Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Shin Mizunara Japanese Malt Whisky

Hello single Malters, want to take your taste buds on a tour to Japan? Reviewing The Shin Mizuanara Japanese Malt Whisky which will do exactly that in the comfort of your own home. . I will share the following in today's blog- 
  • My research on the history behind this whisky
  • Vital Stats
  • Tasting notes
  • SJ's Rating
  • Occasions best enjoyed & SJ's pro tip
  • FAQ's about this fairly new Japanese whisky
When I picked up this bottle, I had no idea what to expect which is part of the fun I have with my reviews. I wanted to try Japanese single malt but did not want to break the bank so selected this one based on a few things 
1. New brand of Japanese whisky
2. High ABV of 48%
3. Non-chill filtration
4. Reasonable price 
What I did not like about it is the plastic bottle cap, it makes it look cheap for a single malt. I highly recommend the makers to use a cork bottle cap and not cheap plastic. Drinking single malt whisky is an experience, don't cut costs on silly things like this. (Picture below says it all)

Reads the product label "Shin Malt Whisky is crafted by master distiller, Mr.Ken Usami who selected best malt whiskies and finish them in casks made of Japan's prized Mizuarna Oak". The interesting thing is it could be sourced from anywhere including Scotland of course. Sounds intriguing already doesn't it. Shin stands for integrity which is one of the core principles of samurai tradition. Now its time to put my judgement to the test by doing the fun part- tasting it :-). Enjoy my tasting notes!

Vital Stats- The Shin Malt Whisky Mizunara
Price- $59.99 for 750ml bottle 
Age- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 48%
Contry of Origin- Japan
Distillery- Shinbou Distillery,Niigata, Japan
Awards won- 2020 Gold, San Francisco World Spirits Competition

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

Aroma- Japanese Mizuarna Oak, sherry, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, honey, very pleasing
Flavor- Similar to  Glenlivet Nadurra, amazing full of sherry, oak, pepper, spices, honey, cloves
Body- Full
Finish- Smooth, long, warm & lingering
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf
Exactly what I had thought it would be so it met my expectation. High 48% ABV gives it a strong personality and non-chill filtration gives that extra flavor. If you are looking for an exotic change of pace from the regular Scotch , this is perfect. 
Occasions of use- Celebrate special occasions like anniversaries, milestones
Cocktails- None, Enjoy neat
Food Pairing- Spicy burrito bowl from Chipotle complimented the bold strong whisky

SJ's pro tip- Try it on the rocks as well. I found the taste very flavorful after a couple of ice cubes. 

Is The Shin Malt Whisky Mizunara good? 
For the price point, it is an absolutely good Japanese blended malt whisky.

Who makes The Shin Malt Whisky? 
The Shinbou Distillery 

What is The Shin Malt Whisky Mizuarna? 
It is a blend of malt whiskies finished in Japanese Mizuarna Oak

Absolutely enjoyed shopping, sipping and reviewing this whisky. Check it out for yourself and find out. Cheers! πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒEnjoy Responsibly.
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

1800 Reposado Tequila

Hello single malters, in today's blog I am reviewing 1800 Reposado tequila. I will share the following today- 
  • My research on the history behind this tequila
  • Vital Stats
  • Tasting notes
  • SJ's Rating
  • Occasions best enjoyed & SJ's pro tip
The product label proudly claims "1800 Reposado was the first super premium 100% Agave tequila exported to the U.S". The tequila is crafted using 8-12 year old 100% blue Agave and is matured in American and French oak barrels for no less than six months. Now I wonder what magic goes on in the American & French oak barrels and what difference there is in between the two barrels. I did a little bit of digging- Flavor wise French oak barrels are typically more subtle & spicy offering textures of satin & silk. American barrels tend to be stronger in flavor often described as cream soda, vanilla or coconut giving that creamy body. That is enough background, now for the real fun- Enjoy my tasting notes!

Vital Stats- 1800 Reposado Tequila 
Price- $24.99 for 750ml bottle ($2.99 for pictured sampler bottle)
Age- 6 months
ABV- 40%
Country of origin- Mexico
Distillery- Ex Hacienda Las Camichines, Jalisco,MX
Awards Won- None found

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn Whisky Glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Light golden

Aroma- Blue agave, light oak, hint of honey, vanilla
Flavor- Very light, oak lingers for a bit, vanilla, honey & spicy notes
Body- Medium
Finish- Very short, slightly lingering aftertaste of spices & honey but does not last too long
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf 
Just what you expect from a reposado, it does the job. Can't expect too much flavor wise as it is not aged as much as an anejo. Decent tequila for the price. 
Food Pairings- Chicken C momos was a match made in heaven. The light spiciness of the tequila complimented the spicy momos. 

Occasions best enjoyed- Tequila flights, casual gatherings
Cocktails- Margarita
SJ's Pro Tip- Excellent value for money and a decent gift

I enjoyed sipping this one & presenting the facts to all the tequila enthusiasts. Hope this is helpful , take a sip(or two) and find out. Cheers! πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ Enjoy responsibly 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

E & J Brandy X.O

Today I am reviewing E&J Brandy X.O. It goes in my Middle shelf & I will be sharing the following information in my blog
  • My research on the history behind this brandy
  • Vital Stats
  • Tasting notes
  • SJ's Rating
  • Occasions best enjoyed & SJ's pro tip
E& J brandy is quite a popular American made brandy which got me by surprise. I was not expecting much from it but it turns out the opposite. Marketed as a suave, bold drink it makes a mark with it's attractive bottle. And the most important part , the flavor matches it's bold personality. 
Aged for 2 years in oak barrels, It was launched in 1970 and became an instant classic. According to it's website, E& J's roots stem back to Gallo family tree. Ernst & Julio Gallo , two brothers with passion for brandy and 30+ years of experience crafting fine wine decided to bring a little bit of California magic to the brandy game. After five years of testing and tasting in their Fresno distillery, the duo finally came across E& J's signature smooth process used till this day. 
Enough with the history, lets get to the real deal! Enjoy my tasting notes. 

Vital Stats- E& J Brandy X.O
Price- $12.49 for 750ml($1.29 for sampler bottle)
Age- 7+ years
ABV- 40%
Country/Region- California, USA
Distillery- E & J Distilleries, Modesto, CA
Awards won- Double Gold, 2018 San Diego Spirits Festival

Tasting info-

Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Beautiful dark amber
Aroma- Fruity, oak, grapes, vanilla, faint chocolate in background, spearmint
Flavor- Very smooth, fruity, some spices, mild botanicals like lavender & hibiscus
Body- Medium
Finish- Slightly lingering, spicy & warm

SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf 
Pretty good brandy for the price. I liked the smoothness & flavor of it. Don't be fooled by it's cheap price. Let flavor be the judge of your palate not your wallet. For the price, it is exceptional and very stylish looking. Amazing value for money, it seems like affordable luxury for everyone. 

Occasions best enjoyed- After dinner 
Cocktails- Lemon juice or Orange juice pairs well with Brandy
Food pairings- Fried goat meat went well with the sweetness of this drink

SJ's Pro tip- Nice digestif after dinner

This was truly a pleasant drink & dinner, enjoyed even more researching and presenting my findings to you. Check it out for yourself and find out. 
Cheers! πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ Enjoy Responsibly. Stay safe. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Poscast insted. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Gentleman Jack Whiskey

In today's blog I am reviewing Gentleman Jack by Jack Daniel's. I will be sharing the following information- 
  • My research on the history behind this whiskey
  • Vital Stats
  • Tasting notes
  • SJ's Rating
  • Occasions best enjoyed & SJ's pro tip
Reads the product label "Inspired by the original gentleman distiller and our founder, Gentleman Jack undergoes a second charcoal mellowing to achieve exceptional smoothness. Its balanced flavor is perfect for celebrating life's extraordinary occasions, plus any moments along the way". Very well written story, Gentleman Jack is a higher end product of Jack Daniel's & it truly lives up to it's name as a gentleman's drink -smooth, flavorful & full bodied. I enjoyed every drop of it. 

The smoothness of this whiskey comes from double double charcoal mellowing(double drop in bottle cap as seen in picture above). This leaves the whiskey very palatable and pleasurable for a diverse set of drinkers. It is also quite an approachable whiskey starting from the aroma itself all the way to the finish. I am sure Gentleman Jack will find the liquor cabinets of whiskey lovers all over the world. 

Vital Stats- Gentleman Jack Tennessee by Jack Daniel's 
Price- $21.99 for 750ml($2.99 for 50ml pictured sampler bottle) 
Age- NAS(No Age Statement) but my guess is around 5 years since it is older than regular JD
ABV- 40%
Region- Tennessee, USA
Distillery- Jack Daniel Distillery, Lynchburg, TN
Awards won- Surprisingly none. I give it the versatile whiskey award

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn whisky glass
Serving style- Neat 
Appearance-  Dark Amber 

Aroma- Pleasant vanilla, light oak, nice fruity, hazelnut, butterscotch, citrus, honey, marmalade
Flavor- Sweet, mellow, vanilla, oak, honey, dark chocolate
Body- Full
Finish- Smooth, short nice spicy warm finish
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
It hits the spot for me so it is on the Top Shelf. 
-Full bodied
-Flavorful & Aromatic 
-Amazing long finish
-Bonus: Even with a normal 40% ABV it feels stronger & bolder which brings a unique character to this whiskey that makes it highly enjoyable. 

Occasions best suited- Casual, sipping outdoor gatherings
Cocktails- Gentleman's sour
SJ's Pro tip- Great alternate for single malt lovers to sip once in a while

It was a pleasure to explore this fine whiskey & present my findings. Give it a shot to find out. Cheers! Enjoy like a Gentleman! 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Tomatin Dualchas

Hello single malters, today I am reviewing Tomatin Dualchas Highland Scotch. In today's blog I will share the following info-
  • My research on the history behind this whisky
  • Vital Stats
  • Tasting notes
  • SJ's Rating
  • Occasions best enjoyed & SJ's pro tip
Tomatin- the softer side of the highlands reads the product label. The Tomatin Distillery was established in 1897. The settlement in this place was only established after the wealth created by the distillery. Wow! so it has a huge impact on the history of this region. The word Tomatin translates to "Hill of the Juniper Bush". Its source of soft highland water is from Alt Na Firth meaning "Free burn"(Burn implies river). What is interesting is when they opened the distillery there was no workforce; the only inhabitants were cattle drovers & shepherds. Then the company began a project to accommodate its workforce.  So now, Tomatin is one of the few distilleries to provide home for its dedicated craftsmen. This shows the level of commitment both by the distillery and craftsmen in creating an exceptional product. 
Now about Dualchas, the time spend in bourbon barrels and virgin oak casks brings a light sweetness. It has No Age Statement(NAS) so it must be a younger whisky. Apparently more than 3 years by law to make it a single malt, so my guess is it must be between 4 to 5 years. Can you take a guess in the comment section below?

Vital Stats- Tomatin Dualchas Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price- $24.49
Age-  NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 43%
Region-  Highland
Distillery- The Tomatin Distillery Co., Inverness, UK
Awards won- 2016 Icons of whisky-Distiller of the year 2017 Icons of whisky-Brand innovator 

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn Whisky Glass
Serving style-  Neat
Appearance- Beautiful light golden

Aroma- Fresh fruity, tangerine, banana, pear.Oak, vanilla,chocolate, marshmallow.
Flavor- Sweetness from pear, banana and new virgin oak barrel. Citrus, lemon, banana.
Body- Light
Finish- Non existent, short dry non-lingering
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
Even though it has a pleasant appearance & aroma with decent flavor , the finish is disappointing. Having said that ,it is an amazing deal for this price point $25 with 43% ABV which is way better than a Glenlivet Founders Reserve. 
Occasions Best Enjoyed- Casual drinking, parties. I would call it a summer whisky.
Cocktails- Neat or on the rocks
Food Pairings- Pork Ribs, the fatty pork ribs went well with the slightly higher ABV 

SJ's Pro tip- I enjoyed it with club soda which was a pleasant combination

This has been an amazing experience, I absolutely enjoyed exploring this new whisky & presenting my findings to help anyone looking for some answers. 
Check it out , happy & safe drinking! Cheers πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives Podcast instead.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

Hello SingleMalters,I recently stumbled upon this interesting one called Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum which I am reviewing today. In today's blog I will share the following information-
  • My research on the history behind this rum
  • Vital Stats
  • Tasting notes
  • SJ's Rating
  • Occasions best enjoyed & SJ's pro tip
Sailor Jerry Rum is a tribute to a tattoo artist Named Normal Collins who was the father of old school tattoo. It is a blend of Caribbean rums infused with spices and other flavors including vanilla & cinnamon.  An interesting character and free spirit Sailor Jerry's adventures took him to Hawaii where he did most of his tattoo work. Sailor Jerry Rum is now owned by Scottish whisky giant William Grant & Sons fairly recently. 
The rum however does not live up to the person it is named after. It is an ok rum, don't see anything too special about it. Nothing in terms of flavor that makes it stand out from the crowd. However, there is an interesting interesting story behind it and that is what I like about it. 

Vital Stats - Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
Price- $22.94 for 750 ml bottle($1.99 for 50ml for pictured sampler bottle)
Age- N/A
ABV- 46%
Country of Origin- US Virgin Islands 
Bottled by- Sailor Jerry Rum,Edison,NJ(Owned by William Grant & Sons) 
Awards won- None

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn Whisky Glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Bright gold

Aroma- Caramelized sugar,green apple, pears,cloves & other dry spices
Flavor- Nothing pleasant like the nose & color. Semi sweet, bitter. Has a medicinal raw alcohol flavor
Body- Medium
Finish- Very short, watery & non-lingering.
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
There is nothing interesting going on in this rum. It is bland in flavor even though it has a pleasant aroma & appearance.
Occasions best enjoyed- Casual parties
Cocktails- Mohito, Rum & coke
SJ's Pro tip- As an alternate Khukuri spiced rum from Nepal is a much better alternate

I enjoyed tasting and getting to do some research on this rum. Give it a shot to find out. Cheers & enjoy responsibly. πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Cafecito coffee liqueur by Revolution spirits

Today I am reviewing cafecito coffee liqueur by Revolution Spirits. I was handed a couple of samples during one of the sipping sessions I attended locally in Dallas. Expect to get some information about this distillery & of course the tasting notes. 
Revolution spirits was established in 2013 according to its website. A fairy new player in the liqueur domain. They call themselves craft distillery and roll out Austin Reserve Gin, chocolate cafecito ,cafecito coffee liqueur & amico amaro (I will review in upcoming posts). I support local business and innovative ideas. Lets see how it rates in flavor and other criteria and if it impresses by palette. Enjoy my tasting notes!

Vital Stats- Cafecito coffee liqueur by Revolution Spirits 
Price- Free sample provided 
Age- N/A
ABV- 20%
Region- Texas, USA
Distillery- Revolution Spirits,Austin,TX
Awards won- None

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn whisky glass

Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Murky Brown
Aroma- Mild coffee aroma, chocolate, some spices, Madagascar coffee beans
Flavor- Watered down coffee liqueur not much flavor, slight sweetness
Body- Light
Finish- Sweet, slight linger with bitter aftertaste
SJ's Rating- Bottom Shelf 
This is neither flavorful like other coffee liqueurs nor has enough alcohol to keep you buzzed. I would drink it in exchange of coffee or as a desert after a meal. 
Occasions- After dinner
Cocktails- Irish Coffee
SJ's Pro tip- There are plenty of other flavorful coffee liqueurs worth your money
Food Pairings- With some dark chocolate or piece of chocolate cake

This might be something for you if you are into coffee liqueur but clearly not my thing. Enjoy it yourself to find out. 
Cheers! Enjoy responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead