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Back in the 1970's we went by the name "K&L Liquors" and while some things have changed, our dedication to bringing you the finest spirits remains the same. We have the familiar names at great prices, but do yourself a favor and try some of the interesting and unique top picks we've located. Inventory listings are updated in real time. Find out why Time Magazine said we provide "good value and selection."
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K&L Staff Recommendations
Here we have the Reposado offering from this new brand released by heavy hitters George Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Michael Meldman. These guys have definitely brought something more to the table than your average celebrity spirits brand. Clearly someone involved has some decent taste, because the juice is solid. NOM 1416 is well known to produce high quality distillate. This anejo is rich and smooth on the palate with plenty of vanilla and baking spices on the finish. Plus, Clooney's proceeds go to charity, so drink up for the good of the world!!! (David... Read More »
The exceptional Ford's Gin is one of the most versatile London Dries on the market. Distilled at the exceptional Thames Distillery by master distiller Charles Maxwell and the famous Simon Ford. Starting with a base of Italian juniper and coriander seed, the recipe is expanded thoughtfully to include bitter oranges, lemon and grapefruit peel. Subtle Jasmine and Orris add a soft floral quality, while spicy Angelica root and Cassia bark give it some structure. I've always noted a smidge of cucumber, but the distiller won't cop to it. Anyway, the mixture is ... Read More »
Distilled by Buffalo Trace, this four year old rye recipe bourbon won the Silver Medal in the 2016 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition and a Great Value award, 93 points, in the 2016 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
YOLA Mezcal has reached perfect balance between authenticity and aesthetics. Created in collaboration between Yola Jiminez (of La Clandestina Mezcaleria fame), Lykke Li (Swedish songwriting sensation), and Gina Correll Aglietti (chef and stylist), YOLA counters the patriarchal system which is so ubiquitous in the Oaxaca. YOLA is run by women and bottled by women. We've seen time and again that no palenque succeeds without the aid of a strong women, and YOLA provides a place where the women of Oaxaca can have steady work. In addition, they happen to be ma... Read More »
This spectacular single-blended rum is an example of everything that the rum industry should be doing but isn't. Foursquare is among the world's finest rum distilleries and home to one of the industry's great rum purists, Richard Seale--great great grandson of the founder Reginald Leon Seale. Richard is an important voice in rum today and, as master blender for R.L. Seale, he seems poised to be the savior that the rum category so desperately needs. He knows that rum will never attain its full potential while most of the producers rely on sugar and carame... Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Top 50 Spirits, 2011* Elegant, light and pretty. This amber spirit has a light, briny vanilla scent and a silky feel. A veil of smoke rises through the Scotch (but fades out fast), leaving behind a sweet nutty, vanilla finish." (12/2011) 90 points Whisky Advocate: "Highland Park 12 Year Old boasts individuality and complexity, thanks in part to the use of Orcadian peat in the distillery floor maltings and the employment of ex-sherry casks for maturation. The nose is fragrant and floral, with hints of heather and some spice. Smooth and honeyed on the palate, with citrus fruits, malt, ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Dark purple, nearly opaque, with a wine-like scent. Warm and rich, this black currant spirit coats the tongue and palate with big, grape-berry flavors. It’s best lightened with bubbly, as in a Kir royale." K&L Notes: There may be no better aperitif for an outdoor spring meal than a glass of dry rosé. Then again, we would not sniff at a chilled Kir, either. Made with any ol' simple white wine (Aligoté is the traditional choice, but a Mâcon or Pinot Blanc work just fine) and the addition of a healthy dash of Crème di Cassis, a Kir is refreshing, palate awakening and th... Read More »
91 points Whisky Advocate: "This is the ultimate PortWood expression from Balvenie and has been finished in 30 year old port pipes. A more vibrant and textured Travel Retail variant is non-chill filtered and bottled at 47.6%. Soft, red grape notes, vanilla, and milk chocolate on the nutty nose. Very discreet smoke. Rich plum flavors in the mouth, dark berries covered in cream, and spicy honey. The finish is long and elegantly drying. (GS, Spring 2017)" K&L Notes: This Balvenie, which has been matured in traditional oak casks then transferred to a port cask, or pipe, that previously held fine po... Read More »
94 points Whisky Advocate: "Laphroaig’s owners are intent on ensuring a big peaty engine for any new release, but this is a monster by anyone’s standards. It’s essentially Quarter Cask finished in oloroso sherry casks, so in addition to the intense charcoal smoke attack there are rich fruity notes; blackcurrant and berries. It’s an evening barbecue whisky. Grill that fish until it’s blackened and crispy, drizzle on lemon, and as the smoke rears up in protest, sip this. Big, moody, broody, fruity, and rich: what’s not to love? (JH, Fall 2010)" K&L Notes: A limited release that was supposedly for... Read More »
Macallan's new Rare Cask uses handpicked first-fill sherry casks from the top 1% of barrels currently aging at the distillery. The result is a richer, darker, more chocolately version of Macallan with a thicker profile and a complex palate of raisins, sultana, orange peel and ginger. With the current market craze for first-fill sherry whisky, à la Aberlour, A'Bunadh and Glendronach, the Rare Cask represents an aggressive and more modern approach from the typically conservative Macallan. This is bold, chewy, full-bodied single malt that showcases the deep... Read More »
On a beautifully situated property overlooking the town of Montréal-du-Gers, lies the Château de Pellehaut. Purchased by Gaston Béraut shortly after the Second World War, he has slowly developed one of the largest single properties in the region. Béraut's sons Mathieu and Martin take care of winemaking (the red, white and rose are all big sellers at K&L) and the élevage of Armagnac. Both are intelligent and enthusiastic about their product, and between them have studied enology in Toulouse and apprenticed at Chateau de Tariquet in Eauze, Chateau Beychev... Read More »
92 points Whisky Advocate: "Redbreast 12 year old is a classic pure pot still Irish whiskey; where can you go from there? This new 15 year old expression is more muscular (bottling at 46% and not chill filtering certainly helps), but there are trade-offs. It’s a bit closed on the nose (like a great Bordeaux wine that’s too young). I do enjoy the silky/oily texture, the bold resinous oak spice grip on the finish, and the rich nutty toffee, fig, black raspberry, chocolaty, chewy nougat throughout the palate. Still, it’s not as eminently drinkable, refined, or balanced as the 12 year ...Read More »
Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur combines juice from the seasonal harvest of Austria's famed Klosterneuberger apricots with an eau-de-vie produced from this same fruit. Destillerie Purkhart selects its apricots each season from family orchards in the Danube Valley and surrounding regions. Ideal for perfecting so many classic cocktails. Try the Golden Dawn Cocktail: 2/3 oz. Dry Gin, 2/3 oz. Orchard Apricot Liqueur, 2/3 oz Calvados, 2/3 oz. Cointreau, 1 dash Grenadine.
Wine & Spirits: "Not as unusual, but certainly noteworthy, is the St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur. Based on the New Orleans–style chicory coffee, the lightly sweet and spiritous brew combines cold-steeped Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans with vanilla and cane sugar. Pure roast-coffee flavor dominates, with hints of cherry and a smoky essence from the chicory. There are just enough floral vanilla tones to keep it from getting heavy. (LB)" (10/2014) K&L Notes: Roasted Yirgacheffe coffee beans, French chicory root, Madagascar vanilla beans, and organic cane sugar combine to create a coffee li... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Wine Enthusiast: "The scent evokes candied lemon peel, while the complex palate shows cucumber, anise and cardamom, plus a lingering rosewater note on the finish. Consider for aviations and other cocktails where a floral touch is desired. (KN)" (8/2015) K&L Notes: I'm always amazed what can be accomplished with grain neutral spirit and just a few simple botanicals. In the case of Beehive's Jack Rabbit Gin, the addition of sage and rose petals to the standard juniper recipe creates an absolutely beautiful balance of spicy, savory, and floral. Located in Salt Lake City (not exactly hard... Read More »
Tequila Ocho's tequilas are made by Felipe Camarena, a third generation Tequilero, and each vintage--yes, these are vintage designated tequilas--comes from a single estate with its own mesoclimate, making these the most terroir-driven tequilas on the market.
Worthy Park is a centuries-old Jamaican rum distillery that ceased operations in 1960 before a new generation rebuilt the facility in 2005 and resumed distillation. Almost all of the rum made at Worthy Park is sold and consumed on the island, but a small amount trickles out from independent bottlers in the UK and Europe, which is where we tracked down our 10-year-old cask. This Worthy Park 10 year old rum is a beautifully balanced, fully sippable expression of classic Jamaican rum flavor, steeped with tropical fruit and richness from the oak cask, but ba... Read More »
Formulated with a higher pH to balance the flavor profile relative to other vermouths, this craft mixer displays "sweet anise and coriander aromas with citrus fruit and hints of elderflower," with "complex spicy flavors on the palate are balanced with the fresh fruit flavors from the Muscat Canelli," according to the producer.
Inventory: San Francisco
The eight release in the award winning Private Edition series, which are created to showcase the depth and versatility of the Glenmorangie line. Each Private Edition is highly limited and are designed to showcase Glenmorangie's - and their illustrious head of whisky creation Dr Bill Lumsden - most special and successful experiments. The Bacalta, meaning "baked" in Gaelic, is truly a product of solar power. First spending many years in bourbon casks, before being transferred to custom casks which once held Malsmey Madeira, the great sunsoaked wine of that... Read More »
Finally! We've been given a version of white Campari/Biancosarti that's actually everything we'd hoped for! Luxardo's Bitter Bianco comes from a well-balanced distilled infusion of bitter herbs, aromatic plants and citrus fruits in water and alcohol. The result is stunning and for those who are genuinely Campari crazy (as in crazy for Campari specifically, not just all bitter liqueurs), this is the closest substitute we've ever encountered. Try it in an Americano or white Negroni and be amazed. It's the most exciting new Italian liqueur to hit the Americ... Read More »
The Silvio Meletti Company was born in 1870 thanks to the laboriousness and invention of its founder: Silvio Meletti. Today it's one of the few well-known Italian liqueur companies that's still family run. The 1870 bitter liqueur is a Campari-like substitute that pays homage to the family's heritage of production. It's a red colored delight that tastes just a tad more bitter and a touch less sweet than the more widely-drunk Campari. Try it as an alternative in your next Negroni or Americano!
Inventory: Redwood City
With the fifth edition of Black Art upon us, the reins for concocting this mysterious recipe have been handed over to Bruichladdich's new master distiller Adam Hannett, who took over for the legendary Jim McEwan. Adam was quoted as saying: "Just before Master Distiller Jim McEwan retired in 2015 he took me to one side and handed me his recipe for the next iteration, Black Art 5. It was an emotional moment, the handing over of responsibility of one of the greatest drams we’ve ever created. I have to say I took the recipe from Jim’s hand and dutifully ig... Read More »
Rhum Barbancourt is a superior premium dark rum distilled twice in copper pot stills. It is then barrel aged in white oak barrels. Unlike other island rums, Barbancourt is made directly from sugar cane juice, pressed from hand-cut locally grown cane. Aged 8 years. A full bodied premium "Reserve Speciale" dark rum with a velvety quality. Will enhance any rum drink.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "While 'extra finished' for two years in ruby Port casks, the impact on the spirit is minimal, imparting a rose-gold hue and a shadow of red berry flavor. Though it lacks the 'wow factor' of the Nectar d’Or, it’s still quite good: Expect a warm, fruity scent with a hint of cedar and a smooth caramel-honey flavor with baking spices on the finish." (12/2011) Whisky Advocate: "Finished in port casks. Like the Nectar D’or above, this expression adds lushness, body, and a sweet complexity (but with darker fruit and spice than the Nectar D’or) while still allowing Glenmorangie’s c ...Read More »
Produced in the historic Asti region outside of Torino, this Moscato-based vermouth is a true Vermouth di Torino - one of the only two protected geographical indications of origin for vermouth. The rich, vibrant flavor profile offers complex notes backed by a balanced bitter undertone. Enjoy neat or mixed in numerous classic cocktails. To celebrate its 120th anniversary, the House of Cocchi has resumed production of its original recipe for Vermouth di Torino, first offered in 1891.
When you think about Utah you probably think about great skiing, stunning National Parks, maybe great mountain biking. But did you know that Utah also cast the deciding vote that ended Prohibition? This barrel aged Manhattan, made from two parts High West Double Rye whiskey, one part sweet red vermouth and two dashes of Angostura bitters (per every 2.5 ounce serving), was all left to rest for 120 days in a two-year-old rye whiskey barrel. The results are stunning, harmonious and a great homage to that key vote, the 36th Vote, that allows us to freely enj... Read More »
Whisky Advocate: "The whiskey’s formula has been improved, and now consists of a higher percentage of older whiskies (into the high teens) than the original release (which I rated 81). Nicely balanced, with candied fruit, blackberry jam, soft vanilla, kettle corn, and a kiss of mint. Pleasant, unpretentious, and uncomplicated. (Vol. 20, #3)" K&L Notes: A delicate, small batch Kentucky bourbon with stone fruit, vanilla and oak notes on the nose. It is smooth and sweet on the palate with a kiss of orange, wood smoke and a mulled berry flavors.
Whisky Advocate: "The whiskey's formula has been improved, and now consists of a higher percentage of older whiskies (into the high teens) than the original release...Nicely balanced, with candied fruit, blackberry jam, soft vanilla, kettle corn, and a kiss of mint. Pleasant, unpretentious, and uncomplicated. (Vol. 20, #3)" K&L Notes: A medium-weight, small batch, aged bourbon that delivers richness and elegance. Aromas of peaches, vanilla, raisins and butterscotch carry through to the palate, which also shows flavors suggestive of dates, orange and blackberry. Sweet, and warm through... Read More »
A classic made from raw demerara sugar in Guyana, this bottling is historically relevant because Lemon Hart was the original supplier of rum to the British Royal Navy. It packs a hefty punch, but mix it up in an authentic punch and you'll be happy you did. Currently sold out everywhere, tiki bars like Smuggler's Cove in SF are buying dozens of cases to use as the foundation for their drinks. After this batch it may not be seen again for some time.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Though it's made with ancho chiles, this liqueur is modest on the spice scale. Caramel-y brown in the glass, look for a lightly herbaceous aroma similar to root beer and rounded flavors that mix caramel and cocoa with raisin and cinnamon heat, with a faint smokiness on the finish. Particularly harmonious mixed in cocktails with brown spirits like whiskey. (KN)" (2/2016) Wine & Spirits: "Made in the Barrio del Artista in Puebla, Mexico, since 1927, Ancho Reyes is a spicy ancho chile–based liqueur that actually tastes like real peppers. The peppers set fi re to your mouth, b ...Read More »
El Dorado Rum is made by Demerara Distillers Limited in Guyana, South America, and is perhaps the single greatest rum producer on the planet. In operation since the 1600s, they've supplied the British Royal Navy with rum for more than 200 years. DDL's historic stills, built in the 18th and 19th centuries, produce a number of amazing flavors. In addition, they have more than seven modern stills creating layers of flavor. The 8-year-old rum is the most ubiquitous of the line-up around Guyana, offering the best combination of maturity and value in one bottl... Read More »
Wine & Spirits: "Lance Winters of St. George Spirits helped reinvent American vodka when he co-created the Hangar One line and its exotic flavors like Buddha’s Hand and Kaffir Lime. Since selling the brand in 2010, he’s been vodka-free until this year. St. George’s new vodkas are less flamboyant and more workman-like, but no less artful. The All Purpose is smooth, robust, and easy going; California Citrus is fragrant with fruits and blossoms, yet remains restrained and modest, and Green Chile is destined to vivify a Bloody Mary or Margarita. All impress not with glitz, b ...Read More »
Made with "soft" water from Lake Bolmen in southern Sweden, known for its arctic purity, neutral corn spirits five-times distilled that lends sweetness to the gin and a blend of classic botanicals including juniper, coriander leaf and cardamom. The blend creates a gin with a warm, nutty spice punctuated by the addition of citrus (lemon, bergamot, lime and bitter orange) and sarawak black pepper, for a clean, refreshing gin with no funky aftertaste or astringency. Beautiful! Skip the tonic water with this gin; it's perfect unadulterated.
Inventory: Special Order
This craft gin from, yes, the center of London is distilled in a copper pot still. Producer note: "City of London is a one-shot connoisseur’s London Dry Gin, flavoured with a fine balance of juniper berries, angelica, liquorice and coriander seeds – with fresh orange, lemon and pink grapefruit added also to give the gin its distinctive zesty notes."
An old-school elixir made by an old-school distiller. Praise from Luxist: "Lucas Bols, the world's oldest distilled spirits brand originally established in 1575 in Amsterdam, has relaunched its Dutch Genever gin, a white spirit created almost two centuries ago. The word 'gin' has disappeared from the new bottle in favor of 'grain neutral spirits,' as the old world Genever bears little resemblance to the dry London gins we're familiar with these days. Bols Genever is made by blending a unique distillate called maltwine with a carefully selected secret ble... Read More »
98 points Wine Enthusiast: "This silky single-vineyard Cognac hits all the right notes, layering rounded vanilla, sherry and butterscotch with the freshness of apricots and white flowers. Just a touch of baking spice rounds out the mouthwatering finish. Aged 15 years. (KN)" (12/2015) K&L Notes: Following a decade working in the London wine trade for Corney & Barrow, Berry Bros. & Rudd and then his own business, Dominic Park decided in the early 1990s to move to France and create a new Cognac house. Maison Cognac Park was born to make straightforward, unadulterated Cognacs presented in simple pa... Read More »
When the doors opened at the Mitchell's Glengyle Distillery in March of 2004, it became the first new distillery to open in Campbeltown in more than 125 years. Campbeltown, once the center of whisky production for Scotland, had been hit hard over the last century and had dwindled down to two distilleries - Springbank and Glen Scotia. When the SWA threatened to take away the Campbeltown appellation, Springbank was told a region needed at least three distilleries to consider itself a specific locale. The decision was then made to reopen the long-dormant Gl... Read More »
The Giard family has been producing Calvados in the Pays d'Auge for 11 generations. The Domaine du Montreuil orchard was planted on land formerly covered by the sea and it exhibits a distinctive apple flavor. This Calvados offers a robust fruity nose, with woody undertones. Zesty qualities and apple blossom honey notes round out the palate and lead to a lively finish.
95 points from Jim Murray's Whisky Bible. The Old Bardstown Estate is one of KBD's premium offerings and bottled at 101 proof. It's a high corn recipe, so less spice and more round rich flavors than some of KBD's other high-end offerings. For all those missing Black Maple Hill's juice, this might be a solid substitute.
Whisky Advocate: "This bourbon is a blend of whiskeys aged a minimum of 5 years, with part of that time spent in California's Central Coastal hills. Breaker leads with a strong oak nose supported by cinnamon and caramel. On the palate, the maritime impact is there: it’s softer and less oaky, with a good balance of cinnamon, caramel, and a touch of clove. Breaker is a very restrained and understated bourbon, but that’s also what makes it so damn likable. Sourced whiskey. (GK, Fall 2014)" K&L Notes: Here is a new small batch bourbon from an up-start distillery in Santa Barbara. Chuck Co... Read More »
Yuu Baal is one of the best new mezcal labels we've seen from Oaxaca in the last few years, originating from the town of San Juan del Rio--one of the region's most well-regarded distillation centers. The brand (which translates to "earth" and "fire" in Zapotec) also incorporates spriits from San Luis del Rio, Santa Ana del Rio, and Santo Domingo Albarradas in what has immediately become one of the most diverse and high-quality line ups we carry. The entry level espadin expression is made from estate grown agave baked and crushed by stone using traditiona... Read More »
The 86 Company launched four spirits in Sepetember 2012, with Aylesbury Duck being one. From the distillery: "Aylesbury Duck is a truly noble woodland bird, well deserving of its own vodka. It can be seen flying around the rolling hills of England, frolicking in the great lake district or holding its own in a casserole. Our vodka has taken its inspiration from this exceptional breed. Aylesbury Duck is made in the Western Rockies of Canada, 4000 miles from the woodland birds natural habitat."
While it's commonplace today for a Scotch distillery to blend their whiskies together and then re-barrel the resulting recipe, it's rare to find a marriage of whiskies that were blended and barreled from day one. You'd have to go back to the 1960s to find an example of such a process, which is exactly what we did one morning in Glasgow when we came upon three mystery casks at one of our favorite suppliers. "No one knows for sure what's in them," our agent told us, "all we have is the date: December of 1964." It was exactly this uncertainty that helped th... Read More »
Whisky Advocate: "43% abv. When compared to the 10 year old, this one's richer, with darker fruit and more caramelized sweet notes, paired with accentuated dried wood spice, while the 10 year old is more vibrant and floral. Like the 10 year old, there's good balance here. (Vol. 17, #2)" K&L Notes: If I had to pick my favorite whisky from the LVMH line up, including all the Ardbeg expressions, I'd easily choose the 18 year old from Glenmorangie. It's the best whisky they make for the price and everybody likes it: beginners, casual sippers, experts, whisky geeks. It's so gentle, suppl... Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Light and complex, this gin, made by Cognac producer Maison Ferrand, has a restrained lemon peel aroma and gently sweet palate accented by citrus, coriander and cardamom. The finish is markedly soft and bright, with just a hint of sweetness. (KN)" (8/2016) K&L Notes: Citadelle Gin from France is filled with 19 different botanicals from all over the world. It is distilled four times and filled to the brim with flavor, this gin is clean, smooth and very refreshing. From the Beverage Testing Institute: "91 points. Layered aromas of honeyed juniper, citrus jelly, delicat... Read More »
Old Overholt is amongst the oldest more-or-less-continuously available distilled products in America. (They've operated for at least 150 years.) When one speaks of rye, others are most likely to think of this product, if they think of anything. Their Straight Rye is readily available at a moderate price. Overholt has a subtle nose with hints of raisin, fruit (orange perhaps), and almond. Overholt's taste is light, with slightly medicinal and bitter hints.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "***Top 50 Spirits 2013*** Finished in the barrel with specially seared oak staves, this Bourbon is a new classic. In the glass, it sports a bright maple color, and lively, spicy aromas and flavors of oaky vanilla and tropical fruit touched with clove, ginger and allspice. (KN)" (7/2013) 90 points Whisky Advocate: "This is original 'red wax' Maker's Mark that received additional aging in barrels containing internal "seared" French oak staves. The original Maker's Mark, being a wheated bourbon (instead of rye, which is typically used), is rather mellow and easy-to-drink.The French oa ...Read More »
To make this famous gin, Spanish almonds and Spanish lemon zest, Chinese licorice roots, Italian juniper berries, Italian Orris root, Angelica root, coriander seed, cassia bark, cubeb berries and grains of paradise from West Africa are processed and blended with a botanical recipe developed in 1761. Clean and light with herbaceous, earthy and light fruit qualities, Bombay Sapphire is distinctive on its own and in cocktails. Try: Berry Bombay 3 parts Bombay Sapphire 6 blueberries 2 strawberries Juice of ½ a lemon 1 tbsp sugar, plus extra for rim Chill a ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Corbin is a farm located in Atwater, California (just south of Modesto) that grows sweet potatoes. A few years back, David Souza, whose family has farmed in the region for a hundred years, decided to add a still to preserve the unused harvest (just like farmers have been doing for hundreds of years) and Corbin Sweet Potato Vodka was born. It turns out that Corbin hasn't only been distilling sweet potato vodka over the past few years; they've also been growing, harvesting, fermenting and distilling their own rye, purchasing custom-charred, 53 gallon white... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Distinctly fruity and floral on the palate, this has notes of rosewater and raspberry, braced by pepper and ginger flecks. This smooth and well-balanced gin is a good choice for making a berry-forward cocktail like the classic bramble. (KN)" (4/2013) K&L Notes: Eleventh generation heirs, Carl Jr. and Bob Nolet collaborated with their father, Carolus Nolet Sr., tenth generation distillery owner, to create a fresh take on gin that appeals to a new generation of gin drinkers. Floral and fruit-forward, the Silver uses some unique ingredients like Turkish rose, peach and ... Read More »