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 😃,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 😃

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 😃 ) 
Now you can order your drink with confidence and impress your date when you are at the bar 😃 
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! 🥃🥃


  1. I like your rating scale. Keep up the good work SJ!

    1. I tried to keep the ratings simple yet entertaining.
      Thanks for reading and am glad you like it.

  2. Love this whiskey. Great review SJ.

    1. It is a good whisky , has its own character. Thanks PL.

  3. Sajag, congratulations on your new endeavor. Good to know that you are a single malt connoisseur and not a 'bud light' kind of guy. As you mentioned in your first blog, I strongly believe that single malt should be savored in a peg or two and is not for chugging or binge drinking. Looking forward to reading your posts. Hey, how about some YouTube reviews in the future? By the way, cheers to our friendship, 28 years and going strong!

    1. Shikhar,I am happy to know that you like the blog. We are on the same page when it comes to responsible drinking and enjoying the drink. I am planning to provide cross channel reviews like youtube, podcast and ebook in the future. Thanks for the great feedback and cheeers to 28 golden years of friendship !

  4. Looks like the shelf is getting more visits. I see you have mentioned about the aroma being orange, spice, peppermint. Are these added or just because of the cask and age. Also,why older is better or is it ?

    Visit shelf responsibly :)

    1. That's a great question. Whisky is a very chemically complex liquid. The aroma is probably from the cask that the whisky was aged it. The meeting of the spirit with woods is where the magic happens, which gives it those distinct flavors.
      Taste is totally subjective but older whisky is usually better because the woods from the barrel breaks down the rougher flavors in the alcohol. This leaves you with the smooth taste. Hope this helps.

  5. Dear Sajag, your second blog is short, sweet and to the point. Thank you for breaking down the technical lingo and simplifying it to newbies like me. Keep up the good work and I can’t want for your next blog. Godspeed my friend.

    1. Thanks Mickey, I took our fellow readers feedback and simplified the language so everyone can get value out of it. I definitely strive to bring simple quality content as always :-).

  6. A very well written review and love how you have broken down the characteristics of the scotch. Certainly helps paint the picture. I have never personally tried this one yet, but after reading your review, I might just wait until the summer months to grab one of these. One thing I would also like to see in your next review is what region does it come from (Highlands vs Lowlands). Generally, that also tends to make some difference in the overall characteristics and you might find that your palette tends to suit the scotches from a particular region more so than some of the other ones out there. With this being said, a great review and a great progress from your last one to this. Keep up the good work and I will leave you with a famous quote from (can't remember the name) that I stick to when it comes to scotches - "There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren't as good as others.”


    1. Sway, you make an excellent point. I knew I was missing something and you are spot on. Adding the Scottish Whisky region where it comes from paints an amazing picture to the character of the whisky. I myself will be more observant to regions to figure out what suits my palette. As always, thank you for your refined suggestion which has helped the blog and its readers. I have a quote as well "There are no whiskies too strong, only men too weak".

  7. Nice blog Sajag, Never knew you has so much passions and details for Whiskey/Wishky, great details really fun to read and informative, Specially Serving Style, Appearance, Aroma and Flavors. Seems following your blogs would infidelity help in making good decisions.
    Waiting to read more and try some great whiskeys.

    Cheers :)

    1. Thank you Praveen for liking my blog. I will definitely provide value by reviewing more whiskies so you that will help you in making an informed decision on your next bottle. Any whisky/whiskey that you would like reviewed? I will try my best to review it.

  8. Nicely done! I like the basic explanations for the newbies:) Looking forward to more posts in the future. What are your go to Bourbons?

    1. Thanks Bikul and welcome to my blog. I try to make it as simple as possible for all readers. Speaking of Bourbons my go to bourbons are Buffalo Trace and Makers Mark 46. What about yours?

  9. Hey SJ, good job! I'm a little late to the party on this but what can I say...Another great review! Something to consider adding to your technical breakdown of terms area above....a smarter person than me once said..."All Scotches are Whiskys, but not all Whiskys are Scotches." The same can be said about Bourbons. In other words, there are lots of different types of Whisky/Whiskey, and each type has it's own unique characteristics depending on it's ingredients, distilling process, and aging ritual. I always thought that was a cool way of looking at it. Enjoy, Brother!

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful views BA ..I appreciate it..its never to late for this party :-). That is true..whiskies and bourbons get their flavor from a mix of various ingredients and processes, I will try to include them as well in my upcoming blogs.


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