Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Agavales Gold Tequila Premium


One World Many Malts! Agaves Gold Tequila Premium is MIDDLE Shelf. Actions speak louder than words! :-). In this blog, I will let the liquid gold do the talking. Enjoy my tasting notes!

Vital Stats
Price- $15.99 for 750ml(Pictured is free 50ml sampler :-))
Age- NAS
ABV- 40%
Country/Region- Mexico
Distillery/Company-Mexcor International
Awards won- None

Tasting info
Serving glass- Glencairn Glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Very light pale yellow


Aroma- Faint agave, vanilla, oak
Flavor- Pleasantly spicy, oak, cinnamon, agave
Body-Medium
Finish-Bitter, spicy, warm, and lingering
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf 
Just right for the price. 
Occasions- Casual drinking with friends
Cocktail-Margarita
SJ's Pro tip- A decent budget tequila for parties

Enjoy Responsibly! Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Real Ale Brewing-Devil's Backbone


Real Ale Devil's backbone is on my TOP Shelf. In today's blog, I intend to cover the following
-Brief history behind this beer/brewery
-My tasting notes
-SJ's Rating & Review
-SJ's Pro tip

From its website -Started in 1996 Real Ale brewing grew from a small family operation making beer in the basement of an antique store to a brewery of 55 plus people making craft beer of the highest quality in the state. I stand by their quality and the taste is amazing. 
Now about Devil's Backbone, it is named after a winding stretch of Hill Country highway, Devil's Backbone is a Belgian-style tripel. Though it is light in color, it has a robust ABV which is only possible because of the traditional Belgian technique which adds strength without increasing heaviness. That is where the magic is :-)
Enough talk, now it is time for SJ's tasting, Enjoy!

Vital Stats- Devi's Backbone Belgian style Tripel
Price- $8.49 for 12 pack(12oz bottles)
Age- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 8.10%
Region- TX,USA
Brewery- Real Ale Brewing, Blanco, Texas
Beer style- Belgian
Awards won- None

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Tall beer glass
Serving style- Chilled
Appearance- Pale Golden


Aroma- Hops, orange, creamy nuts, chocolate
Flavor- Orange, chocolate, hops
Body- Full
Finish- Bittersweet, smooth & long
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
A very enjoyable glass of beer hits the spot in aroma, flavor, and finish. 
Occasions best enjoyed- Outdoors on a hot day
SJ's Pro tip- Great for whisky lovers since it has a higher ABV of 8.1%

I enjoyed drinking this cold one and sharing my findings. Cheers! Enjoy responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Select Club Pecan Praline Canadian Whisky


Select Club Pecan Praline Canadian Whisky- Bottom Shelf. In today's blog, I intend to cover the following.
-Brief history behind this whisky
-Tasting notes
-SJ's Pro tip

The product label says that it is made in Canada, apart from that there is no distillery information. This itself shows the lack of quality! 
Now it is time to do the world-famous SJ's tasting :-). Enjoy my tasting notes!

Vital Stats-
Price- $23.99 for 750ml ($1.29 for pictured 50ml sampler)
Age- NAS
ABV- 35%
Region- Canada
Distillery- No information 
Awards won- None

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn Glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Medium amber


Aroma- Vanilla, some fruity notes, not much of pecan. Has this medicinal smell
Flavor- Pecan is omnipresent, too sweet, medicinal syrupy 
Body- Medium
Finish- Non-existent, watery, short
SJ's Rating- Bottom Shelf
Way too sweet has no finish, worst Candian Whisky I have ever had! It is like a slushy with some alcohol in it. Terrible!
SJ's Pro tip- I would skip this altogether and not even use it in mixing drinks as it would ruin it.

This whisky changed the good perception I had about Canadian whisky. I would go for Crown Royal in a heartbeat and recommend you too. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Altos Reposado Tequila


Altos Reposado Tequila is on my Middle Shelf. It is a general-purpose cheap tequila and can be sipped neat or mixed in drinks. In today's blog, I intend to cover the following-

-Brief history behind this tequila
-My tasting notes
-SJ's Rating & review
-SJ's Pro tip
-Occasions best suited 

Altos Tequila does not have any history like a highly authentic artisanal tequila. It is mass-produced by the Pernod Ricard company. The creators are two former bartenders according to its website. They seem to follow high-quality standards in crafting their tequila with high-quality agave. Also, it is cooked in a brick oven and Tanoa stone is used to shred the agave. It gets double distilled in small-batch copper stills and finally ages 6-8 months in former whiskey barrels. 
Now speaking of Altos Reposado expression. According to the website, it is made of 100% Blue Agave grown in Mexico in the lands of Los Altos, Jalisco. Seems like an interesting tasting session :-). 
Enjoy my tasting notes!

Vital Stats- Altos Reposado Tequila 
Price- $12.99 for 375ml bottle 
Age- 6 to 8 months
ABV- 40%
Region/country-Mexico
Produced/Bottled-Pernod Ricard, Mexico
Awards won- 2016 Gold, The Tequila Masters The Spirits Business

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


Aroma- Blue agave, spearmint, lemon
Flavor- Wow quite a mouthful, spearmint, lemon, a hint of oak
Body- Medium
Finish- Spicy, long warm slightly lingering
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
It is a general-purpose cheap tequila and can be sipped neat or mixed in drinks.
Occasions- Bbq, casual day parties
SJ's Pro tip- Good for mixing in drinks

I am pleased to have tasted this liquid gold from Mexico and share my findings. I am 100% sure you will find it useful. Enjoy! Drink Responsibly, Cheers!
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Glendronach 12 Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky


Glendronach 12 Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is on my TOP Shelf. Exceptionally smooth & delicious! In today's blog, I intend to cover the following

-Brief history behind this whisky/distillery
-My tasting notes
-SJ's Rating & review
-Occasions
-SJ's Pro tip

Reads the product packaging "Deep in the east Highland Hills the Glendronach Distillery has been quietly perfecting sherry wood maturation since 1826". The founder was James Allardice & this legendary distillery has been in operation for over 200 years. Quite a history and craftsmanship. Glendronach means "Valley of brambles" in Scots Gaelic. 

About Glendronach 12 Original. It is matured in fine Pedro Ximenez & Oloroso sherry casks from Andalucia in Spain and is Non-Chill Filtered. Both these casks are ex-wine casks so the whisky imparts flavors from them, that is where the magic is. 
Now enough of talk, time for my sampling :-). Enjoy my tasting notes! 

Vital stats- Glendronach 12 Original Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price- $62.99 for 750ml
Age- 12 years 
ABV- 43%
Region- Highland
Distillery- The Glendronach Distillery, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Awards won- 2021 Gold, International Wine & Spirits Competition

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn
Serving style-  Neat
Appearance- Dark amber


Aroma- Sherry, vanilla, whiff citrus, dark chocolate
Flavor- Sherry, notes of citrus, honey, chocolate, vanilla.A hint of spices like cinnamon & cloves
Body- Full
Finish- Robust, smooth, long lingering & spicy
SJ's Rating- TOP Shelf
It hits all the parameters to hit the top spot. The smell is amazing, the appearance is beautiful the flavor is out of this world. Absolutely enjoyed it!
Occasions- For celebrating any special occasion since it is slightly expensive
SJ's Pro tip- Great as a gift for any Scotch lover

This whisky was a joy to find and savor, I absolutely loved gathering information and sharing it with the world. Do give it a shot yourself. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly!
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition Blended Scotch Whisky


Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition is on my TOP Shelf. Initially had a very bad impression of cutty sark as watered-down cheap alcohol but my impression has changed since I tasted this expression. In today's blog I intend to cover the following; 

-Brief history behind this whisky/distillery
-My tasting notes
-SJ's pro tip
-Occasions to drink 

This whisky is as mysterious as the pitch dark bottle it comes in. It came into existence in 1923 according to package labeling. Its famous name comes from the clipper ship design which was one of the fastest ships in its day.  
Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition according to the product story has been crafted as a salute to the notorious Captain William S.McCoy, who smuggled Cutty Sark blended Scotch whisky into America during the Prohibition era of the 1920s. His impeccable reputation for only dealing in the finest, genuine & unadulterated liquor gave rise to Cutty Sark being "The Real McCoy"
It is time for the real test of McCoy! Enjoy my tasting notes :-)

Vital Stats- Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition Blended Scotch Whiskey
Price- $29.99
Age- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 50%
Region/Country- Scotland
Manufacturer/Distillery- La Martiniquaise
Awards won- None found

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn 
Serving Style- Neat
Appearance- Medium gold


Aroma- Well rounded, vanilla, citrus all the good stuff
Flavor- Robust, packs a punch, sweetness from vanilla, oak 
Body- Medium to full-bodied
Finish- Medium spicy linger, warm. Not the smoothest or longest. 
SJ's Rating- TOP Shelf
This is top-shelf stuff because it's pretty good for the price, high ABV with raw charm to it. 
Occasions- Casual
SJ's Pro tip- Great for a gift because of its attractive packaging

I really enjoyed this rustic, notorious-looking whiskey and hope the information above will help decide whether to buy it or not. As always, Enjoy it Responsibly! Cheers! 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey


Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey is on my MIDDLE Shelf. A decent Irish whiskey for the price but lacks the body and finish to be on the top spot. In today's blog, I intend to cover the following-

-Brief history behind this whiskey/distillery
-Tasting notes
-SJ's Rating & review
-SJ's pro tip

The website states "Here at Teeling whiskey, we are renowned for our vision in doing things differently with deep roots in distilling pedigree dating back to 1782, have shaped the Irish whiskey landscape through generations ". The Teeling whiskey distillery is the first new distillery in Dublin for over 125 years. 
Now about Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey. Reads the product label "Hand selected casks of malt and grain whiskey are initially fully aged in ex-bourbon barrels, then married together in Central American Rum Casks for 12 months for a unique, dried fruit profile. 
Enough of the story, now it is time for the fun stuff :-). Enjoy my tasting notes!

Vital Stats- Teeling Whiskey Small Batch Irish Whiskey
Price- $38.99 for 750ml(50ml free sampler pictured)
Age- 6 months in Rum Casks
ABV- 46.5%
Country/Region- Ireland
Distillery- Teeling Whiskey Distillery, Dublin, Ireland
Awards won- Double Gold, San Fransico Spirits Competition

Tasting info-
Serving glass- The Glencairn whisky glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Light to medium amber


Aroma- Vanilla, rum sweetness, cinnamon, spices
Flavor- Sweet with fruitiness, a hint of cinnamon, spices. Quite pleasant for high ABV nonchill filtered.
Body- Medium 
Finish- Medium, bitter spicy finish
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf 
Because the finish is almost nonexistent, very short so doesn't hit the top spot for me. However, a decent non-chill filtered Irish Whiskey for the price. 
Occasions- Casual
Food Pairing- Goat meat(High ABV blended well with the fatty meat )
SJ's Pro tip- I would prefer Jameson or Tullamore Dew over this

I really enjoyed reviewing and presenting the facts and hope this will make it easier to decide whether to buy it for your next occasion or not. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

1792 Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon



1792 small batch Kentucky Bourbon is on my MIDDLE Shelf. Great value for money but obviously not the best. In today's blog, I intend to cover the following-

-Brief history behind this bourbon & distillery
-Tasting notes
-SJ's Rating & review
-SJ's Pro tip
-Occasions

Barton 1792 Distillery was established in 1879 and is the oldest operating distillery in Bardstown, KY. It is named in honor of the year 1792 when Kentucky joined the United States. Seems like a very neat and interesting legacy behind this bourbon. 
Now about 1792 Small Batch Bourbon. The product story says "1792 Smal Batch is made from a marriage of few select barrels carefully chosen by our Master Distiller. This refined bourbon elevates Kentucky Distilling to exceptional new heights " Well it is time to find out how elevated my experience will be with the world-famous SJ's tasting :-).  Enjoy my tasting notes! 

Vital Stats-1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Price- $24.99 for 750ml
Age- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 46.85%
Region- Kentucky, USA
Distilled & bottled by -Barton 1792 Distillery, Bardstown, KY
Awards won- 2020 World Whisky Of the year(Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2020) among a host of others.

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn glass
Serving style- Neat & then whisky sour cocktail
Appearance- Dark Amber


Aroma- Vanilla, oak, chocolate, spices
Flavor- Wow! oaky, spicy, cinnamon
Body- Medium
Finish- Short, bold, warm.
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
The finish is a bit disappointing otherwise for this price it is a great bourbon. Also, has a high ABV of 46.85% which is a bonus for people like me who prefer bolder whiskies. Not exceptional as compared to other Kentucky Bourbons like Makers Mark or Woodford Reserve which happen to be my favorites.
Occasions- Bbq with friends & family


Cocktail- Whiskey sour
SJ's Pro tip- Great value for the money

It was an amazing experience tasting and sharing my notes with you. Hope this will help in deciding to get a bottle or not. Cheers! Enjoy your bourbon responsibly!
Not in the mood to read?Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Highland Park 12 Viking Honor Single Malt Scotch Whisky


Hello, Single Malters all over the world! Today I am reviewing Highland Park 12 Viking Honor Single Malt Scotchwhich is on my MIDDLE SHELF. In today's blog, I will cover the following 

-Brief history behind this whisky/distillery
-Tasting notes
-SJ's Rating & Review
-SJ's Pro tip

Highland Park Distillery was established in 1798 by founder Mgnus Eunson, a direct descendent of the early Viking settlers. Says its website "For over 220 years our distillery has sat stoically through long winters, raging storms, and 100mph winds. It makes for more harmonious whiskey." This itself speaks for the legacy of the distillery and the bottles of whiskey it churns out. 
Now about Viking Honor, it seems to be their signature product dedicated to their ancestors-the Vikings. Age for 12 years, it is for those who like peaty smoky whisky.

Check out my tasting notes, enjoy! 

Vital Stats- Highland Park 12 Viking Honor Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price- $39.99 for 750ml 
Age- 12 years
ABV- 43%
Country/Region- Scotland
Company/Distillery- Highland Park Distillery, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Awards won- None found

Tasting info-
Serving glass- The Glencairn Glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Medium gold


Aroma- Just like Glenfiddich, vanilla, honey, fruity notes, chocolate, cinnamon, spices
Flavor- Peaty, honey, spices
Body- Medium
Finish- Medium lingering but not too smooth, got a bite to it. 
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf 
Appearance looks pleasing, aroma is not bad. Finish and body lack the punch to be on my top spot. It is quite enjoyable though & the bottle also comes with amazing artwork with a Viking theme. 
Occasions- Casual Drinking
Food Pairing- Buff sukuti khaja set. The robust meat went well with the peaty whisky. Match made in heaven πŸ˜ƒ


SJ's Pro tip 1- Would go for a Glenfiddich 12 anytime over this
SJ's Pro tip 2- Great for gift since it has an attractive bottle

I enjoyed exploring this whisky and enjoyed it. Hope this will help in choosing weather to buy it or not. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Decoded 2018 Pinot Noir(wine)


Hello, single malters, today I am venturing into the world of wine with Decoded 2018 Pinot Noir- On my TOP Shelf. I intend to cover the following in today's blog. 

- Brief history behind this wine
- Tasting notes
- SJ's Rating & review
-What is Pinot Noir? 
- SJ's Pro tip

There is no clear information about the winery, whatever information I gathered is from the packaging. Reads the product label "The decoded name comes from the complexity and detail that goes into wine production. This wine exhibits flavors of rich dark cherries, licorice, and hints of sweet vanilla"
It suggests Whitefish, white sauce pasta& Roasted chicken for food pairing.
FAQ
What is Pinot Noir? 
It is a grape variety just like Cabernet Sauvignon. I found it semi-sweet and not too sweet, just how I prefer. You will have to taste both the find out which one you will like. 
I have my own tasting notes and pairings. Now let me decode things for you, enjoy! πŸ˜„

Vital Stats- Decoded 2018 Pinot Noir 
Price- $19.99 for 750ml bottle
Vintage- 2018
ABV- 14.5%
Country- USA
Region- Napa,CA
Cellered & bottled- Decoded wines, Napa,CA
Awards won- None

Tasting notes-
Appearance- Dark red


Aroma- Just red grapes nothing really stands out, a hint of blackberries
Flavor- Berries, sweet but not too sweet, dry 
Body- Full
Finish- Semi-sweet long & lingering
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
Quite a mouthful, robust flavor, good appearance. I enjoyed it hence goes in my top spot. 
Occasions-  Family dinner
SJ's Pro tip- It is a bit overpriced, check out my blog for other recommendations.
Food Pairing- Turkey burger, this wine perfectly washed down the delicious burger

I really enjoyed savoring this wine and presenting the facts in my blog. I am sure this information is useful to you. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly!
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast

Monday, August 9, 2021

Bulleit Bourbon 10 Small Batch


Hello, single malters, today I am reviewing Bulleit Bourbon 10, Small Batch-on my TOP Shelf because of its smoothness and taste. I enjoyed every sip.  In my previous blogs, I have already covered this distillery Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey so will only cover the following-

-Tasting notes
-SJ's Pro tip
-Occasions

Its website says "Bullet Bourbon 10 is aged in charred American white oak. Select Bulliet bourbon barrels were set aside to age for 10 years. The result is a special expression of Bulleit that provides a rich, deep, incredibly smooth sipping experience." It is 68% corn, 28% rye, 4% malted barley. 
Tasting notes say- Deep russet in color, rich oaky aromas. Consistently smooth taste with vanilla, dried fruit, and a long smoky finish. The only thing I didn't find is smokiness in the finish. 
Now enjoy my tasting notes compared to theirs! Enjoy!😊

Vital Stats- Bulleit Bourbon 10 Small Batch 
Price- $36.99 for 750ml bottle
Age- 10 years
ABV- 45.6%
Country/Region- Kentucky,USA
Distillery- Bulleit Distilling, Kentucky, USA
Awards won- Gold Medal(2013,2014,2015), San Francisco World Spirits Competition among others

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Whisky tumbler
Serving style- Neat & On the rocks
Appearance- Dark amber


Aroma- Toffee, caramel, oak, cinnamon, citrus
Flavor- Dark chocolate, oak, cinnamon, spices
Body- Full
Finish- Incredibly creamy, smooth & long 
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf
I had a bad impression about Bullet Frontier but this 10-year-old small batch is very enjoyable. Has an amazing aroma, yummy flavor, and a very long smooth finish. Everything needed to be on my top spot!
Occasions- Friends get together
SJ's Pro tip- Comparable to Buffalo Trace 

This was an amazing find and I happened to sip this at a friend's place. Everyone who tried it enjoyed it a lot. Cheers! Give it a shot. Enjoy Responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Dewar's 12 Blended Scotch Whisky


Dewar's 12 Blended Scotch Whisky is on my TOP SHELF.  Very smooth and delicious which makes it really enjoyable. In today's blog, I intend to cover the following-

-Brief history behind this distillery
-Tasting notes
-SJ's Rating & Review
-SJ's Pro tip

It was founded in 1886 by the sons of John Dewar's Aberfeldy Distillery and is the only Scotch whisky distillery built by the Dewar family. The presence of a superb natural water source in the Pitilie Burn(or small river) which runs past the distillery into the River Tay was a big factor in the decision. 

Now about Dewar's 12 years double-aged whisky. It rests in secondary oak barrels once the blend is created. This is where the magic is and the costly process is what gives an extra smoothness to the final whisky. Enough talk, it is now time for some sampling. Enjoy!

Vital Stats- Dewar's 12 Blended Scotch Whisky
Price- $23.49 for 750ml(pictured)
Age- 12 years
ABV- 40%
Country/Region- Scotland
Company/Distillery- John Dewar & Sons Ltd
Awards Won- Gold Prize 500 medals(from product packaging)

Tasting info-
Serving glass(s)- Glencairn glass and whisky tumbler
Serving style(s)- First neat then on the rocks
Appearance- Dark gold


Aroma- Cinnamon, oak, vanilla
Flavor- Sweetness from oak, Cinnamon, vanilla, spices, dark chocolate
Body- Full
Finish- Smooth, creamy. Warm & lingering. 
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
Hits the spot-on taste, aroma and finish, could not have chosen a more suitable whisky for the occasion. 
Occasions- Toast with old friends 
Food Pairing- Chicken BBQ(Dewars 12 was perfect to wash down smokey juicy chicken )


SJ's Pro tip- Try it on the rocks to cool down on this summer heat while getting your buzz. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this expression of Dewar's , had it every way so it is quite a versatile whisky. Check it out for yourselves and find out. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Vistamar Brisa Cabernet Sauvignon 2020


Vistamar Brisa Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 from Chile is on my BOTTOM SHELF. Terrible bitter taste, watery finish. I did not enjoy it and do not recommend it to anyone. Maybe some of their other expressions are drinkable, which I will review in my upcoming blogs. In today's blog, I intend to cover the following

1. Brief history behind this wine
2. Tasting notes
3. SJ's Rating & review
4. SJ's Pro tips

Vistamar was established in 1999 in Chile. With an estate situated at the foothills of Andes in the Cachapoal Valley very close to Vistamar winery. The region is colder which makes the grapes grow slower which in turn gives them flavor is what this company claims. 

Now about Brisa Cabernet Sauvignon. The product label says "It presents a red color with violet highlights. In the nose, the outstanding aromas are blackberries, plums, and black cherries blended with hints of vanilla and toast. In the mouth, there are smooth, rounded tannins and flavors of red and black fruit, enhanced with notes of caramel and smoke. "
Apart from the hint of berries, I do not agree with their product story. It is not enjoyable and does not taste like what is mentioned in the description. 
Now for the best part, my tasting notes. Enjoy!

Vital Stats- Vistamar Brisa Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
Price- $5.99 for 750ml
Vintage- 2020
ABV- 13%
Country- Chile
Region- Valle Central
Produced & bottled- Vina Vistamar Ltda, Pelequen, Chile
Awards won- None

Tasting notes-
Appearance- Dark red like any other red wine


Aroma- Red grapes, berries
Flavor- Bitter
Body- Light
Finish- Watery, bitter, not smooth
SJ's Rating- Bottom Shelf
This is not a drinkable wine. It is bitter, bland taste and has a watery finish. Everything makes it go in my bottom shelf. 
Occasions- None, this will ruin the party
SJ's Pro tip #1- Santiago Station Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile is far better than this and cheaper.
SJ's Pro tip #2 - Chilling it in the fridge for half an hour makes it a little palatable 

Even though I did not enjoy this one, I am glad to share this information with others who can make a sound decision to purchase this one or not. If you want to savor Top Shelf wines, check out my blog for those & Enjoy!. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Ole Smoky Tennessee Whiskey -Salty Caramel


Ole Smoky Tennessee Salty Caramel Whiskey is on my Middle Shelf. It would be on my bottom shelf if it wasn't for the cocktail I made with it. In today's blog, I intend to cover the following-

-Brief history behind this whisky
-Tasting notes
-SJ's Rating and review
-SJ's Pro tip

There is really not much on its website with information on when this distillery started. It claims "We are Appalachian born and bred" and that they have been making superior mountain moonshine for generations. 
About Salty Caramel expression- It is made with natural flavors with artificial caramel color added. Basically, it is like liquid candy with just a silent hint of salt at the end. There is nothing more to it. Now it is time for the most interesting part-the tasting. Enjoy my notes! :-)

Vital Stats- Ole Smoky Tennessee Whiskey, salty caramel mountain made
Price- $20.49 for 750ml ($2.79 for 50ml pictured sampler)
Age-  NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 30%
Region- Tennessee,USA
Distillery- Ole Smoky Distillery LLC, Gatlinburg, TN
Awards won- None

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn glass
Serving style- Neat & Mint Julip cocktail

 
Appearance- Dark gold


Aroma- Chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, spices
Flavor- Very sweet, caramel, medicinal alcohol taste
Body- Medium
Finish- Non-existent, not smooth, terrible
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
Way too sweet for my palette. But of course, it is caramel flavored so just what is expected of it. If sweet is your cup of tea then go for it!
Occasions- Outoddor parties 
SJ's Pro tip- Using it for cocktail will balance the sweetness and make it more enjoyable
Cocktail- Mint Julip
Food Pairing- Chicken momos(Again!) :-) because the cocktail combination went well with it. 

I had a great time reviewing this whiskey and hope this information is useful to make a sound decision spending on a bottle or not. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 



Monday, July 12, 2021

Abasolo Mexican Ancestral Corn Whisky


Abasolo Mexican Ancestral Corn Whisky is on my Middle Shelf. I enjoyed this pour from Mexico. In today's post I intend to cover the following;

-Brief history behind this whisky
-Tasting info
-SJ's Rating 
-SJ's Pro tip
-Food Pairing
This whisky is produced by Destelieria y Bodega Abasolo. The website claims "It is the first and only distillery built from the ground up and dedicated since its inception to capturing the millenary Mexican culture of corn in whisky". It further says "Here on the distillery grounds, the past and present exist side by side just as they do in our bottle and work hard to maintain the Alma de la Tierra(which means the soul of the earth) ". Quite a passionate and rich history of this distillery.
Now about the product itself. It is a rich and smooth whisky crafted using the finest cacahuazintle corn. This type of corn is said to be tender and of the finest quality available. I believe this is where the magic of this whisky lies. Now, it is time for the world-famous tasting! Enjoy!

Vital Stats- Abasolo Mexican Ancestral Corn Whisky
Price- $40.99 for 750ml($3.79 for 50ml sampler)
Age- NAS
ABV- 43%
Region/Country- Mexico
Distillery- Destileria Y Bogeda Abasolo
Imported by- Casa Lumbre Spirits, Manhasset, NY
Awards won- None found 

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Light gold


Aroma- Corn, caramel, bourbon
Flavor- Sweetness from corn is dominant, citrus, a hint of toffee
Body- Medium
Finish- Medium linger, corny finish
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf 
Though it is top-quality imported whisky made from the highest quality corn, it lacks the aroma and finishes to be on the top spot. Comes in a very attractive and unique rectangular bottle. 
Occasions- Outdoors bbq
SJ's Pro tip- Great as a gift because it gives an exotic appeal 
Food Pairing-  Grilled corn & chicken bbq
This was a completely new experience for me since it is a corn whisky. Absolutely enjoyed it and I see it has a place on casual occasions and goes well with food. Check it out for yourselves, Enjoy! Consume Responsibly!. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

John Barr Reserve Blend Scotch Whisky

John Barr Reserve Blend in on my TOP Shelf. Exceptional for the price & amazingly smooth and pleasant whisky-loved it. In today's blog, I intend to cover the following-
-Brief history behind this whisky
-Tasting notes
-SJ's Rating
-SJ's Pro tip
-Food pairing
-Cocktail using this whisky

Reads the product story on its website "James White and Charles Mackay began their career as whisky merchants in Glasgow in 1881. Today White & Mackay is one of Scotland's most esteemed whisky houses earning the title of UK spirits producer of the year by the international wine and spirits competition". Now, this whisky does have quite a legacy since it started more than a century ago. 
Now, who is John Barr? Says the website "John Barr was widely known in his homeland as a first-class whisky man. Born into a whisky-making family in Speyside Scotland,Barr rose through various positions to become Managing Director of the leading scotch whisky business of the day"
John Barr Reserve blend marries single malt and grain whiskies from Speyside & Highland regions. Each component is carefully selected and expertly blended by a third-generation master blender. There is truly some magic that happens which makes it such a well-rounded whisky. 

Vital Stats- John Barr Reserve Blend Scotch Whisky
Price- $21.99 for 750 ml($35 for 1.75L Big bottle with handle)
Age- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 40%
Region- Blend of Highland and Speyside
Distillery- John Barr Company, Glasgow, Scotland
Awards won- 2016, Ultimate Spirits Challenge, Great value & Chairman's award

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn glass then whisky tumbler
Serving style- Neat, Scotch Sour, On the rocks
Appearance- Dark gold


Aroma- Well rounded pleasant sherry, oak, toffee, apple
Flavor- Sweet, little smokey, sherry, oak, toffee notes
Body- Medium
Finish- Smooth, long, and lingering
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
Because it is such a pleasant, well-rounded, and refined whisky for any occasion. Also, loved the versatility of this one since I enjoyed it in almost all variations possible on the rocks, neat, and a cocktail. All tasted fantastic!
Occasions- 4th of July
SJ's Pro tip- Compare this with Johnnie Walker Black. I prefer this because it is higher quality at a lower price(Very rare to find such a combination but it is still possible) 
Cocktail- Scotch Sour(Mix 1.5oz John Barr & 3/4oz freshly squeezed lemon juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Enjoy!) 


Food Pairing- Mutton bbq. The sweet and light whisky balanced the heavy and spicy texture of goat bbq. 


I am delighted I tried this not-so-popular whisky and found it amazing. Give it a shot! Cheers & Enjoy Responsibly πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ. Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Jim Beam Honey Whiskey

Hello Single Malters, Today I am reviewing Jim Beam Honey Whiskey. In today's blog, I will share the following info- 

  • Sharing a link to my previous blog with distillery info
  • Vital Stats
  • Tasting notes
  • SJ's Rating
  • SJ's Pro tip
I have already covered the history behind this distillery in my previous blog- Jim Beam. Today, I am focusing on Jim Beam Honey.
Sweet as honey, bold as bourbon reads the description on the website. "Sweet but not too sweet, Jim Beam Honey has the perfect touch of honey to allow its warming sweetness to shine without losing the mellow smoothness of our original bourbon. So, whenever you are craving a cocktail with a sweeter side or as an easy sipper, this is the bee's knees.  I do not agree with anything that is stated. It is way TOO SWEET. 
Now, the fun part- my tasting notes. Enjoy!

Vital Stats- Jim Beam Honey Whiskey 
Price- $14.49 for 750 ml($0.99 for 50ml pictured sampler)
Age- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV-  35%
Country of Origin- USA
Distillery- James B.Beam Distilling company, Clermont, Frankfort, Kentucky
Awards Won- None

Tasting info-
Appearance- Light golden
Aroma- Vanilla, honey, citrus, light chocolate, marmalade


Flavor- Too sweet just like medicinal honey, sugary syrup taste
Body- Light
Finish- Short, nonexistent, watery 
SJ's Rating- BOTTOM SHELF
It is terrible just like a sugary syrup, medicinal kind of taste. I do not recommend anyone to buy this one. 
Occasions- None, Unless you want to ruin the party
SJ's Pro tip- The regular Jim Beam is way better than this. 

Well, this was quite a terrible whisky to try but am glad anyone reading this will steer clear of it after reading this. Enjoy some other bourbons like my go-to Makers Mark, won't go wrong. Cheers! Enjoy responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives Podcast

Monday, June 21, 2021

Athletic Brewing Hazy IPA- (Non-Alcoholic beer)



I am reviewing another Non-Alcoholic(NA) of Athletic Brewing- Free Wave Hazy IPA & it's on my TOP Shelf. Again! It is simply a product that hits the spot. In today's post I am covering the following:

- Brief history behind this NA beer
- SJ's Rating (explanation on why this Rating)
- Occasions best enjoyed
- SJ's Pro tip

For brewery history, check out my previous post on information about The Athletic Brewing Company. Today I will focus on Free Wave only.  Reads the product story "Our free wave hazy IPA is meant for the open road. Whether you are cruising the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible or tracing your way up the coast on your bike, our Free Wave doesn't cut corners. This mouth-watering IPA is loaded with Amarillo, Citra and Mosiac hop. You will want to grab a few for the road!" 
The product story smartly positions this as a drink for the road. Love the story, now let me do my tasting to find out if it is true or not! :-) Enjoy my tasting notes. 

Vital Stats-Athletic Brewing-Hazy IPA(Non-Alcoholic beer) 

Price- $10.52 for 6 pack
Age- N/A
ABV- Non-Alcoholic (Less than 0.5%)
Region- Stratford,CT & San Diego,CA
Brewery- Athletic Brewing Company
Beer style- Non-Alcoholic Golden
Awards won- 2020 Brewer of the Year, International Beer Challenge. 

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Large beer glass
Serving style- Chilled
Appearance- Hazy, light amber


Aroma- Toffee, citrus, honey, lemon, hops
Flavor- Just like real beer, bittersweet hops, lemon, nutty, hoppy.
Body- Full
Finish- Hoppy, creamy, smooth
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
I liked it better than Upside Down from the came company. it is really like an IPA, Gets better every time. Hops are omnipresent in this NA beer and it tastes damn good!
Occasions best enjoyed- To drink after a day's work but still need to be sober. 
Food- Chicken Pasta. Light pasta complements the heavy IPA


SJ's pro tip- Don't freeze it too long in the freezer. It almost turned into ice in 30 minutes, not like the alcoholic version. 

I enjoyed it on a weekday dinner not having to worry about any sort of hangover. I love it. Enjoy it any time, Cheers! to good health.  
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Glenmorangie The Lasanta 12 Sherry Cask Finish



Glenmorangie The Lasanta 12 is on my Middle Shelf. Almost put it on my bottom shelf because of the disappointing finish. The irony is that it claims to be a sherry cask finish, there is no finish let alone a smooth sherry finish. In today's blog, I will share the following information-

1. Brief history behind this whisky
2. Tasting notes
3. SJ's Rating & pro tip
4. Occasions of use
5. FAQ- Comparing the age of the whiskies(Can lesser age whiskies have more flavor than older ones?)

Established in 1843, The Glenmorangie Distillery is known for the "16 men of Tain". These men have a legacy of generations that have spent by contributing their whisky-making skills. It is what makes the distillery unique. I have covered more interesting facts about the distillery in my previous blog Glenmorangie-10

Now about Glenmorangie Lasanta 12.  It is very interesting the way they make it! For the first ten years, it is matured in bourbon casks and for the rest 2 years, it is finished in Sherry cask. Reads the product label " Our signature spirit, distilled in Scotland's talents stills, is aged first in bourbon casks for smooth, fruity notes. We then finish this single malt in had selected oloroso and Pedro sherry casks to create full-bodied richness and complex spice." 
The finish of is sherry cask is not convincing because there is no finish at all, not smooth no hints of sherry. Now enough talk, enjoy tasting notes! :-)

Vital Stats- Glenmorangie The Lasanta 12 years old Sherry Cask Finish
Price- $44.99 for 750ml
Age- 12 years 
ABV- 43%
Region- Highland, Scotland
Distillery- The Glenmorangie Distillery, Coy Tain, Ross-Shire
Awards won- 2017 World Whisky Awards, Best Highland Single Malt (I highly doubt this awardπŸ‘Ž) 

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencarin glass
Serving style- 1st drink: Neat. 2nd drink: on the rocks


Appearance- Dark amber
Aroma- Very aromatic vanilla, spices, caramel, oak, strawberry, citrus. A very little hint of sherry.
Flavor- Some Sherry hints of oak, nutty & vanilla. Not as flavorful as it looks. 
Body- Medium
Finish- Highly disappointing. Flat, short non-existent, not smooth
SJ's Rating-  Middle Shelf (Almost bottom Shelf)
Because of the terrible finish, it gives no character to this whisky. The appearance and the aroma are quite robust just like its high ABV. But the flavor and finish fall flat on its knees to be on the top spot. Nor is it that bad to be on the bottom spot. 
Occasions- Casual drinking not an enjoyable sipping whisky
Food Pairing- Fried red snapper with wild dirty rice.



SJ's Pro tip- The regular Glenmorangie 10 is much more flavorful and smoother than this. 

FAQ- Comparing the age of the whiskies(Can lesser age whiskies have more flavor than older ones?)
The short answer is YES.
The reason is that that age necessarily does not mean you will enjoy it more or will have more flavor. With over hundreds of whisky reviews, I have found many examples including this one where Glenmorangie 10 more flavorful than Glenmorangie 12. The magic of wood, alcohol, and time is a mystery and where it settles for a sweet spot is more of a mystery as well. 

I loved comparing this with the regular 10-year-old and enjoy reviewing it!. Check it out for yourselves and find out! Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Monday, June 7, 2021

Busker Irish Whiskey-Triple Cask


Busker Triple cask Irish Whiskey is on my TOP Shelf. It is one of the smoothest Irish whiskies I have ever had apart from Jameson Caskmates. 
In today's post, I will cover the following information-
-Brief history behind this whiskey
-Difference between Irish and Scotch whiskey
-SJ's Tasting notes
-SJ's Pro tip

Produced in the Royal Oak Distillery, the website states, the major point of differentiation for Busker Irish Whiskey takes place during the aging process where the blend, Tripple cask triple smooth and single grain expressions mature in rare selected Cantine Florio(1833) Sicilian Marsala(This is a wine cellar in Marsala, Italy) wine casks. 

What is the difference between Irish & Scotch whiskey?

Distillation- Irish is distilled thrice while Scotch is distilled twice.
Ingredients- Scotch is made of water & barley. Irish from corn, wheat & barley. 

While the fancy Scotch gets all the attention, humble Irish whisky stands tall with its own niche market.  As compared to Scotch there are only a handful of popular ones like Jameson & Tullamore Dew. I seek to find out the hidden gems :-) like this one. 

Vital Stats-Busker Irish Whiskey
Price- $23.49 for 750ml($2.99 for 50ml pictured sampler)
Age- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 40%
Region- Ireland
Distillery- Royal Oak Distillery, Carlow, Ireland
Awards won- Gold Medal 2020, LA Spirits Award

Tasting info-
Appearance- Golden


Aroma- Nice vanilla, cinnamon, spices
Flavor- Vanilla, oak, spices
Body- Medium
Finish- Exceptionally smooth, medium linger
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf
Smoothest Irish I have ever had. 
Occasions- For parties due to its cheaper price but high quality
Food Pairings- Chicken momo, the light flavor of this whisky complements momos. Match made in heaven.
SJ's Pro tip- Great alternate to Jameson

It was so much fun exploring this new whiskey, Check it out for yourselves. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly. Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podast instead.