Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Bunnahabhain 12


One world many Malts! Welcome all whisky lovers to my blog. This is SingleMaltLives where I review single malts one bottle at a time, some names I can barely pronounce like this one Bunnahabain 12 which I am reviewing today.Recently I had been sidetracked by reviewing other spirits but now I have refocused on the core domain of Single Malts. This is possible due to small samples available so I can try it for a fraction of the price of a regular bottle. Had got some samplers which I will be sharing in today & in upcoming posts. 
Named after the river Bunnahabhain & completely new to me , it will be exciting to see what surprise this little bottle has inside. Enjoy my tasting notes & some legacy behind this bottle. According to it's website, Bunnahabhain 12 which means "Mouth of the River" in Gaelic, was first launched in 1979. It is double matured in Ex Bourbon & Sherry casks which gives its unique and distinctive flavor.
I noticed recently that the samplers I bought all had 46.3% ABV so I am curious to find out if it is a coincidence or something else. Nothing in my research suggests why it is so. If you know then let me know in the comments below. 

Vital Stats- Bunnahabhain 12 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky 
Price- $55.49 for 750ml bottle($4.99 for 50ml sampler pictured)
Age- 12 years 
ABV- 46.3%
Region- Speyside
Distillery- Bunnahabhain Distillery,Distell Groups Ltd,Scotland
Awards won- 2016 Gold, San Francisco World Spirits Competition 

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glenacairn Whisky Glass

Serving style- With diet coke(No way just kidding :-) , you know how I like it....Neat
Appearance- Russet Gold
Aroma- Faint peat smoke,oak, citrus, vanilla, cinnamon
Flavor- Smokey peat, rich & robust oak with lingering sensation of pepper.
Body- Full
Finish- Smooth, long warm & lingering
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf
Just what I expected, my instincts were correct. A very well balanced scotch whisky. It is very hard to find a 12 year old whisky with so much flavor & complexity.Tasty, flavorful & just the right amount of smokiness that complements the other flavors & aroma. Loved it. Overall, it is an easy to drink lightly peated whisky good for people new to scotch and seasoned single malt drinkers alike. 
Occasions- For sipping in all occasions
Cocktails- None, enjoy neat or on the rocks.
Food Pairings- Pork momos.Why? Because the rich robust flavor complements the fatty pork momo. It is made for each other. 

SJ's Pro tip- Great gift for smokey whisky lovers

I simply enjoyed the taste of this golden liquid. So smooth and easy to drink even at a higher ABV. Check it out for yourselves and let me know in the comments below. 
Cheers! Enjoy responsibly & stay safe. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

"Ignite the nite" reads the product label of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. This is bottom shelf as it can get & yet one of the top selling brands and is omnipresent in bars & clubs everywhere. It is clearly targeted to young party goers and with so much sugar there will be no shortage of energy throughout the night. Let me be very clear I do not encourage binge drinking & strictly follow & expect adults to enjoy responsibly.
Having said that let me get to some history of this brand followed by my tasting. It is a mixture of Canadian whisky, cinnamon flavors and produced by Sazerac Company. It is not whisky actually just a flavored one because whisky should be bottled at 40%, Fireball is only 33% ABV. Believed to have been originated in Canada by a bartender who was trying to warm up the night. Apparently, booze was not enough so this mystery bartender added sugar & cinnamon creating this recipe. Lets get the party started! Enjoy my tasting notes. 
Vital Stats
Price- $12.99
Age- N/A
ABV- 33%
Country of Origin- Canada
Bottled by- Sazerac Company, Frankfort,KY
Awards won-2010, Bronze Medal, Los Angles International Wine & Spirits Competition

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn Whisky Glass
                                            
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Bright Amber
Aroma- Overwhelmingly cinnamon, cloves & dry spices
Flavor- Exactly like aroma, cinnamon , sweet. Some bite of pepper just like liquid cinnamon candy
Body- Medium
Finish- Sweet,short, non-lingering
SJ's Rating- Bottom Shelf
This is something that I would not drink to enjoy. It is too sweet for my taste. Nothing else except for the overwhelming cinnamon sugary sweetness. Surprisingly it would be great to heat up your body in colder weather like Canada where it originates from. Makes sense.
Occasions- For party goers as a shot, but don't drink too much
Cocktails- None, have it neat or with club soda
SJ's Pro tip- Have it as a desert or digestive after a meal
Food Pairings- Marshmallows, meatballs

I enjoyed tasting this red hot cinnamon liquid and it is like liquid candy. Let me know your views. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Glen Fohdry 12 Single Malt Scotch


Glen Fohdry Speyside Single Malt Whisky is for today's review. This brand is completely new to me & I intend to uncover the story behind it & also the tasting notes in today's post. 
Selected this one because it has a higher ABV of 47.1% & is Non-Chill filtered. After reviewing close to hundred whiskies, I have developed a liking for higher ABV's because of the flavor. Let's see if this meets my expectation. 
Reads the product story "The Glen Fohdry Single Malt Whisky has been distilled and matured in the renowned Speyside Whisky region of Scotland in traditional American Oak casks and has laid undistributed for a minimum of 12 years prior to bottling." It is a brand owned by a larger company called  Quality Spirits International that manages private label business for the group. I think this is a private label of Total Wine. 

Vital Stats- Glen Fohdry Aiteal on Oir Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price- $39.99
Age- 12 years
ABV- 47.1%
Region- Speyside 
Distillery- The Glen Fohdry Malt Company, Bellshill,Scotland
Awards won-  Double Gold,2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition 

Tasting info-
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Bright Gold

Aroma- Spices, cinnamon, fruits, pears, apple, vanilla. Oak & dark chocolate.
Flavor- Sweet, creamy butternut, vanilla, oak,green apple, caramel
Body- Medium bodied
Finish- Short, sweet,slightly lingering
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
Disappointed because I expected it to be a little strong and flavorful as it is 47% ABV & non chill filtered. It did not meet my expectations & failed to impress my palette.  
Occasions Best enjoyed- Casual Drinking
Cocktails- None.Enjoy neat, rocks or with club soda
Food Pairing- Protein rich chicken dumpling soup

SJ's Pro Tip- For similar price range I would gladly buy Glenfiddich 12 instead of this.

I have been on this journey to find out the truth behind every bottle of liquor. Some bring joy, some do not.This one disappointed me, the quest continues..One World Many Malts! 
Enjoy responsibly! Let me know your experience if you have tried it. Cheers! 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Ensign Red Fine Canadian Whisky


Hello Single Malters, today I am reviewing Ensign Red Fine Canadian Whisky. I will present some facts about this Canadian Whisky & the fun part- tasting notes. This whisky I believe is a store brand of Total Wine which is why there is not much information about it online. It is a rye whisky, which makes sense as rye is winter hardy crop grown in colder places. No wonder it is made in Canada.
Slow aged in Oak barrels claims the label in the bottle.I am highly skeptical about the authenticity of this whisky because there is not clear information on how long it is aged or who the master distiller is. In other words it does not have substance nor personality like a Crown Royal. Anyway this is where SJ comes in , to sample one bottle at a time. Enjoy my tasting notes!

Vital Stats- Ensign Red Fine Canadian Whisky
Price- $19.99 for 750ml ($0.99 for 50ml sampler bottle pictured)
Age- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 40%
Region- Canada
Bottled by- K.D Distilling Co, Louisville,KY 
Awards won- Silver Medal, Tastings.com

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn Whisky Glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Medium Amber

Aroma- Very pleasant oak, fruity goodness, rye spices, peppermint
Flavor- Sweet, oak, fruity, hint of spices
Body- Light
Finish- Short, sweet & non-lingering
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
It is an ok drinkable whisky, nothing special about it. I might enjoy it once in a while if there was no choice of anything else. 
Occasions Best Enjoyed- Casual
Cocktails- Enjoy it in many ways with a splash of coke,club soda or any other whisky based cocktail
SJ's Pro tip- Go for Crown Royal if you are looking for similar Canadian whisky but which is much more enjoyable and original. 

If you have tried this let me know your experience below. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly! 
Not in the mood to read, listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast Instead. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso Cask Finish


Today I am reviewing The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso Cask Finish.I did some research on what makes this whisky so amazing.Surprisingly it has no age statement but packed with vibrant flavor & mind blowing aroma.
Nadurra in Gaelic means natural. According to the product label,it is bottled & released in small batches with No-Chill Filtration & matured exclusively in First Fill Oloroso Sherry Oak Casks which comes from the Jerez Region of Spain. Not to mention it is bottled at Cask Strength.
Now let me break down all these fancy looking words. 
No Chill-Filtration is it has not undergone the Chill-Filtration process.
First Fill means the barrel has not been reused prior to bottling which retains more flavor than used casks. 
Cask Strength means it is bottled directly from the cask without adding water. 
Oloroso(meaning scented in Spanish) is a variety of fortified wine(sherry) made from while palomino grapes. All these attributes create a very special & magical golden liquid in this case the Nadurra.Ok now that the boring terminologies are out of the way let's get to the fun stuff now, Enjoy my tasting notes ! 
 
Vital Stats- The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso Matured Single Malt Scotch 
Price- $76.99
Age-  NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 60.2%
Region- Speyside 
Distillery-The Glenlivet Distillery,Moray,Scotland 
Awards won- 2019 1st Place, Best Speyside Single Malt & 2nd place Best Cask Strength(over 57%)

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn Whisky Glass

Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Bright Gold
Aroma- Sherry comes in very strong. It has pepper, spice, citrus, honey. Also, oaks with nutty dark chocolate.
Flavor- Similar to Glenlivet 12 First Fill with higher ABV. Sherry goodness bursting with flavor & overpowers the vanilla. Vibrant fruity, creamy with hints of dark chocolate.
Body- Full Bodied
Finish- Long,sweet & smooth followed by dry spicy finish
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
It is a work of art & I enjoyed it beyond all expectations. With it's high ABV of 60.2% and first fill casks, the flavor & aroma it imparts is beyond words. You have to try this one out is all I can say.
Occasions Best Enjoyed- Special occasions, mood for complex flavorful sipping whisky.
Cocktails- None, Enjoy it neat
Food Pairings- Lamb Kabobs. The robust ABV goes well with the texture of fatty goat meat. 


SJ's Pro Tip- Try it as a flight with other Glenlivet First Fill whiskies

Take a sip of this work of art & experience the magic yourself. Cheers! to responsible drinking. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives Podcast instead. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Maker's Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Today I am reviewing a very classic bourbon- Maker's Mark. This(pictured above) is no ordinary Maker's Mark bottle, it is the one I dipped myself at the Maker's Mark Distillery back in Oct 2018.Maker's Mark is my go to bourbon just like Glenfiddich is for Single Malt. Enjoy my tasting notes and my love for this bourbon in this blog I have already reviewed Maker's 46 in my previous blogs & saved the good stuff for the last. Check out Maker's Mark Distillery Tour & Makers 46 Review .
Maker's Mark is a name that commands respect by all bourbon lovers. It has been churning out high quality golden pour since 1953. Having seen the their bourbon making process myself during my visit, I have a special bond with Maker's Mark as compared to other bourbons. 


Getting ready to dip my own bottle during Maker's Mark Distillery Tour 

Vital Stats- Maker's Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky 
Price- $21.49 for 750ml bottle(Pictured 375ml bottle for $14.49)
Age- About 6 years
ABV- 45%
Region- Kentucky,USA
Distillery- Makers Mark Distillery, Loretto,Kentucky
Awards Won- Gold,2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition 

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Soothing dark amber

Aroma- Amazing aromatics of vanilla,oak, citrus,dark chocolate,cinnamon, pepper & other spices
Flavor- Matches the aroma & appearance. Vanilla, oak, chocolate, fruits & spices
Body- Full bodied 
Finish- Smooth, very long & lingering
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
It is one of my best bourbon whisky. Solid flavor, robust ABV of 45% & smooth finish. All the essential qualities for a well rounded bourbon. The reason it is in my Middle Shelf is I prefer Maker's 46 (Top shelf) as it  has more flavor & complexity. It would not be justice to Maker's 46 even though this regular Maker's Mark is a classic delicious bourbon. 
Occasions Best Enjoyed- A robust drink suitable for all occasions
Cocktails- Old Fashioned
SJ's Pro Tip- Try Maker's 46 for enhanced oak flavor

A quintessential classic bourbon, give it a shot if you have not. Cheers! to responsible Drinking. 
Not in the mood to read, listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Smokey Joe Blended Scotch

Anyone smell the smoke :-) ? Today I am reviewing Smokey Joe, blended malt scotch from the Islay region. When it comes to smokey whisky I cannot distinguish if it is single malt or blended because the peat flavor dominates the palette. Enjoy my tasting notes , it will be a smokey ride!
In the label it proudly boasts "Non Chill filtered, promisingly different, uncompromisingly peaty" which pretty much sums it. Oh wait , but what is this fancy word Non chill filtered? It simply means that the whisky has not under gone Chill filtration. The chill filtration consists of being cooled and passing through a filter in order to remove particles that would affect the cosmetic appearance of a whisky. This process is done for whiskies lower than 46% ABV.  More about Chill Filtration in my up coming blogs as I research & find out more. As for now enjoy this smokey one!
 
Vital Stats
Smokey Joe Islay Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Price- $36.99 for 750ml bottle ($3.99 for 50ml sampler)
Age- No age statement
ABV- 46%
Region- Islay
Bottler- The leading scotch whisky Co.Ltd,Scotland
Awards won- Gold Medal, San Francisco Spirits Competition

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn Whisky Glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Pale Yellow

Aroma- Smokiness comes through right away,sea salt, hints of pine,earthy & grassy,some fruitiness.
Flavor- It is like any other smokey whisky,intense smokey flavor & heavily peated.Taste profile is similar to Benriach but with lower ABV. 
Body- Medium
Finish- Medium, lingering, does not stay too long 
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
It is a decent blended smokey whisky.Anyone who likes smokey whisky, this is for you.
Occasions best enjoyed- Casual setting with bbq
Food Pairings- Grilled chicken drumstick
SJ's Pro tip- Grilled food complements the smokiness of whiskey

I enjoyed this one, try it out & find if it suits your palette. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead