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Staff Favorites - Andrew Stevens

Andrew Stevens

Reviews

Auchentoshan "Bartender's Malt Edition 1" Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-15-2018
There was a time when certain things were simply not done. One would never mix a fine single malt into something so crass as a cocktail. I come from a bar background and will happily mix up great spirits into great cocktails. Fortunately for me, that rigid way of thinking is becoming more flexible and certain distilleries are embracing this trend. Auchentoshen is a perfect example, a blend of selected casks from different bartenders the whisky itself is beautiful. Soft, clean, supple, with beautiful vanilla, citrus, peaches, and white chocolate plus the texture that triple distilled Auchentoshan brings this is a delightful whisky all by itself. However, this is also a blend created by bartenders and for the bar. It is priced perfectly to allow someone to get creative, or go for a classic scotch and soda. If you are feeling daring maybe do what I am planning on doing this summer and mixing it with lemon juice, ginger syrup and floating a mellow IPA on top for a fantastic shandy.
Price: $44.95 Add To Cart

Caves Messias Santola "Crab Wine" Vinho Verde
Review Date: 05-15-2018
Summer sippin goodness in a bottle. That is what I thought the first time I tried this wine a few years ago and that thought has remained each time I taste it again. Perfect thirst quenching, low alcohol, slightly fizzy sipping goodness. This is the wine to grab by the case and find a reason to open on a beautiful afternoon.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

Azteca Azul Blanco Tequila (1L)
Review Date: 03-08-2018
Coming from a bartending background, in Texas no less, this is exactly the type of product I wish I could have gotten my hands on for margaritas. From undeniable pedigree, this is a perfect mixing Blanco. Big rich fruit hits the nose immediately reassuring you of all that agave goodness in the bottle. The palate is surprisingly clean and light with a touch of earth and spice. This taste, for this price, in this size bottle is basically a bartending dream come true.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Tradition" Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-07-2018
I make no secret of my love of Champagne with plenty of Meunier in it. Something about all that big beautiful fleshy fruit just makes super friendly bubbles for my enjoyment. This is a rich and round style with notes of dried cherry, plum, almond and even a little marzipan in there. There is also some spice and plenty of acid here that makes this a perfect dinner companion.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Eugénie" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-07-2018
New DI Champagne is always exciting to me, mostly because it means I get to taste Champagne and no matter what that is great. Still better when I find ones I really like. This new Rose is definitely our best priced Rose Champagne, but just because it is less expensive does not mean it is less drinkable. Bright fruit with some lovely structure from a little skin contact this all Pinot Meunier rose is a spectacular buy and a tasty bottle.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Reserve" Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 02-07-2018
There is only one thing that everyone in Champagne agrees on, that is their wine tastes best out of a magnum. There are several reasons for this, but rest assured that it is true. Getting to taste Champagne side by side out of different sizes always confirms this, also who doesn't want to show up at a party or event with a large format Champagne? So here we have the best-priced magnum Champagne you will see and it delicious! The extra aging on the lees shows up as big rich yeasty notes with tons of breadth and complexity. There is a lovely golden pear and vanilla note here as well as a dry and long finish. Spectacular bubbles.

Piùcinque Gin 750ml
Review Date: 01-18-2018
There may a problem with this gin in that it goes down a little too easily, dare I say that this is a super crushable gin. A beautiful nose that is resplendent with botanical notes still manages to come off as soft and clean. There is a lovely nutty and floral balance happening here with some sweet citrus and a line of clean acid driving the body. What really struck me about this gin was how the softly sweet floral, almond, bergamot, and juniper all managed to work so well together by giving lots of flavor that is clean and far to easy to drink.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Golden Devil "K&L Exclusive" Dark Navy Strength Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 12-07-2017
Just in time for Holiday party's (and to be honest for a Sunday Funday) this beautiful little bottle of Dark Overproof is exactly what is needed for cocktails, punches, and parties. Seriously, this is excellent, especially given the price, for those who need a good dark and strong rum for winter cocktails. Dark chocolate on the nose with a little coffee on the nose leads to a lighter palate than I was expecting. Caramel and fudge pudding with a rising heat and spice from the proof all come together here. Fantastic!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars "Faultline" K&L Exclusive Australian Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 10-05-2017
I have been hearing about this gin since its inception and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. Finally our new Faultline gin is here and it is downright delightfully delicious!! The aromatics leap out immediately, but like all of the Four Pillars Gin everything is in balance, lots of different aromas all acting in harmony with each other. There is some fantastic spice notes in here to bolster the juniper and the texture from the nuts adds a wonderful creamy layer. Finally the gin ends with a burst of lemon and spice that keeps the mouth fresh. I was planning on drinking wine tonight but I think I may do Negroni's instead.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-29-2017
I recently took a bottle of this home, not having tasted it in a couple of years, and I was struck by just how good this offering from our only Direct Import negociant truly is. The long aging on the lees give this wine a natural toastiness while maintaining plenty of bright acid. Notes of baked apple, creme brulee, and lemon zest make this a wine that pairs with food especially well in the fall. An absolutely lovely bottle from our friends at Baron-Fuente.

Highland Park "Magnus" Isle of Orkney Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-07-2017
This is a killer bottle of whiskey especially for the price, it is not often you find a Scotch under $30 period much less one with such complexity in it. I should not doubt the people at Highland Park, but I was still a bit surprised by this one. Sweet peat, oak spice, and a little fruity nose invite you into a rich warm palate of toffee, vanilla, salted caramel and a smooth gentle smoke. The finish is probably my favorite part here, toffee and bitter coffee notes with a little spice linger far longer than I would have thought.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars "Bloody Shiraz" Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 08-30-2017
I was willing to buy this bottle based on the aromatics alone, well that and the fact that Four Pillars seems incapable of making a bad gin. Watching this come in and getting to finally taste it makes me do a happy dance. The aroma juniper, sweet orange, bitter herb, red berry are all present here and hint at the tastiness hiding within this bottle. The flavor here is reminiscent of a SloGin but brighter and drier than most I have tasted. The beauty of the Four Pillars botanicals are still here just surrounded and submerged in sweet red fruit, more spice and a perfect amount of sweetness. I can't wait to try it in a Negroni and I feel I won't even need the sweet vermouth.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Paranubes Oaxacan Aguardiente de Caña Agricole Rum (1L)
Review Date: 07-18-2017
Wow, I mean seriously wow. This is one of those spirits that just makes me sit up and take notice. The nose immediately hits you with a fairly big grassy and slightly woody note. However, as powerful as the aromatics here are the body is light and balanced. Beautiful oxidized fruit, a touch of earthiness, much less aggressive than many agricole. Although David has just been sipping it this is the kind of spirit I cannot wait to start making cocktails with. I love when I get to play with something new and this is going to be a very good summer with this spirit I feel.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

El Silencio Espadin Black Bottle Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 06-08-2017
This is a perfect addition to my rotation of Mezcal that I can cocktail with and I am excited to see how it plays in my favorite drinks. The El Silencio has classic big notes from the Espadin, rich waxy rounded fruit with plenty of smoke. This is an unctuous fruity Mezcal that holds nothing back, but not in an overwhelming style. All of that big fruit typically play so well in cocktails and are necessary to stand up to other flavors when I make my Mezcal Negronis. Add to this the fact that the bottle is under $30 and we have ourselves a winner.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-08-2017
Bollinger is one of my immediate go to houses for people looking for a known name that delivers stunning wine for the price. The special cuvee from them is the perfect place to start with this all family owned estate. Lovely fruit notes of early plum, red fruit, and green apple with a little wood and spice are all firmly in balance here. The level of complexity is impressive and the finish is soft but does not fall flat in any way. There is also a beautiful tartness to the wine from the acid that serves to enhance the overall experience.

Fallet-Dart "Cuvée de Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2017
One of our newest DI from Champagne and again I feel that it is a little ridiculous to drink Champagne at this level for this price. The Fallet-Dart wines all share a beautiful toasty note to them that comes from long aging on the lees. Although there are other, more manipulative ways, to create this toasty note, the fact that Fallet-Dart can achieve it and have it age is only because they allow their wine to rest until it is ready. As toasty and rich as the nose is, there is no buttery note here; instead bright, clean acid and notes of lemon and spice zip along the palate and help give it a long finish.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2017
If you are a Champagne House that carries the name recognition and appeal of Laurent Perrier how do you change your signature offering? Easy, you introduce a wine like the new La Cuvee. Taking on new vineyards and changing the basic cepage Laurent Perrier also decided that a longer lees time was also just what this new cuvee needed. The result being a continuation of what they are capable of and I believe a treat for all of their customers. This new champagne features a slightly creamier nose than the Brut and is filled with delectable stone fruit, cream, and plenty of balancing acid. I am fairly confident that those who are already familiar with this house will be delighted with this change and the handful of people who haven't tried them yet here is exactly where you should start.

2013 Fuenteseca Huerta Singular "El Maguey" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 02-18-2017
This is truly a spectacular tequila, one that helps me to realize how good tequila can be and lure me away from my sweet brown booze. I do not take home bottles of expensive tequila because I am really only interested in turning them into a paloma. However, I must admit I am looking forward to taking home a bottle of this blanco. The balance and purity of the agave are singularly impressive, Although I have not actually gotten to bite into blue agave as David has, I can well believe him when he says that this tequila is what that tastes like. As good as the nose and taste of this tequila is perhaps the finish is what truly sells me, long, beautiful, and elegant. A finish that seems to linger on the palate and in your mind.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Santa Teresa 1796 Ron Antiguo de Solera Rum Venezuela (750ml)
Review Date: 01-30-2017
This wonderfully rich, but balanced Solera style rum is one of my go to's for those just getting into rum or those who have been long time fans. Dark, warm fruits and notes of toffee are not cloying, but rather they compliment each other and the strong streak of vanilla that brings this rum to a close.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Capurro Estate Grown Single Vintage Moscatel Premium Pisco (750ml)
Review Date: 11-29-2016
Like some other distillates Pisco seems to have suffered from the fact that until recently only the bottom end stuff has been on the market here in the US and so beyond the occasional Pisco Sour no one has had much to do with it. Fortunately brands like Capurro are coming in now and changing the way some of us think about Pisco. The single vintage Moscatel from this family owned and operated company opens with a beautiful floral nose with hints of citrus blossom. Clean and dry on the palate with a pleasant spice note this spirit also contains notes of red apple and pear. Certainly one of the most interesting and best Pisco's I have tasted this will be fun to play around with especially at this time of the year.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

La Petite Marquise Crémant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 11-01-2016
This is one of our most popular sparkling wines throughout the year because it is delicious and super affordable. Now with the prospect of holiday parties, get-togethers, and long evenings, this is the perfect everyday bubbly. Stone fruit, citrus notes, a creamy mouthfeel, and lots of tiny bubbles mean this wine can be the start of any evening.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Kilkerran (Glengyle) 12 Year Old Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-21-2016
One of only three active distilleries in Campbeltown, this new offering created in the revamped Glengyle is created using old techniques, and the dedication shows. Beautiful white fruit and spice layer the peat, showcasing the uniqueness of Campbeltown. Lovely layers of smoke move throughout this whisky and bring it to a finish with medium heat and spice. Full-flavored yet balanced, this is a cool new offering for those who love every different expression of peat, smoke, and of course, Campbeltown.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

Michel Couvreur "Pale Single Single" Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-24-2016
Ready for the whisky of the summer? Where do you go when the heat means big smoky, peaty flavors do not work as well? Here, this bottle, this delightful and delicious offering from Michel Couvreur. Lovely dense white stone fruit in the nose lead to a seriously elegant Scotch. The play of light fruit and floral notes are just so well harmonized here and are backed up by a tingly baking spice finish. This whisky showcases the deftness that a master blender can have in creating something truly elegant.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

Michel Couvreur "Blossoming Auld Sherried" K&L Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-24-2016
With the exploding popularity of Compass Box and companies like Suntory releasing the Hibiki Harmony it behooves us to recognize great blended whiskey. These bottles perhaps does not share in the fame of those mentioned, but they do not fall short on the quality. The Blossoming Auld Sherried Malt from Michel Couvreur opens with a big rich nose of caramel and dense fruit. A rather creamy mouthfeel follows, fell of baked fruit, almonds and the richness that Sherry casking brings. Add to all of this a slightly hot baking spice finish and you have yourself a spectacular whiskey that is well worth drinking.
Price: $279.99 Add To Cart

Suntory Toki Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-19-2016
I, like so many others, really like a lot of what Suntory has to offer. There are so many wonderful whiskeys they put out, unfortunately many of these have gotten super expensive and rare. Fortunately, they are trying to fill in the gap with a more everyday whiskey, and the Toki is just the product to do that. A lightly fruited nose reminiscent of caramel apple and vanilla leads to a smooth and somewhat fruity whiskey. Baked apple and stone fruit notes are rounded with touches of vanilla and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Low heat finish rounds out the delightful little whiskey.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 05-28-2016
Some people want to reinvent Gin while others simply want to perfect it, at Four PIllars they go for the latter. This has all the elements that make gin so good, citrus, juniper, spices and balances them. Fresh and clean with a dry finish this is the kind of gin you can just keep as the standard, always on hand. Mix it, sip it, prepare it any way you like Gin, just enjoy it.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 05-28-2016
Complexity and balance is always what I am most excited about in a Gin and this delivers these two attributes. The citrus notes from the limes off just the right amount of snappy citrus to overlay the backbone of juniper. This gin is surprisingly smooth for its proof offering up its power in complexity and flavor as opposed to burn on the finish.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

St. George Bruto Americano Bitter Aperitivo Liqueur (750ml)
Review Date: 05-24-2016
I am a big fan of pretty much everything St. George Distillery does and one of my favorite things about them is all of their liqueurs and brandies. Seriously, the people over there are never satisfied with just sticking to gin, vodka, or whiskey (although they do all of those things well) and now they have added an Americano! I bought a bottle immediately and it is delicious, as is expected from them this is not an attempt to re-create Campari but rather it's own beast. Clove and cinnamon add a much spicier component to this spirit, with a lovely dry and herbaceous finish. This is delicious on its own or with soda water and a twist and I cannot wait to try making it into a Negroni.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Launois "Cuvée Réservée" Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-17-2016
This is one of the most highly anticipated bubblies we carry, both from our customers and from our staff. Stone fruit and minerality play against the bright citrus notes and lively acid carries the wine to incredible length without being too tart. This bottle just drinks so well and goes down so smoothly that it always seems a shame that we cannot carry more of it. Pick it up soon because it will sell out fast.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Launois "Quartz" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-17-2016
When I first came to work here I would have people come up and ask if we had any Launois in stock, not being familiar with it I was always curious why so many people would eagerly await their arrival. Now having tasted them I understand why we always sell out of everything we carry from them. The Quartz is light, crisp, clean, and downright crushable if I may use a vulgar term for this wine. The bright acid carries hints of minerality and tart apple and green melon that is still balanced and finished so well. This will disappear fast so it is worth picking up whenever we have it.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Kilchoman "Sanaig" Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-09-2016
I am so glad I finally got to try a couple different expressions from the newest distillery on Islay, and I am so impressed with this whisky. A lovely whiff of smoke on the nose lets you know you are getting into an Islay; however, the sherry casking lends it a smooth and rich body without being brooding. Slightly nutty and fruity notes play against the smoke and lead to a long finish with low heat. This whisky does not need an age statement at all, it stands up and delivers incredibly well for a newer, younger blend.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Ragnaud-Sabourin "K&L Exclusive Fontevieille #35" Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 05-09-2016
I never drank Cognac before coming to work at K&L and I fear that I will never be able to live now in a place where I cannot get the Cognac we carry. In other words, I have been ruined by the good stuff. Having just tried the Ragnaud Sabourin #35 I do not know where to go from here except for to buy a bottle. It is ridiculously good, complex, balanced, so incredibly smooth. There were a host of amazing flavors present, but honestly I stopped taking notes when I tried it and simply enjoyed it.
Price: $169.99 Add To Cart

Mas Codina Cava Brut Reserva Penedès
Review Date: 05-09-2016
This is one of the best bottle of bubbles in the store for its price. The fact that we directly import this sparkler and that it is from Spain means that it drinks far and above its price point. This Cava is very clean and enhanced by bright acid while still having some weight and richness on the mouthfeel. A lovely balance of ripe fruit and citrus make this one that can easily turn heads at a party and is priced to keep a case around the house.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Old Pulteney 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-25-2016
From the furthest northeast distillery in the Highland region, Old Pulteney has garnered somewhat of a cult following, and for good reason. This Highland finished in ex-bourbon casks opens with a rather densely fruited nose. Notes of dried apricot lay alongside hints of saline and salt. Underscored by a delicate barbecue smoke, with fairly light heat on the finish, this is a lovely little whiskey to sip on as spring unfolds.
Price: Hidden View Price

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-18-2015
The best priced Champagne in our store and an amazing offer especially with the upcoming holidays. This beautiful Grande Reserve has an amazing mid-pallet that is toasty and full with a hint of almond and dried fruit. This makes it ideal as a Champagne to serve with dinner, it has enough weight to enjoy before and with food. Fantastic finish and flavor make for a truly beautiful Champagne and with the price you can afford to pick up several.