The First of Two New Maker's 46 Barrels

Earlier this year, I went out to Kentucky with my co-worker Julio Santos to put together another barrel of Maker's 46—the amazing custom cask program at Maker's Mark that allows each participant to choose the exact recipe of staves for the additional maturation enhancement. Coming off one of the most successful and fastest-selling single casks in K&L history, I was toying with the idea of doing the same recipe again, seeing that so many people seemed to enjoy the last batch. Knowing that there was so much potential, however, to create something new and interesting for our Bourbon customers to try, the creative side of me eventually gave in and we sat down to make something entirely different. On top of that, when another retailer pulled out of their appointment earlier that same morning, we were given their barrel allocation so we ended up with two casks!

Last time around I did all American oak, hoping to dial up the inherent sweetness already present in Maker's Mark, but with all those French options I knew we had to find a way to bring them into the equation. For this barrel, we kept a high proportion of baked American oak staves (6 in total), but buttressed that sweetness with 4 seared French cuvee staves to add richness and spice rather than simply add additional sweetness. The result is a high proof wheated Bourbon that's big on the nose, supple on the palate, but drier and earthier on the finish (a la some of the older Jefferson's 18 editions of the past). While you get all that creamy wheated goodness in the middle, the French oak contrasts that supple sweetness with drier notes of toasted oak and savory spice. The result is a damn fine bottle of whiskey.

I hope you all like it as much as I do!

Maker's Mark 46 "K&L Exclusive - #1" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon $69.99

-David Driscoll


News & Notes

We're up to over $150,000 raised with our raffle and we've still got until tomorrow before we close it down. I think we're going to hit $200,000 before we're done, or at least very close. Pretty crazy! In the meantime, here's what's new in the liquor department:

- We'll have another Maker's Mark 46 custom cask strength barrel tomorrow, the result of my trip earlier this year with my co-worker Julio. We did two barrels during that visit, so I'll have to wait until the bottles show up until I know which stave recipe it is. Both were delicious during our sample tasting, and I'm pretty sure both are over 55% ABV. All you wheated Bourbon fans will want to watch for that.

- There's a chance we may see the new St. George Lot 17 single malt trickle in tomorrow as well. That will be very limited. Make sure you keep an eye on the new product feed.

- Now that it's getting cold and the weather is more appropriate for peated Scotch, I'll be bringing in some of our more Fall/Winter appropriate casks from Old Particular. There will be an eight year old cask strength Talisker making its way into stock very soon. Should be a hair under sixty bucks. The 20 year old Caol Ila and Bowmore casks should arrive by the end of the month or early November. 

- I've been trying to help my friend Gerald Casale from Devo get his 50 by 50 wines in front of some serious critics and this past week I finally got it done. James Suckling scored Gerald's new Pinot Noir a 92 in his latest review, so we decided to throw a little party to celebrate. Gerald is going to fly up from LA on November 1st to do a little private dinner at Donato in Redwood City and he's going to bring a vertical of older vintages with him. I only have space for about twenty people and I know at least seven people have already bought tickets. That means I have room for another thirteen folks if you want to party with us. You can book a seat here

That's it for the moment!

-David Driscoll


When Worlds Collide

This was a fun distraction from all the smoke and devastation last night. Last week I gave former WWE superstar Kevin Nash a bottle of Kyle MacLachlan's rosé. Kevin loved it, so I told him he should tell Kyle via Twitter. He did so. Kyle responded. Twitter fans about died.

I have to admit that I would have thought it was crazy, too. The NWO talking pink wine with Special Agent Dale Cooper? That's some serious cult crossover. That's like Fox Mulder and Wolverine teaming up to talk about their favorite sushi spot!

-David Driscoll


$100K+ and Rising!

Photo courtesy of Eric Risberg/APWhen you wake up in the morning to soot and ash on the ground it can be difficult to take your mind off of anything but the victims of these ongoing wildfires. Everything is smoke: the sky, the air, the sun, the horizon, the inside of your car, your clothes, your house. It's permeated every aspect of our lives here in the Bay. I think that's why when we started our rare bottle raffles for charity yesterday our customers felt compelled to chip in any way they could. 

Not only have we raised well over one hundred thousand dollars in our first day of ticket sales, we've still got four more days to go until we draw the winners! It's amazing to watch from my in-house seat and it's going to be even more amazing when we cut these huge checks to help people in need up north. Not only are we having trouble keeping up with the processing of these orders, I'm getting overrun by people who want to donate their own wines for additional raffles. We might end up funneling those bottles through the auction department and starting a number of charity bids to boot.

While the air is thick and hazy, our intentions are clear: we want to help. Thanks again to everyone out there for contributing.

-David Driscoll



If you can believe it, we've already sold more than $83,000 of raffle tickets. I'm still in shock as I sit here trying to process all those orders, but my heart is happy.

I think we'll hit 200K before all is said and done. That money will do a lot of good to a lot of people hurting up north. 

Thanks to everyone for helping with this!

-David Driscoll