Saturday, January 26, 2019

Classic Bourbon Cocktail- The Old Fashioned

Today I am writing about a classic Bourbon Cocktail -The Old Fashioned, my favorite.When I go out drinking,I usually get a bourbon based cocktail like Old Fashioned or Manhattan. It is a welcome change from drinking at home and an excellent way to try new drinks and socialize. If you are like me, I don't make cocktails at home and leave it to the expertise of the bartenders to enjoy one. I will however make an effort in the future and try to make this at home to share it with you guys on how it goes 😄. I promise. If you would like to try it at home, below is a simple and fun recipe to follow. I am also sharing pictures of Old Fashioned I enjoyed in various different places. There might be slight variations in taste because of the different bourbons and ingredients used, however the basic ingredients are the same. I like it with Maker's Mark or Woodford Reserve bourbon as it perfectly compliments the ingredients and is well balanced.

Vital Stats
The Old Fashioned 
1.5 fluid ounce Makers Mark Bourbon
Splash of water 
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1 tsp sugar 
Orange peel
Cherry for garnish

How to make it
1. Dissolve sugar with a splash of water in an Old fashioned glass(Available in amazon
2. Fill glass 3/4 full of ice
3. Using a jigger, add 1.5 oz Maker's Mark along with Angostura bitters and stir
4. Garnish with orange peel and cherry

Old Fashioned Gallery ( Pictures of Old Fashioned drinks I had in different places ) 

Thirsty Lion Gastropub, Euless,TX

This one is called "The Big easy" similar  ingredients with Rye whisky

Classic Old Fashioned 

Tanner Smith's,Manhattan, NY

Tanner Smith's classic called "The Winona". Smokey version of Old Fashioned with Hickory and Old Smoke Infusion

Winewood Grill, Grapevine, TX

Smokey Old Fashioned 

Lazy Dog Restaurant, Euless, TX

Classic Old Fashioned 

Maple Bacon Old Fashioned is simply delicious and a work of art

Nanglo Nepali Restaurant, Bedford, TX

Old Fashioned with Eagle Rare Kentucy Bourbon.This one came to me as a delicious surprise

SJ's rating- This is on top of my cocktail list and my favorite year round. I encourage everyone to have fun trying to make it if not enjoy it at a bar. 

I had loads of fun putting this together and hope you guys will share your experiences about this classic drink in the comments section below. 

Cheers 🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃 and as always "Enjoy the fine art of drinking responsibly"

Friday, January 25, 2019

Glenlivet 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Hello Single Malters 😃. Hope all of you are getting ready for the weekend and to make it even more enjoyable I am reviewing The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. It is one of the quintessential whisky drink's for Scotch lovers and a very popular one. I find this whisky very similar to Glenfiddich. Both the whiskies are from Speyside region, comes in dark green bottle and somewhat confusing and similar name. Having said that, both of them are my staple whiskies and a must have for any whisky lover.
It has 40% ABV(Alcohol By Volume). I am adding this information from this blog since it is a crucial factor to determine how strong a spirit is. It simply means the percentage of alcohol in a bottle. For example 40% ABV means 40% of the contents of this bottle is alcohol and 60% is water. There is another term called Proof which is used in American bourbons. It is usually the double of ABV so 40% ABV would be 80 Proof. More on ABV and Proof in my upcoming blogs. 

Vital Stats
The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price- $36.99 for 750ml bottle
ABV- 40%
Region- Speyside
Awards won- Silver Outstanding 2016(International Wine and Spirit Competition)

Tasting info
Serving glass- Whisky glass. Available in amazon

Serving style- On the rocks
Appearance- Dark copper
Aroma- Light aroma of vanilla and citrus. I smell hints of fruity goodness like strawberry
Flavor- It has a light fruity/spicy flavor of citrus along with some grassy notes and lemon zest
Finish- Dry finish. The sweetness lingers in mouth for a long time

SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
It is a classic whisky which deserves to be on my top shelf. The Glenlivet 12 has such a global appeal to it as it has a sweet and approachable flavor. It is also good for people who are new to Scotch and would like to start with a well balanced whisky. I like this whisky on the rocks as well as it has some fruity flavor to it which is appealing as a summer drink. 

Please leave your comments on this whisky and the blog in general. Thank you all and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I had fun writing it. Cheers 🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃

Friday, January 18, 2019

Jonnie Walker Double Black

Today I am reviewing Johnnie Walker Double Black Blended Scotch Whiskey. Johnnie Walker is an extremely popular and loved brand around the world especially in Southeast Asia. This is a relatively new addition released in 2011 to their already popular black label. The intense smokiness is what differentiates Double Black from the regular Black label. This emphasis on smokiness is derived from the heavily charred casks while still maintaining its sophisticated signature Johnnie walker tone.
It is a lifestyle brand with various whiskies in several price points targeting different demographics. Escalating in price and quality their products are Red Label,Black Label, Green Label,Gold Label,Platinum Label with their prized premium whisky- The Blue Label. I have tried all of them all, the smokey flavor makes it the  most unique whisky in their product line.

Vital Stats
Johnnie Walker Double Black Blended Scotch Whisky
Price- $38.99 for 750ml ( Available in Total Wine)
Awards won- Best Blended Whisky, World Whisky Awards 2017(

Tasting Info
Serving glass- Whisky glass

Serving style- On the rocks( In other words whisky with ice)
Appearance- Deep amber ( can almost see the smokiness in it)
Aroma- Very earthy smoky smell, also smelled gently charred stone smoke with a whiff of orange and honey
Flavor- Smokey flavor of peat. Little sweet along with some raisins and orange zest flavor
Finish- Medium finish, smokiness lingers in mouth for a while

SJ's rating- Middle Shelf 
This is a smokey whisky for those who prefer it. I do not like too much smokey flavor so would not buy it again.The peat smoke definitely gives its unique character and I see myself enjoying this in a cold winter night. I don't mean to be biased here but this is one of those manliest men drink that anyone could drink because of its intense and robust smokey notes.

Thank you all for reading , hope you enjoyed it. Please share your experiences with this whiskey or anything you would like or dislike about the blog in the comments below.
Cheers to enjoyable drinking 🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Kentucy Maker's Mark Distillery Tour and Maker's 46 review

Today, I present you a visual journey to Maker's Mark Distillery tour in Loretto,Kentucy. A tour that I took with my colleagues after months of planning and some roadblocks we finally made it there on Oct 13, 2018. It is and always will be a special tour for all of us being whisky connoisseurs as we ended up having a genuinely fun and adventurous experience.   
Without further ado, I will let the pictures do the talking along with some description so you can follow along 😃.

Tour and Tasting info 
Distillery- Maker's Mark
Ticket price- $14 for general distillery tour( includes whisky tastings )
Location- Loretto,KY
Getting there:  It is an hour drive from Louisville International Airport(SDF)
Please refer to  Maker's Mark Website for more info on different types of whisky tours and times.

Friends kick starting the journey in the plane with some Woodford Reserve! After all it is a whisky distillery tour! 😃

The Louisville,KY airport does not shy away from displaying and selling its finest bourbons.

I myself couldn't shy away from the visual feast..Happy and excited 😃 for our first distillery visit ever!

There is a Bourbon academy? 😕 wonder!

Irish coffee with guess what ? Yes bourbon

Stopped by Down Home BBQ recommended by staff at the Bourbon academy.

Had this delicious Baby back ribs bbq, baked beans with Mac & Cheese. Our hungry bodies devoured every bite of it before our whisky tasting tour.

Entrance of the Maker's Mark has breathtaking landscape and beautifully maintained garden 

Visitors information center and tours starting point

The squad from left Mark, myself Sajag(SJ), Brian and Felipe

A picture in front of their finest selection

Maker's Mark whiskey on display

The tour starts here 

Got the ticket and ready to roll!

Everything looks so amazing in this place

This is the building where the the magic happens

Our tour guide(forgot her name) was friendly and very knowledgeable 

Large Copper stills where the real work of whisky making is in progress

Cart with Maker's Mark barrels 

The printing press where the bottle labels are printed

Notice the whisky bottle shaped carvings

Maker's 46 barrels are matured here

Learned from our tour guide that the flavor of Maker's 46 comes from these Oak staves

Barrels of Maker's Mark Whisky during its maturing process

Could not help but notice the stunning ceiling leading to the gift shop 

Because one picture couldn't capture its beauty
Finally in the tasting room

From left to right Maker's Mark White(moonshine), Regular Maker's Mark, Maker's 46, Maker's Mark Cask Strength, Maker's Mark Private Select

Before dipping the bottles

Dipping in progress

Freshly dipped makers 46. I will be reviewing this at the end

One more

 Barely tipsy but highly satisfied customers 😃

Back at the hotel,we had to toast for a fine trip and plan for the next one. Thank you would not have been possible without your company..Cheers! 🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃

Got a barrel in my name. A perk offered for anyone who signs up as their ambassador. Once it is matured in five years, it is available for purchase. Very easy to signup in their website. 

Even though we sampled five different kinds of Maker's Mark whisky, I choose Maker's 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whisky for the purpose of today's review.  The plan is to eventually review all of them in the upcoming blogs. We were fortunate enough to see how this whiskey is made right before drinking.Our tour guide explained to us that this was basically their standard whiskey with added spice. The added spice comes from the seared French Oak Staves which are inserted into the barrels (see picture to the right). Also the name Maker's 46 came from stave profile "number 46". After several trial and errors this profile was the one the master distillers were looking for and its absolutely stunning.

Vital Stats
Maker's 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whisky
Price- $30 for 750ml ( The one pictured is $50 since I hand dipped it myself at the distillery)
From- Kentucky, USA
Awards won- Liquid gold award 2014, Jim Murray's Whisky Bible

Tasting info
Serving glass- Regular whiskey glass(provided during our tasting )
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Dark amber
Aroma- Fresh smell of honey, caramel, toffee. Friends identified toasty aroma of spices and wood
Flavor- Explodes with flavor of all kinds of spices especially cinnamon. We also got a hint of nutmeg and dark chocolate
Finish- Smooth and long finish. Taste lingers in mouth for a while.

SJ's rating- Top Shelf 
It would be absolutely unfair to place this whiskey anywhere else than the top shelf where it is meant to be. It is an easy to drink bourbon and the sweet and spicy flavor will definitely please your taste buds. 
Thank you all and hope you enjoyed this picturesque journey and the whisky review. If you have visited the Maker's Mark distillery or tasted their fine whisky or both, please share your experiences in the comments below. 
Cheers! 🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃