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Monday
Dec112017

The Devil Returns

While we’ve been working to bring in single casks of interesting sugar cane and molasses-distilled spirits from all over the world since 2012, we were always a little ahead of the curve when it came to the connoisseur rum market. We’ve always received tremendous positive feedback about our K&L exclusive rum selections, it’s just that we’ve never had enough of a rum audience to make them a regular thing. In 2017, however, with the tiki cocktail culture renaissance in full swing and a new excitement about rum making its way through a number of internet message boards, we’ve been overwhelmed by consumer questions about our single barrel program—particularly those we bring in under the Golden Devil label. When would new selections be arriving? Could we source rare pot still rums from Guyana? Would there be an agricole rhum cask in the future? Had we considered doing a private blend?

The answer to all of those questions was yes. However, the larger, looming question was: if we restarted the program, would the demand justify the supply? Judging by the amount of emails we received and the excitement that’s already been buzzing online about these new Golden Devil casks, it appears the rum revival we’d long been anticipating might finally be upon us and we’ve got you covered for the holidays. There are three new K&L exclusive Golden Devil releases to show you: two full proof single barrels and one custom blend. The 19 year old agricole rhum from Bellevue distillery in Guadaloupe is a picture of elegance. The 25 year old pot still rum from the now-defunct Enmore distillery in Guyana is a collector’s dream come true. Plus, we’ve created our own K&L exclusive dark overproof blend of Jamaican pot still rum with column still rums from Guyana. (NOTE: these rums will also be available by the pour at Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco in the near future).

For those looking to dig deeper into the higher-end rum market, these two single barrel exclusives should get you on the right track. For those interested in an affordable, high-proof, flavor-packed tiki mixer, we challenge you to find a better bang for your buck than our new Golden Devil dark overproof. Check out the specifics below: 

Enmore 25 Year Old "Golden Devil" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Guyana Rum $199.99 - Enmore was once the home of El Dorado's famed wooden coffey still, but the distillery was closed in 1993 and all of the equipment was eventually moved to DDL's main Diamond site where all the former Guyana distilleries are consolidated now. This single barrel edition, distilled in 1992, represents one of the last runs at the former site and for serious rum fans these lost distillates are as collectable as can be. This particular rum, however, comes not from the wooden coffey still at Enmore, but rather a single pot still, potentially the wooden pot moved there from the defunct Versailles distillery before eventually landing at the Diamond site where it sits today. Guyana's pot distilled rums are valued by blenders and other experts as a source of very heavy bodied, very flavorful and deeply aromatic rums,  Dark in color and earthy on the nose, the flavors are rich and expansive with molasses, burnt sugar, roasted coffee, and cocoa on the finish. For many collectors, Enmore is like the Port Ellen of rum, yet its price points are still well within reach considering its rarity and value on the market. Bottled at 63% cask strength, this Golden Devil single barrel edition is a true gem of magnificence and a valued piece of rum's long and ever-evolving history.

Bellevue 19 Year Old "Golden Devil" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Guadeloupe Rum $99.99 - Bellevue distillery on the island of Guadaloupe has been run by the Damoiseau family since they purchased the ancient facility in 1924, eventually merging with La Martiniquase, one of France's largest drinks companies. Since the mid-nineties, the extra support has led to a serious reinvestment in the distillery grounds and today Bellevue uses only locally-sourced sugar cane for all of its rhums, most of which is planted right next to the site itself. Bellevue is an agricole rhum distillery, meaning the spirit is made from fermented sugar cane juice rather than molasses like most rums on the general market. Using red and white cane varieties, Bellevue uses a column still for its production, distilling to a proof of nearly 160 and maturing in ex-Bourbon and ex-Cognac barrels. Generally unavailable in the U.S., we purchased this 19 year old single barrel from Europe and had it bottled by our friends at Golden Devil in the UK. At 59.7% cask strength, the rhum is far from the bold and grassy agricole specimen we see from Martinique. It has an herbaceous character on the initial palate, but the color is dark and brooding and the flavors range from flat cola to ginger and root beer on the finish. Tiki fans will rejoice, but Rum fans of all kinds will be thrilled by the opportunity to secure a single cask selection from one of the industry's more elusive (and often expensive) agricole producers.

Golden Devil "K&L Exclusive" Dark Overproof Rum $19.99 - With tiki culture experiencing a full renaissance and rum appreciation reaching its highest level of enthusiasm in decades, we thought it was time to create a custom K&L dark overproof edition that offered our customers something unique, well-priced, interesting, and flat-out delicious in that category. Made with a unique blend of rums from Jamaica and Guyana, this 57% ABV edition combines the aromatic and funky pot still flavor of the Jamaican rum culture with the textural compounds of Guyanese column-distilled beauty. Hints of green banana and molasses penetrate the palate on the first sip, but the power of the proof takes over half way through and turns dry and robust on the finish with notes of earth and oak on the finish. We're expecting our friends in the tiki industry to go nuts for this, both due to the quality and the value proposition blended into each bottle. Don't be surprised if your favorite rum bar has a few bottles of this behind the counter next time you go.

-David Driscoll

Sunday
Dec102017

Annual CCB Christmas Drunk Day

Yesterday was our annual drink-all-day-long, eat-tons-of-pizza, and watch-the-new-Candace-Cameron-Bure-Christmas-movie-on-Hallmark-fest at Chez Driscoll. I look forward to this occasion each December with great relish because there are few things left in this world that bring me as much old fashioned joy as watching CCB's wholesome, family-friendly, holiday-loving cheer while drinking myself into an absolute stupor on my couch. This year's release is titled Switched for Christmas and follows a sort of Parent Trap model when two identical twins decide to swap places and see what happens when forced to plan hectic holiday events. There's the urban, professional-minded CCB living in Denver, single and childless while working her way up the corporate ladder, and then there's her identical sister who's a single mom in Littleton, trying to raise two kids while teaching high school. It's all fun and games until the romance starts, then the two sisters find themselves in much deeper than they'd anticipated.

I enjoyed Switched for Christmas, mainly because when I'm two bottles of Champagne deep at 1 PM and there's something this clean and virtuous on my TV, I'm going to have a big smile on my face. That being said, if you're new to the Candace Cameron Bure Hallmark holiday empire, you need to start with Christmas Under Wraps; it's far and away her best film. From there move on to Let It Snow, featuring the late Alan Thicke as her father in a dreamteam of eighties sitcom icons. Both films are a close one and two on my list. Third place would be Moonlight & Mistletoe with Tom Arnold. Switched for Christmas would be a solid fourth place. 

I was out cold by 3 PM. My wife finally woke me up at 5:30 and made me take a walk. Lots of water today. Lots of water.

-David Driscoll

Saturday
Dec092017

Holidaze

These are the two things keeping me from losing my mind. Thank goodness for rosé and kitties.

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Dec072017

The Real McCoy - Smuggler's Cove Edition

As if I wasn't excited enough getting our K&L exclusive rums from Golden Devil ready for next week, my old pal Martin Cate reached out to me to ask if we could partner up with his world-renowned rum bar Smuggler's Cove here in the city for a co-launch of his new Foursquare double-barrel blend. This special edition of Real McCoy rum from the über-popular Barbados distillery was put together by Martin and is a tiny blend of just two ex-Bourbon barrels. It's far more concentrated and rich than the standard edition; plus, it's bottled at 46% ABV rather than the standard 40%. Foursquare is quickly becoming a sensation in the aficionado world of rum drinkers and tiki specialists for its pure, unadulterated flavor and transparency as it pertains to age statements and additives, which is a big reason why Martin is such an advocate for the rum. 

If you want to try it for yourself, you've got two choices: head on over to Smuggler's Cove and grab a seat at the bar, or click on the link below to secure your own exclusive edition:

Foursquare Distillery "Real McCoy" 12 Year Old "Smuggler's Cove Limited Edition" Rum $49.99

-David Driscoll

Thursday
Dec072017

December Rumblings

After months and months of anxious customer outreach, emails, long conversations, and insight from others in the industry, we're ready to start getting serious about rum again. It's going to start tonight when we launch a very special edition of Foursquare in conjunction with our friends over at Smuggler's Cove. I'm going to wait for Martin Cate to flash the bat signal and then we'll have the product live on the website. I won't say any more than that for now as I don't want to spoil the surprise.

Beginning next week we'll have three new K&L exclusive Golden Devil releases to show you: two full proof single barrels and one custom blend. We'll have a 19 year old agricole rhum from Bellevue distillery in Guadaloupe, a 25 year old pot still rum from the now-defunct Enmore distillery in Guyana, and a special dark overproof blend of Jamaican pot still rum with column still rums from Guyana. I've got a fourth cask in the works, but that won't be available until January. These rums will also be available by the pour at Smuggler's Cove once I get Martin's order filled.

It's going to be a rum-soaked holiday at K&L. I can already feel my liver squirming. 

-David Driscoll