Monday, May 31, 2021

Athletic Brewing-Upside Dawn(Non-Alcoholic beer)

Athletic Brewing-Upside Dawn beer is on my TOP Shelf. I was highly skeptical about this Non-Alcoholic many people are. But after trying this one it changed my mind. The reason is that I feel good drinking it!  enjoyed it. simple as that. 

In today's blog, I intend to cover the following 
- Brief history behind this beer
- SJ's Rating & Review
- SJ's pro tip
- Why drink non-alcoholic beer? (Benefits even for alcohol drinkers)

Founded in 2018 in Stratford, Connecticut this brewery has changed the non-alcoholic beer game forever. The founders are two dudes who were fed up with having a hangover wanted a healthier option when it came to non-drinkers and non-drinking occasions.
Basically, there was no high-quality non-alcoholic beer available in the market before athletic brewing. This is where it fills in the void for many choosing to not drink on a certain occasion or for non-drinkers alike. 
My first non-alcoholic beer review! Enjoy my tasting notes. 

Vital Stats-Athletic Brewing-Upside Dawn(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- Regular tumbler
Serving style- Chilled
Appearance- Light golden

Aroma- Lime, citrus
Flavor- Citrus, lime, wheat
Body- Full
Finish- Smooth, crisp
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
Amazing taste for a non-alcoholic beer, the taste and feel are just like the real deal. I am going to be stocking more of this in my fridge. :-)
Occasions best enjoyed- Can be enjoyed any time of the day, especially after workouts, in between drinks. 
Why drink non-alcoholic beer?
Here are some occasions-
1. You need to drive but still want to enjoy a beer. 
2. Cutting down on alcohol, in between drinks.
3. Completely being sober due to health restrictions.
4. Kids' birthday parties where alcohol is not served.
SJ's Pro tip- If you are trying to reduce your alcohol intake, substitute this with your drink.

I am absolutely satisfied with athletic brewing and can see immense benefits of it. Give it a shot! All the fizz minus the buzz. Cheers1 to good. health. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives Podcast instead. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Making Kombucha at home

 Hello single malters, as promised I made Kombucha at home and am sharing the easy recipe with you. I really enjoyed preparing Kombucha, waiting, and seeing how it would turn out to be. Here it is! Enjoy. 

In today's blog, I will share the following
1. Stepwise instruction on how to make Kombucha at home. 
2. Tasting notes SJ's Rating (Yes I am rating myself) 
3. Kombucha as an alcohol replacement
4. Different flavors I made

Steps to make Kombucha

Ingredients /equipment needed
a. Black loose tea or tea bags
b. SCOBI- Easily available when you look online. 
c. One-gallon jar
d. Utensil to boil water to make black tea. 

Time required- Minimum 7 days & additional 2 days after adding fruit. 

Step 1 Bring two cups of water to a boil 
Step 2 Add two tablespoons of black tea  & half a cup of sugar. Let it boil for a couple minutes.
Step 3 Steep tea and let it cool off for 10-15 minutes
Step 4 In a gallon jar pour the tea and and add cool water leaving 3-4 inches off the top. 

Step 5 Gently add SCOBI to the mixture

Step 6
Secure the top with a cloth and rubber band. Label the bottle with your name. I named it SML Kombucha and most importantly the date to keep track of the length of time. 

Step 7 Place in the warm area between 75 to 85 degrees F. "Cold is Mold" says the instructions

Step 8 Leave it for a minimum of 7 days then you can start enjoying it. 

For flavoring and fizziness

                                    Chop up your favorite fruit, I chose fresh strawberries ..Yum!

                      Next, add a few pieces of the cut fruit in an empty bottle (Also made, orange flavor)

                           Add your recently fermented kombucha in the bottle using a funnel

Let it sit for 2 days. Make sure you open the lid once a day to let the gas out or else the bottle might break.  Then enjoy the fruits of your labor! 

Vital Stats- SML Kombucha Strawberry, grape cocktail(homemade)
Cost- $12 for Scobie, $20 for big gallon jars that's it. ( I did not add the cost of tea and fruits because this is expected to be in most households not resulting in extra cost)

Tasting notes 
Appearance- Nice appealing amber gold

Aroma- Faint aroma of fermented tea, grapes & strawberry.
Flavor- Tangy from strawberry & grapes, sour, strawberry dominates the flavor 
Body- Medium
Finish- No noteworthy finish
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf 
Because it is a decent effort for the first time, lacks something not sure exactly what. Maybe I need to add some more sugar to make it sweet. I would definitely drink it again. though The point of this experiment is you can make decent Kombucha at home and not have to shell out a fortune to buy it. 
Occasions- All rounder, have it in between drinks, and a great choice for non-drinkers all day round. 
SJ's Pro tip- Very good for health. Cheers!

Kombucha as an alcohol replacent
1. Replace a drink with Kombucha to hydrate. 
2. Drink Kombucha if you still want a solid beverage but are cutting back on alcohol. 
3. Mix it with your favorite drink instead of juice or soda. 

This is a fun hobby to pursue and a healthy one too! I will continue making more kombucha(in fact already started SML batch 2 kombucha ).  Try it out at home and enjoy it with your family & friends. Cheers!
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives Podcast

Monday, May 17, 2021

Craigellachie 13 Speyside Single Malt Scotch

Craigellachie 13 is on my TOP Shelf. 
Everything about this whisky is old-fashioned, from the packaging to the raw flavor, a robust whisky. In today's blog, I will cover the following-

-Brief history behind this whisky/distillery
-My tasting notes
-SJ's rating & overview
-SJ's pro tip
-Food Pairing

Reads the product label "Old Fashioned in 1891, Craigellachie sits firm in the heart of Speyside. Flat bang in the middle of the Scotch Territory. It obstinately stands alone on a rock overlooking the confluence of the rivers Fiddich and Spey. But rid your mind off that typical Spey flavor. For Craigellachie rebels against this". 
This 13-year-old is non-chill filtered and weird but adventurous cordite(gunsmoke) lingering in the background. Nonchill simply means it has not undergone a non-chill filtering process which retains whisky color & flavor naturally. You have to try it to find out. Now enough talk, enjoy my rating notes! 

Vital Stats- Craigellachie 13 Speyside Single Malt Scotch
Price- $48.99
Age- 13 years 
ABV- 46%
Region- Speyside
Distillery- The Craigellachie Distillery, Moray, Scotland
Awards won- 2017 World Whisky Awards, World's Best Single Malt for Craigellachie 31

Tasting info-
Serving glass- The Glencairn glass
Serving style- Neat(Try on the rocks for lesser burn)
Appearance- Dark brandish copper

Aroma- Nice marmalade, vanilla, oak, some toffee notes, cloves & spices
Flavor- Wow! Bold powerful punch. Spicy, smokey with a wired tasting cordite
Body- Full
Finish- Not smooth but has this raw charm, burning long sensation 
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
Because of its sophistication, strong ABV & flavor it is in my Top spot. Many scotch drinkers might not like this one because of its burning sensation but I loved the sweet flavor after the slow burn. 
Occasions- Connoisseur tating
Cocktail- Old Soul 
Food Pairing- Pork ribs because the rich dark meat complements the strong flavor of this whisky(Rule of thumb for pairing food- If it feels good go for it! 😃

SJ's Pro tip- A must-have versatile drink for any occasion. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this tasting and encourage you to try it. Cheers! Enjoy Responsibly as always. 🥃🥃
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my Single Malt Lives Podcast instead. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad- Barrel Aged ale

Bourbon Barrel Quad
is on my Top Shelf. 
Finally, I found a barrel-aged ale to enjoy. This is no ordinary beer, it is a dark, strong beer of 12.2 ABV & aged in bourbon barrels for up to 3 years. Today I will let the pictures tell the story. As they say "Pictures speak a thousand words". Enjoy! 
I will cover the following in today's blog
1. Product story 
2. Tasting notes
3. SJ's Rating & why this rating
4. SJ's Pro tip

                                They're (brewer's story). I am always interested in reading the product story. 

           The story continues with how they age, how long, and what they add during the aging process. Says "cherries added during the aging process" - fascinating. 😍

This thing is so damn good, how could I settle for just one? Time for round number two 😀 

Vital Stats- Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad- Barrel-Aged ale- Smokestack series 
Price- $13.99 for 4 pack(12 oz bottles) 
Age-  Up to 3 years
ABV- 12.2%
Region- Missouri, USA
Brewery-  Boulevard Brewing, Kansas City, MO
Beer style- Dark ale
Awards Won- None found but I give it a personal Gold Medal :-)

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Tall beer glass
Serving style- Chilled 

Appearance- Dark 
Aroma- Toasty dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, fruits 
Flavor- Milky dark chocolate, bourbon sweetness
Body- Full 
Finish- Oh wow! longest ever tasted in any beer. So much punch to it like bourbon. 
SJ's Rating- Top Shelf 
I enjoyed every drop of it, got a hint of bourbon, It is strong, creamy, dark, and delicious. All essential components to crown it top shelf. 
Occasions best enjoyed- Celebrating something special
SJ's Pro tip- Give it as a gift to beer lovers, they will appreciate it

It was an absolute joy finding this beer, tasting and reviewing it. Always wanted to taste a beer that is aged in a bourbon barrel. Give it a shot! Cheers! Enjoy responsibility. 
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead.

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.