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Staff Favorites - Jackson Lee

Jackson Lee

Reviews

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Glen Moray 23 Year Old "Old Malt Cask" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-21-2020
This one hit the nose with big oak spice up front with underlying iodine followed closely by almond Rocca and Bartlett pear notes, as the heat died down a bit green banana and creamed brown sugar. The palate on this was exceptionally smooth at the beginning, leading up to a slow burn that enticed me into another sip. The oak spice still made its presence known with marzipan, golden brown sugar, and candied orange all seamlessly flowing together. The finish was medium length and culminated in that pleasant, warm tingling sensation that made me want to keep going back for more, truly a great pour for the price.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

1998 Glenburgie 21 Year Old "Old Particular" Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-21-2020
This bottling had a certain yin and yang going on. Sweet and sour on the nose, sweet and savory on the palate. The first note to hit my nose was Japanese Ume plum followed by pencil shavings, tropical fruit, whoppers, and lemon bars. The palate was quite pleasant texturally with an oily, mouth coating effect that elicited a medicinal peaty note paired with honeysuckle, artificial green apple flavoring and a savory, hardwood charcoal-like note on the back end. The finish felt a bit thin compared to the initial texture but lingered on with an almost mango chocolate malt note.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

1995 L'Encantada 24 Year Old "Lous Pibous #146" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-17-2020
The nose on this is big and evocative. As soon as the liquid hit the bottom of the glass, bright wisps of caramel apple and golden raisins seemed to form a halo around my nostrils. Getting up close and personal with it reminded me of a Jamaican rum with a bit of burnt rubber, but with a sweet note on the uptake, like milk chocolate. As it became less volatile the green apple and dark brown sugar were more prominent players with the slightest bit of cinnamon hiding out in the back. The palate hits you like a ton of bricks; it starts off soft and smooth with a bright, orchard fruit tone but then a lidocaine tingling starts to ramp up and a bit of oak spice comes in after, taking you into the finish where cherry cola and sweet plums linger for what feels like a millennia.

The addition of water tones down the rubber bits and enhances the brown sugar, and some red fruit tones on the nose. The palate is rounded out and takes on a silkier characteristic, again with the sweeter, darker notes coming forward. This is a hard bottle to pass up, and I’d recommend grabbing a bottle if you’re looking for an elegant yet robust Armagnac.
Price: Hidden View Price

5 Sentidos Espadin "Batch ESALB01-19" K&L Exclusive (Alberto Martinez) Santa Catarina Albarradas Uncertified Oaxacan Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 01-03-2020
This espadin took me through a loop. In all honesty, I was not digging the nose. When I first poured it into the glass I got black rubber and cow patties. I swirled and gave it time to blow off a bit and found when I came back to it, the funk had gotten more mild and fruitier tones of canned peaches (with that little bit of aluminum) and cooked agave made their way forward and made nosing it more interesting. The palate told a whole different story. Despite there being some decent heat on the nose, the palate was soft and smooth, reminding me of stone marble, both in texture and flavor. Then a candy-like sweetness hits the tip of the tongue and radiated through to the back of the palate with a subtle quince and white pineapple flavor. The finish was long with sweet minerals and bar-b-que chips as the minerality slowly faded. Like some of my other favorite foods, just because you don’t like the smell doesn’t mean it’s not delicious.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

Palenqueros "Omar Nolasco" San Juan Del Rio Pure Single Palenque Espadin Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 01-02-2020
At 55% abv, this is the highest proofed Palenqueros in the line but don’t let that scare you. This is not your typical espadin. The weirdest aspect for me was getting notes I don’t typically get with mezcals. The second the liquid hit the glass I smelled freshly brewed coffee with cream but as I went to investigate, that aroma quickly disappeared and I found myself smelling barnyard funk with wet hay, sour caramel, and after a while, a more subtle coffee note seemed to sneak back but with little commitment. The palate was wonderfully balanced and had a nice, acidic structure to it with grassy notes, black salted caramel, and quince. As the finish came up there was a subtle spice note that lingered along with slightly sweet melon rind. Definitely unique in the world of espadins on the market.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Palenqueros "Valente Garcia" La Pila Pure Single Palenque Mexicano Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 01-02-2020
We don’t seem to find much Mexicano (A. Rhodacantha) on the market, even though it has been cultivated, it is still a relatively rare agave, as it is one of my favorite sub species of agave. Mexicano or Dobadaan in some areas tends to walk a line between sweet and savory; often it is the sub species I tend to recommend to whiskey drinkers who are trying out mezcal for the first time. This bottling was an excellent example of what to expect from this plant. On the nose I immediately got lemon bars, granite rock, black/blueberry compote, underripe kiwi, smoke Havarti cheese with a light brineyness. The palate didn’t show as much smoke until you got to the finish but did keep that nice, sweet tone that held hands nicely with granite dust and sweet, fresh cut grass. The combination of sweet and earthy works wonders for this rare bottling and that theme carries well into the long finish.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Palenqueros "Rey Arellanes" Santa Catarina Minas Pure Single Palenque Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 12-29-2019
Nosing this was like punch to the face, in a good way. It both consumed the sense entirely while completely discombobulating what I normally expect to find in a glass of mezcal. Immediately I got black tar asphalt, cooked agave, underripe and overripe plantains simultaneously, green apple skin, and blackberry jam. After the heat had a chance to blow off a bit the sweet agave note really started to shine with some clay minerality. When I took a sip, the first thing that ran through my mind was Maury Ballstein from Zoolander, yelling, “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” For the price, there’s probably not a better bottle in the store in my opinion; I will definitely be picking one of these up. The second it hit the palate you get the acid in the form of blueberry compote and I got the textural/image sensation of having a blue marble rolling on the tongue; to say it’s smooth is an understatement. Sweet, fruity high tones hit first and are then followed by a dry, tannic quality-this really reminded me of drinking a great wine. The clay minerality from the pot still works its way in before the impossibly long finish, which leaves you with a subtle fruit note on top of the minerality. This has everything I want out of a great mezcal and I strongly suggest grabbing one of the 423 bottles produced.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Palenqueros "Juan Hernandez" San Pedro Taviche Tobasiche Pure Single Palenque Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 12-28-2019
The slow, seven-day fermentation process elicits some great aromas and flavors from this tobasiche. The nose starts off with crushed ice plants with a meaty, iron undertone before sweet hickory smoke and roasted agave make it to the party. Towards the end I got a hint of serrano pepper spice but after some time in the glass a wonderful charred pine needle wafted out. The palate was fun and interesting, mixing sweet and savory notes of Havarti cheese and sweetened cucumber juice. The finish was long and left a lingering green note center palate but I noticed as I exhaled I got a bit of something that immediately reminded me of kiwi-strawberry Snapple. It’s hard to believe that we could get a bottle like this at such a great price point.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Palenqueros "Baltazar Cruz" San Juan Del Rio Pure Single Palenque Tobala Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 12-28-2019
It seems to be getting more and more rare to come across wild, single species offerings these days, and with little surprise. The boom in the agave spirits category caught everyone off-guard and the wild varieties of agave that used to be relatively available have dwindled and cultivated plants are starting to become the norm. This wild tobala is a cornerstone for the species, it’s everything I want and expect out of a well-crafted wild tobala bottling. The aromas are creamy and delicate with notes of blueberries, apple, charred strawberries, lemon verbena, and roasted agave. The palate is easy-drinking, smooth, and quite fruity; never-ending gobstopper with undertones of pepperoncini deliver an evocative experience with this wild species. Dollar for dollar you can’t get better than this and who knows for how much longer we’ll see wild offerings on the shelf, especially at this price.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Rey Campero Tepextate + Pulquero K&L Exclusive Single Batch Lot#D5001-TP Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 12-21-2019
This needed some time in the copita but once it settled it was quite fun. Rey Campero is one of my favorite producers, in 2018 I got a chance to visit their Palenque in Yegolé and met Ramiro and Romulo along with the rest of the family (got invited to Romulo’s birthday party). The Palenque sits adjacent to the river from which they get their water and is surrounded by lush greenery and a massive tree. The land is gorgeous and the soil rich; when I was there I planted a jabali that I plan to got back to harvest and distill, but I digress. The production methods used have been passed down for generations and it shows with this offering exclusive to K&L. Initial notes on the nose were comprised of wet cement, pine forest, pineapple rind and sweet agave. As it opened up a bit more I got orange juice and a bit of cream. The palate was a nice combination of sweet and spicy, it had a creamy texture with a note of navel orange zest. The agave really came through in the finish with a nice minerality and sweet agave note that just sat on the tongue like a sumo wrestler.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

Don Mateo "K&L Exclusive" Pechuga Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 12-20-2019
Beyond the distillates, what I love about Suro imports is the amount of transparency and information they offer with their products. Looking at this bottle you have everything you need to know about the juice inside. They tell you where the agave comes from, how many liters were produced, all of the ingredients and processing techniques as well as the mezcalera (what's not mentioned is that no water was used to make the proofing adjustments and they also snuck in some agave cenizo). There are three unique traits about this pechuga: Made in Michoacan, it uses unique stills and processes from the majority of mezcales that come out of Oaxaca. The master distiller is a woman, and the proteins used come from the turkey (traditional) as well as Venison, Iguana, and Rabbit. With all of that being said, the Cupreata used in this is roasted underground, mashed by hand, fermented in underground wooden tanks for eight days and distilled using a filipino-style wood still.

This all adds up to a wonderful pechuga exclusive to K&L only. The nose was citrusy, giving off strong notes of tangerine peel before delving into creamy custard, ice plants, green strawberries, overripe mango, and granite. 48% abv seemed to be the sweetspot for this bottling with there being little discernible heat until you got to the back end of the dram. It has a slightly oily texture and tastes reminiscent of preserved lemon cheesecake and sweet cucumber skin on the back end of the palate. The finish was long and exemplary, notes of pine forest stuck around with cucumber custard.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2017 De' Ricci Rosso di Montepulciano
Review Date: 12-18-2019
Our Italian buyer opened this bottle for me after I casually inquired about it and as we talked about the aromas, I started to get the picture as to why he brought this in (Serendipitously I might add). The nose is full of ripe red berries and dark plum with a bit of umami and spice in the back. The palate is medium body with bigger tannins on the back end towards the finish and is laden with raspberry and black cherries. This is great drinking on its own or pair it with your favorite pizza, porcini mushroom risotto, or any stewed meat; outstanding for its price point.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

1998 Orkney (Highland Park) 20 Year Old "Thompson Bros." K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-13-2019
I can’t tell if the stick figure on the bottle is going into battle or partying but either way, it’s capturing what I’m getting from this unique Orkney single malt. I dig the label and I dig the juice. The nose gives off a pretty perfume of baked Bartlett pear, cinnamon, vanilla, toasted marshmallow, and sassafras. The palate provides that same baked pear profile combined with chocolate covered toffee with a full-bodied texture. The finish leaves you with a nice, spicy tingling sensation on the tip of the tongue with spicy cinnamon notes and as I begin to regain feeling a subtle juicy pear jelly belly note clings as the breath escapes. This is the kind of scotch I could see myself drinking all day in a ski lodge surrounded by friends.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

2007 Fine Pot Distilled Jamaican (Monymusk) 11 Year Old "Thompson Bros." K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Jamaican Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 12-13-2019
This is definitely a rum to ponder over while it sits in the glass. While the proof isn’t exceptionally high, the fumes take a few minutes to blow over but I noticed that as I waited, the aromas evolved as well. This rum started with strong notes of burnt rubber and that was about it, however, as it settled in the glass things began to change. Spice notes of clove and pepper came out, overripe pineapple (almost to the point of fermentation), caramel apple and a savory, salty note that reminded me of salami. Sweet and funky notes played on the palate, largely translating the burnt rubber note from the nose and combining it with caramel apple and plantains. The clove starts to show up again as the finish transitions into straight up bananas foster, which lingered until I felt like I needed to actually make bananas foster for desert tonight. If you like your Jamaican rums, you’re going to love this one.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2007 Dailuaine 12 Year Old "Old Particular" Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-06-2019
I’m pretty on board with most of the things the other reviewers have said about this whisky here. Unique and different from almost every other Scotch I’ve tasted in this year’s rounds of D.I.’s, I wasn’t sure what to think of it at first. The nose is sour and savory with and underlying sweetness. Initially I got molasses, sour apple/cherry, overripe fig, and raisin bagels. The sour/sweet/spice combo had my mind reeling. Once I sipped it, there was a different story to be told and my brain immediately got back in line. Like the other reviewers have mentioned, the texture is absolutely beautiful. Notes of sweet sherry, umami, and grilled peach skins rode on a full-bodied and silky mouthfeel. If you’re looking to try something new and fun, this is the Scotch for you.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2014 Rhys "Bearwallow Vineyard" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 12-03-2019
I tried this wine both upon opening and after letting it sit for a day (corked, in the bottle) and enjoyed it all the way through. The first glass was bramble-y and herbaceous sitting on top of dark fruits, big and complex with a full body. After some oxygen interaction, sweeter notes started to come out that reminded me of mulberry pie with blueberry ice cream and candied parsley on the side. The finish had more of that sweet herbal component with a slight bit of anise that was reminiscent of a Ricola cough drop. This is one of the better bottles of Pinot's I've had and even purchased a couple myself to put in the cellar and experience their potential down the line.

Palenqueros "Onofre Ortiz" Bramaderos Pure Single Palenque Ensamble Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 12-01-2019
This ensamble succeeded in balancing all the different species of agave that went into the blend, they harmonize beautifully as each simultaneously complements the other as well as having their solo’s. The first notes to come off the nose were blueberries and bacon, followed by dill pickles, fresh cut sweetgrass with a stone-like minerality overseeing the stage. At first, sipping on this was like taking a sip of fresh river water- very smooth with almost no burn and a very slight minerality with a slightly creamy consistency. Then the alcohol starts to creep in, which introduced more players to the stage- prickly pear and a very light note of raspberry hard candy. The finish had a bright citrus tone with menthol and lidocaine and aloe joining for a surprising encore.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2007 Glenlivet 12 Year Old "Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection" 1st Fill Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-01-2019
I immediately checked the pricing on this bottle once I got it into my glass and began to explore. I was hit, unmistakably by Buttered Rum Raisin ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup. After that, white sage and candied plum became apparent with the influence of the Sherry Butt. A single droplet hit my tongue and there was a sudden explosion of flavor and texture that emanated to every corner of my mouth. Golden raisins and dried cherries combined with salted toffee rode atop of soft, silky wave that seemed to break for miles. The finish saw notes of marzipan and raspberry jolly rancher and five minutes later, it was still changing; I can’t say enough good things about this bottling and at this price point, I’ll be picking up a bottle or two myself.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Còdigo 1530 K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Añejo Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 11-30-2019
This was a fairly unique barrel, I’m still organizing my thoughts around it. Aroma-wise it was one of the more herbal anejo’s I’ve had. The first thing I thought about when nosing this glass was the mouthwash my dentist uses, a much more subtle mint aroma than Listerine but still had that quality about it. I also got pine sap, star anise, cinnamon bark, and a hint of bubble gum underneath it all. On the palate it was herbal and sweet, with notes of dulce de leche, Christmas spices, and peppermint. The finish was long with a white pepper spice and a strong oak presence.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

1979 North British 40 Year Old "Old Particular" Single Refill Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-29-2019
I always get a bit giddy when I have a chance to try a dram older than I am, and this offering did not let down. The initial whiff reminded me of Fernet Branca Menta — herbal, anise, and mint; but as that faded, pine wood shavings, caramel chews, tar, and roasted cacao nibs found their way out of the glass. It reminded me of a funky, well-done Jamaican rum giving an excuse to really geek out on the aromas. The palate returned to the Scotch path as I got kettle corn, blondies, oak barrel (like, the actual barrel), and sassafras. The texture was also quite compelling, not quite velvety but soft and full-bodied. As the finish approached, caramel corn, sweetgrass, green apple peel, oak wood, and Saigon cinnamon all got a chance to make a cameo during the long fade. A fun and complex Scotch that is sure to impress a crowd.
Price: $299.99 Add To Cart

Glengoyne 21 Year Old "Old Malt Cask" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-23-2019
The nose was so frustrating (but in a good way). I felt like there was something escaping the glass while simultaneously escaping my vocabulary. In the end, the best I could do was describe it as a “green.” Floral vanilla, followed by pine wood, verbena, and sweet wisps of cocoa powder underneath it all. The aromas continued to evolve in the glass, at which point I stopped grasping for descriptors and decided to just appreciate. Sipping on the juice was smooth, silky and sweet; notes of brined cherries, quince, cardamom, and strawberry nougat played with the palate and as it faded, slowly, a menthol, apple-honey was left to linger.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2001 Ben Nevis 18 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-22-2019
I was a bit surprised to get such an earthy note on the nose from this Scotch, like fresh tilled earth with pencil shavings. Then, the fruit comes in with a big blast of poached pear paired with dried ginger and cinnamon. The palate offered up notes of almond roca, candied ginger, and sweet tobacco leaf. The finish was lean, tingly, and expressed some oak spices and apple peels at the very end.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

1995 Allt-a-Bhainne 23 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2019
Baked green apples wafted from the glass as I gave it time to rest in the glass before delving in. Upon closer inspection I discovered sweet notes of treacle toffee and peach skin, which was complemented nicely by a freshness, like pool water, but slightly less chemical. The palate continued with the sweet theme, with pencil shavings, cocoa powder, white nectarine, jasmine tea, and salt water taffy. The texture was soft, not quite oily, but most definitely pleasant. On the finish the sweet note finally made its exit, while leaving way for a fresh apricot note; too easy to drink.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

1995 Caperdonich 24 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Unchillfiltered Speyside Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-19-2019
Admittedly, I’m amongst those who had never had a chance to try this ghosted distillery (unless it was in an unnamed blend) and boy do I feel like I’ve been missing out. So many layers on the nose and the longer it was in the glass, the more it changed. Initially I got baby diapers (fresh and clean, no poopiness) followed by raisins, mission fig skin, preserved plum, fennel frond, Nerds candy, and stewed strawberries. It seems to encompass a bright fruitiness with a musty sweetness that just goes so damn well together. The palate was soft and elegant and just a bit chewy, bringing out notes of crisp green apple, quince, wild strawberries enrobed in semisweet chocolate, brandied cherries, and a subtle oak influence. The finish was just long and lovely with toasted sugar mixed with dried strawberries. With this being some of the last of its kind, any sherried scotch lover needs to have this in their collection.
Price: $399.99 Add To Cart

1991 Cameronbridge 27 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-19-2019
I feel like I’m literally tasting from the barrel. The spirit seems so fresh after spending 27 years in a refill sherry butt. It’s hot and zippy but with that comes a brightness that I’m not used to finding in such an old scotch. If you can make your way past the heat, there are beautiful notes of dark caramel apple, toasted marshmallow with cooked banana, and oak spice on the nose. On the palate, a tingly sensation is coupled with cherry rock candy and raspberry lollipop. I found the addition of water didn’t seem to do much for me in terms of opening up the spirit but it did tone down the heat, which ended up accentuating the caramel notes and even brought out some roasted coffee and red berry flavors. You’d be hard-pressed to find a scotch this old at this price.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2005 Laphroaig 13 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Unchillfiltered Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-15-2019
If my family drank, this is a bottle I’d take with me to our holiday dinners. This bottle screams autumn with notes of ume plum, burnt caramel, oak spice, and cinnamon graham crackers on the nose. The palate is fatty, savory, and sweet and I can imagine it going perfectly with turkey and stuffing. It’s warm and inviting, I just want to cuddle up with it next to a fire and look longingly at the glass.
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart

2004 Ardbeg 15 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Single Ex-Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Unchill-filtered Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-15-2019
This was a fun expression from Ardbeg, combining classic notes of their original bottlings with a bourbon influence from the single barrel. This is a big, hot Islay scotch and I did opt to add a nip of water to my dram. The nose was very grassy and peaty right out of the bottle with burnt sugar being another big player, partnering with an orange blossom honey note. The palate followed the nose, with a nice full texture. Again, peaty and grassy on the palate along with a flavor that reminded me of bbq’d smoked brisket. The finish was long and smokey, a pleasant sipper for any Islay lover.
Price: $239.99 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: 11-15-2019
This dram had a certain je ne sais quoi about it. Everything from the nose to the finish blew me away. Pretty and elegant on the nose with a delicate hint of smoke with red summer berries and canned mandarin oranges. The palate was equally as impressive, with more of a sweet tangerine flesh note with light oak tones and chocolate malt; it felt like sunshine in my mouth. The finish didn’t disappoint, as the sun started to set it left me with a flavor that reminded me of one of my favorite candies- peach gummy rings. This is an absolute dream of a scotch, no water necessary, and with tariffs going up, I’d definitely pick this bottle up for future consumption.
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart

1997 Ledaig 21 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Unchillfiltered Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-15-2019
This dram from Ledaig was extremely robust. The aromas from the glass dominated the room with iodine, tanning leather, baker’s chocolate and preserved cherry. I got an undertone of funk mixed with the iodine, which dissipated with time and caused me to revisit the glass a few times. The palate still exhibited signs of iodine detected in the nose but added in pencil shavings and peppered jerky. After the addition of water, sweet schezuan peppers and cherries appeared but for a brief moment. As expected from the nose, the finish was long and reminded me of fruity Korean beef jerky.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Kilchoman "Machir Bay" K&L Exclusive Vatting Batch #2 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-15-2019
Sniffing this scotch made me feel like I was standing at the edge of a Scottish cliff, there’s a beautiful oceanic brineyness about it before notes of bacon, salt water taffy, and sweet apple join for the view. I love the soft lanoline texture of this scotch and it offers up classic Islay tasting notes with pencil shavings being the most prominent. Ovaltine powder and a briney grassiness help to balance the dram. The finish is long as that oceanic brine lingers on with a grassy oakiness and a very light undertone of milk chocolate. A great value at this price!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Mal Bien Green Tape "Victor + Emmanuel Ramos" Batch 0418 Tobaxiche (A. Karwinskii) Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 11-14-2019
The more I explore the world of Tobaxiches the more I realize the range of complexity and mystery they bring to the bottle. Initially, I though this smelled extremely vegetal but as I nosed I found sweet, citrusy notes of tangerine zest and meyer lemon but a buttery note as well. The vegetal notes came in the form of pine needles and grilled green (underripe) pineapple (yes I know it’s a fruit). The palate started off with a very sweet cement flavor followed closely by what I could only describe as walking through a pine forest on a bed of ice plants whilst chewing on a strawberry starburst. It was also way too easy to sip given that it is clocking in around 54% abv. On the finish I got lightly smoked ham, sweet and tingly with a strong, lingering note of freshly cut grass.
Price: $84.99 Add To Cart

Mal Bien Green Tape "Felipe + Ageo Cortes" Batch 0318 Arroqueno (A. Americana) Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 11-14-2019
Arroqueno may be my favorite species of agave, I hate playing favorites but there it is. I find they strike a balance of all the fun flavors agaves have to offer- fruity, minerally, funky, and green. This one was no different. On the nose I immediately got purple gobstoppers, camembert cheese, watermelon rind, hickory smoked bacon, and sweet pine needles. It got even better on the palate as sweet pine wood hit the tip of my tongue first followed by a briney minerality combined with green plum. Towards the end, I got a mellow jalapeno spice note. The finish was just as great as the experience sipping it as I was left pondering a soft texture, slightly creamy with hints of aloe and a tingling spice.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Mal Bien Green Tape "Victor + Emmanuel Ramos" Batch 0518 Madrecuixe (A. Karwinskii) Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 11-12-2019
The nose on this was a cacophony of variously cooked fruits like charred pineapple, roasted strawberry and apple combined with underlying hint of vanilla (so weird), and pine forest as the more volatile esters dissipate. The palate doesn’t stray from the weirdness; it’s soft and sweet until the heat hits you at the end. In between you’re treated to kiwi fruit, blue cotton candy and another hint of that vanilla creaminess before you reach the finish. At the end it dries up like a cement sidewalk on a hot day, which nicely compliments the sweetness you get on the nose and palate. Definitely a fun mezcal you should pick up if you like the fruitier side of the spectrum.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Mal Bien Green Tape "Felipe + Ageo Cortes" Batch 0618 Tepextate (A. Marmorata) Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 11-08-2019
After spending decades in the ground, tepextate’s are a wonder and privilege to enjoy. The nose on this comes off way hotter than how it drinks. Notes of pinewood, honey smoked ham, freshly cut flowers, and watermelon rind ride the fumes out of the glass but sipping it is a different experience entirely. Smooth and sweet, this is a bottle that could go down dangerously fast if you’re not paying attention. Ice plants and smoked honey are the large players here that compete against a fruity sweetness that just keeps you wanting more. At this price, you’d be hard pressed to pass up owning this bottle.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

Mal Bien Green Tape "Victor + Emmanuel Ramos" Batch 0218 Verde (A. Rhodacantha) Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 11-08-2019
To be fair, this sample had been in a 50ml bottle with a bit of air in it but damn is it smooth. I had to double check the proof to be sure but at 52% this is way too easy to drink. Mal Bien seems to have found a way to produce quality, single species mezcals at a great price. The nose on this Verde followed its namesake. Very green notes of fresh poblano pepper and pine dominated with a sweet hickory undertone and a cement minerality. Sipping this was like candy, smooth and sweet with notes of quince and white pineapple. The finish has a bit of spice to it, which contrasted nicely with how clean and soft the juice was. This verde does not disappoint!
Price: $84.99 Add To Cart

Maker's Mark 46 K&L Exclusive "Barrel #6" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 11-08-2019
Trying our two barrels side by side was a fun experience and clearly highlights the effects different staves can have on the whiskey. While barrel #5 had fruitier esters, #6 has more oak influence and baking spices, raisin box, umeshu, peanut brittle and demerara sugar dominate the nose. The palate is ridiculously soft as notes of brown sugar, orange peel, and rice crispy treats mix with a sweet herbal note and a slow burn building up to the finish.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Maker's Mark 46 K&L Exclusive "Barrel #5" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 11-08-2019
This pour needed some time in the glass before diving in. After about five minutes the spirit settled down and the aromas started to make their way out of the glass. Notes of clove studded orange peel, angel food cake, toasted caramel, and baked apples reminded me of a cool autumn afternoon. The daydream continues on the palate as this wheated bourbon warms you up like a soft sweater with fruity tones of candied cherries and brown sugar with a sweet herbal note of something like sassafras. The finish is incessantly long and unctuous, leaving a tingling sensation on the tip of the tongue and sweet sassafras and black plums linger.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2018 Matt Connell "Rendition" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 10-30-2019
After sitting in a covered glass, this wine really seemed to open up. Nosing the pour, I initially got a light black pepper and cranberry note but the more I went back to it the more it offered. Notes of red currant, black mission fig skin, and a sweet toffee like note was somewhere in the background. Once this juice hit the palate, I immediately was drawn to it. Texturally it’s got a medium body with a good acid balance to it, something that would have me going back for additional glasses at a holiday dinner. Black raspberry and watermelon jolly ranchers made the experience even more fun, and the finish definitely doesn’t detract from that. This is a bottle I would be happy to bring to any holiday dinner.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Old Potrero "K&L Exclusive Barrel #12" 63.33% Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 10-09-2019
Barrel #12 expressed more of what I would consider to be classic Potrero rye notes, almost hitting some from their 18th Century Style Spirit as well. On the nose, the combination of oak and kola nut reminded me of their original bottlings, but deeper aromas of black raisins and brown sugar melted in butter were also in the forefront. The palate was a bit tight and fairly spicy compared to Barrel #13. Again, brown sugar made its appearance but it intermingled with the spice and a faint note of cinnamon. With the addition of water, the spice was toned down and more fruit notes surfaced, including something that reminded me of purple gobstoppers. The finish was interesting and definitely reminded me of the Old Potrero 18th Century Style Spirit, which always had an RC Cola note to me.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Old Potrero "K&L Exclusive Barrel #13" 63.21% Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 10-09-2019
Barrel 13 had a little more fruit notes going on and a roasted/toasted/malty/toffee/coffee thing going on that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. But loved it. The nose had strong influences of oak, dried dark plums, and sweet cherries. It really reminded me of Panettone, the Italian holiday cake. Turbinado sugar and hints of that roasted coffee undertone seemed to be the last ones on the trail. The palate carried over from the nose, with Panettone again being the big player. Other notes of spiced cherries, prunes, and just a touch of toasted caramel were also prevalent and quite delightful. The finish on this one was long, and where I picked up on a lot of the roasted/toasted etc. flavor that was hinted at in the nose and palate. I also got a bit of cinnamon cookie at the very end.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

El Samaritano Mexicano (Ambrosio Martinez Blas) Santiago Matatlan Artesenal Oaxacan Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 10-08-2019
To get a wild agave expression, made in small batch, at this price, is becoming more and more rare these days. Mexicano is one of my go-tos when recommending a mezcal beyond the standard espadin, and if espadin is all you’ve tried, this is a fantastic bottle to pick up and to explore other sub-species of agave. The nose is sweet and green, like fresh pressed sugar cane juice (which I recently got to experience in Vietnam), followed by sweet roasted agave, dusty gravel, grilled pineapple and white sage.

The palate is a roller coaster, building you up with smooth and sweet fruit notes, with pineapple playing a major part of that. Then you get hit with cayenne spice and mildly pickled jalapenos (de-seeded), then the sweetness starts to come back and a roasted strawberry note rounds things off on the palate. The finish was mild, sweet with a bit of that cayenne spice riding it out.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 10-04-2019
I was surprised with how mellow the rye is, sitting at 100 proof with its bottled-in-bond designation. The nose is herbaceous and spicy with notes of anise seed and liquorice but balanced with sweeter notes of dark brown sugar, vanilla, and cola nut. The palate was soft for a rye, with light liquorice notes showing back up mingling with Whoppers and allspice; I could see this going down way too easily. The finish doesn’t help that, alluring me back to the glass with sweet oak spice and warm cinnamon flavors rounding things out. A no-brainer for any rye lover.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

New Riff "Single Barrel" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 10-04-2019
The longer this dram sat in the glass, the more it opened up and evolved. Starting with notes of cream soda, cherrywood, and black plum skins, sweeter notes of molasses, sassafras, and light brown sugar played with anise seed and condensed milk the more I let it sit. This bourbon shines on the palate. It’s easy drinking for the proof (112.4) but still lets you know it’s there with notes of purple candy, dark chocolate covered golden raisins, sweet herbs and light cinnamon building towards the end. This is definitely a bourbon worth buying and keeping at your bar at home.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 10-03-2019
Herbaceous, earthy, yet sweet on the nose, the bottled in bond bourbon gives off notes of sarsaparilla, fennel frond, fresh cut grass, demerara sugar and candy corn. At 100 proof, this is way too easy to sip. It slyly sneaks onto your palate with a supreme smoothness and welcoming sweet notes of dulce de leche, diet cola, and brown sugar. The finish adds a nice spice and a little heat to balance everything out while there’s still a note of rock candy. A solid bottled-in-bond bourbon for the price.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Michel Couvreur "Peaty Overaged" K&L Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-02-2019
Nosing this in the glass was addicting and I had to stop myself before becoming in danger of singeing nerve endings. A sweet hickory smoke softly emanated from the glass with a bit of brine behind it. Working my way past the sumptuous smoke, I got notes of apple skins and barbecued yellow nectarines. The palate was round and soft; I felt no need to add water to this one. Black pepper and honey smoked ham, combined with charred canned pineapple, almost made me feel like I was at a luau. The finish was pleasant, not too long, but had a waxy, spicy play going on, and once everything felt like it was over, a bit of leftover charred pineapple showed up to do one last curtsy.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2018 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 10-01-2019
For me, this is summer in a glass, sitting at a beachfront eatery enjoying the sounds of the ocean as tropical aromas of guava, pineapple, a hint of passionfruit and grapefruit dance with the sea breeze. The palate is well rounded yet refreshing and crisp, reminding me of white nectarine, lemon zest coupled with a subtle limestone minerality and great acid structure, giving it a very clean feel. Perfect at dinner parties or picnics on the beach.

The 86 Co. Ford's Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 07-27-2019
Juniper and citrus aromas jump out of the glass with an underlying malty sweetness. The palate mirrors the aromas almost to a T; juniper with lemon peel with a sweet background as a little bit of heat hits you on the way out. Perfect in G&T's or a Negroni!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Compass Box "Juveniles" Limited Edition Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-17-2019
Pours out a pale gold color and you are immediately hit with peat smoke, dill, and green apple with the slightest hint of toffee and oak spice. A cinnamon spice hits the palate first, then fading into vanilla, nougat, and wet grass. The finish has a nice minerality to it and slowly fades out. The aesthetics of the label does a fine job of matching the juice inside.
Price: Hidden View Price

Fukano 10 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Cask Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-09-2019
Never have I had a whiskey that reminded me so much of a candy I used to eat as a kid. Growing up, my grandmother always had pieces of Chan Pui Mui (preserved plum candy) in her purse to bribe me with. Something about the sweet, salty, sour "candy" really did it for me and this dram reflects a lot of those flavors. On the nose, peach pit, sherry, and brown sugar all combine to create that preserved plum candy aroma and even more so on the palate. With a light body but plenty of depth and not too hot, again, this tasted like liquid childhood candy dreams. This is definitely one of the best rice whiskies I've encountered, tasting more like whiskey and less like sake. I wanted a little more out of the finish but it did leave with a nice baking spice note that seemed to stick to my tongue like a magnet and a soft nougat-y sweetness.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Destileria Los Danzantes Los Nahuales "Metodo Antiguo" Mezcal (750ml) [Cannot ship]
Review Date: 06-26-2019
With almost no heat on the nose (so weird at 52.4% abv), I was getting the stemmy, white part of a strawberry mixed with lemonade, a pool surrounded by pine trees, and sweet black licorice and honey baked ham. There's also an unmistakable roasted agave note that's resting under the other aromas. The palate is almost as smooth as the nose kicking off with sweet, briny spearmint and pine mixed with a whisper of vanilla, and under-ripe tropical fruits. The spirit has a cooling texture and extremely long finish of cinnamon bun (no glaze) and under-ripe pineapple. This was a surprising pour and a fun one!
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

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