracker notes. The citrus continues onto the palate along with green apple, saline minerality and racy acidity. This would be delicious paired with some seafood or simple poultry dishes.

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2014 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion ($29.99)

94 points James Suckling: "Very aromatic and chalky on the nose with blackberries and blackcurrants. Licorice, too. Full to medium body, savory and chewy tannins, yet this always remains polished with a long and pretty finish. Drink in 2020, but hard not to drink now." (02/2017)

94 points Vinous: "The 2014 Barde-Haut has turned out beautifully. Dark cherry, mocha, spice, leather and tobacco flesh out in the glass. Effortless, supple and nicely layered, the 2014 hits all the right notes. The midweight style of the year comes through very nicely in this classy, polished Saint-Émilion. Proprietor Hélène Garcin and consulting winemaker Alain Raynaud captured all of the vintage's potential. The blend is 90 % Merlot and 10 % Cabernet Franc. (AG)" (02/2017)

91 points Wine Spectator: "Solid, with dark currant, fig and blackberry compote flavors that meld with dark tobacco and roasted alder notes. Maintains a fleshy edge through the finish without sacrificing energy. Best from 2018 through 2028. 4,500 cases made.(JM)" (03/2017)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Barde-Haut, a blend of 87.3% Merlot and 12.7% Cabernet Franc, has a relatively opulent bouquet compared to its peers with ripe red cherries, kirsch, hints of crème de cassis, and it becomes spicier as it opens in the glass. The palate is smooth on the entry with succulent ripe red and black fruit. This feels harmonious and silky smooth, just a touch of pain grillé on the entry, fine structure, tightening up on the mid-palate with a gentle, insistent grip on the lightly spiced finish where the Cabernet Franc imparts a subtle bell pepper note. This is excellent. (NM)" (03/2017)

Jancis Robinson: "Very dark blackish crimson. Intense mulberry aromas with something distinctly wet stones about it. Definitely playing the mineral not fruit card. Interesting wine with good balance and some subtlety. Oak is kept well in check and a rather intriguing undertow and finish. 16.5/20" (03/2015)

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 01, 2017

Dark red fruit mingles with dried mushroom, sage and saddle leather. Quite a brooding wine with a core of sweet fruit but plenty of savory umami qualities to boot. Exotic spicy oak adds another dimension and helps reinforce structure. Beautiful fine, chalky tannin gives length and promise for a long future (if you don't drink it tonight).

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2017

When the Garcin family presented their wines at a K&L dinner a couple months back, I was amazed at the grace and style with which Barde-Haut aged. The 2014 should be no different: It offers amazing aging potential at great value. It has great fruit, blackberries, blueberries, black cherries, with toast from the oak regimen and a slightly smoky character with spice that adds complexity and layers.

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2017

Our visit with Hélène Garcin at Chateau Barde-Haut in St-Émilion back in April was meant to be a brief one. It had been a very long day of tasting 2016 barrel samples on the Right Bank, and we had two more appointments still remaining. We tasted samples of all the wines in the portfolio: the two new properties Chateau dArce from the Côtes de Castillon and Poesia in St-Émilion, the fabled Clos lEglise from Pomerol, and of course Barde-Haut. In for a penny, in for a pound, and when we were offered barrel samples of the same wines from the excellent 2015 vintage we nodded our assent. The third times the charm, so when corks were pulled on the newly bottled wines of the 2014 vintage we held out our glasses once again. It is very difficult to say no to Hélène, and impossible to say no to her wines. The 2014 Barde-Haut, the second vintage produced since its elevation to Grand Cru Classé status, is very much in the Garcin mode, exquisitely polished, the epitome of refinement and grace. Tons of dark fruit, generously seasoned with spicy new oak, and with sufficient structure to more than adequately reward a brief period in the cellar.

Staff ImageClyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2017

A fabulous value from one of the best mid-range priced chateaux in St Emilion. Helene Garcin Leveque has fashioned a soft, elegant, fruit forward beauty here. Very aromatic and chalky on the nose with blackberries and blackcurrants. Licorice, too. And 94 JS points to boot. Bar none one of the best bangs for your buck in all of Bordeaux. Especially seeing that you can drink it tonight or ten years from now.

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2012 Cordella Brunello di Montalcino Price: Hidden

95 points James Suckling: "Fascinating aromas of dried oranges, blackberries and black truffles follow through to a full body, fine and integrated tannins and a flavorful finish. Very well-crafted. Made from organic grapes. Drink or hold." (02/2017)

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 17, 2017

Love these user friendly 2012 Brunelli, This is very concentrated and has a impressive nose for the vintage, with loads of ripe fruit, Full-bodied and very velvety, with beautiful soft tannins and great fruit, full-bodied, this wine boasts excellent length.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 23, 2017

This wine comes from the northeastern quadrant of Montalcino near the town of Torrenieri, here the soils are denser and have more clay which give wines of richness and breadth. The nose of this wine is bold, lots of sweet plumy fruit with a bit of tomato leaf. On the palate the wine is rich, dense and full bodied showing wild plums and earth while accented by hints of vanilla. The finish pulls it all together and bits of wild mushroom and saddle leather emerge to couple with the deep fruit. This is a fairly new winery the vineyards were planted in 1998 and sold until Maddalena Cordella took over and released her first wine with the 2010 vintage.The wines are aged for 24 months in 25hl Slavonian oak

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2014 Moss Wood "Wilyabrup" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia ($69.99)

97 points James Halliday: "Moss Wood's flagship wine is a structured beauty with nothing out of place. The gloss of the colour, the florals, blackberries and mulberries infused with black olives, dried herbs and eucalypt; the French oak and the fine-grained tannins seal the deal. Very even and will reward the patient."

96 points James Suckling: "A stylish edition of regal Margaret River cabernet that has plenty of ripe dark cherries and blackcurrants as well as cedar oak, violets, hints of chocolate, terracotta, bay leaf and some gentle gravelly notes. The ripe tannins deliver a smooth and seamless palate that climbs in layers of complex flavors. Effortless power, great concentration and perfect ripeness. A class act. Drink now or hold." (01/2018)

K&L Notes: 94+ Wine Front: "Boysenberry, blackberry, violets, fennel seed, and that earthy/ferrous thing that Moss Wood often shows. Oak feels pared back and adds a layer of cedar and toast. Medium to full bodied, earthy and savoury, with some new leather too, along with black fruits, mint and spicy toasted oak. Tannin is ripe and sure, acidity fresh and well settled, and the finish shows glimmers of red fruit in with the black, with fleshy tannin shaping and extending the finish. It’s a very strong release from Moss Wood, beautifully balanced, and it feels particularly age-worthy too. Yep."

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 31, 2018

This is a wine that should make most winemakers in California and Bordeaux jealous. This is a wine of richness and restraint. A wine with immediate impact and subtlety. It is extremely generous yet not completely forthcoming. It is a wine for tonight and a wine for the cellar. It is the best of both worlds, Napa and the Medoc, it is just what we have come to expect from Margaret River and especially Moss Wood. A wine for all drinkers to pay attention to.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 29, 2018

Margaret River has recently been producing some of my favorite Cabs and this Moss Wood certainly gets on the list as on of my tops. It comes across as bright and fresh, with the quintessential woodsy Oz backdrop. It is more juicy than other Cabs of the region, but I find that to be a revelation and makes the wine so fun to drink now. This is phenomenally good Cabernet and Moss Wood has hit the top of my list as the new great producer.

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2013 Charles Smith Wines "King Coal - Stoneridge Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah (Elsewhere $100) Price: Hidden

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon King Coal Stoneridge Vineyard, which is always a 70/30 mix of Cabernet and Syrah, is a beauty. Giving up lots of black currants, smoked earth, olive and background meatiness, its rich, voluptuously textured and concentrated, with tons to love. Its approachable now due to all the fruit, but this puppy will cruise in the cellar over the coming couple of decades.These latest releases from Charles Smith check in at the top of the pyramid and are flat out incredible wines that I wish every reader could taste. (JD)" (06/2016)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Syrah, brooding aromas of ground stone, herb, brown stem and black fruit give way to dense layered blackberry flavors. It shows great focus, poise, texture and exquisite length. *Cellar Selection* (SS)" (02/2017)

94 points Wine Spectator: "Broad and spicy, centered on rich currant and blueberry fruit at the core, shaded with hints of baby powder and mint as the finish sails on expressively. Has presence, depth and distinction. Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. (HS)" (12/2016)

91 points Vinous: "Healthy medium red. Very ripe aromas of raspberry and truffle. Plush and nicely concentrated, conveying a savory character to the flavors of plum, mocha, truffle and new oak. An herbal edge on the finish accentuates the tannins, giving this rather high-pH wine (3.92) needed firmness. This will be even better for a couple years of patience. (ST)" (11/2016)

1997 Highland Park 20 "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($199.99)

Highland Park is truly a product of its environment. The distillery lays just a few degrees outside the bounds of the Arctic Circle on an island devoid of trees and ravaged by wind, yet relatively mild in temperature swings. This unique location coupled with the extra effort of floor malting their own barley on site are some of the components that lead to an awards list a mile long. This list includes many Gold and Double Gold medals for the distillery and its various bottlings. The barley is malted with local peat from Hobbister Moor, dense in heather, and providing an unusually floral characteristic to the smoke. The gale force winds carry the salt sea air through the barrel houses giving the whisky a salty tanginess that is all together different than the iodine characteristics of Islay. Weighing in at 53.1% alcohol and well below the $550 price tag of the 25 year old distillery bottling, this 20 year old Old Particular cask really struts the salt air and delicate floral smoke. Charged from a refill hogshead.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 20, 2018

Easily the best modern release of Highland Park I've ever tasted. HP is always great, but a lot of their special releases/cask strength offerings are overpriced and underwhelming. But this amazing cask of Highland Park delivers something that we just haven't seen since the old days. What I'm talking about it balanced sherry, Orkney peat and tons of character. Even tasting the high marks 25 & 30, which have refinement and nuance, they lack the complexity and depth of character that this special whisky exhibits at 5-10 times less the price. You'll kick yourself if you wait to taste this stuff before we sell out. If you can afford it, buy 3.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 16, 2018

A wonderful single cask from Highland Park. This cask offers both balance and harmony, with all aspects working together to create a delicious treat. I tasted both with water and without. Without water it is more intense and round. With a touch of water the nose opens up some showing pretty and delicate smoke and floral notes. This leads to a flavors that are complex , layered and subtle. There is a nice dry finish.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 15, 2018

I was blown away by this cask strength Highland Park from the first little sniff. After adding a few drops of water, it only got better. This has it all: rich, almondy nuttiness, sweet and savory sherry depth and more than a hint of Orkney smoke on the super long finish. With supplies of great distilleries like Highland Park disappearing from the stocks of specialty bottlers, this extraordinarily fine 20 year old is looking like a value, even if it is not inexpensive. If you are looking for profound, old, sherry influenced malt from one of the great island distilleries, you have found it!

Staff ImageAndrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 14, 2018

This is one of the most complex Old Particular casks we have ever bottled. The nose is at first full of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies sprinkled with a touch of cracked rock salt but gives way to the much more delicate aroma of stone fruits and tree blossoms. The palate is dense with dried figs, caramel, brioche, Christmas spices, and the savory notes of lightly smoked meats. The barley itself seems take center staged for a moment before fleeing into the background leaving behind a wisp of orange and smoke, like a hip bartender flashing the citrus oil before dropping the garnish peel into your Old Fashioned. The finish is particularly lengthy here and changes slightly with each sip. Every sampling leaves you with a different impression than the one before, but each contributes to building the complete picture of what 20 long years of age does for one of the world's greatest distilleries.

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