Monday, December 31, 2018

Jack Daniels Single Barrel Select and welcoming 2019 with Positivity

They say that what we do in the first day of the year reflects what we will be doing for the rest of the year. Hence, I am setting the tone by sharing a book I am currently reading followed by my regular whisky review. Like I promised my readers, I would add lifestyle topics and reading is one of the hobbies I have embraced later in life(Ironically a little later than enjoying fine Scotch). I am an old fashioned person who needs an actual physical paperback book to read because I felt that eBooks, kindle is too distractive for me. Don't worry, of course I will have my regular whisky review but the focus for the new year is to nourish our brains with food for thought by reading meaningful books. I am currently reading Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark. Just into my second chapter and I am starting to think about what kind of changes could happen in the next few decades with the rise of superhuman AI(Artificial Intelligence). If any of you have read this book, please share you experiences in the comments below. 

Life 3.0 Being Human in the age of Artificial Intelligence
Category- Non-Fiction, Computer Science
Price- $14.71 (Available in amazon )

Now back to my own domain of whisky review. Today, I have chosen Jack Daniels Single Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey for my review. It is their premium class whiskey and each bottle is drawn from a single barrel instead of blending together the contents of various barrels.Look for the words "Single Barrel Select" if you plan on buying this particular one. As I promised,I will occasionally review American whiskey and Bourbon so here is a gem and I'm glad I found it. The story behind this is that I was never an American whiskey person. The only memories I have of drinking Jack Daniels is during my college days. The cheapest possible liquor happened to be JD with coke ( Jack with coke πŸ˜ƒ).Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy JD once in a while but my palette has changed throughout the years and tend to like certain flavors more than others. All this perception and stereotype changed after I was introduced to this fine whiskey by a loved one during my visit to Atlanta, GA. It is so true that one really needs to try something to change the perception created in the mind. Times have changed since my college days and so has Jack Daniels stepped up their game and oh my what fine quality liquor they have crafted. The bottle itself is so beautiful with glass engravings which puts any fancy decanter to shame. Since then, I have embraced this whiskey. It's sweet and spicy goodness also makes it a good after dinner drink. Consider it desert πŸŽ‚. For me it was a rare find and and eye opener to the flavor profile that I like. Here are the tasting notes we uncovered together. 

Vital Stats
Jack Daniels Single Barrel Select Tennessee Whisky 
Price- $42.99 for 750 ml ( Pictured, available in Total Wine)
From- Tennessee, USA
Awards won- None

Tasting Info
Appearance- Dark amber
Aroma- Pleasant and sharp aroma of fresh  cinnamon, vanilla, apple
Flavor- Bursting with sweet flavor of fruity and spicy goodness
Finish- Medium finish. It is not so smooth yet has a nice fruity finish

SJ's rating: Middle Shelf
This whiskey goes in my middle shelf. I would definitely buy this one again without second thoughts though. The sweet and spicy flavor is perfect for cold winters. Of course the flavor profile might not be for everyone. If you have tasted this whiskey I would love to see hear your experience in the comment below.

Here is an original picture I managed to get during our drinking session. Thanks to my habit of taking pictures of food and drinks wherever I go which came in handy for by blog.

As always your comments are valuable to me. Wishing everyone a very happy new year 2019.
Enjoy the fine art of drinking responsibly. Cheers πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Macallan 12-Year-Old Double Cask and bidding farewell to 2018

Hi guys, I hope all of you had a great Christmas and are looking forward for the big new year celebration.I definitely had an amazing time with my family and making the occasion even magical was a visit by my old childhood friend. I feel that whisky or any drink always tastes better with good company. So we had a fun time catching up after ten long years and of course enjoying our whisky. Me being me πŸ˜ƒ, utilized this opportunity to provide some material for my blog while drinking πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯‚ and chit-chatting(Talk about killing two birds with one stone..LoL). I have to admit, I did slack while writing this blog..After all it is the long holidays πŸ˜ƒ.  
For this auspicious occasion and for today's review I got Macallan 12-Year-Old Double Cask single malt scotch whisky from my shelf and the celebration began. Remember there are different variants of this whisky but pay attention to the words "Double Cask" written in the bottle.I followed my own tips on moderation and drinking responsibly with success that I wrote on my last blog. I find its taste similar to Glenfiddich 12. I don't know which one is better. It is like parents choosing their favorite child.So I say whichever I am currently drinking is the best for the moment πŸ˜ƒ.Here are the tasting notes that we unfolded together (Cheers Shikhar for our 28 years of friendship still going strong πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ) 

Vital Stats
Macallan 12-Year-Old Double Cask 
Price- $53.99 for 750ml and $119 for 1.75ml (Pictured)
Region- Highland
Awards won- None

Tasting info
Serving glass- Whisky glass.(Personally used it and highly recommended, available in amazon)

Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Light amber
Aroma- Nice aroma of creamy vanilla, citrus. I also smelled some toffee and apple
Flavor-  Delicious taste of honey, spiced wood and citrus along with raisins and caramel. My drinking buddy correctly identified the flavor of newly felled Oak(What teamwork πŸ˜ƒ)
Finish- Long sweet finish. Oak lingers in mouth for a while. Very enjoyable

SJ's rating- Top shelf 
 It is a great value for money whisky and very popular Scotch worldwide. Also very approachable, deliciously smooth and easy to drink whisky. It can also be a starter whisky for anyone who are new to scotch but don't know where to start. Now that the holidays are coming to and end, Macallan 12 is a perfect whisky to savor as its sweet flavor brings back great memories of the year.

Fellow readers, I am aware that several of you have faced technical issues when trying to comment on my blog. I tested it myself and it really was a pain so I removed the captcha option to make it easier. The best way to comment in my blog is as follows

1. Click on comments in the desired blog.
2. Type a comment
3. Click on Google accounts in drop-down menu and log in(assuming most if not everyone has google accounts)
4. Hit Publish.

Please reach me directly at if you face such difficulties in the future.
Also created a fan page for in facebook so will send out invites shortly.
HNY 2019.See you in the other end,Drink Responsibly.CheersπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ

Friday, December 21, 2018

Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old and enjoying holidays responsibly

Fellow single malters..what's up? The holidays are upon us and more than ever we are looking for reasons to indulge more booze. First and foremost, I would like to remind all to enjoy the holiday spirit, enjoy the company and be present in the moment and of course enjoy your drink. Call me old fashioned but I am strictly against binge drinking and also follow the principle of responsible drinking. However, we are humans who err, myself included. I am also guilty of indulging a few more drinks than I should resulting in nasty hangovers. I have learned from the mistakes and now focus on making my drinking experiences more fun and pleasant. My goal with this blog is not to encourage people to drink more whisky, that choice should always be optional. All I believe is enjoying your drink, whatever your cup of tea is(Pun intended 😊). You might just sip coffee and enjoy its flavor and aroma . Just chill and enjoy life.  Hence, I stress on drinking responsibly and smartly. After all there is nothing fun in getting a hangover. I have a few practical tips at the end of this review that I personally follow. 
I just want to briefly mention about the five Scottish Whisky Regions which is basic information for anyone who drinks scotch. As one of my readers very rightly mentioned in the comment in my last blog, the regions might be a factor for likability and palette of scotch drinkers. There are five regions: Speyside, Highlands & Lowlands, Islay, and Campbeltown. It simply means the various regions in Scotland that the whisky came from. For example Glenfiddich 12 is from the Speyside region. 
Now, let us get to the meat of the matter. Today I have chosen Glenfiddich-12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky for my review. What can I say about this is my go-to Whisky. It has the kind of aroma that is magical, powerful and addictive. Glenfiddich 12 is the adorable puppy that everyone likes, beginners to experienced alike. It is a very approachable and inviting whisky. I would even suggest women who are new to whisky as their starter whisky. Soft, easy on the palette and smooth. The whisky is telling us a story, we just need to step back, relax and listen, sip and enjoy. Let the taste and smell senses take you on a journey around the world of aroma and flavor. 

Vital Stats:
Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old
Price:$38.49 for 750ml and $73.99 for 1.75ml bottle(Pictured above, Available in Total Wine)
Region: Speyside
Awards won: Gold Medal 2014, ISC and IWSC

Tasting Info: 
Serving glass- Glencairn(Pictured, available in amazon)

Serving style- Neat(with a few drops of filtered water to open up flavors)
Appearance-Nice amber color
Aroma- Pleasant and powerful aroma of citrus, pepper, honey, crisp and sharp aroma
Flavor- Sweet, smooth with hint of vanilla, fruits and spice
Finish- Long and smooth. Taste lingers in mouth long after drinking

SJ's Rating: Top Shelf 
This is my staple whisky and sits proudly on the top shelf. Call me biased but this is a quintessential addition in a home bar. Its smooth and approachable character is suitable for everyone.

Just to spice things up for the holidays, I have a contest for my valuable readers. Whoever comments first in this blog and shares it will get an Amazon e-gift card worth $10(It is not a lot but I know you will accept it as a token of my appreciation and holiday spirit). I am sure it will be of value for anyone who wins it especially during the gift giving Christmas time. 

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays and Cheers! πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ

I hope this brings cheers in your faces and some value. As always, the blog would not exist without you guys so please follow, comment and share. I am planning to open a Facebook page to add readers and well-wishers there. Stay tuned for that.

Just my two cents for a happy and healthy holiday season that I personally attest to:

-Eat and hydrate well. Have a hearty meal before drinking. Also, sip some water in between every alcoholic drink to hydrate yourself.
-Savor and enjoy your drinks by sipping slowly. This will make you drinks less but not restrict you from enjoying
-Listen to your body and get plenty of rest and sleep between heavy drinking sessions.
-Use zero calorie mixers like club soda or lemon wedge and avoid high calorie mixers like coke, orange juice etc. I personally like it neat which reduces my liquid caloric intake.
-Pace yourself and absolutely avoid drinking different types of drinks at the same time. Stick to one.
-Be present in the moment and enjoy the blessed time with friends and family.
-The most important rule is to have your ride pre-arranged if you are planning on drinking. Uber and Lyft are cost effective and much better than getting a DUI which can ruin one's life.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Singleton-15- year-old

My oh my, I am overwhelmed by the support and feedback in my first blog. Thank you everyone for providing kindle to the fire. I missed you all and am so eager to publish the second one. And wow such thoughtful and practical suggestions, I am pumped up and determined to keep this enthusiasm in every single post and provide value to my readers. We are in this journey together(hence singlemaltlives) so let's take our taste and smell senses for a ride(imagine lazy river kind of smooth ride), cruising to unfold new aromatics and flavor with the golden liquid, water of the Gods- Single Malt Whisky. I would not be writing my second blog if it was not for my true friends and family backing me up. Fellow single malters πŸ˜ƒ,we have planted the seed now let's see it grow and bear fruit.We want our blog to blossom so please share the word to other enthusiasts and bring the world closer one malt at a time πŸ˜ƒ

Being mindful that some of us are new to single malt whisky or whisky in general, here are a few basics. I do not want to be too technical hence I have simplified it as much as I can
Single malt is whisky distilled in Scotland and matured in Oak casks for at least three years and one day. Its main ingredients are barley and water and comes from a single distillery. Hence Single meaning from a single distillery and malt meaning it is made purely from malted barley. 
Age statement is the number of years the whisky has been matured for example Balvinie 14 has been matured for 14 years. The higher the number of years the smoother and more expensive. 
Serving style (Different ways to enjoy whisky)
Neat means no ice, no water, no mixers(club soda, water, coke, juice etc.)
On the rocks simply means whisky with ice
Straight up or up is alcohol shaken or stirred and then strained and served without ice in a glass( Remember James Bond who likes his Martini shaken not stirred πŸ˜ƒ ) 
Now you can order your drink with confidence and impress your date when you are at the bar πŸ˜ƒ 
Whisky- Commonly referred to Scotch Whisky
Whiskey- Referred to American Whiskey and bourbon

Tasting notes 
Appearance/visual analysis means the color of the whisky like light, dark etc
Aroma/Smell/Nose The aroma/smell when it is sniffed
Flavor/Taste/Palate Taste of the whisky like salt, sweet, bitter and sour along with other flavor like smokiness
Finish If the flavor of whisky lingers after tasting and for how long

My whisky rating is based on tasting notes(Imagine your most prized trophies in the top shelf)
Top shelf- Most desirable
Middle shelf- Less desirable
Bottom shelf- Least desirable

I will talk about the types of whisky glasses in my next blogs. Primarily a Glencairn glass is used for tasting as it has a narrow top which captures the aromas of the whisky.

For my second review I have chosen- The Singleton 15-year-old single malt scotch whisky. To be honest I picked up this one because of the amazing price considering its age. The bottle itself is a work of art, flat on the back and rounded in front. It is an elegant and functional bottle and needs to be admired along with the whisky. With no further ado, I cracked open this bad boy. I had to indulge this a couple of times because I wanted to get an accurate description of my tastings since I never had this one before(Things I do for you guys LoL). It is sweet and light more of a whisky that is suitable for hot summer weather. I sipped on it and first thing I noticed is it is very light and has a peaty flavor to it. I personally do not like peaty whisky but it wasn't too peaty like some other heavily peated whiskies so gave it another shot. Surprisingly, it tasted a little better than the first time. It is smooth but the flavor does not last too long. 

Vital Stats
The Singleton 15-year-old
Price: USD $44.99 ( Available in Total wine)
Awards won: Silver in World Whisky Awards 2017

Tasting info
Serving style- Neat (added two drops of filtered water to open flavors )
Appearance- Light golden
Aroma- Pleasant smell of orange, spice, peppermint
Flavor- Sweet with hint of bitterness from peat, light and thin
Finish- Normal, short and dry finish. It does not linger in the mouth for long

SJ's Rating: Second shelf 
I would probably not buy this again. However, I can see myself sipping this on a hot summer day on the rocks or on highball as a cool cocktail.

Needless to say,  I would love to see your comments. If anyone has tasted this whisky please share your experience with it as well.
Cheers! Salud! πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ

Sunday, December 9, 2018

First blog- Introduction & Balvenie 14 yr old single malt whisky review

First and foremost I want to welcome and thank you for visiting  my blog I consider myself an admirer of fine whisky specifically single malt scotch. I believe there are many like minded admirers who enjoy the art of enjoying fine whisky. Why do I admire it? Because the process of making whisky is long and slow hence it must be admired before drinking. I am not a scotch expert just a regular guy who likes whisky. I also have many stories to tell, distillery visits, travels etc. My goal with this blog is to review as many whiskies as I can in very layman terms so my visitors know about the taste and flavor of a particular whisky. Occasionally I will post reviews on bourbon and american whiskeys as well. Eventually I plan to add lifestyle topics like Travel, food, movies as well however my primary focus is reviewing single malt whiskey. My review is very simple no fancy Scotch Jargon's. Based on my scotch tastings I will simply state whether I would buy it or not again. Also after tasting countless whiskies and bourbons I have come to realize that it is not just the cost of the liquor but the flavor which is more important.   Contrary to what my taste buds are familiar now, there used to be a time when I rarely every drank whisky, I was a beer guy. If in some rare occasions I did have whisky it was just to get drunk fast not to sip it slowly enjoying the aroma or taste of the fine liquid. People who enjoy single malts have developed a taste profile over years and know exactly why they appreciate the quality of it. I am pretty sure everyone has a story of their own on how they got introduced into single malting.  

It was winter of 2015 when one of my friends introduced Glenfiddich 15 to me. That was the first time I realized whisky’s could be sipped instead of chugging down 😊. There has been no looking back since. I have tried many single malts Glenfiddich 12, 15, Glenlivet 12, Balvenie 12, 15, Macallan 12, Oban 12, Speyburn, Kings Majesty 12 and some that I cannot remember. Every sip of a single malt whisky is worth it because it is meant to be enjoyed slowly. They say there is no proper way to drink whiskey but when it comes to single malt I believe it is meant to be sipped neat, no ice, no water and definitely no mixers. Dropping a few drops of water is said to open up the whisky and that is optional. I am no scientist and don’t intend to be one so its completely up to the drinker how they want to enjoy it.

Today, I am talking about the best single malt I have ever tasted Balvenie 14 year old Caribbean cask. I have no words to explain how good this delicious pour of God gifted golden liquid is.  These are special because they are extra matured in rum casks.  The moment I poured it in the glass I could smell the aroma of rum which is so very pleasant. After admiring its golden amber color and amazing aroma , I  take a sip and it is very smooth and delicious. I have tried the regular Balvenie 12 but this is above and beyond the best I have ever had.
My review: Highly recommended and personally I would buy again. 
Below is a picture I took. 

This blog is a work in progress and I would highly appreciate to hear any feedback from you.Anything I could add, any whisky you would like to get reviewed or just any general comment. Also, if you think the content I provide would be valuable to other like mined enthusiasts please share the word. 

Thanks again and welcome to  Cheers πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ