Thursday, January 23, 2020

Ageing whiskey in Barrel at home


Hey Single Malters,  I have recently picked up a new hobby that is ageing whisky in mini barrels. Well at least I am going to try and see how it goes. I got this barrel/dispenser as a Christmas gift from my lovely wife. I am having so much fun with it and sharing how I am ageing a whiskey in today's post. It has been exactly one month since I aged this whisky and will update you once I do a tasting comparison with non-barrel aged whisky to see the difference so stay tuned for that in my upcoming blogs as well. For now Enjoy!
In today's post I will include
1. Type of barrel used
2. How to age whisky with step by step instructions with pictures
3. Tips on which alcohol to use for ageing

The barrel/dispenser I used in from Sharper image
Setting the stage, the packaging contents 

Instructions  to age alcohol 

Step by step Instructions 

Step 1- Remove the plug from the front of the barrel(remember to keep it safe so it can be used later)


2. Wash barrel with warm water, shake and empty
3. Use the attached funnel to carefully pour your whiskey in the barrel(I used Evan Williams Bottled in Bond) 

Step 4- Carefully screw the sprout into the front of the barrel

Finally all done 

Labelled the ageing start date of Dec 24,2019 and wait to let the magic happen

Some tips on ageing whiskey
I did some research on which alcohol to age so came up with suggestions to go for a higher proof alcohol. Hence, my quest began to find the perfect alcohol. My criteria was higher proof but not so high that it would have no change in flavor. Also, slightly cheaper whisky which means it hasn't  been aged for too long. I found Evan Williams bottled in Bond which fit my requirement. It is 50%ABV and just $13, match made in heaven. It is not too high proof or aged too long that I would not notice the difference when it matured.
Also, I kept 1/4 of the liquor just so I could compare it with the matured whisky when it is ready. Now how long I plan to age it is a big question. Well that I do not know, I will leave it at least a month and sample every month to see the difference. For now my intent is to enjoy the process of aging and reap the fruits of my labor eventually.
So go ahead knock yourself out and age yourself some good whisky. Cheers πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ & choose to enjoy responsibly.
Not in the mood to read. Check out my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Barrel Reserve


I am reviewing Glenfiddich 14 for today's review. It is a special Bourbon Barrel Reserve,an interesting twist of flavor with Glenfiddich 14 paying tribute to American Bourbon industry in this release. Reads the product label "A celebration of the american spirit. After years maturing in casks that previously held bourbon, our Malt Master Brian Kingsman finishes our Scotch whisky in deep charred new American Oak Barrels from Kentucky for a rich, sweet and vibrant malt". This is why this whisky has the character of bourbon as well. The finishing in new oak barrels wakes it up with a bold vanilla punch, overlaid with notes of fresh oak and velvet caramel.

Vital Stats- Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Barrel Reserve
Price- $46.00
Age- 14 years
ABV- 43%
Region- Speyside
Distillery- The Glenfiddich Distillery,Dufftown,Banffshire,Scotland
Awards won- None yet.

Tasting info-
Serving glass-Glencairn whisky glass

Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Dark gold
Aroma- Fruity,tangerine, vanilla, oak, peppermint
Flavor- Fruity goodness of tangerine with toffee, caramel,vanilla and lingering oak sweetness
Body- Medium
Finish- Smooth,warm & lingering

SJ's rating- Top shelf
Highly complex fruity,deeper & darker version of Glenfiddich. Very well rounded and the new oak barrel giving it that fresh bold personality. Loved it. I am happy I poured myself a dram or two:-)
Occasions best enjoyed- Casual drinking, would be an amazing gift for the price
Cocktails- None, Enjoy it neat or with two cubes of ice

Hope you enjoyed it. Cheers to the marriage Glenfiddich & American Bourbon! & enjoy responsibly. Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives podcast instead.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Evan Williams Bottled in Bond


Hi everyone, Today I have Evan Williams Bottled in bond kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey for the review. It is 100 proof genuine sour mash bourbon that is bottled in bond. Are all these jargons confusing to you? so was I. Let me break it down for you. 
100 proof means it has 50% alcohol by volume. 
Sour Mash is a process used in distilling that uses materials from an older batch of mash to start the fermentation of a new batch. It is similar to making of sourdough bread with water. Bourbon made using this process is called sour mash bourbon(From wiki). 
Bottled in Bond status is earned only by meeting strict government standards, originally passed in 1897 to ensure quality & consistency. In accordance with these standards the liquor must but produced in one distillation season (Jan to June or July to Dec) by one distiller at one distillery. It must be aged in federally bonded warehouses under US government supervision for at least 4 years and bottled at 100  proof or 50% ABV. 
Evan Williams proudly boasts its Bottled in Bond status by meeting all these standards in this elegantly while labeled bottle. 

Vital Stats-
Evan Williams Bottled in Bond
Price- $13.93 for 750ml bottle
Age-  At least 4 years
ABV- 50%
Distillery- Old Evan Williams Distillery, Louisville,KY
Awards Won- None found

Tasting info-
Serving  glass- Glencairn whisky glass

Serving  style- Neat
Appearance- Dark amber ...very soothing to the eyes
Aroma- Pleasant aroma of creamy vanilla, oak, spice, cinnamon, coffee
Flavor- Amazingly sweet & complex, rick oak , vanilla, cinnnamon, pepper
Body- Full
Finish- Warm, smooth lingering

SJ's rating- Top Shelf
I am blown away by this one. A bourbon of this caliber could be sold at much higher price range. It is like that humble wise man who does not boast his knowledge. A robust 50%ABV with a flavor to match at a very cheap price. I know.. it doesn't add up but try it yourself to find out. I loved it.

Occasions best enjoyed- Casual drinking, flight with other bourbons that have lesser ABV
Cocktails- Old Fashioned, Manhattan.
Hope you enjoyed the review. Cheers πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ & Enjoy Responsibly. Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The Glenlivet Archive 21 & Happy New Year 2020


Happy New Year 2020 fellow Single Malters. It is a special occasion so reviewing Glenlivet 21 year old archive today. There are some fine things in life that do come with a hefty price tag. The Glenlivet Archive 21 is one of them. I am not saying everything with a higher price tag is good but this certainly is one of them. My general rule is if I like the flavor price does not matter.. expensive or cheap, go with what your palette enjoys and of course your wallet can afford! The special thing about this whisky is it produced in small,bespoke batches where each cask is nosed and approved making every batch unique.
I got to taste this in The Glenlivet Sipping sessions held in Dallas by the Purple Heart Foundation. This is the second time this year that I went to this event and I enjoy it more every time I participate. Indulge in some of the pictures of the event as well! Now without delay lets get to my tasting notes.

Vital Stats- The Glenlivet Archive 21 Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price-$329.99 for 750ml bottle( I got a free sample at the Glenlivet event πŸ˜„)
Age-21 years
ABV- 43%
Region- Speyside
Distillery- The Glenlivet Distillary,Moray,Scotland
Awards won- Gold outstanding by International wine & spirits competition(2013 & 2017) , The scotch whisky Masters 2013

Tasting info-
Serving glass- The Glenlivet whisky glass

Serving style- Neat
Appearance- Dark Amber
Aroma- Very pleasant dried fruits, dark chocolate and sherry
Flavor- Creamy layered fruity & chocolate goodness, raisins, caramel & spice
Body-  Full bodied
Finish- Lasting warm, toasted hazelnut lingers

SJ's Rating- Top Shelf
The Glenlivet archive 21 lives up more than expected of it. It is an archive of flavors upon flavors exploding in your mouth as it has lived in the casks for 21 years. Very smooth of course and incomparable flavor. 

Occasions best enjoyed- Celebrating milestones like silver jubilee anniversaries or big achievements
Cocktails- None. Meant to be enjoyed neat. No exceptions

Here are some pictures of the Glenlivet event that I highly enjoyed

Welcome banner

The whisky flight Glenlivet 12 yr, Glenlivet 14 yr,Glenlivet Founder Reserve(From left to right). Also pictured far left is a Hot Toddy cocktail kit.

Flavor scorecard 

Bartender setting up the state for the event

Yummy appetizers served..pork something very delicious

Your perfect instagram corner 

Very carefully crafted props for pictures to share in social media

Some more products on display

Author SJ (Left) with Glenlivet whisk(e)y Brand Ambassador Robert &  friend Felipe(back)
Wishing all you Single Malers a very Happy New Year 2020. Choose to Drink responsibly. Cheers!!
Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead & relax. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The BenRiach Peated Cask Strength Batch 2 Single Malt Scotch Whisky


Hello Single Malters, today I have BenRiach peated cask strength Batch 2 whisky for the reivew. Reads the product label "Benriach peated cask strength is a rare peated Speyside Single Malt bottled at it's natural state. The strength is kept high as if sampled from the cask and the natural color has developed over the years. The full flavor from the wood remain". No words express the depth of flavor your palette will go through after sampling this golden liquid. Now let me take you to the roller coaster ride fun I had with my tasting notes. Enjoy!

Vital Stats-
The BenRiach Peated Cask Strength Batch 2 Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price- $89.99
Age- No age statement
ABV- 60%
Region- Speyside
Distillery-The Benriach Distillery,Morayshire,Scotland
Awards won- Gold,2019 World Whisky Awards

Tasting info-
Serving glass- Glencairn whisky glass
Serving style- Neat then with 2 cubes of ice
Appearance- Light golden

Aroma- Heavy peat, citrus, vanilla& spices
Flavor- Exactly how it should be heavily peated, smokey, robust. Multiple layers of complex flavors. After the bitter peat ,sweet oak follows.
Body- Full bodied
Finish- Sweet lingering aftertaste

SJ's Rating- Top Shelf (for those who like smokey peated)
It was like a roller coaster ride tasting this 60% ABV smokey whisky. It is not for the faint of heart. Surprisingly once the bitterness was gone, I was greeted by sweet oak like a good old friend. In other words you need to take your time to really enjoy this robust bad boy. First I tired it neat and felt like a dragon was breathing down my throat. It is that strong. I realized a couple of ice cubes makes the flavor more palatable.

Occasions- Special occasions like turning a boy into a man :-), winter, connoisseur tasting.
Cocktails- None. Meant to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks

I enjoyed it on the rocks as well ! Cheers. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. See you all in 2020.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

WoodFord Reserve Kentucky Bourbon


Reads the product label "The art of making fine bourbon first took place on the site of the Woodford Reserve Distillery, a national historic landmark in 1812". Hello friends on this note I am reviewing Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon which has set a hallmark standard for exceptional bourbon. It certainly has a long history & legacy behind it and an amazing product that speaks for itself. It is widely associated with the Kentucy Derby and sell a lots of delicious Mint Julips during the event.
Without further delay, I am unleashing the tasting notes. Enjoy.

Vital Stats
WoodFord Reserve, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
Price- $26.99 for 750ml bottle, $4.49 for 50ml sampler(pictured)
Age- N/A
ABV- 45.2%
Distillery- Woodford Distillery, Versailles,Kencutky
Awards won- Gold Medal,Class Bartenders Awards 2018

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

Aroma- Vanilla, citrus, cinnamon, pepper, spices
Flavor- Sweet oak, pleasant toffee, vanilla, butterscotch, nutmeg
Body- Full bodied
Finish- Smooth & long.Lingers in mouth for a while.

SJ's Rating- Top Shelf
WoodFord Reserve is one of my favorite bourbon in the ranks of Makers 46. For me it hits the spot, smooth with just the right amount of sweetness and delicious. If you are looking for a sipping bourbon then this fits the bill. 

Occasions best enjoyed- Connoisseur tasting, on a quiet cold evening by the fireside.Special gift
Cocktails- Manhattan, Old Fashioned

Leaving you with the quintessential drunk humorπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

Hope you enjoyed reading the review. Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. Cheers πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ & Enjoy Responsibly.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Fistful of Bourbon


Friday night with a nice bourbon and a Clint Eastwood western movie. This is one of my pleasures of life and a bourbon that sounds like a western is an icing on the cake. Today I am reviewing Fistful of Bourbon, it is a blend of straight bourbon whiskies . Even the mini sampler comes in a nice glass bottle unlike cheaper plastic ones. It is aged in new charred oak barrels aged for a minimum of two years. Now for the best part lets see if this fistful packs any punch or falls flat on it's knees. Time for my tasting . Enjoy!

Vital Stats-
Fistful of Bourbon - A blend of straight bourbon whiskies
Price- $23.99 for 750ml, $0.99 for 50ml sampler(pictured). Gifted to author by a friend πŸ˜ƒ
Age- 2 years
ABV- 45%
Bottled & produced by- William Grant & Sons Inc New York,NY
for Tuthilltown Spirits Gardiner,NY
Awards Won- None found but I would give an award just for it's name

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

Aroma- Corn, vanilla, fruits and hint of oak & nuts. Aromas from all different bourbons blended
Flavor- Many different flavors from the blends corn,caramel, vanilla, oak. Strong omnipresent burning sensation, spicy, some sweetness but has more bite to it like a fireball whisky.
Body- Medium
Finish- Medium dry finish, burning sensation lingers in mouth for a bit
SJ's Rating- Middle Shelf
I like the idea of blended bourbon and the taste is soothing.

Occasions- Low key events like outdoors camping
Cocktails- Old Fashioned, Manhattan, with club soda to curb that sting of strong alcohol

A little humor
Cowboy to Bartender, "Wash your hands and give me three fingers of red rye whisky". 🀣🀣🀣

Hope you enjoyed the review. Not in the mood to read? Listen to my SingleMaltLives Podcast instead. Cheers ! πŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒπŸ₯ƒ & enjoy responsibly