Sunday, July 25, 2021

Vistamar Brisa Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Vistamar Brisa Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 from Chile is on my BOTTOM SHELF. Terrible bitter taste, watery finish. I did not enjoy it and do not recommend it to anyone. Maybe some of their other expressions are drinkable, which I will review in my upcoming blogs. In today's blog, I intend to cover the following

1. Brief history behind this wine
2. Tasting notes
3. SJ's Rating & review
4. SJ's Pro tips

Vistamar was established in 1999 in Chile. With an estate situated at the foothills of Andes in the Cachapoal Valley very close to Vistamar winery. The region is colder which makes the grapes grow slower which in turn gives them flavor is what this company claims. 

Now about Brisa Cabernet Sauvignon. The product label says "It presents a red color with violet highlights. In the nose, the outstanding aromas are blackberries, plums, and black cherries blended with hints of vanilla and toast. In the mouth, there are smooth, rounded tannins and flavors of red and black fruit, enhanced with notes of caramel and smoke. "
Apart from the hint of berries, I do not agree with their product story. It is not enjoyable and does not taste like what is mentioned in the description. 
Now for the best part, my tasting notes. Enjoy!

Vital Stats- Vistamar Brisa Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
Price- $5.99 for 750ml
Vintage- 2020
ABV- 13%
Country- Chile
Region- Valle Central
Produced & bottled- Vina Vistamar Ltda, Pelequen, Chile
Awards won- None

Tasting notes-
Appearance- Dark red like any other red wine

Aroma- Red grapes, berries
Flavor- Bitter
Body- Light
Finish- Watery, bitter, not smooth
SJ's Rating- Bottom Shelf
Occasions- None, this will ruin the party
SJ's Pro tip #1- Santiago Station Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile is far better than this and cheaper.
SJ's Pro tip #2 - Chilling it in the fridge for half an hour makes it a little palatable 

Even though I did not enjoy this one, I am glad to share this information with others who can make a sound decision to purchase this one or not. If you want to savor Top Shelf wines, check out my blog for those & Enjoy!. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Ole Smoky Tennessee Whiskey -Salty Caramel

Ole Smoky Tennessee Salty Caramel Whiskey is on my Middle Shelf. It would be on my bottom shelf if it wasn't for the cocktail I made with it. In today's blog, I intend to cover the following-

-Brief history behind this whisky
-Tasting notes
-SJ's Rating and review
-SJ's Pro tip

There is really not much on its website with information on when this distillery started. It claims "We are Appalachian born and bred" and that they have been making superior mountain moonshine for generations. 
About Salty Caramel expression- It is made with natural flavors with artificial caramel color added. Basically, it is like liquid candy with just a silent hint of salt at the end. There is nothing more to it. Now it is time for the most interesting part-the tasting. Enjoy my notes! :-)

Vital Stats- Ole Smoky Tennessee Whiskey, salty caramel mountain made
Price- $20.49 for 750ml ($2.79 for 50ml pictured sampler)
Age-  NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 30%
Region- Tennessee,USA
Distillery- Ole Smoky Distillery LLC, Gatlinburg, TN
Awards won- None

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn glass
Serving style- Neat & Mint Julip cocktail

Appearance- Dark gold

Aroma- Chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, spices
Flavor- Very sweet, caramel, medicinal alcohol taste
Body- Medium
Finish- Non-existent, not smooth, terrible
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
Way too sweet for my palette. But of course, it is caramel flavored so just what is expected of it. If sweet is your cup of tea then go for it!
SJ's Pro tip- Using it for cocktail will balance the sweetness and make it more enjoyable
Cocktail- Mint Julip
Food Pairing- Chicken momos(Again!) :-) because the cocktail combination went well with it. 

I had a great time reviewing this whiskey and hope this information is useful to make a sound decision spending on a bottle or not. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Abasolo Mexican Ancestral Corn Whisky

Abasolo Mexican Ancestral Corn Whisky is on my Middle Shelf. I enjoyed this pour from Mexico. In today's post I intend to cover the following;

-Brief history behind this whisky
-Tasting info
-SJ's Rating 
-SJ's Pro tip
-Food Pairing
This whisky is produced by Destelieria y Bodega Abasolo. The website claims "It is the first and only distillery built from the ground up and dedicated since its inception to capturing the millenary Mexican culture of corn in whisky". It further says "Here on the distillery grounds, the past and present exist side by side just as they do in our bottle and work hard to maintain the Alma de la Tierra(which means the soul of the earth) ". Quite a passionate and rich history of this distillery.
Now about the product itself. It is a rich and smooth whisky crafted using the finest cacahuazintle corn. This type of corn is said to be tender and of the finest quality available. I believe this is where the magic of this whisky lies. Now, it is time for the world-famous tasting! Enjoy!

Vital Stats- Abasolo Mexican Ancestral Corn Whisky
Price- $40.99 for 750ml($3.79 for 50ml sampler)
Age- NAS
ABV- 43%
Region/Country- Mexico
Distillery- Destileria Y Bogeda Abasolo
Imported by- Casa Lumbre Spirits, Manhasset, NY
Awards won- None found 

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Light gold

Aroma- Corn, caramel, bourbon
Flavor- Sweetness from corn is dominant, citrus, a hint of toffee
Body- Medium
Finish- Medium linger, corny finish
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf 
Though it is top-quality imported whisky made from the highest quality corn, it lacks the aroma and finishes to be on the top spot. Comes in a very attractive and unique rectangular bottle. 
Occasions- Outdoors bbq
SJ's Pro tip- Great as a gift because it gives an exotic appeal 
Food Pairing-  Grilled corn & chicken bbq
This was a completely new experience for me since it is a corn whisky. Absolutely enjoyed it and I see it has a place on casual occasions and goes well with food. Check it out for yourselves, Enjoy! Consume Responsibly!. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

John Barr Reserve Blend Scotch Whisky

John Barr Reserve Blend in on my TOP Shelf. Exceptional for the price & amazingly smooth and pleasant whisky-loved it. In today's blog, I intend to cover the following-
-Brief history behind this whisky
-Tasting notes
-SJ's Rating
-SJ's Pro tip
-Food pairing
-Cocktail using this whisky

Reads the product story on its website "James White and Charles Mackay began their career as whisky merchants in Glasgow in 1881. Today White & Mackay is one of Scotland's most esteemed whisky houses earning the title of UK spirits producer of the year by the international wine and spirits competition". Now, this whisky does have quite a legacy since it started more than a century ago. 
Now, who is John Barr? Says the website "John Barr was widely known in his homeland as a first-class whisky man. Born into a whisky-making family in Speyside Scotland,Barr rose through various positions to become Managing Director of the leading scotch whisky business of the day"
John Barr Reserve blend marries single malt and grain whiskies from Speyside & Highland regions. Each component is carefully selected and expertly blended by a third-generation master blender. There is truly some magic that happens which makes it such a well-rounded whisky. 

Vital Stats- John Barr Reserve Blend Scotch Whisky
Price- $21.99 for 750 ml($35 for 1.75L Big bottle with handle)
Age- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 40%
Region- Blend of Highland and Speyside
Distillery- John Barr Company, Glasgow, Scotland
Awards won- 2016, Ultimate Spirits Challenge, Great value & Chairman's award

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn glass then whisky tumbler
Serving style- Neat, Scotch Sour, On the rocks
Appearance- Dark gold

Aroma- Well rounded pleasant sherry, oak, toffee, apple
Flavor- Sweet, little smokey, sherry, oak, toffee notes
Body- Medium
Finish- Smooth, long, and lingering
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
Because it is such a pleasant, well-rounded, and refined whisky for any occasion. Also, loved the versatility of this one since I enjoyed it in almost all variations possible on the rocks, neat, and a cocktail. All tasted fantastic!
Occasions- 4th of July
SJ's Pro tip- Compare this with Johnnie Walker Black. I prefer this because it is higher quality at a lower price(Very rare to find such a combination but it is still possible) 
Cocktail- Scotch Sour(Mix 1.5oz John Barr & 3/4oz freshly squeezed lemon juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Enjoy!) 

Food Pairing- Mutton bbq. The sweet and light whisky balanced the heavy and spicy texture of goat bbq. 

I am delighted I tried this not-so-popular whisky and found it amazing. Give it a shot! Cheers & Enjoy Responsibly ๐Ÿฅƒ๐Ÿฅƒ๐Ÿฅƒ. Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Jim Beam Honey Whiskey

Hello Single Malters, Today I am reviewing Jim Beam Honey Whiskey. In today's blog, I will share the following info- 

  • Sharing a link to my previous blog with distillery info
  • Vital Stats
  • Tasting notes
  • SJ's Rating
  • SJ's Pro tip
I have already covered the history behind this distillery in my previous blog- Jim Beam. Today, I am focusing on Jim Beam Honey.
Sweet as honey, bold as bourbon reads the description on the website. "Sweet but not too sweet, Jim Beam Honey has the perfect touch of honey to allow its warming sweetness to shine without losing the mellow smoothness of our original bourbon. So, whenever you are craving a cocktail with a sweeter side or as an easy sipper, this is the bee's knees.  I do not agree with anything that is stated. It is way TOO SWEET. 
Now, the fun part- my tasting notes. Enjoy!

Vital Stats- Jim Beam Honey Whiskey 
Price- $14.49 for 750 ml($0.99 for 50ml pictured sampler)
Age- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV-  35%
Country of Origin- USA
Distillery- James B.Beam Distilling company, Clermont, Frankfort, Kentucky
Awards Won- None

Tasting info-
Appearance- Light golden
Aroma- Vanilla, honey, citrus, light chocolate, marmalade

Flavor- Too sweet just like medicinal honey, sugary syrup taste
Body- Light
Finish- Short, nonexistent, watery 
It is terrible just like a sugary syrup, medicinal kind of taste. I do not recommend anyone to buy this one. 
Occasions- None, Unless you want to ruin the party
SJ's Pro tip- The regular Jim Beam is way better than this. 

Well, this was quite a terrible whisky to try but am glad anyone reading this will steer clear of it after reading this. Enjoy some other bourbons like my go-to Makers Mark, won't go wrong. Cheers! Enjoy responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives Podcast

Monday, June 21, 2021

Athletic Brewing Hazy IPA- (Non-Alcoholic beer)

I am reviewing another Non-Alcoholic(NA) of Athletic Brewing- Free Wave Hazy IPA & it's on my TOP Shelf. Again! It is simply a product that hits the spot. In today's post I am covering the following:

- Brief history behind this NA beer
- SJ's Rating (explanation on why this Rating)
- Occasions best enjoyed
- SJ's Pro tip

For brewery history, check out my previous post on information about The Athletic Brewing Company. Today I will focus on Free Wave only.  Reads the product story "Our free wave hazy IPA is meant for the open road. Whether you are cruising the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible or tracing your way up the coast on your bike, our Free Wave doesn't cut corners. This mouth-watering IPA is loaded with Amarillo, Citra and Mosiac hop. You will want to grab a few for the road!" 
The product story smartly positions this as a drink for the road. Love the story, now let me do my tasting to find out if it is true or not! :-) Enjoy my tasting notes. 

Vital Stats-Athletic Brewing-Hazy IPA(Non-Alcoholic beer) 

Price- $10.52 for 6 pack
Age- N/A
ABV- Non-Alcoholic (Less than 0.5%)
Region- Stratford,CT & San Diego,CA
Brewery- Athletic Brewing Company
Beer style- Non-Alcoholic Golden
Awards won- 2020 Brewer of the Year, International Beer Challenge. 

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Large beer glass
Serving style- Chilled
Appearance- Hazy, light amber

Aroma- Toffee, citrus, honey, lemon, hops
Flavor- Just like real beer, bittersweet hops, lemon, nutty, hoppy.
Body- Full
Finish- Hoppy, creamy, smooth
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
I liked it better than Upside Down from the came company. it is really like an IPA, Gets better every time. Hops are omnipresent in this NA beer and it tastes damn good!
Occasions best enjoyed- To drink after a day's work but still need to be sober. 
Food- Chicken Pasta. Light pasta complements the heavy IPA

SJ's pro tip- Don't freeze it too long in the freezer. It almost turned into ice in 30 minutes, not like the alcoholic version. 

I enjoyed it on a weekday dinner not having to worry about any sort of hangover. I love it. Enjoy it any time, Cheers! to good health.  
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Glenmorangie The Lasanta 12 Sherry Cask Finish

Glenmorangie The Lasanta 12 is on my Middle Shelf. Almost put it on my bottom shelf because of the disappointing finish. The irony is that it claims to be a sherry cask finish, there is no finish let alone a smooth sherry finish. In today's blog, I will share the following information-

1. Brief history behind this whisky
2. Tasting notes
3. SJ's Rating & pro tip
4. Occasions of use
5. FAQ- Comparing the age of the whiskies(Can lesser age whiskies have more flavor than older ones?)

Established in 1843, The Glenmorangie Distillery is known for the "16 men of Tain". These men have a legacy of generations that have spent by contributing their whisky-making skills. It is what makes the distillery unique. I have covered more interesting facts about the distillery in my previous blog Glenmorangie-10

Now about Glenmorangie Lasanta 12.  It is very interesting the way they make it! For the first ten years, it is matured in bourbon casks and for the rest 2 years, it is finished in Sherry cask. Reads the product label " Our signature spirit, distilled in Scotland's talents stills, is aged first in bourbon casks for smooth, fruity notes. We then finish this single malt in had selected oloroso and Pedro sherry casks to create full-bodied richness and complex spice." 
The finish of is sherry cask is not convincing because there is no finish at all, not smooth no hints of sherry. Now enough talk, enjoy tasting notes! :-)

Vital Stats- Glenmorangie The Lasanta 12 years old Sherry Cask Finish
Price- $44.99 for 750ml
Age- 12 years 
ABV- 43%
Region- Highland, Scotland
Distillery- The Glenmorangie Distillery, Coy Tain, Ross-Shire
Awards won- 2017 World Whisky Awards, Best Highland Single Malt (I highly doubt this award๐Ÿ‘Ž) 

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencarin glass
Serving style- 1st drink: Neat. 2nd drink: on the rocks

Appearance- Dark amber
Aroma- Very aromatic vanilla, spices, caramel, oak, strawberry, citrus. A very little hint of sherry.
Flavor- Some Sherry hints of oak, nutty & vanilla. Not as flavorful as it looks. 
Body- Medium
Finish- Highly disappointing. Flat, short non-existent, not smooth
SJ's Rating-  Middle Shelf (Almost bottom Shelf)
Because of the terrible finish, it gives no character to this whisky. The appearance and the aroma are quite robust just like its high ABV. But the flavor and finish fall flat on its knees to be on the top spot. Nor is it that bad to be on the bottom spot. 
Occasions- Casual drinking not an enjoyable sipping whisky
Food Pairing- Fried red snapper with wild dirty rice.

SJ's Pro tip- The regular Glenmorangie 10 is much more flavorful and smoother than this. 

FAQ- Comparing the age of the whiskies(Can lesser age whiskies have more flavor than older ones?)
The short answer is YES.
The reason is that that age necessarily does not mean you will enjoy it more or will have more flavor. With over hundreds of whisky reviews, I have found many examples including this one where Glenmorangie 10 more flavorful than Glenmorangie 12. The magic of wood, alcohol, and time is a mystery and where it settles for a sweet spot is more of a mystery as well. 

I loved comparing this with the regular 10-year-old and enjoy reviewing it!. Check it out for yourselves and find out! Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead.