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Staff Favorites - Andrew Whiteley

Andrew Whiteley
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Reviews

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Clynelish 23 Year Old "Signatory Vintage Black Label" K&L Exclusive Single 2nd Fill Sherry Butt #11239 Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2019
This is the one people will ask about for years to come. It's bound to enter the rarefied air of "legendary cask." Frankly, it's one of the greatest whiskies we've ever had the pleasure of tasting, let alone choosing to buy. 23 long years in a sherry butt of superlative quality has proved to be exactly the thing Clynelish needs to draw every facet out into the open. The nose is balanced between orange zest, roasted and candied nuts, succulent orchard fruit, a bit of pipe tobacco, a dusting of crushed stone, spice, and everything nice. The palate is dark and chewy, brooding almost. It matches the maple syrup color and sweet profile. There is a savory thread from the tip of the tongue all the way to the back of your throat that adds complexity and counterpoint to all of the sweet cask and malt notes. The finish is expansive. Every nerve on your palate is alive and buzzing after you finish a sip. It's simply a perfect whisky. Fortunately, sherry butts are huge and this one provided 516 bottles of liquid gold. Sadly, it won't be nearly enough. Once you've tasted this number and looked at its sexy vintage black label, you will simply need to fill the safe with as many bottles as you can stuff in there, because this is a once in a lifetime dram.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

1988 Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2019
This whisky is stunningly complex. While we had a 30 year old Bunna last year that was dark with sherry, this impressive cask is all about the character of the malt itself. It is a perfect example of why Bunnahabhain is such a well regarded distillery. The malt itself feels drizzled in honey. A slight cream provides richness. There is a dizzying array of fruit that ranges from tropical pineapple to honeycrisp apples. It's basically a breakfast bowl of yogurt, granola, and fresh fruits, but with an enormous wallop of power. Under the obvious notes on the nose is a gentle sea brine and herbal quality both of which provide lift and freshness. The body is full, but not heavy. An the finish lights up your tastebuds with the priqlyness of high proof and the sweetness of creme brulee. A masterpiece malt not to be missed by any serious whisky drinker or collector.
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart

1991 Cameronbridge 27 Year Old "Old Particular" Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-19-2019
Single grain whisky occupies a fascinating spot in the drinking world. Rarely though about, often entirely unknown, yet utterly delicious and extremely appreciated by those in the know. Typically grain whisky is just regarded as the bulking agent in blended Scotch to stretch the flavorful malt farther. The grain for this purpose rarely reaches age statements that excite anyone. Young grain, while indeed quite tasty (think Nikka Coffey Grain), isn't typically super compelling. When a cask reaches a ripe old age that could be talked about in decades, something magical happens. The soft grain starts to show cream and fruit notes. It develops tons of complexity in its own right. Add to that a well matched cask and you've got a cheap but wonderful whisky. This sherry butt - a rarity in the grain world - is the perfect partner for this 27 year old Cameronbridge. A first or second fill cask would frankly be too overpowering for the more subtle grain, this refill barrel complements the whisky perfectly. It adds just enough spicy kick and dried fruits to take this grain from merely tasty to exquisite. Pepper hits upfront, cinnamon mingles in the finish. Cream envelopes singed orange peel and sultanas. Caramel and vanilla abound. Similar casks hover around $200 bucks per bottle. Once again, there is simply no contest when compared with K&L's ability to offer whisky direct from Scotland.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

5 Sentidos Espadin "Batch ESALB01-19" K&L Exclusive (Alberto Martinez) Santa Catarina Albarradas Uncertified Oaxacan Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 11-14-2019
When you taste a spirit that challenges everything you thought you knew, you're onto something special. Espadin, the most plentiful agave for Mezcal production, also tends to be the least expensive. While it's easy to think, "oh, Espadin, why would I pay more than 30 or 40 dollars for a bottle?" it's hard to dismiss this piece of magic from Alberto Martinez bottled by 5 Sentidos. This is the pinnacle of Espadin agave spirit. Wonderfully complex it's a fascinating combination of fruit, savory herbs, sweet flower blossoms, and just the tiniest hint of smoke. It's one of the most broadly appealing agave spirits I've tasted all year. If you've got an agave lover, Tequila, Mezcal, Sotol or otherwise, they'll find this to be an exceptionally enjoyable spirit. If you're buying it for yourself, one sip and you'll think you got the steal of a lifetime.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

1997 Ledaig 21 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Unchill-filtered Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-08-2019
One of the great peated whiskies of Scotland, but sadly often overlooked. This particular cask smells of apple crisp and quality tobacco burning hot. Cooked fruits mingle with caramel, burnt orange peel, nutmeg, a sprinkling of seasalt and a faint background of iodine and herbs. A bit of water and it opens into more of a saddle shop complexity of leather and oil. The savory components make this a perfect whiskey for deep contemplation. It's more subtle than many an Islay dram. A dream for any lover of island malts.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

1995 Caperdonich 24 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Unchill-filtered Speyside Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-08-2019
Welcome to the club. One of the greatest secrets of Scotland is briefly available here at K&L. The refill hoggie yielded just 155 bottles and this rarity is worth every penny. It's intensely sherried, laden with dried figs, candied orange peels, sultanas, and the complex aromas of an unlit Cuban cigar. This is a malt you can pick apart all night long. At 55% ABV if needs no water, although it doesn't harm anything to add a small drop. While long lost distilleries often pique my curiosity and are always fun to taste and talk about, they rarely deliver on this level. Active sherry and unctuous oily malt - a stunning combo to be sure - have never been quite this good.
Price: $399.99 Add To Cart

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel "K&L Exclusive" Cask Strength Tennessee Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 11-08-2019
I must admit, we had sort of written Jack Daniel's off here at K&L. No. 7 Black Label is about 99% of what they produce in Lynchburg. It's delicious, sure, but it's also commoditized. We just are never going to be the place that buys 10 pallets of Jack to compete on price. When they first released their Single Barrel Select a number of years ago I was blown away by the intensity of the full proof version. When we had a chance this summer to visit the distillery, all my preconceptions about this massive brand were challenged. What I forgot was that you just don't become the world's largest American whiskey brand by accident or by cutting corners. You do it by consistently making the best damn whiskey you can make. Every day. Every decision undertaken by the team at JD is to improve quality and production, together, not independently. While nearly every single barrel goes into the No. 7, there are a few that make it to an older age and are destined for the single barrel program. This one is a gem. One sniff and you know it's Jack. A sip and you feel like Jasper himself jumped up to smack you in the face. It's a no holds barred version of the famous tipple. The sweet mellow nature of Tennessee whiskey is still there, loads of vanilla, sweet grain, some gentle stone fruit, but everything is turned up to a full blown 11. A slight licorice snap note provides freshness along with a spicy cinnamon line. A little bit of water to tame the beast and the body just explodes. It becomes super full and rich and washes over your pallet, a warm blanket of goodness. While this is excellent neat or with a little water or ice, I'm not gonna lie - it make's the best damn Jack 'n Coke you'll ever have.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Maker's Mark 46 K&L Exclusive "Barrel #5" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 10-12-2019
My first inclination for this barrel was to pick nine of the Baked American Pure 2 staves to really double down on the natural character of Maker's Mark. I figured that was the closest thing I could get to an actual single cask. I was sorely mistaken. The added depth and complexity achievable through this unique cask program is astonishing. While maintaining a Maker's Mark backbone of sweet vanilla and mellow wheat, with five Pure 2 staves the increased length and breadth of the mixture of seared and toasted French staves, with a single Maker's 46 stave, improves the whiskey. Instead of the just the sharper peaked aromatics of American oak, the base tones of spice fill out the feel of the nose. Heady cooking spices abound, but still with a focus on the sweet spices and ever present sweet vanillins. It fills the glass, your nose, and the room. On the palate the intense tip-of-the-tongue sweetness of Maker's is carried all the way to the far corners of your mouth. It's a full-palate whiskey in a way that the classic just isn't. The finish lingers with hints of cocoa nibs and cinnamon. This is simply a perfect high-proof wheater, and just in time for the holidays.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Maker's Mark 46 K&L Exclusive "Barrel #6" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 10-12-2019
Neal and I have a friendly rivalry going since we blended these casks side by side. While I may swear in good fun that "my" cask is better, the truth is they're both excellent, but very, very different. Slightly darker in color and tone than cask #5, Neal's cask #6 is more the bass, while #6 occupies an alto range of flavors. Much weightier on the palate, the heavier use of French oak creates a deep and varied array of chocolates, coffee, toffee, and hints of herbs that lay down the funky bass line for a Maker's walk on the wild side. A perfect cigar bourbon if you will, or just a lovely sweet treat to cap off a glorious night.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Privateer Rum "The Queen's Share - Smuggler's Cove Cask #P393" American Rum (7 50ml)
Review Date: 10-10-2019
Made from a combination of evaporated cane juice crystals, boiled brown sugar, molasses, and a careful distillation, the Queen's Share is an opulent drinking experience. The texture of this rum is remarkable. While the aromatics are robust, brimming with dry oak spice and supple vanillians, it's really the body that will catch your attention. It is luscious. Graceful, yet commanding. The palate is a combination of candied nuts, toasted coconut, caramel, and an underpinning herbal quality that keeps things from feeling too sweet. The finish lasts for minutes. This is wonderful on its own, but also perfect to add body and length to any cocktail.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

Privateer Rum "Distiller's Drawer - K&L Exclusive" Bottled-In-Bond American Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 10-10-2019
Typically when someone talks about bottled in bond spirits, they're referring to bourbon or rye. In the case of Maggie Campbell, founder of Privateer Rum - it's all about rum. This "Distiller's Drawer" cask, a special distillery designation for their choicest barrels, has it all. Sweet vanilla, cola, cinnamon and nutmeg abound on the nose. The palate is superbly rich and round but dry as a bone. For those who like the feel of a sweeter style rum, but not the added sugar, this barrel is perfect. At 4 years old it's a great balance between wood and spirit character equally suitable for cocktailing or simply enjoying neat after dinner.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Michel Couvreur "Peaty Overaged" K&L Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-10-2019
This has been a favorite bottling of mine every year since it first landed in 2014. This marks our fifth iteration and I believe may be the finest. The soft sherry is of the highest quality. The malt is all 12 years and up, the smoke profile is perfect. Pure sexy peat, intense yet welcoming. A slight salinity brings freshness to the palate and highlights the brimming sweet fruit. It's rare to see anything of this quality come together, let alone for 80 bucks.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Michel Couvreur "Cap a Pie" Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-10-2019
For a mere 70 bucks, this falls into the category of 'life's simple pleasures.' From head to toe, a perfect blend. Set aside how wonderful, cool, and unusual Couvreur is as a producer and just taste the whisky. It's flawless and offers a bit of everything in the whisky-verse. If you've ever enjoyed a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue, be prepared to be blown out of the water by this number.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2014 Bunnahabhain Staoisha Heavily Peated 4 Year Old "Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection" Dechar/Rechar Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-24-2019
Oops. I made the mistake of popping this bottle in a communal staff space and it took over the room much to the chagrin of the few peat haters. It's robustly peaty, loaded with wet earth, cold smoke, iodine, salted caramel, candied cereal, and green apples. It's a titanic whisky. This will challenge all of your perceptions regarding the importance of age and is not for the faint of heart.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Bourbon Barreled Kentucky Wild Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 08-21-2019
A decent barrel-aged gin is a rare thing. An excellent one is like a unicorn - you're pretty sure it exists, but you've never seen one. I was flabbergasted by New Riff's barrel-aged gin. I've gone back to that bottle over and over again this year, nursing it down to the end until I could replenish my stocks once our for-sale product actually arrived. The color is extremely light, but the gin has spent a shocking 5-7 months in as-fresh-as-they-get bourbon barrels. Aside from the mellowing and melding of flavors achieved by the time barrel, there is a haunting, subtle sweetness and complex vanilla oak profile imparted to the gin. It's like a very dry version of Old Tom Gin. While it's great on its own, it's the perfect ingredient for a modern version of the Martinez cocktail.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Kentucky Wild Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 08-20-2019
I'm a gin guy. My wife and I probably consume more G&Ts and Martinis than any other cocktail at home. Of course when my box of New Riff samples I requested at the start of this year arrived I dug into the whiskies first, cause that's really what was going to make or break this Kentucky distillery for me, but I was thrilled to get to the gins, if not a little skeptical going in. Knowing nothing about the gin, I evaluated it first just on taste and was giddy. After diving in and learning a thing of two about the production, I was ecstatic. Built on classic gin botanicals the Kentucky Wild Gin at first blush is something of a London dry style, but harbors a few major twists. The most noticeable is the texture - there is a bit of new make rye spirit added to the neutral grain. Not only does this enhance the flavors as the herbal nature of the rye plays extremely well with the botanicals, but it adds an enormous amount of rich texture to the base. The 2nd major twist comes from the American Spice Bush. Endemic to the Ohio River Valley, the fruit of this bush has a distinct flavor that falls somewhere between all spice and mace with a hint of pepper and tea notes. It's really a perfect gin botanical. Add to that some wild local juniper to enhance the backbone and a touch of Golden Rod - Kentucky's state flower - and you've got yourself a true Kentucky Gin that drinks like a dream and makes a killer dry Martini.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 08-20-2019
When you start a new distillery, it's not uncommon (for the savvy operators) to hire a longtime industry pro to make sure the setup of the facility is up to snuff. If you're really dedicated to making great whiskey, you hire the best. If you're dedicated to making great rye, that means you find the man who has a reasonable claim to having distilled more rye whiskey than anyone on earth. Larry Ebersold spent 40+ years making whiskey at what is today known as MGP - one time the largest whiskey distillery on the planet and he is responsible for making an enormous portion of the bourbon and rye available on the market today. The investment in great people has paid off in a big way for New Riff. They let Larry order up the "small" distillery of his dreams and implemented a few new ideas he had that were not in the cards at a massive facility like MGP. A bit unusual in that it is 100% rye (95% rye and 5% malted rye) this is a dissertation on why rye is such a compelling distillation grain. It's both spicy in flavor and plush on the palate. There is a small floral and grassy component that is intense but not perfumy or overly sweet. The cinnamon and pepper that is so clear in the high-rye bourbon, counterintuitively melts into the core of this 100% rye. Bottled-In-Bond, this Fall 2019 bottling is a masterpiece and rightly deserves to be where New Riff hangs their hat.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 08-20-2019
The importance of what New Riff has done can't be stated in a single review. The true magnitude their accomplishments can only be understood when looking at the larger picture of the American whiskey industry and where they fit into it. As with any whiskey though - the story isn't fully told until you get it in your glass and judge for yourself. I love the combination of richness and spice in the bourbon. In particular, the high (30%) rye content really amps up the experience. While the sweet vanillans and caramels of the barrel create a base for the whiskey, it's the high toned peaks of rye aromatics that make the pour sing. Pepper and cinnamon abound, but the touch of dried alfalfa adds the savor needed to make it a complete drinking experience, not just a sweet and spice bomb. The finish lingers, both long and well rounded. Perfect at 100 proof, as required by the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897, you have many options for enjoying this one. Neat is never a bad idea, but the savory notes play extremely well with vermouth if you want to mix up some cocktails. There is enough punch that a little water or ice isn't going to dilute you past the point of intense aromatics and flavor either.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Animas Joven Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 07-27-2019
While there are less expensive mezcals available, very few in the sub $50 category deliver this much flavor and intensity. With the sky rocketing price of agave, it's getting harder and harder to find quality at a reasonable price point. This espadin mezcal is stuffed with intense fruit components and balanced by a perfect slightly saline minerality and gentle smoke. And that's just the nose. The palate reiterates all of those notes but adds a crystal clear black pepper spice to the mix. The finish is medium length and very clean. The perfect place to start a mezcal journey, or to keep your hands off the super high end wild agave while you play around with cocktails.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Fukano 10 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Cask Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-26-2019
Stunning aromatics. Sweet, floral, fruity, spicy, a splash of umami. You'd never expect rice whiskey to gain so much complexity, but here it is. The real advantage the rice seems to enjoy is a silky texture after just 10 years - certainly ancient by the standards of what we've seen so far in the category. I feel we've just begun to plumb the depths of what rice distillate has to offer and with each incredible bottling I get more excited to explore further.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

The 86 Co. Ford's Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 07-26-2019
The only 86 Co product that isn't going away - and thank the cocktail gods. This is the answer to all of your gin mixing needs. Intentionally built to highlight every key flavor profile in all of the gin classics this works in everything from a G&T to a Ramos Fizz to a Bee's Knees, Martini, Negroni, Aviation, Last Word or anything inbetween and beyond. It's a true work of art and a no brainer as to why Brown Forman wanted to add this London Dry classic to their portfolio. A big pop of juniper keeps the ship steering straight as you cruise through coriander, angelica, citrus peels, orris, cassia, and a touch of jasmine to name just a few. It's also one of the most affordable gins on the shelf and should be a staple in every bar you know, home or otherwise.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

The 86 Co. Cabeza Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 07-26-2019
When opportunity knocks, open the door! Typically 30 bucks (and a screaming deal at that) The Cabeza Tequila from the 86 Co will be going out of business, but will always be in style. A true classic - no sugar, no additives, just pure agave flavor made by a master. Bright agave fruit combines with an expressive cracked pepper bite to stand out just right in any tequila cocktail. While you don't have the glycerol texture you find in many tequilas today, it does have a very smooth mouthfeel, but without any of the added sweetness. Just squeeze a lime, drop in some Cointreau, and stir up your best house margaritas until you run out of this incredible tequila. Then wish you bought more, cause you won't see Cabeza again and you'll never find a tequila of this quality for $20 anywhere else.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Douglas Laing's "The Gauldrons" Batch #1 Limited Edition Campbeltown Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-25-2019
Douglas Laing is killing it with their regional malt blends. The Campbeltown is the newest in the lineup and instantly became my favorite. While only 3 distilleries are in operation in Cambeltown today, you can bet that the majority of this blend comes from Springbank, Glengyle (Kilkerran) or Glen Scotia - there may be some of Cambeltown's long lost distilleries kicking in it too. The end result, regardless of who makes up the blend is an incredible array of sea salt, sweet malt, light peat, and a pinch of grass all in a supple and medium rich texture. It's pretty much the perfect essence of what was once the whisky capital of Scotland and at an extremely affordable price. This is a great dram to make a staple in your home bar.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Bardstown Bourbon Company - Discovery Series #1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-24-2019
While we visited Bardstown Bourbon Company on our annual KY trip this past April, we didn't have the chance to taste this particular product since the blend wasn't done yet. After receiving an explanation of what they were expecting the final blend to be made up of, we couldn't wait! It was still on our receiving dock when I pulled a bottle and cracked it open. The nose is insane. It's full of mint and a little bit of chocolate. In fact, I don't think I've ever had such a strong mint nose in a bourbon before. Some of the Four Roses yeast strains give a strong mint fragrance, but this is next level. Caramel and wood spice back up the sweet herbal aroma and the high proof cuts off any sweetness from getting to cloying. The palate is equally entrancing. It attacks from all angles. You get zip and cut and weight and silky texture. The flavors are complex and layered, like a Cafe Diablo, but brighter. The finish is long and bright with a reiteration and reinterpretation of the mint note that started it all. A truly exceptional blend from the hedonistic team at one of the most exciting distilleries in Kentucky.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart
WA 94

Rezpiral Tepeztate "Series 4 - K&L Exclusive" (Berta Vasquez) San Baltazar Chichicapam Uncertified Oaxacan Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 07-19-2019
Rezpiral is one of the most ambitious mezcal projects to come to the United States. Seeking out mezcaleros with multi-generational knowledge and respecting each of their unique processes, Rezpiral works with choice producers across Mexico to select the finest small batch agave spirits possible and bottle them without intervention or manipulation. Berta Vazquez's extensive experience allows her to produce spirits of unrivaled intensity and flavor. This K&L exclusive batch of Tepeztate yielded only 144 bottles and is exceedingly complex. At first blush it is robustly smoky. After nosing the glass a journey unfolds. It moves from smoky to herbal - seamlessly passing from savory oregano and marjoram to sweeter dill and mint. It folds into a spicy combination of black pepper and mild pepperoncinis. On the palate the saga continues. A diverse forest of fruit trees envelops you, leaf, blossom, and fruit all compete for your attention. It doubles back on itself and the finish rehashes the symphony of sweet herbs and spice before fading into a clean and persistent smoke. In terms of diverse flavor and complexity, no spirit on the shelf rivals Berta Vazquez and her distillates.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

Suntory "Hibiki Japanese Harmony" Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-10-2019
If you haven't had Hibiki Harmony recently, you must retry it. In all honesty, it's not something we've opened for the staff here in a long time since it is so tightly allocated and sells out so quickly. It just wasn't necessary. With our most recent drop of one of the most asked for Japanese whiskies on the market, I decided it was time to make sure the staff all knew what exactly we had. I must say, I was blown away by the richness in particular. The flavors are a delight, crisp apple, fresh stone fruits, a touch of piquant pepper and a surprising amounts of vanilla and caramel. The palate has much more weight, presumably from a higher malt content, than I recall. It coats the tongue, but is never heavy. The finish is clean and bright and decidedly entices you to have another sip. We spend most of the year out of stock on this whisky just sadly telling customers, "no, it's not available." Today, we are sitting flush and want to let everyone know it's here. The trick is, with the insane popularity of all true Japanese whisky, it won't be here for long.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 WA 90

2018 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 06-27-2019
A beautiful NZ savvy! Right out of the gate it has a surprise on the nose - it smells richer than most NZ sauv blanc, there is a vibrant grapefruit component to go with the classic lemon/lime and touch of grassiness. The palate has great acid cut to go with a little bit broader profile than many. It tastes like perhaps it has seen a little extended time on the lees with a hint of biscuit and fresh baked bread. While delightful on its own, the wine really should shine with food. Any fish dish or chicken would do nicely.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
BC 95

Suntory Hakushu 12 Year Old Japanese Peated Single Malt Whisky (limit 12) (750ml)
Review Date: 06-27-2019
Hakushu has always been my favorite of the Suntory malts. The sweet and elegant malt profile is rounded out beautifully by the gentle peat smoke giving the whisky more body and texture than its brothers. The "forest distillery" also produces a verdant whisky - it feels green and fresh, cool and earthy. Moist peat and cool mint gently hold up the bouquet of flowers and cereal notes. The palate is extremely balanced with pepper and cinnamon playing off of the sweeter grain notes. The smoke is more rich body than intense fire. A long and earthy finish is sweetened by a maple syrup and caramel note that leaves a very pleasant aftertaste. With Japanese whisky being so hard to get these days, you have to get while the gettin' is good.
Price: $109.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 91
Limit of 12 per customer

Legent Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 06-27-2019
Generally "innovative" in the bourbon industry is a shield word for an experiment gone wrong. Not so in this case! Beam Suntory - one of the world's most important drinks companies is in a unique position through ownership of two of the most important brands in two of the hottest categories in the spirits world - bourbon and Japanese whisky. A quick coating of your glass with Legent and you'll fill the room (or cubicle in my case) with robust cinnamon, sweet dried fruits, caramel, candied popcorn, vanilla, and a smooth sense of calm. The 47% ABV is just perfection for sipping neat. The judicious use of sherry and red wine casks on only a fraction of the whisky adds complexity without overpowering the inherent bourboness of the spirit. Just as you'd expect from Beam and Suntory bringing their great whisky heads together - Incredible Kentucky bourbon in the elegant and sophisticated Japanese profile. A home-run hit with a cool concept and perfect execution.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Braes of Glenlivet (Braeval) 29 Year Old "Sovereign Wax Top" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-13-2019
Crazy spices dominate the palate. All spice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg just to name a few. It's intense and pretty all at the same time. It's not often the first thing that comes to mind on a nearly 30 year old whisky is zip, but this has a piquant zest and tingle to it that makes it feel alive. The Braes of Glenlivet, as it was known (today, simply Braeval), sits very near its more famous brother, The Glenlivet. While the two facilities share a style, the Braes seem to sport more of a rich mid palate, although to be fair, it's not exactly an apples to apples comparison as a comparatively old Glenlivet will cost you a small fortune.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

McKenzie Bottled-in-Bond Wheated Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 06-05-2019
The best wheated bourbon on our shelf. Full Stop. A few things are done differently at the Finger Lakes Distillery to make Mckenzie that contribute to it's full and intense flavor. All of the grain is grown locally in New York state before being distilled to a lower than normal proof, retaining more flavor. The second distillation is carried out on a thumper, an old school technique given up for modern efficiency by most Kentucky producers. It is then barreled at a ridiculously low 100 proof in barrels made from 36 month air dried staves. The end result of these expensive choice is that you need to add almost no water when it comes time to bottle - yet again, the result is MORE flavor. Just ask Michter's who barrels at 103 proof! Each of these production choices sets Mckenzie apart, but the true test comes down to what's in the bottle. Pour a slug of this into a glass and let it sit for a moment. You won't even have to nose the glass before you smell the rich caramel, brown sugar, dried fruits, and mellow grain wafting up. Put the liquid to your lips and the first thing you notice is the texture. It's full bodied and creamy. The flavors expand across the palate as a repeat of the nose with the added complexity of cinnamon, nutmeg, and very gentle wood tannin. The finish flourishes into an array of pepper, cocoa, caramel, sweet tea, and caramelized sugar. The 100 proof ties every aspect together in harmony. A complete bourbon and an incredibly showing for the Burdett, NY distillery.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Littlemill "Old Malt Cask" 29 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-29-2019
A lively combination of sweet fruits, candied nuts, and fresh cream are readily picked up on the nose and the palate. The whisky is supremely easy to enjoy casually without much careful thought or consideration. Add to that the excitement of drinking something that can never again be produced and you have a special night. If you move past sliding dram after dram through your lips into the realm of contemplation, you'll be enchanted by a shockingly savory array of secondary characteristics. In a proper glass with lots of time to open, there develops a very pleasant mushroom/miso umami which blends perfectly with the sweeter tones of the nose and entry. It's a combination that will last in your heart and mind long after the last drops of this closed distillery are consumed.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

Darroze Les Grand Assemblages "20 Year Old" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2019
The Armagnac discussion has recently been dominated by single cask, vintage, ultra rare bottlings. While that focus is well deserved due to exceptional quality, rarity, and affordability, I think that has come as the disservice of some of the classic blends. Marc Darroze and his family have been distilling Armagnac for farmers for decades. By taking payment for their services in the form of distillate, they have amassed one of the greatest collections of Armagnac stocks on the planet. Marc's prowess as a blender is unmatched and the results I think reach an apex of quality/price in the 20 year assemblages. It's nearly impossible to beat for complexity of flavor, accessibility of profile, and pure deliciousness. All for just a hundred bucks. The nose is packed with fruit, wood spice, and a touch of sweet tobacco leaf. The palate is expansive and soft without ever being flabby. An unparallelled finish where everything lingers in its purest and clearest form, is the true achievement and mark of unrivaled quality.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

Whistle Pig 10 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" 111.3 Proof Barrel 2380 Single Barrel Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2019
The lowest in proof of our current round of overaged Whistle Pig casks, this barrel highlights the darker nature of things. More cocoa and mocha to go with brandied fruits and a gentle but persistent herbal quality. A bit surprisingly this feels bigger on the palate than some of the higher proofed barrels, but that's not a bad thing. I find it particularly exceptional in a Manhattan.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Gray Whale Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 03-13-2019
A certified 1% For The Planet company, Gray Whale Gin not only makes great gin, they put their money where their mouth is and donate 1% of proceeds to Oceana, an environmental non profit dedicated to protecting the oceans. The selection of botanicals from along the whales' migratory route at first feels a bit kitschy, but one sip and you'll let that feeling go. It's a splendid combination of mint, juniper, and limes set off by a pop of fir, floral notes, and a touch of salinity from sea kelp. An interesting take on terroir (wateroir?), Gray Whale makes a wonderful martini, G&T, or even Negroni, making it a triple threat in your cocktail collection.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Mortlach 20 Year Old "Cowie's Blue Seal" Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (ships like a 1.5L bottle due to shape)
Review Date: 02-28-2019
Much more bass tones than the 12 or 16 year releases. This has that big meaty quality of Mortlach underpinned by a very savory wood profile. That base of bass flavors is topped by higher toned citrus, particularly orange peel and a bit of fresh lemon zip. Chocolate and mocha make up the middle and give way to another long and clean finish. If you're already a fan of Mortlach, this is not to be missed.
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart

Mortlach 16 Year-Old "Distiller's Dram" Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (ships like a 1.5 L bottle due to shape)
Review Date: 02-28-2019
The 16 year is the slam dunk of the new Mortlach lineup. If you only try one bottling, this is the one. It's exceptional. Robust sherry of the highest quality imparts a bit of rancio which plays perfectly with the natural meatiness of the spirit and a ton of dried sultanas and figs which lends a beautiful supple sweetness. The palate is extremely full, filling every nook and cranny and hitting every taste bud. The finish lingers on and on and is where you really see the quality of the clean sherry casks used.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
WA 91

Mortlach 12 Year Old "The Wee Witchie" Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml (ships like a 1.5 L bottle due to shape)
Review Date: 02-28-2019
It's incredibly refreshing to see some new distillery releases from Mortlach that come in at excellent prices. The 12 year "Wee Witchie," named for their tiny "extra" still, is robust in flavor, but incredibly smooth and approachable. The meaty character of Mortlach is readily apparent, yet without any trace of the phenolic character the distillery typically shows. This is supple and extravagant daily drinking at it's best. Lots of pretty dried fruits and pleasant woody tones carry throughout the nose, palate, and finish.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Johnnie Walker Blue "Ghost and Rare - Port Ellen Edition" Blended Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-23-2019
I was on the fence on personally buying a bottle of this sight unseen. I was lucky enough to snag a taste of this gem and it sold me on the spot. The gentle but full smoke and rich malt of the ancient Port Ellen is immediately apparent. It sits gently sandwiched between the honey, nougat, and creme brulee of the Caledonian and Carsebridge ghost grain distillate. There is a rich tropical fruit provided from these lost grain distillates as well. Add to that the complexity provided by the meatiness of Mortlach, the floral yet rich notes of Cragganmore, the nuttiness of Blair Athol, and the heavy funk of Dailuaine and you have yourself an absolute beauty. It's stylish, graceful, and perfectly balanced. Everything you'd expect from a prestige blend from Johnnie Walker. It dances all over the palate lighting up your taste buds from front to back and fully satisfies the itch for a true luxury whisky. As an aside, most places are selling this bottle for $300-500. You can grab one at K&L for just $250! When you compare that to the many thousands a bottle of Port Ellen single malt will run you, the magnitude of this deal is truly apparent.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

The Irishman Founder's Reserve Caribbean Rum Cask Finish (750ml)
Review Date: 02-14-2019
Mix it up this St. Patty's Day with a splendid cask finish on your Irish whisky. Only 12 barrels were put into this unique finishing program from The Irishman. We managed to snag a portion of Cask# 8477 which yielded only 380 bottles at 46%ABV. The rum cask finish is remarkably clear and inviting. The whisky itself, being majority single malt, stands up beautifully to the robust caribbean notes of molasses, fruit, a touch of salinity. The delicacy of Irish whisky is easy to lose when finishing it in unusual barrels, but everything comes together here in perfect harmony. The whisky isn't overwhelmed, but complemented by the rum cask. A great achievement in a category that is loaded with lackluster cask finished bottles.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Aberlour "Casg Annamh Batch #1" Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-07-2019
Supple, rich, and inviting. Aberlour has delivered one of the best balanced whiskies in their portfolio with the Casg Annamh. Soft golden amber in color the nose leaps out of the glass. It's an amalgam of ripe fruits, raisins, orange peel and spicy ginger. The palate is full and amazingly intense without being overwhelming. Darker cocoa and mocha fill your mouth only to be replaced with burnt orange peel and candied ginger snap. Cloves and cinnamon show up on the finish and linger. Uncompromising in quality and true to Aberlour's house style, this whisky offers gentler side to A'bunadh fans, but won't disappoint those used to its bold flavors.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Tom's Foolery Cask Strength Single Barrel #121 Ohio Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-06-2019
Soft and sweet, this is absurdly easy drinking. I had to double check that it was indeed full proof. It is. 54.55% in fact, although you'd never know it from the rounded profile and supple nature. Low in corn, yet high in rye and malted barley, the unique profile here is both sweet and a touch grassy. It's full of flavor and much more complex than your typical high corn bourbon. It's honeyed and full of darker sweets like a bowl of granola with dark chocolate chips in it. This is hands down my favorite bourbon we have carried from Tom's Foolery. Bravo!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Tom's Foolery Bottled in Bond Single Barrel #150 Ohio Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 02-06-2019
The healthy balance of malted rye gives this a completely different profile than most rye on the market. The nose is something special! It's green and herbal and sweet and yeasty all at the same time. It's like a rising loaf of rye bread on the counter while the baker toasts herbs to crust a freshly baked foccacia. The palate is spicy and darker than expected from the nosing. The sweet backbone of oak fans out into a flourish of candied spice and rolling hills of sweet grass.
Price: Hidden View Price

Rezpiral Tobala "Series 3" (Aureliano Hernandez" San Baltazar Guelevila Uncertified Oaxacan Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 02-06-2019
Hard to describe just how good this is. The best word for this Tobala spirit is integrated. No hard edges, no extreme profiles, this is soft, round, fruity, earthy, saline, and mineral all at the same time. No one component overwhelms the other. There is a gentle smoke, but not pronounced. The finish goes on for days and morphs between the various flavor characteristics. It seems to continually expand and change. It's beguiling and impossible to pin down with anything other than simply "delicious."
Price: Hidden View Price

Laird's "Single Cask Selection" Barrel 14E15#4 Cask Strength Single Barrel Apple Brandy (750ml)
Review Date: 02-06-2019
I lost my mind when I tasted this. No one is more important in United States apple distillation than Laird's. We have all long loved the classic 100 proof, but this is some next-level stuff. The singular intensity of these individual barrels is unrivaled in applejack anywhere. Barrel #4 is full of sweet pure apple aroma and loads of savory apple skins on the palate. The finish lasts for days. It lingers and lingers and struts its complexity with each subsequent breath. The perfect choice for drier applejack cocktails in particular.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Rezpiral Tepeztate "Series 3" (Apolonia Ramirez & Reina Sanchez) San Augustin Amatengo Uncertified Oaxacan Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 02-06-2019
This Rezpiral feels the most full of smoke. It's not overwhelming, just a little more present. The earthy intensity of it is the perfect foil to the sweet cooked agave and cracked pepper of the Tepeztate. A full and voluminous spirit, this is not for the faint of heart. Go boldly.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

Bapt & Clem 12 Year Old "Savanna Distillery" Réunion Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 01-16-2019
A stunning amber/topaz in color you might be forgiven for thinking this was Cognac at first blush. The dark color, candied fruit, and ethereal nose of cigar box and dried petals scream Cognac. The palate is all spicy and rich molasses based rum. Aged in 3-5year old ex-Cognac barrels, this makes perfect sense. The young and flashy fruit of the Cognac had just enough time to permeate the barrel and has really left its mark on the Savanna distillate. The hot and humid aging has brought everything together in one seamless package. Pure elegance and finesse. The best of Cognac and rum, all in one.
Price: Hidden View Price

Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill "Tom Cat" Barrel Aged Old Tom Gin (375ml)
Review Date: 12-28-2018
Caledonia Spirits has done a wonderful job on this gin through intense focus. There is only one botanical - Juniper. The complexity comes from one added ingredient. The gin is finished with raw honey from the local Vermont bees. This special spirit is then aged in new virgin oak casks for a short period of time. The end result is spectacular. The nose is bursting with juniper, floral blossoms, and graceful oak spice. The mouth feel is rich and bright with the endless complexities of high quality honey highlighted through the sweet oak spices. Many gins see oak because it's the trendy thing to do. This gin see oak because it elevates the quality to a whole new level. This is far and away the best barrel aged gin I've had.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

1995 The Rare Armagnac Collection "Venus" (Domaine de Pouchegu) 23 Year Old K&L Exclusive Vintage Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 12-12-2018
I've heard the story of Pierre Laport from the Davids for the last 5 years. A lament for the loss of a great man and a great stock of brandy. My only exposure to the juice itself was the 1986 bottling we had back in 2014. Getting to explore these two bottlings from The Rare Armagnac Collection today is a real treat. The intensity of the new Limousine oak is spectacularly balanced by the added intensity of the high proof (56.2%). The robust Baco from which the brandy is distilled provides enough backbone to stand up to the massive wood spice and long aging. At 23 years old, this Armagnac is a glorious example of the function of time on complexity, but it never sacrifices the sweet and candied fruit that makes Armagnac so appealing.
Price: Hidden View Price

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: 12-01-2018
I absolutely fell in love with Jura on my last trip to Scotland in May. I didn't travel to the island, although there is a spectacular view of the famous Paps of Jura from the new Ardnahoe distillery on Islay which we did visit. I did however find myself ordering and drinking Jura in damn near every bar in Glasgow. At first it was just because it was on a happy hour special at a couple of places. Then it quickly grew into a love affair seeking out odd one off casks in champion whisky bars like The Pot Still. While I found the 10yo, 18yo, and a few NAS to be lovely drams, the lightning really stuck me upon my first cask strength taste. When later in the trip we were offered the chance at this cask, after a quick nose, we had to take it. It's sweet and salty at first blush, like a sliced apple sprinkled with a pinch of finely ground sea salt. Candied oranges and brandied pears find themselves paired perfectly with the dried fruit sweetness of the refilled sherry butt. The palate confirms what the nose knows. It also adds more baking spices, dates, and a dusting of powdered sugar. The final wave of sea salt laps against your palate, a gentle tide splashing your legs on a late summer day at the beach. Such is the beauty of unadulterated, full proof Jura.
Top Value!
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

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