Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Drego Azul- Gold Tequila

Hello Single Malters- Drego Azul Gold Tequila is on my Bottom Shelf. 
In today's blog, I intend to cover the following
- Brief history behind this tequila
- Tasting notes
- SJ's Rating
- SJ's Pro tip

This is my 9th tequila review and it is the worst one I have ever tasted. There is no information on this tequila so it should be a big box brand. There is only some basic information about the bottler, no distiller name anything. Looking at the light color, it is a reposado tequila(aged for some time). 

Vital Stats- Drego Azul- Gold Tequila 
Price- $12.99 for 750ml($0.99 cents for 50ml sampler) 
Age- N/A
ABV- 40% 
Region- Jalisco,Mexico 
Company/Imported/Bottled by- Drego Azul Import company, Princeton, MN
Awards Won- I give it the "Worst Tequila ever tasted" 

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

Aroma- Typical agave, light on the nose.
Flavor- Regular tequila taste, nothing stands out
Body- Light 
Finish- Not smooth, bitter aftertaste. Terrible finish
SJ's Rating- Bottom Shelf 
Does not taste so good, I could not finish it all so don't recommend it. It is not a sipping tequila
Occasions- Large parties to make pitcher margaritas
SJ's Pro tip- It is a budget tequila

Though this was a bad tequila, I am glad I can share it with fellow readers & warn them to avoid this one. If you really want a good sipping tequila, you will not go wrong with Aha yeto Artesenal Tequila which I reviewed in my earlier blogs & is my best.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Kirkland Kombucha(organic) Ginger Lemonade

Organic Kirkland Kombucha is on my Top Shelf. Wondering why I'm reviewing a non-alcoholic drink on an alcohol review site? Well, technically. it contains less than 0.5% ABV. but not considered an alcoholic drink.  I occasionally take a weekend off drinking. It gives me a chance to try nonalcoholic beverages that might complement, substitute, or in other ways enhance the drinking experience. Already reviewed Topo chico, which is excellent carbonated water for drinking by itself or adding Scotch. 
The world of Kombucha is quite new to me, I intend to cover hard kombucha & how to make Kombucha at home in my upcoming blogs.
In today's blog, I will cover the following
-Brief history about this product
- My tasting notes
- SJ's pro tip
- SJ's rating
- Kombucha FAQs

This drink is Costo's Kirkland signature brand. Anyone not living under a rock needs no introduction to it. Costco makes excellent high-quality products for wholesale. Even though the choices are not that many, what is available here is all Top shelf. 

Kombucha FAQs
What is Kombucha? 
From wiki "Kombucha is a drink produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria."

Is Kombucha an alcoholic drink?
No, it is not considered an alcoholic beverage. However, it might contain less than 0.5% ABV due to fermentation. 

Vital Stats- Kirkland Kombucha Ginger Lemonade
Price-  About $2 a bottle. $16.19 for 8pack(16oz bottles)

Country/origin- USA
Company/Brand- Costco's Kirkland Signature
Beverage type- Organic Kombucha
ABV- Less than 0.5% but not considered an alcoholic beverage 
Calories- 70

SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
Even though this is not an alcoholic drink, I still rated this drink based on the following notes. 
Tasting notes-
Serving style- Chilled(only way to have it)
Appearance/Packaging- Top-notch glass bottle, very appealing. Kombucha itself is yellowish and inviting.
Taste- Exactly like the name, ginger lemonade drink
Body/texture- Fuzzy
Occasions best enjoyed- Taking a break from alcohol, in between drinks
SJ's pro tip- Try making it at home, it is very easy

It was a change of pace to take a break from alcohol this weekend and try Kombucha. I am very impressed and will explore more about this drink and try to make it at home as well. Cheers! to good health. Enjoy! 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Buchanan's Deluxe 12 Blended Scotch Whisky

Buchanan's Deluxe 12 Blended Scotch- Middle Shelf. 
It does not justify "Deluxe" as part of the name. 
In today's blog, I will cover the following
- Brief history behind this whisky
- My tasting notes
- SJ's rating and overview
- SJ's pro tip

I could not finish the sampler bottle of this whisky so it is on my Middle Shelf. It seems a little watered down with no finish at all. Give it a shot to find out! 
Buchanan was founded in 1884 by James Buchanan. Says in the website "Instead of creating a scotch to be revered, he created a uniquely smooth blend that could be shared and enjoyed by all" While the man did a decent attempt at making whisky, it falls flat on its knees compared to other world-class blended Scotch like Chivas or Black Label. 
Says the product story "Buchanan's 12 one of the world's most iconic and awarded luxury Scotch whisky brands. It has a soft and fresh profile that separates it from other more dense whisky profiles. "
Well, now it is time for the World famous SJ tasting. :-) Enjoy my tasting notes!

Vital Stats-Buchanan's Deluxe 12 Blended Scotch Whisky
Price-  $29.99 for 750ml ($3.79 for pictured sampler)
Age-  12 years 
ABV- 40%
Region- Scotland
Company/Distillery- James Buchanan & Company, Glasgow
Awards won- 2018 World Whisky Awards, Category winner for Taste. ( I don't approve of this award, the whisky is horrible) 

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

Aroma- Similar to Glenfiddich 12, floral, fruity notes, vanilla, toffee, spices, cinnamon, tangerine. 
Flavor- Tangerine, vanilla, spicy notes. Starts out nice but does not build on flavor. 
Body- light 
Finish- Very short, non-existent
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf 
Because the finish is terrible, feels like a watered-down Scotch. It is just ok, the appearance aroma, and flavor are not too bad but the finish is disappointing. It is way overpriced for the quality. I recommend Teachers blended scotch for a much better alternate. 
Occasions- wallet-friendly basic scotch for parties, great for scotch beginners. 
SJ's Pro tip- have it on the rocks or with club soda for better taste.

I enjoyed reviewing this one, try it to uncover it yourself. Cheers! Enjoy responsibly!. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Jack Daniels Single Barrel- Barrel Proof Whiskey

Jack Daniels Single Barrel-Barrel Proof is on my Top Shelf. Even at a shockingly high ABV of 65.85%, it is smooth and mellow. I do not recommend it for the faint of heart. I loved how every sip of this robust drink tells a story, most beautiful color, amazing aroma, and flavor & finish to match. What else would you need on a quality whiskey? 
In today's blog, I intend to uncover the following-
1. Brief history of this whiskey
2. Tasting notes
3. SJ's Rating
4. SJ's pro tip

Jack Daniels established in 1864 has a legacy of over 150 years so it has superior products not limited to the stereotype of "Jack & Coke". It has some top-of-the-line whiskies that are meant to be savored. This is definitely one of them. I have also reviewed Jack Daniels Single Barrel Select, which is another amazing product. 
Reads the product story "Whiskey as nature intended it- bottled straight from the barrel at its full proof. Intense, smooth & remarkably varied, Barrel Proof is bottled anywhere from 125 to 140 proof(62.5-70%ABV), taking Jack's trademark vanilla and toasted oak flavor to bold new levels. Barrel Proof simply means the whisky is bottled straight from the barrel without adding any water. This is very exciting because every barrel is different and has a uniqueness to it. Enough talk, now it's time to for my tasting notes. Enjoy! 

Vital Stats- Jack Daniels Single Barrel- Barrel Proof Whiskey 
Price- $59.95 for 750ml ($25.99 for pictured 375ml half bottle)
Age- NAS(No age statement)
ABV- 65.85%
Region- Tennessee, USA
Distillery- Jack Daniels Distillery, Lynchburg, Tenn
Awards won- None found, I give it a personal gold medal.

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn whisky glass
Serving style- Neat 
Appearance- Intense dark

Aroma- Vanilla, spice, oak
Flavor- This is golden liquid, creamy full-flavored oak, spices, vanilla, cinnamon & toffee. 
Body- Full
Finish- Long, smooth, warm & spicy

SJ's Rating- Top Shelf
Hits it on the spot for appearance, aroma, flavor to be on the top spot. Amazing strong whisky. Loved its bold yet complex character.
Occasions- Connoseur tasting.
SJ's Pro tip- Great gift for any whisky lover.

Wow! What an amazing drinking experience. I absolutely loved it. Check it out for sure, you won't regret it. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly! 🥃🥃🥃. Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Mossburn - Island Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

This whisky is Middle Shelf in my opinion. Though value for money for Smokey lovers, the finish and appearance land flat on its knees. 
The Mossurn distillery was established in 1992, fairly new for a Scotch.Reads the product label "One of a range of whiskies that showcase the typical characters of Scotland's regional malts, this is an exemplary expression of the island-style of Malt Whisky, with further influence from our signature cask bill designed specifically to enhance the characteristic we. love in coastal malts. It is bottled without any coloring or chill-filtration. "
This expression is Island which is the mossburn cask bill, smoke & spice.  The product label reads "To enhance the characteristics we love in coastal malts, the mossburn casks were first-fill ex-bourbon barrels with toasted virgin European heads, to provide additional smokey spice". With all the fancy product story, it is not time to find out the truth with my tastings. Enjoy!

Vital Stats- Mossburn - Island Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 
Price- $32.54 for 750ml
Age- NAS(No Age Statement) 
ABV- 46%
Region- Island
Distillery/Company- Mossburn Distilleries, Mossburn House, Camptown, Jedburgh, Scotland
Awards won- None found

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn Whisky Glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance-  Pale, light yellow

Aroma- Medium smokey, pettiness, grassy, caramel, chocolate, spices like pepper & cinnamon
Flavor- Wow! spicy, peaty. Very strong smokey taste if that is your cup of tea
Body- Medium
Finish- Slightly disappointing. Medium lingering spicy warm finish.
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf 
Because the finish and appearance lack behind. Robust smokey non-chill filtered - a bargain for smokey whisky lovers.
Occasions- Casual gathering with friends
SJ's Pro tip- Have it on rocks for higher ABV like these which will make it more palatable to drink. 

Really enjoyed reviewing this new whisky. Check it out and enjoy! Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Luminar Mezcal

This is bottom shelf- Terrible. Do not buy! Save yourself some money and get an authentic mezcal. It is overpriced but tastes like piss. There is no information about the distiller, which means it is another of Total Wine's in house brand. 

Vital stats- Luminar Anejo Mezcal
Price- $44.99 for 750ml($4.99 for pictured 50ml sampler)
Age- 1 year
ABV- 40%
Country/Region- Mexico
Company- Redemption Spirits, Bridgeport,PA
Awards won- Top 100 spirits for Wine Enthusiast 2019( I seriously doubt this award)

Tasting notes-
Appearance- Light gold

Aroma- It has no smokey aroma, smells like a regular reposado, faint oak nothing else
Flavor- Bland, this is not a mezcal not smokiness at all. Horrible
Body- Light
Finish- Non existant, short finish. No aftertaste
SJ's Rating- Bottom Shelf 
It is not mezcal by any standards. Genuine mezcals are highly smokey with higher than 45% ABV. 
Occasions- None
SJ's pro tip- For quality mezcals, look for these indicators
- Higher ABV of above 40%
- In the label look for the specific village or area in Mexico it is distilled. 
- Look for artisan and traditionally made mezcals rather than mass produced piss like this one. 

This was a bad tasting experience(There is no guarantee every session will be good :-)). Go for some authentic mezcal for an enjoyable experience. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly!
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Santiago Station Cabernet Sauvignon

Santiago Station Cabernet Sauvignon- In my top shelf. As I have mentioned in my previous blogs, I can barely distinguish between a $10 bottle vs $100 bottle of wine.It all tastes the same to me- like wine. I have, however developed a liking for cabernet sauvignons and marsala wines.. Today , I intend to cover the following-
-Background behind this wine
- Tasting notes
- SJ's Rating
- SJ's Pro tip
There is literally no information about where this wine comes from apart from the broad description "Product of Chile" and bottled by Santiago Station,CA. It left me to my imagination where and how exactly was it produced. Now I am beginning to think this is a big box brand of Total wine. 

Vital Stats- Santiago Cabernet Sauvignon  
Price- $4.99 for 750ml 
Vintage- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 12.5%
Country- Chile 
Region-Central Valley
Bottler- Santiago Station, Livermore & Ripon, California
Awards won- None found but SML gives it a gold medal for quality and value

Tasting notes-
Appearance- Dark

Aroma- Red grapes
Flavor- Typical red wine, grapes. Starts out bland but builds on the tannin feel from red grapes
Body- Full bodied
Finish- Medium, short sweet finish
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
A few sips and I felt the smooth velvety texture of this wine. It could easily be sold as a $100 bottle with all the fancy bells and whistles. Pretty good stuff
Occasions- Dinner with friends and family
SJ's Pro tip- Cheap yet great wine if you are on a budget(or not)

I enjoyed sampling this wine, even though I do it very less and incline to my single malts. This one is special I urge you to enjoy it!. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly!. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey

Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey- My Rating is Bottom Shelf. Why this rating? Read on below for details on-
1. History behind this whiskey
2. Tasting notes
3. SJ's Pro tip

Founded- 1987 by Thomas E Bulliet Jr. He fulfilled the lifelong dream of reviving an old family recipe by starting this company.  Website states "The subtlety and complexity of Bulleit Bourbon come from its unique blend of rye, corn and barley malt along with special strains of yeast and pure Kentucky limestone filtered water".  All the pure water and resources could not save this from being on my bottom Shelf. 

Vital Stats- Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey 
Price- $21.99 for 750ml($2.99 for pictured sampler)
Age- NAS(No Age Statement)
ABV- 45%
Region- Kentucky, USA
Distillery/Company- Bulleit Distilling. Louisville,KY
Awards Won- 2019 Gold, World Whiskies Award-Design( I am highly skeptical why it would win a gold medal for anything?)

Tasting info- 
Serving glass- The Glencairn Whiskey Glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Burnished copper, dark

Aroma- Typical bourbon oaky aroma. I smell vanilla, chocolate, strawberry & tangerine
Flavor- Bitter bite to it, very strong. It literally has no unique flavor that stands out, just bland alcohol!
Body- Medium
SJ's Rating- Bottom Shelf
Terrible, not recommended. If you have to get rid of a bottle use it as a mixer
Occasions- None, unless you want to ruin a party
Cocktails- Frontier Old Fashioned
SJ's Pro tip- Using it as a mixer for cocktails would be the best use of it if you have one

Not all of my tastings turn out to be the best. Today was one of the bad ones but I feel value in providing this information to fellow drinkers who can make a decision before investing in a full bottle. 
Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly!
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Glenfarclas 12 Highland Single Malt Scotch

Hello Single Malters, Today I am reviewing Glenfarclas 12. It is in my Top shelf am and amazed beyond words how good it is. I intend to share the following information in today's blog-

1. Brief history about this whisky/distillery
2. SJ's tasting notes
3. SJ's rating
4. Food pairings
5. SJ's pro tip

I am delighted with Glenfarclas 12 because at the price of $45 it is a hidden gem. It felt like I was sipping a 20 year old not a 12 year old. What is the secret behind this? How does the distillery maintain such high quality at a reasonable price? I am curious to find out.  I believe they achieve by choosing to remain a niche and not advertise a lot. They focus instead on a dedicated team whose sole job is to maintain that quality of whisky that has been passed down by generations.  

Glenfarclas Distillery was in Established 1835. It's website states "Since 1865, it has been owned and managed by only one family, the Grants of Glenfarclas." A time honored tradition!. The unique flavor I believe comes from -
1. Spring water from "Valley of Green Grassland" 
2. Distilled twice in traditional direct fire stills(Anything distilled twice would taste twice as good) 
3. Spanish sherry casks- This must be the main factor for such delicious liquor. John Grant personally travels to one particular family run Bogeda (Celler) in Spain to select only the finest European Oak casks previously used for the maturation of fine Olorosso Sherry. 
They have even thought of pairing it with smoked salmon or Iberico(Spanish) Ham to get the most flavor out of the whisky. This is very impressive because I have not seen single malts recommending any food pairings. 

Vital Stats- Glenfarclas 12 Highland Single Malt Scotch 
Price- $44.49
Age- 12 years
ABV- 43%
Region- Highland
Distillery/Company- Glenfarclas Distillery, Speyside, Scotland
Awards won-  2015, Silver-International wine and spirits competition among others. 

Tasting info-
Appearance- Medium Gold

Aroma- Fruity, nutty, cocoa, tangerine, sherry
Flavor- WOW! Sherried goodness with nutty, cocoa amazing flavor. Mostly dark cocoa, very flavorful
Body- Full 
Finish- Smooth, warm, long and lingering
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
It is a unicorn, hits the palette right away. The flavor, aroma and appearance is amazing and all in that low price is mind blowing. Drink up! It's a no brainer. 
Food- Goat Biriyani, chicken Manchurian. Not a pairing, I had something hearty since this is a higher 
ABV whisky. 

Occasions- Celebrating something special like anniversaries without breaking the budged
SJ's Pro tip- If you don't like sweeter cocoa flavor this is not for you. 

This is the joy of reviewing one bottle at a time, sometimes I get to taste the best and today was one lucky day. This one you really need to try, Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly!
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast

Monday, March 1, 2021

Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky

Hi, I'm SJ and welcome to my blog - Single Malt Lives. Today I am reviewing Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky. It goes in my Bottom Shelf. Needless to say, I love samplers. You get to taste a little before actually investing in the whole bottle which you might not like. 

In today's blog I intend to share the following information which will be useful to you- 
-History behind this whisky
- Tasting notes
- SJ's Rating
- SJ's Pro tip

It's website says they started distilling from 2009 and the idea started in 2008 in a old welding shop under a bridge. Fairly new for a whisky distiller. 
Reads the product label , A timeless style of single malt whisky, Balcones No.1 breathes new life into centuries of distilling tradition with classic techniques and ingredients adopted for new world tastes. 

Vital Stats- Balcones Texas Single Malt Whisky 
Price- $59.99 for 750ml ($4.99 for 50 ml pictured sampler)
Age- At least 22 months so roughly 2 years 
ABV- 53%
Country of Origin- TX,USA
Distillery/Company- Balcones Distilling, Waco,TX
Awards Won- 2013 Gold, New York, United Wine & Spirits Competition among others. I seriously doubt why any award would be given to such bad tasting whisky. 

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn Whisky glass
Serving style- Neat, first few sips & then on the rocks
Appearance- Intense earthy dark amber

Aroma- Highly aromatic oak, spices, cinnamon, citrus, vanilla
Flavor- Seems non chill filtered with a real kick. Cant really taste much flavor except oak.
Body- Medium 
Finish- Not smooth but has a little spicy linger
SJ's Rating- Bottom Shelf 
Terrible,I don't see this replacing my regular Scotch. Why? It is not smooth, little too rough around the edges. Since it calls itself single malt, naturally, I could not help but compare it with Scotch. It would take another century or more to get to the standards of Scotch whisky. So they better know what they are doing.  
Occasions- Movie night( Watched "High waters" 2019 movie)
Cocktails- None
SJ's Pro tip- A little club soda or on the rocks would make this whisky a little palatable. 

Some whiskies that I sample are not really that good but I do find the pleasure in revealing the truth and presenting it for the greater good of all drinkers. If you have tried it, let me know your opinion. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives Podcast

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

WhistlePig 10 year Rye Whiskey

Today, I am reviewing WhistlePig 10 Rye Whiskey & intend to cover the following-
- Brief history behind this whiskey
- Tasting notes
- SJ's rating
- SJ's pro tip

This is a rye whisky of Canada which is bottled in WhistlePig Farm in Vermount,USA. Seems quite confusing doesn't it? Well it is. Let me present some facts that will help in understanding where this is sourced from and how it is matured.  
WhistlePig started in 2007. With the help of late Master Distiller Dave Pickerell, they discovered and purchased huge quantity of 10 year old blending whiskey in Canada. This, I believe is the secret sauce of this whisky. Rye whisky from Canada. What makes Canadian rye so special? Rye is the most winter hardy crop tolerating temperatures as low as -30 degrees C. No wonder Canada uses rye for their whiskey since it is so cold out there. WhistlePig 10 is aged in new virgin American Oak from the blended rye whiskey brought from Canada. 

Vital Stats-WhistlePig Rye Whiskey 
Price- $72.99 for 750ml bottle($8.49 for pictured 50 ml sampler)
Age- 10 years 
ABV-  50%
Country of Origin- Canada
Company/Distillery- WhistlePig Farm, Go America Go Beverages, Shoreham,VT
Awards won- 2017, Best in Show Whiskey- San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Tasting info-
Serving glass- The Glencairn Whisky Glass
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Dark Amber

Aroma- Robust, tangerine, vanilla, rye, wheat, spices & oak
Flavor- Spicy, amazing sharp rye flavor, perfectly finished in oak barrels
Body- Full
Finish- Long lingering spicy finish, not the smoothest though. It has a bite from the rye.
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
Top shelf rye whisky. It is smooth, packs a flavorful punch, high ABV, great aroma and body. Whatever they have done from sourcing the rye whisky in Canada to aging is top quality. Love it. 
Occasions- Sipping by fireside on a cold snowy night watching a spaghetti western- The Hallelujah Trail.
SJ's Pro tip- Try Glenlivet Nadurra Olorosso Cask Finish for similar price range but flavorful whisky

Unique and amazing rye whisky, that I really had fun drinking and reviewing. Give it a try! Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SIngleMaltLives Podcast

Monday, February 15, 2021

Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 Islay Single Malt

Today, I am reviewing Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Ardbeg- A monster of a dram. I intend to cover the following- 
-Brief history behind this whisky
-Tasting notes
- SJ's Rating 
- SJ's Pro tip

Ardbeg distillery was founded in 1815 and has come a long way and made a name for itself as an intensely smokey whisky. It has got it's ups and downs and calls itself "The greatest distillery in the world". I can see why and the peaty flavor it imparts is something out of this world. 
Just like the name suggests, it really is a monster of a dram. It is matured in ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks. 

Vital Stats- Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price- $39.99 for 750ml bottle 
Age- 5 years (at least)
ABV- 47.4%
Country of Origin- Scotland
Region- Islay
Distillery- Ardbeg Distillery
Awards won- Numerous awards for best smokey whisky(too many to list here) 

Tasting info-
Serving Glass- The Glencairn whisky glass
Serving Style- Neat & on the rocks
Appearance- Medium Gold

Aroma- Smokey, peat, spices, cinnamon
Flavor- Intense peaty, smokey, ultimate peaty flavor, robust non-chill filtration gives earthy feel
Body- Full
Finish- Long, bitter sweet peaty aftertaste
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf
Another example that the age statement is not necessary a factor when it comes to flavor. It's got the ultimate robust peaty flavor that I have started to like. Smooth & long lingering finish. What else would you need on a cold winter night. 
Occasions- Savor it watching a spagetti western movie by the fireside :-)
Cocktails- None
SJ's Pro tip- Give it as a gift to smokey whisky lovers. 

I absolutely enjoyed drinking and reviewing this whisky. Give it a shot and find out. Cheers!🥃🥃 Enjoy responsibly! 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives Podcast

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Rebecca Creek 306 Fine Texas Whiskey

Hello Single Malters, today I am reviewing Rebecca Creek 306 whiskey made in San Anotnio, TX.  In today's blog I intend to share the following information- 
-Some history behind this whiskey
- Tasting notes
- SJ's Rating
- SJ's Pro tip

The Rebecca Creek Distillery was founded in 2009. The founder is Steve Ison whose vision and passion for high quality spirits led to building the distillery using a blend of old and new technology to produce fine spirits. It's product line includes whiskey and vodka. 
The name comes from the Rebecca Creek river that is next to the distillery( like any distillery in the world, one of the most crucial ingredients is water which needs to be sourced as near as possible to the distillery) & 306 is the farm road that is runs in front of it. Quite a literal name based on where it is located!

Vital Stats-
Price- $23.99 for 750ml($1.99 for 50ml pictured sampler) 
Age- NAS(No Age Statement) 
ABV- 40%
Country of Origin-  San, Antonio, TX, USA
Distillery- Rebecca Creek Distillery
Awards Won- 2012 Gold Medal, SIP International Spirits Competition among others

Tasting info-
Serving Glass- Glencairn Whisky Glass
Serving Style- Neat
Appearance- Medium Pale

Aroma- Typical oak, honey, vanilla, spices
Flavor- Quite a mouthful, oak, marmalade, cinnamon, lingering effect, spices
Body- Medium
Finish- Bitter, not smooth, very short lingering
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
Just a regular whiskey nothing that stand out except for slight bitter aftertaste. 
Occasions- Casual
Cocktails- None recommended
SJ's Pro tip- Great addition in whiskey collection 

I enjoyed reviewing this whisky, not much as tasting it but still the process of revealing is highly satisfying. Have a shot yourself and find out. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly! 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Spey River Speyside Sherry Cask Finish

Today I am reviewing Spey River Sherry Cask Finish. I intend to provide the following information. 

- History behind this single malt
- Tasting notes
- Food Pairings
-SJ's Rating
-SJ's Pro tip

It's website states "Spey River is a collection of the finest single malt scotch whiskies from the renowned Speyside region of Scotland known for its combination of refined flavor , aroma and excellence. 
Spey River Sherry Cask finish is first matured in American white oak casks with secondary finishing in used sherry casks.

Vital Stats- Spey River Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Sherry Cask Finish
Price- $31.57 for 750ml ($1.99 for 50ml pictured sampler)
Age-  NAS
ABV- 40%
Country of Origin- Scotland
Region- Speyside
Company- The Spey River Company, Bellshill, Scotland
Awards won- 2017 Silver, International Wine & Spirits Competition

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

Aroma- Light whiff of floral goodness, definitely some sherry. Hint of vanilla, honey, spices, caramel, light chocolate. 
Flavor- Slight hint of sherry but not robust, slightly sweet , fruity with spices
Body- Medium
Finish- Neither smooth nor lingering, short finish
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf 
It is just as expected of a cheap single malt with no distillery name. Everyday budget whisky. 
Occasions- Casual drinking, whisky flight with other finishes like Spey River Rum cask
Food Pairing- Pork Choila

SJ's Pro tip- For those who want single malt but are on a tight budget, this is perfect for you. The oak and sherry taste and aroma is very weak. 

It was a pleasure tasting this whisky & presenting the findings. Hope this is helpful to all my readers. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly 🥃🥃
I have in my previous blogs already reviewed Spey River Bourbon Cask Finish, feel free to take a look if you would like. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Taylor Marsala wine

Hello single malters, today I am diving into the world of wine and reviewing Taylor Marsala -a dessert wine. In today's post I intend to share the following- 

- The history behind this wine(at least attempt to find info)
- Tasting notes
- SJ's Rating
- Food Pairing
- SJ's pro tip

When I type Taylor Marsala in the search engine, there is not much information about the company, no legit site or anything. All I can find is the product story in the bottle which reads "A creamy, medium sweet marsala with raisin-like flavoring. Delicious for sipping or a gourmet touch in recipes". This is what I find amazing about this wine
- Perfect for cooking( I made chicken marsala and it was delicious)
- Great for enjoying by itself
- High ABV of 18% gives satisfaction and keep you slightly buzzed
- Cognac flavored makes it little stronger and tastier than other wines

Now for the real fun stuff, my tasting notes! Enjoy

Vital Stats-Taylor Marsala wine
Price- $5.29 for 750ml bottle 
Vintage- N/A
Age- N/A
ABV- 18%
Region- New York, USA
Producer- The Taylor wine company, Canadaigua,N.Y.
Awards won- None found 

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Tall wine glass

Serving style- Room temperature 
Appearance- Dark like cognac
Aroma- Alcohol wiff unlike other softer wines, rum, sherry, cognac
Flavor- Pleasantly sweet, raisins, hint of port &sherry
Body- Full
Finish- Short, non-lingering
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
It is a boozy, sweet dessert wine but not that smooth hence in my middle shelf. It is a great all occasion wine particularly for cooking. 

Occasions- Dinner with Families & Friends & as a dessert wine
Food Pairing-  Marsala chicken(what else could it be? ) 

SJ's Pro tip-  Cognac lovers will like this flavor as it is fortified wine with high ABV of 18%

I enjoyed drinking this wine, enjoying with my food and sharing it here in my blog. Check it out for your self and find out. Cheers 🥃🥃🍷🍷. Enjoy Responsibly! 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives Podcast instead. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Jim Beam Devil's Cut Bourbon Whiskey

Hello Single Malters, Today I am reviewing Jim Beam Devil's cut bourbon whiskey. In today's blog I will share the following info- 
  • My research on the history behind this whiskey
  • Vital Stats
  • Tasting notes
  • SJ's Rating
  • SJ's Pro tip
Jim Beam is no new name to any whiskey lover which is world famous for its line of whiskies. It has been around for over 200 years way back in the late 1700's. It apparently has a rich history passed along family generations and distilling one of the best bourbon's in the world. 
Jim Beam Devi's cut was released in 2011- a slightly sinister bourbon made from the liquid that becomes trapped within the wood of the barrel during ageing. The way they do that is by filling those barrels with water and rolling them, the trapped whiskey gets out that way. It is the opposite of the term Angel's share where whiskey is evaporated and taken by the angels. 

Vital Stats- Jim Beam Devil's Cut Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 
Price- $33.67 for 750ml bottle( $1.39 for 50ml pictured sampler)
Age- 6 years
ABV-  45%
Country of Origin- USA
Distillery- James B.Beam Distilling company, Clermont, Frankfort, Kentucky
Awards Won- 2012 , Gold- San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Tasting info-
Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Dark Amber

Aroma- Oak wood deep aroma, vanilla, citrus, dark chocolate
Flavor- Robust deep oak, vanilla, spices
Body- Full
Finish- Not lingering, not so smooth, warm spicy robust
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf 
It is a as unique as it's cool name, however doesn't cut out to be a pleasing top shelf sipping whiskey. Very cool marketing and concept though. 
Occasions- Whiskey flight
Cocktails- Old Fashioned( The robust oak and vanilla flavor would make a mean cocktail)
SJ's Pro Tip- Any bourbon lover would appreciate this diverse taste of Devil's cut

Loved tasting this cool Devil's cut whiskey. It sure is the devil's cut hidden deep inside that oak wood. Check it out for yourselves and find out, cheers! 🥃🥃. Enjoy Responsibly. Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Wild Turkey 101

One World Many Malts & many bourbons!😃😃. The quest to find the best whisk(e)y continues with Wild Turkey 101. It is Top Shelf & I found another unicorn apart from Buffalo Trace Bourbon. By unicorn I mean lower price but exceptional quality that takes one by surprise. 
In today's blog I will be sharing the following information- 

  • My research on the history behind this whiskey
  • Vital Stats
  • Tasting notes
  • SJ's Rating
  • SJ's Pro tip
Wild Turkey distillery opened doors way back in 1869. It was in 1940, the distillery gets the name after distillery executives shares his bourbon with friends on a annual hunting trip apparently they got the wild turkey. 🦃🦃
Now about Wild Turkey 101.Reads the product label "For more than 60 years, legendary Master Distiller Jimmy Russel has been crafting Wild Turkey 101 the right way. With a high rye content, this iconic bourbon is perfectly aged in American white oak barrels with the deepest char for more character. It is made using corn, rye & barley with higher content of rye. An interesting fact is they barrel the bourbon at lower proof so by the time it's finished ageing they can add less water than other whiskey makers before bottling. This results in retaining true, rich flavor and deep auburn color it acquires from the barrel. 
Now time to see if this turkey lives up to the expectation. Enjoy my tasting notes!

Vital Stats- Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Whiskey 
Price-  $24.49 for 750ml ($13.99 for 375ml pictured half bottle)
Age- 6-8 years
ABV-  50.5%
Country of Origin- USA
Distillery-  Wild turkey Distilling co, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
Awards Won- Highly decorated since 2010. Latest being 2016, Double Gold in San Francisco World Sprits Competion. 

Tasting info-

Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Dark Golden 
Aroma- Caramel, Vanilla, honey just like its appearance, citrus, rye
Flavor- Oh my goodness! Wow! Sweet, smooth, lingering, chocolate, caramel, honey, oak, rye, spices, cinnamon, cloves. Wow! again 
Body- Full 
Finish- Exceptionally smooth, spicy, warm, long & lingering
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
For the price, it is an exceptional quality bourbon. it hits the spot for me, full bodied, smooth, aromatic and flavorful. Hence, it sits proudly on my top. 
Occasions-  Outdoors parties, hiking bonfire or just casual drinking with friends 
Cocktails- The high ABV & amazing flavor would make a mean Old Fashioned
SJ's Pro tip- For those looking for an alternate to  Buffalo Trace, there is another unicorn in town called Wild Turkey 101. It is as good or even better & much more easier to find. 

Like always I enjoyed tasting this new drink and so can you. Cheers! 🥃🥃. Enjoy like a gentleman. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

AnCnoc Highland Single Malt

Happy New Year 2021! Single Malters, Today I am reviewing anCnoc 12 Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. I had never heard of it before, so I made it a point to pick it up based on intuition. Was my intuition correct or did I waste $43 down the drain? You will find out at the end.  As a lifestyle habit, I like starting my year by reading a book that gives some food for thought throughout the year. Don' worry I will do my tasting review like always 😉.In today's blog I will share the following:

1. Book I am currently reading
2. My research & history behind this whisky
3. Vital Stats
4. SJ's Rating
5. Occasions best enjoyed & SJ's Pro tip.

Let me start with the book I am reading- The Myth of Capitalism and death of competition by Johnathan Tepper & Denise Hearn. It is a thought provoking read on big corporations controlling most of all consumer essentials like retail, airline, banking, healthcare. Authors also promise a  a resolution to this problem at the end of the book( I haven't reached that part 😃). 

Author SJ happily reading & enjoying a cup of coffee( Simple pleasures of life 😎 ) 

Now back to business, ancNoc is distilled by Knockdhu Distillery. (Yes I am hearing these names for the first time as well). It was established in 1894 so it carries a legacy of over 125 years...wow. Named after the nearby Black Hill, known as Khockdhu in Gaelic which is an alluring backdrop of the distillery. 
Very interestingly though, their single malt is not named after the distillery.It is  proudly named after the anCoc, which provides the source of the pure crystal spring water that is an essential element of anCnoc Single Malt Whisky. anCnoc 12 got me by surprise in a good way just like the new year brings joy in people's lives. What can I say, smooth yet not overly complex, it has its twists and turns in flavor and something for the likes of everyone. I would say it is a very versatile & friendly drink. 

Now the moment you all have been waiting for ...my very tasty tasting notes! Enjoy. 

Vital Stats- anCnoc 12 Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 
Price- $43.99 for 750ml
Age- 12 years
ABV- 43%
Country of Origin- Scotland
Region- Highland
Distillery- Knockdhu Distillery company, Aberdeenshire
Awards won- 2015 Gold, Outstanding International Wine & Spirits Competition among host of others

Tasting info-     
Serving glass- Glencairn whisky glass  
Serving style- Neat
Appearance-  Light Amber with yellowish hue

Aroma- Gentle whiff of honey, lemon. Hint of vanilla, oak, cinnamon, nutmeg.
Flavor- Wow, gets right to the palette. Light yet complex  flavor of fruits, spices. Warm & spicy
Body- Full 
Finish-  Smooth, warm, long & lingering
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf
Surprisingly light yet challenging in flavor & high in character. Long nice warm finish with an explosion of flavor in the mouth. This unknown whisky stands tall in my top shelf. The aroma is somewhat lacking though but still top quality single malt for sipping. 
Occasions- Connoisseur tasting & casual drinking with friends & families
SJ's Pro tip- Amazing whisky with high ABV of 43% compared to similar whiskies like Glenfiddich 12. 

I enjoyed every drop of this drink saying goodbye to 2020 & welcoming 2021. Wishing everyone of my readers a prosperous year..Cheers! 🥃🥃 & Enjoy it like a gentleman.(resposonbibly )
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives-podcast instead.