Michel Couvreur “Peaty Overaged” K&L Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml) $79.99 View
The chance to work with Michel Couvreur on a special K&L whisky project was something that David and I had been dreaming of for years. We had heard the stories. This crazy Belgian had moved to Burgundy in the ’60s, carved out a wine cellar inside a mountain, only to fill it with Scottish single malt whisky instead of Pinot Noir. He set up camp in Beaune, ordered new-make spirit to be delivered by tanker, and drove down to Jerez himself, selecting his own sherry butts to ensure the finest quality casks for his contracted spirit. Unfortunately, Michel Couvreur passed away in 2013 from pancreatic cancer, thus ending the career of one of the industry’s most courageous pioneers. Luckily for us, however, apprentice Jean-Arnaud has carried on after studying under Michel for more than a decade. When we visited the underground cave, we were all in total awe. The tunnels of dripping stone go on forever, and the amount of whisky stored in this secret lair is jawdropping. We put our trust completely in Jean-Arnaud and are happy we did. Our peated version of the incredible sherry expression is a seamless creation that drinks like the best version of Johnnie Black ever, mixed with the most supple and soft expressions of Macallan. It’s a lush, unfiltered, creamy, caramel-laden dream of a whisky composed only of malts 12 years and older. There’s a bit of peat on the finish, but the soft sherry is the star. (NOTE: do NOT cut the hard wax seal, use a wine opener to go through it)
1993 The Road to Elgin (Linkwood) 27 Year Old “Old Malt Cask” K&L Exclusive Single Hogshead Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) $149.99 View
Teaspooning this exceptional whisky was a very nerve-wracking endeavor. While we inherently believe that the innocuous act of adding the tiniest possible quantity of another malt to a single barrel of Scotch does nothing to diminish the quality of a particular whisky, there is an intellectual argument to be made for keeping the sanctity and purity of a single cask intact. In the end, we’ve made the decision that in almost every case the more important factor for our customers is value over image. So while we had wanted desperately to be able to name this excellent distillery and could have likely sold every bottle for much more than the 25% premium that avoiding a tariffs would have afforded us, we believe that it is in the best interest of our customers to offer them the very best whiskies at the best possible prices regardless perception. That is indeed what this special cask represents. Even years ago, when whisky was plentiful and comparatively cheap, we would have been lucky to find a deal as sweet as this one. At this advanced aged, this famous old Speyside exhibits all the finesse and elegance you’d expect. A nose of creamy malt, Seville orange peel and honey candies. Sweet rich malt and stewed fruit on the palate with kisses of toasted vanilla, caramel tuiles and touches of warming wood spice on the finish. While some would’ve paid an extra $50 to show off the famous Linkwood name, we prefer mystery and affordability. We think most of our customers do too.
Doc Swinson’s 15 Year Old “Rare Release Batch #7” K&L Exclusive Exploratory Cask Series Nonchillfiltered Small Batch Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $159.99 View
The return of the wonderful and mysterious Doc Swinson’s 15 Year is upon us. This newest batch is from the same unnamed source and continues to represent some of the best value available for old cask strength bourbon anywhere in the world. The Doc Swinson’s brand was started by a small (and very lucky) bottler in Washington state who’d made a name for themselves finishing Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee Whiskies in various wine casks. When they had an opportunity to secure some high quality mature Kentucky Straight Bourbon, they jumped at the chance and so did we. The source of this excellent bourbon is so concerned about its identity being revealed that the barrels are dumped in Kentucky before being transported to the bottler in anonymous totes. Usually we insist on having some idea of where the products we sell are produced, but one taste of this stuff and those standards get thrown out the window, it’s just too good to care to argue with. We will likely never know exactly where it was made, but as long as it keeps tasting this good, we won’t complain. The most special bourbons from Doc are under their “Rare Release” line. This is the 7th batch of this truly small batch line, but only the second batch of the unbelievably popular 15 year. This batch contains just 27 barrels and only 100 cases will be available in California exclusively at K&L. Bottled at a cask strength of 109.8 proof, it has all the complexity and depth you’d expect from a great old Kentucky Bourbon.