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Staff Favorites - Neal Fischer

Neal Fischer
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2018 Fromm Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 07-30-2020
This is a great earthy Pinot Noir offering out of New Zealand. On the nose I get dark berries, cherry, pleasing sulfur notes, lilac, salted fruit, and a green component that likely comes from the partial whole-cluster pressing.The palate is floral with a wonderful forest floor character, gun powder, and tart cherry. Great to enjoy now, this will be a fantastic Pinot to age as well.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2012 Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Alexandrine" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 07-28-2020
This is a fun one that's approachable, but has a lot of perk too. Scents of Meyer lemon and grapefruit pith smooths over into apple skins, rose petal, cantaloupe, and a touch of chalky minerality. The palate is very dry and zippy (that's right, Aaron) with a pleasant lemon-lime tartness. It ends with a touch of berries and creaminess for a very pleasant finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Nicolas Maillart "Platine" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-21-2020
Maillart makes Platine with 78% Pinot Noir, 16% Chardonnay, and 6% Pinot Meunier. It is 40% barrel fermented, and the wine spends 4 years on the lees. This is a bright and zippy Champagne with big-time citrus, focusing particularly on grapefruit elements. The palate has a great, full mouthfeel plus a decadent creamy toastiness. Notes of stone fruit emerge with cherry and peach. Another wonderful direct import for K&L here that matches complexity with bargain pricing.

Grand Mayan Ultra Aged Extra Añejo Tequila (750ml) (Cannot ship - Local Delivery/Curbside Pickup Only)
Review Date: 07-19-2020
Grand Mayan is a rich and lush tequila. If you like your extra anejo with big caramel notes and a bit of peppery spice then this should be right up your alley. The nose has some syrupy qualities with dark caramel and orchard fruit (primarily peach/nectarine). The mouth continues these notes with a touch more spice and big tones of spun sugar and vanilla. This tequila also has a lot of weight on the palate with a viscous mouthfeel.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2019 Giant Steps Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 06-11-2020
This new Chard from Giant Steps further cements the wine-making prowess of Phil Sexton and Steve Flamsteed, and they have been making very cool very good wines in the Yarra Valley for a couple decades now. The nose is an elegant balance of stones and stone fruits. I pick up nectarine and wet river rocks followed by fresh lemon along with gentle floral notes. The palate is bolder and brighter, but still restrained and refined. Nice elements of citrus zest, gooseberry, and salted melon come through. There's great acid here that spreads over the palate and encourages another sip. This wine is full-flavored while staying crisp, so it's an excellent wine for hot summer days and backyard dinners that go long into the evening.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2017 Mount Langi Ghiran "Cliff Edge" Shiraz Grampains
Review Date: 03-19-2020
Opening with excellent notes of bramble berries and pepper, this has a great classic Shiraz profile. There's a nice mix of fresh blueberries and raspberry jam on the nose that alerts one to the tart profile of the wine. I enjoy the soft floral notes and how these blend with the spice character. On the palate there's a little earthy tobacco profile that folds into the mixed berries and pepper flavors. The finish has a nice fresh snap to it brought on by the combo of the spice and cranberry tartness, making me want to keep coming back for more. Pair this with grilled meats and goat cheese salad.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Ragnaud-Sabourin "K&L Exclusive Fontevieille #35" Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-09-2020
More power and brooding than the No20 bottling we got from Ragnaud-Sabourin, this is still a beautiful Cognac and a lot of fun to sip. Fresh and dried fruits mix and melt together. Syrupy cherries, plum, mixed berries, and peach swirl with allspice and cardamom. Heavier on the palate, the oak spice comes through with caramels and denser fruit to create pie-like flavors. Spice, caramel, and polished wood combine in a very long finish.
Price: $169.99 Add To Cart

Ragnaud Sabourin K&L Exclusive Reserve Speciale #20 Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-09-2020
What a soft and elegant Cognac. There are layers of fruit and florality throughout the nose. The barrel spice provides structure, but always allows the other notes to sing through. Cherry and vanilla brush up against violet and peach. Orange flower briefly succumbs to hazelnut before bouncing back to the fore. There are some richer caramel notes on the palate, but the brandy never loses its light and playfulness. Impressive
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Krug "Grande Cuvée" 168ème Édition Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-18-2020
Krug pulls out all the stops for their Grande Cuvee editions and the 168 is no exception. The base wine is from the 2012 vintage, but there's older reserve wines included going back to the mid 1990s. The results are delicious and complex with a nose of apple skins, spice, fruit pie, and a toasty nuttiness. There's so much texture and softness to this Champagne! The palate possesses lovely richness combining fresh green apple and grapefruit with buttermilk, warm honey on bread, and buttered toast.

Ariston Aspasie "Réserve" (formerly Carte Blanche) Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-18-2020
The Aspasie Reserve has been one of my favorite go-to sparklers since I started working at K&L (back when it was called Carte Blanche). The name may have changed, but luckily the quality of the juice is exactly as high as it has always been. For me, Aspasie Reserve is all about freshness and balance, and it's amazing that it delivers so fully on those characteristics for under $30. That price is even more impressive when you know that this wine spends five years on the lees and contains 15-20% reserve wines. Yellow apple floats on top of fresh lemon for the nose. There's a great mineral base accented by a touch of lightly toasted brioche. The palate has baked apple and pear notes that lean towards richness, but never cross over that line. The fruit maintains its presence and the acid keeps just a little edge going. Wonderful
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2012 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-17-2020
Beginning with bright apple scents, this wonderful vintage Champagne develops into lemon pith and light toast aromas. The palate is a lovely little mix of soft citrus, pineapple, fruit cocktail, honey, and a touch of salinity. This vintage of Grande Annee is packed with flavor. The combo of the citrus acidity and slight saltiness makes this quite a mouthwatering wine, and the finish is delectably long.
Price: $124.99 Add To Cart

2016 Casino di Sala "Rosso dei Tatanni" Toscano
Review Date: 02-05-2020
The nose opens with mixed bramble berry jam, bright brandy cherries, and fresh new leather. There's also some great herbal tones, primarily composed of sage and thyme, with powerful spice. On the palate, raspberry and strawberry meld into a wonderful tart element with big tannin structure. More sipping reveals some fun medicinal components and dark plum notes. This is a full-bodied wine, but it's exquisitely balanced and approachable.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2007 Thiénot "Black Ball" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-29-2020
This Champagne is composed of juice from all old vine Grand Cru grapes on property that used to belong to Krug right in the Cotes de Blanc… so you know they’re working with great land and great fruit. The nose is earthy, almost a little sandy toned, but there’s also good fresh fruit here with scents of citrus peel and Golden Delicious apples. The mouthfeel is soft and supple with a great apple/pear balance that becomes more intense in fruitiness and even borders on tropical flavors before coming to a gradual vanilla finish.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2003 Benrinnes 15 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-27-2020
This Scotch is surprisingly floral, but still has a lot of leather on the nose which is a character I associate with Benrinnes. Violets mix with red berries and scents of black licorice. With more nosing, yeasty and bready notes emerge with touches of cocoa. On the palate, fruit and spice shine in a big way. There's a lot of orchard fruit coming through plus cinnamon, mace, and chili. What I really like about this malt is that the fruitiness is clean and bright, rather than the heavy Sherry-focused variety that's all the rage right now in Scotch. It stays light and zesty through the entire sipping experience.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

Rare Perfection 15 Year Old Canadian Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-25-2020
This is our second bottle of Rare Perfection and the people from Very Old St Nick tell us that it's coming from the same unnamed Canadian distillery with the same bourbon mash bill, but they're not giving us much more info than that. It is, however, notably different in that it's cask strength. Coming in at 119.7 proof, it should appeal to our customers who are always looking for those whiskeys straight from the cask and ready to light their fire. This bottling has a lot of similarities in profile to the 14 year old bottling, but with a couple fun deviations. Still dominant is a luscious dessert character with candied pecans taking the fore. This cask strength version also has aromas of Bananas Foster, dark caramel, some red fruit notes, and more spice. The spice really comes through on the palate. This undoubtedly has something to do with the higher ABV, but the spice isn't just hitting you as alcohol burn. There are peppery elements and clove that really coat the mouth and add a delightful tingle. The dessert elements continue through the palate as well, but the finish is a pleasant warm fuzz of spice medley and nuttiness. Impressive.
Price: $189.99 Add To Cart

Rare Perfection 14 Year Old Canadian Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-23-2020
Coming from an undisclosed distillery and sporting a Bourbon-style mashbill, this is an interesting Canadian whiskey. The nose is basically dessert for me. Pecan praline, brown sugar, melted butter, and dark raisins meld and and just keep coming. There's a touch of oak spice on the nose, but the sweets dominate. For being over 100 proof, this whiskey is darn smooth. There's more cinnamon and gingersnaps on the palate than on the nose, but this is easy to drink and still rocking the pecan confection angle full blast. The finish moves to a pleasant mix of salty and sweet, and the flavors stay on the tongue forever.
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart

1976 L'Encantada 42 Year Old "Domaine Le Sablé #19" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-16-2020
There is a LOT of butterscotch aroma in this bottle! When I poured this into my glass I expected that I'd be drinking candy. Aromas of canned fruit like syrupy peaches drip in this lovely Armagnac, reminding me of tinned fruit cocktail. Tobacco and soft cedar notes emerge and give some depth and maturity to the brandy. This is definitely not a one-note spirit, with more complexity shining through with each sniff. The palate is shockingly light and bright for a spirit this old. There's a little oak tannin and spice, but this Armagnac is so gentle and tastes so fresh and elegant. Layers of light fruit keep rolling out as I continue to sip. Of the three new bottlings we got from L'Encantada this time around, this is my clear favorite. All three are delicious and interesting, but this one blows me away.
Price: Hidden View Price

1988 L'Encantada 30 Year Old "Domaine Le Frêche #17" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-16-2020
What a beauty. Orchard fruit and winter spices hang out neck-and-neck in the nose. Peach and dried apricot predominate with cinnamon stick and candied ginger brightening the brandy considerably. Cedar, cigar box, and earthiness come through as well. The fruits get more concentrated on the palate and the spices heat up without becoming overbearing. As the spices soften into the finish there's a wonderful nuttiness that comes out and rolls into the long finish. A very classic Armagnac.
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1995 L'Encantada 24 Year Old "Lous Pibous #146" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-16-2020
Bold and powerful Armagnac right here, folks. Deep wood notes dominate first in this austere spirit, and you can tell that this has been aging in new casks imparting their full flavor. More nosing reveals some of the more delicate qualities of the Folle Blanche grapes. There's a brooding florality, soft warming spice, and a surprisingly playful cherry element. The palate demonstrates the reverse of what the nose revealed: first the floral and fruity characteristics dance on the tongue, then the full force and weight of the spirit and those barrels come through. It's a very pretty Armagnac, but it's intense too.
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Ann Albert "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 12-31-2019
Beautifully textured Chardonnay that's creamy and nutty. That texture and the flavors on the pallet are fairly rich, while the nose is elegant and fresh. With a little saltiness, the focus hits on lemon, pear, and apple skins for a buoyant Chard. 94 JD and 93 Vinous
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Solomon Hills Estate Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 12-31-2019
This is a fun and fresh Chardonnay that balks at the drizzly winter months. Coming from the Santa Maria Valley, the growers have just one block that they grow for this Chard on sand dunes in a windy and cold climate. The result is a zippy and salty white wine full of fresh flower notes and ripe rich fruits. There's a lemon-lime streak that is both zesty and pithy with great acid, followed up with tones of peach, nectarine, and struck matchstick. 94 points vinous
Price: Hidden View Price

2009 Ardmore 10 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-03-2019
I really dig this bottling, but it's definitely a departure from the core lineup of distillery releases (which have changed somewhat over the last decade). There's smoke, but it's subdued (and quite different in character from the whiskies of Islay). It's malty, earthier, woodier smoke. What comes through on the K&L single cask bottling is a load of fruit and medicinality. Apricot and cherry come out of the glass with heady herbs. The palate has green chili pepper, sooty fire ash, peach, and cherry. Spice builds and builds through the palate, and with subsequent sips. Water brings out more barley notes that remind me of the classic Ardmore style, while a little more sweetness and creamy vanilla also emerge.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

1997 Benriach 21 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Single Rum Barrel Finish Cask Strength Unchillfiltered Speyside Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-03-2019
This whisky is light and bright and full of tropical notes. For a 21 year old this Scotch is surprisingly fresh and lively, and the core characteristics of BenRiach's spirit marries quite well with the rum cask it was matured in. Waves of vanilla meld with macadamia nut, banana, and pineapple. The palate has great salinity and mixes with the vanilla notes to taste like a cookie crumble crust. More fruits come through with gentle spice and new leather. Lovely
Price: Hidden View Price

1995 Caperdonich 24 Year Old "Chieftain's" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Unchillfiltered Speyside Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-03-2019
Caperdonich has had an odd, jerky history. Opened in 1898 by William Grant it closed almost immediately and remained that way until reopening in 1967. Sadly, it ceased operation yet again in 2002 and was subsequently demolished. It's a shame because these can be really tasty whiskies. This 24 year old bottling we currently have from Chieftain's is dark, weighty, and bold. There seems to be a lot of Sherry influence here with scents of praline nuttiness and dried fruits of plum, fig, and cherry. There's also a nice element of wood polish that imparts the feeling you're enjoying this dram in an old British drawing room. The varnish notes are more pronounced on the palate with oak spice. The dark fruits come back through in the midpalate with the addition of a citrus twist, continuing on to the medium-length finish. I'm not sure how much stock the current owners are sitting on for future releases, but after nearly twenty year being gone you might want to get your hands on this before Caperdonich becomes a unicorn bottle.
Price: $399.99 Add To Cart

1998 Glenburgie 21 Year Old "Old Particular" Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-02-2019
The whisky in this bottle dates back to before the Glenburgie distillery was completely rebuilt in 2003-2004. Very fruity, floral, and leathery right off the bat. There's a good amount of playfulness here which makes for a fun dram. I pick up a lot of red fruits (fresh and dried), then spice, wild flowers, and gentle caramel. Citrus and cream then green apple come next. The palate is still very fruity, but increases dramatically in malt character and oak spice. The addition of water enhances this dram nicely, adding elements of buttered bread with berry compote.
Price: $109.99 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: 12-02-2019
This year's Old Particular Bunnahabhain selection for K&L is less Sherry-driven than our 2018 cask. An elegant Scotch, the nose opens with light honey, lanolin, and herbal tea. Peaches, chamomile, and salted caramel come through with more nosing. On the palate, the lanolin melts to beeswax and more exciting spice comes to the foreground with cinnamon and black pepper. Lemon skins and sea salt present themselves next. As it moves to the finish, this Scotch gets more mineral-driven and grassy.
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart

Còdigo 1530 K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Añejo Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 11-29-2019
Truth be told, I don't usually crave Anejo Tequila. I find that the barrel often dominates the base spirit, and some of them are frankly cloying to my tastebuds. This new single barrel we got of Codigo is a wonderful exception for me. This tequila is not dominated by flavors of caramel, wood, or Bourbon notes like many Anejos. Instead, we have in our glass a nice array of spices, soft wood aromas, and excellent agave character. The woody elements are reminiscent of cedar, pine, and cigar box. I pick up bold pepper notes, cayenne, and mace. There's also still a touch of fruitiness and something like menthol and other herbs coming through as well. If you're looking for an Anejo that's off the beaten path and is elegant yet still robust, then this is for you.
Price: $109.99 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: 11-23-2019
Light, bright, and fruity! Allt-A-Bhainne is part of the foundation of the Chivas Regal blend, but it really shines on its own. This Speyside single malt is quite estery with tons of fresh aromas and flavors. Lemonhead candies, peach, and cherry hit me first, followed by some buttery vanilla wafer cookies and clove. There's also some nice pine forest notes in the background. On the palate, spice cuts through the fruit and comes in waves, combining with a cocoa element that reminds me of mole chocolate. There's great oak, cedar, and pine wood flavors that blend nicely with the bolder spice, then cooling menthol.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

1979 North British 40 Year Old "Old Particular" Single Refill Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-23-2019
Brandy-like on the nose at first, this bottling from North British is quite delicate given its 40 years of age. Crisp green apples, light apricot, cherry, and cream drift to the nose. More florality develops with continued swirling and sniffing. The palate is even more intensely fruity with an apple medley and red berries. There's a little sugar cookie sweetness with soft vanillas melding with the fruits then becoming more leathery, oaky, and bold into a long finish.
Price: $299.99 Add To Cart

Littlemill "Old Malt Cask" 29 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-18-2019
Littlemill was Scotland's oldest licensed distillery, so expertise and quality can be guaranteed in their output. Sadly decommissioned in the 1990s and then lost to fire in 2004, bottles from this distillery are now treasures and time-capsules of a forgotten era in Lowland whisky-making. Leather and honey melts into toffee brittle. There's a light orchard fruit component to the nose that gets bolstered by beautiful sharp spice of cayenne, white pepper, and mace. Spice, wood, and vanilla hover in the air above the glass. The palate is zippy and tongue-tingling with bold spice and bright citrus freshness. The body is light, but there's still a rounded soft texture that's fun to roll around the mouth. The flavors stay bright and get more tropical into a medium-long finish.
Price: $249.99 Add To Waiting List

2018 Bonny Doon Vineyard "Le Cigare Volant - Cuvee Oumuamua" Monterey County Rhône Blend
Review Date: 11-12-2019
Bonny Doon's Le Cigare Volant is a great, fun red Rhone-inspired blend. It's vibrant in its fruit character of mixed berries, but there are more layers going on here. I like the earthy tones that border on savoriness grooving into deeper spicy notes. I'm happy the winery brought Le Cigare Volant back into its repertoire, and at this price it's a new go-to weeknight red in my house.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart

2012 Nicolas Maillart "Franc de Pied" 1er Cru Brut Nature Champagne
Review Date: 10-18-2019
The interesting name refers to the exceptional fact that this is a rare Champagne grown completely on vines with their original French roots - meaning that these vines are ungrafted because they escaped the scourge of phylloxera with the help of the extremely sandy soils on this site. It’s 100% Pinot Noir, 100% barrel fermented, and 0 dosage. The nose is fresh with ripe pear and orange blossom. The palate offers deeper complexity with baking spices, salty minerality, and fizzy lemon drops.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2015 Nicolas Maillart "Jolivettes" Grand Cru Brut Nature Blanc de Noirs Champagne
Review Date: 10-18-2019
At K&L, we get to try a lot of interesting wines that change your perspective, and this is certainly a new high point on this list because I’ve never had something quite like it. It’s 100% Pinot Noir fully of Bouzy Grand Cru grapes, all barrel fermented and just 1 gram dosage. The color is an interesting straw color that borders on blush. This Champagne is rich with buttery brioche and baked spiced apples. The palate has richness, but is also surprisingly light. I pick up fresh yellow apples, delicate florality, and gentle minerality.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2012 Nicolas Maillart "Les Chaillots Gillis" 1er Cru Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 10-18-2019
This offering from Maillart is 100% barrel fermented and there’s no dosage (but you wouldn’t know that from the creamy richness in this Champagne). The nose presents fresh Granny Smith apples, stewed pears, baking spice, and light floral notes. The palate has a beautiful fruit-and-floral balance. This slips into a very creamy character with savory spices into a long satisfying finish.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2007 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Fascination" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 10-18-2019
This Champagne is all Chardonnay and comes from a single plot in the Monts Aigu parcel of the Grand Cru of Chouilly. The nose floods with rich brioche, cream, crushed autumn leaves, and Bartlett pears. The palate offers the same richness but matched with a grapefruit acidity. This is a great food Champagne.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Lanson Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-18-2019
The Lanson Rose starts out as the same wine as the house’s Black Label, but then they add 7% Bouzy Rouge still red wine of Pinot Noir to get the Rose effect with luscious dark fruit elements. This wine is very aromatic with deep floral notes, soft raspberries, and zippy citrus. On the palate there’s strawberries fizzling into lemon curd that lasts into a long finish.

Lanson "Black Label" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-18-2019
Using no malolactic fermentation, you get a lot of fresh fruit from this sparkler and all the creaminess comes from time spent aging on lees and extensive backstock of reserve wines going into this cuvee. The nose has pretty citrus, poached pears, and a lovely toastiness. The palate has brisk acidity, fresh pear, peach, yellow apple, and chalky minerality.

Maker's Mark 46 K&L Exclusive "Barrel #5" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 10-12-2019
This was such a fun project, and I'm glad that Maker's Mark invited Andrew and I to blend not just one, but TWO batches of Private Select for K&L. It was amazing how different the bourbon could be with slight changes to the stave additions. So it isn't too much of a surprise that Andrew's barrel is vastly different from mine. The Neal barrel is clearly superior, but this barrel of Andrew's is really killer too. When I sip this I think to myself that this is classic Maker's Mark... but greatly intensified. Luscious caramel spills out of the glass with apricot and a little buttered popcorn. There's very soft baking spices with a bit of coconut coming from the high amount of baked American oak staves that give Andrew's batch its central character. This decadent bourbon is a sweetie, but it ain't a pushover.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Maker's Mark 46 K&L Exclusive "Barrel #6" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 10-12-2019
Ahhh, the austere and amazing Barrel 6 (a.k.a. The Neal Barrel)! This was such a fun project, and I'm glad that Maker's Mark invited Andrew and I to blend not just one, but TWO batches of Private Select for K&L. It was amazing how different the bourbon can be with slight changes to the stave additions. So, it isn't too much of a surprise that my barrel is vastly different from Andrew's. This blend that I concocted makes use of a high proportion of seared French cuvée staves and toasted French spice staves. The extra toast and focus on French oak more than American gives this bottling a truly robust woody snap and a big, spicy bite. If Andrew's batch is like classic Maker's Mark, brilliantly intensified, then the Neal barrel is like Maker's Mark's edgier older cousin who got kicked out of school as a teenager. Cinnamon cooked in butter, baked clove, and fresh pepper hit the nose first. The scents get darker and spicier with more nosing with additions of powdered cocoa. On the palate, there's molasses and burnt sugar, then tannic oak spice. Toward the finish, coffee and more savory elements emerge. This bourbon is bold and beautiful.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2003 Glen Scotia "Malts Festival 2019 Limited Edition" Rum Cask Finish Peated Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-11-2019
Bountiful butterscotch and wisps of earthy smoke characterize this tasty Scotch. Glen Scotia is one of only three operational distilleries in the Campbeltown region, and I'm very happy they're carrying on the tradition and keeping distillation alive in this historically important area in Scotland. Of course, none of that history matters much if the whisky isn't good, and thankfully this bottling is great. The peat is very moderate (unlikely to scare away too many folks) and exquisitely proportioned with the influence of the rum cask finishing. Tropical aromas of freshly-opened vanilla bean morphs into salted caramel that then becomes rich butterscotch. Scents of buttery dessert biscuits topped with pepper-peach jelly make my mouth water. The palate has more dessert flavors without becoming cloying at all. Then that peat comes in, yet it always stays in check and never dominates the other flavors. It's earthy, robust, and leathery with just a little medicinality. The rum and peat continue to roll over each other again and again on the palate, and it seems like there's just no stopping this Scotch. There's not really a finish in a sense because the whisky just melts into the tongue and stays with you.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

New Riff "Single Barrel" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 08-20-2019
Cinnamon, clove, and burnt sugar waft up from the glass on this deceptively easy to drink cask strength Bourbon. I'm pretty used to drinking high-proof whisk(e)y, but this is dang friendly and I'm not sure I would peg it as cask strength if it was handed to me blind. Spearmint and eucalyptus create a lovely relaxing balm with other herbal and medicinal notes. The palate is fairly earthy and herbal with tea notes that then go in a creme brulee direction. Adding water offers exciting changes to the whiskey with more florality emerging and snappy spices. Pepper, dark caramel, and toasted oak spice linger in the very long finish.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 08-20-2019
Balsa wood, incense, and musky cologne emerge from the glass. Cinnamon, clove, and other earthy spices come to the fore and dominate the nose of this bottled-in-bond Bourbon that's woody and peppery enough to make one wonder if it's a Rye. There's just enough caramel to keep things in Bourbon territory though with freshly sliced vanilla bean and nutmeg creeping in and making the nose a bit more rich and voluptuous. It's woodier on the palate with more bold spice character as well. This is definitely a great whiskey for lovers of high-rye Bourbons.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 08-20-2019
This bottled-in-bond no chill-filtered Kentucky Rye has a gorgeous and incredibly aromatic nose. It's so floral at the start, but not without spicy and fruity notes. This is a bit of a slow-burner rye, where you almost expect it to be a softy push-over, but rest assured that this grows bolder the more you sniff. After the fresh-cut flowers, apple and cinnamon come out strong. But for me, it's not like a friendly baked apple pie - no, this is fresh ground cinnamon powder dashed onto just-cut green apples. This is intense. There's more spice on the palate that lights you up without blowing your head off. Charred oak meets fresh cut wood with incense before getting spicy again with a dose of cooling mint to spare your tongue from the burn. This is a fun little trip of a rye.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Krug "Grande Cuvée" 167 Ème Édition Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-16-2019
With their Grand Cuvee series, Krug tries to make the fullest and most quintessential expression of Champagne, and part of their philosophy embraces that cuvees can evolve and change with the additions of new vintages to the blends. The 167 Eme Edition lives up to the Krug ideals with complex mixtures of bready and fruity notes that span the range of what Champagne is capable of becoming. Freshly baked apple tart jumps out of the gate before the wine heads in an even more bready direction of brioche, lightly buttered toast, nuttiness, and baking spices. The palate is a little yeasty which transitions into chalky minerality. Then more fruit notes emerge like bright lime and lemon zest with a touch of something more tropical plus savory spices. Exquisite.

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Iteration #24 Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-16-2019
Iteration #24 of the Grand Siecle blends Laurent-Perrier stocks from their 2007, 2006, and 2004 vintages. The nose is so beautiful and delicate with soft floral notes like a breeze through a field of wildflowers, refreshing lemon-lime zest, and minerality of chalk and sea salt. Given how dainty the nose seemed, the palate’s bold and cutting acidity took my breath away. In addition to the acid, the citrus gets creamy like lemon meringue pie, with stone fruit and interesting smoky nuances.

2008 Lanson "Gold Label" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-16-2019
This Lanson Gold Label is 53% Pinot Noir and 47% Chardonnay with no malolactic fermentation. The nose is very chalky with some flintiness, but there’s still a lot of bright fruit. This combines nicely with more savory aromas and herbal notes. The palate is unexpectedly racy following the nose with more minerality and very bright fresh lemon acidity.

2008 Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-16-2019
This 2008 vintage bottling from Laurent-Perrier hits big with bright citrus, a little fresh dough, Granny Smith apples, and Bartlett pears. The palate is just as bold as the nose boasting bracing acid that’s mouth-puckering, crisp apple, and lemon drop candies. Very sexy Champagne.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2014 Immortal Estate (Hidden Ridge) "Slope" Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-16-2019
This wine, getting 95-97 points from Parker, is big on stewed fruits of plum and blackberry compote, hefty oak, toasted spices (clove, star anise), and a measured hand of perfumed floral notes. The palate is high-toned, nice’n’juicy, and finishing with some crispy spice. It’s got luscious texture and density made of pure decadence.
Price: $74.95 Add To Cart

Animas Joven Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 07-30-2019
I've said it many times myself: It's annoyingly difficult to get good, smoky mezcal at a moderate price point. Animas fills that agave-shaped hole in my life. The smoke comes on with moderate strength, giving wafts of charred wood and burnt earth, but it doesn't overpower the agave. Lightly tropical notes unfold the more I sniff with orange, lime, and mango. The palate has a great savory note with a mouth-watering saltiness and earthy minerality.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

The 86 Co. Ford's Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 07-21-2019
A classic gin profile. This London Dry style gin comes straight out of England and starts with UK-grown grain. Bright juniper notes come right at you with pine freshness and a supporting citrus peel character. There's a subtle floral bouquet as well, but it never gets in the way or becomes perfumy. The palate presents the spices and herbaceousness displaying coriander, angelica, and then the citrus elements become more distinctly grapefruit-oriented. This will work in every gin cocktail you can find, and at this price you might as well try them all.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

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