Thursday, February 27, 2020

Do you like smokey whisky?

Today,I am not reviewing anything.. instead talking about an interesting topic of smokey whisky. Some people like it a lot and some can't stand them ..a matter of preference. For me I did not like much smokey but over the years my palette has developed to prefer some peaty smoke to it. I will talk about how whiskey is smokey & which brands are good for sipping or for cocktail.
Whisky gets is smokey flavor from peat smoke. During the early stages of distilling, peat is burnt & left which results in its smokey taste.
The ones that I have tried and reviewed in my blog are

1.Benriach Peated Cask Strength single malt whisky- Top Shelf 

With a whopping 60% ABV this is not for the faint hearted 😃. However, if you love smokey you will not be disappointed. This is as smokey as it can get.  In terms of price it is on the higher side so be sure before buying.

2. Jonnie Walker Double Black- Middle Shelf 
A blended smokey whisky good for parties or to warm up on a cold winter night. With 40% ABV and a budget friendly price it is good for casual drinking.

Some smokey cocktails 

Smokey old fashioned..what better way to end the day

This was an interesting one I had in Manhattan..smoke filled in container gives it's flavor

Some more of the good smokey cocktail
There you go..enjoy a nice smokey one neat, on the rocks or as a cocktail. The most important thing is to enjoy responsibly. Cheers ! 
Do you have any interesting smokey whiskies you have tried? Let me know in the comments below. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Encore 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

Fellow Single Malters, I am reviewing wine for the first time in my blog. The lucky one for today's review is Encore 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon. The world of wine is overwhelming. There are countless varieties and  regions with lot of information that the mind can comprehend. Plenty of books about wine, paring with food, cooking with wine etc. Let us begin the journey of recognizing fine wine one bottle at a time :-). One of my missions is to simplify the jargons so that it is easily understood. This is a dry red wine from California- a Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Dry means it isn't sweet, Cabernet Sauvignon is a very popular and widely planted grape.
Also, I am exploring wine that suits my palette. I have an inclination to dry wine & Cabernet Sauvignon fits my requirement perfectly.

Vital Stats
Encore 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
Price- $14.99
ABV- 13.5%
Region- California
Awards Won- None found

Tasting info- 
Serving Glass- Wine glass
Serving Style- Room temperature
Appearance- Dark Red

Aroma- Red grapes from barrel, blackberry, hint of dark chocolate
Flavor- Medium Dry, nice mouthfeel, ,hint of blackberry, cherries
Body- Full bodied
Finish- Warm & smooth

SJ's Rating- Top Shelf
I like the fact that this wine is neutral, it is not overpowering sweet and goes so well with food. Also, I did not have a splitting headache the next morning after consuming it.
Occasions - Enjoy over dinner with friends and family.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Tomintoul 16 Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The whisky for today's review is Tomintoul 16. Reads the product label Tomintoul- "The Gentle Dram". My first impression of it is... yes gentle. I have to try some of its other expressions to get a complete feel about this brand. As for now lets get right to the tasting notes.Enjoy!

Vital Stats
Tomintoul 16 year old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price- $58.99 for 750ml & $8.99 for 50ml sampler(pictured and gifted by a dear friend)
Age- 16 years
ABV- 40%
Region- Speyside
Distillery- The Tomintoul Distillery, Scotland
Awards won- None found

Tasting info- 
Serving glass- Glencairn whisky glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Medium gold

Aroma- Gentle oaky,fruity. Light aroma of tangerine, cinnamon & spices
Flavor- Lightly sweet oak, citrus , nothing too outstanding for 16 yr old
Body- Medium
Finish- Non lingering, short finish

SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
Fairly basic flavor profile for a 16 year old whisky. I was expecting a richer aroma and overall a more complex flavor which Tomintoul 16 failed to deliver. It is very light on the palette and I would enjoy a regular 12 year old Glenlivet or Glenfiddich over this one. It is priced about right for it's age but lacks the robustness expected.

Occasions best enjoyed-  Casual drinking, anyone new to scotch
Cocktails- None , have it neat or on the rocks

I am sure you enjoyed the review and would try it yourself. Cheers 🥃🥃🥃 & congrats for choosing to enjoy responsibly.
Not in the mood to read, listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Mini Barrel Aged whiskey tasting

Hello Single Malters, today it is time to reveal the fruits of my labor(or the barrel's labor 😃). We will find out what kind of magic happened when whiskey met the barrel for 40 days. This post is a follow up of my earlier blog ageing-whiskey-in-barrel-at-home. It has been so much fun to me ever since I got this barrel to engage in my hobby.I understand that ageing whisky is an ancient art that cannot be mastered overnight, I am also not taking it too seriously just enjoying the process and appreciating what it takes to make whisky. The results are interesting so without delay let me get to the tasting notes. 

Vital Stats
Mini barrel aged whiskey
Age- 40 days in my new mini barrel(in addition to the 4 yrs spent on Evan Williams barrel)
ABV- 50%
Distillery- Author's residence :-)
Awards won- Applaud from friends and whiskey lovers

 Comparing before & after(What difference can you tell?)
                                       Before ageing                               After ageing 

There are many theories on what happens when whisky meets a small barrel since the ratio of the liquor as compared to the size of the barrel is unlike commercial barrels. Hence, it is supposed to mature quicker. It looks like it has slightly matured and also become somewhat darker. 

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

Aroma- Rich fruity Oaky barrel aroma
Flavor- Delicious,creamy vanilla, some spices, barrel ageing added some depth to the flavor
Body- Full bodied
Finish- Creamy, smooth warm and lingering
SJ's rating/Conclusion- Middle Shelf
I found out that there is just a slight difference is aroma, appearance and flavor. It is sweet and would consider it as desert. I believe the appearance is a little bit darker and the flavor bit more oaky. There is however no way to prove this so take my word for it. I will continue to sample this in the coming days/months and see if there is any difference. It is a genuinely adventurous  DIY project & long lasting hobby for gentlemen.
Please share your experiences in the comments below if you have tried something like this. Would love to hear from you.
Not in the mood to read listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast