For this installment of Tasting Notes, we jump-start our workweek with a probiotic boost thanks to a few pours of Ginger & Oak Organic Hard Kombucha from Flying Embers (Ojai, California).
One of three Core offerings from Flying Embers, Ginger & Oak is an Organic Hard Kombucha fermented with “black tea, . . . kombucha culture with live probiotics” and “a unique botanical adaptogenic base of roots including ginger, turmeric, ashwagandha, and astragalus.” This refreshing brew is “USDA-certified organic, gluten-free, vegan and has zero grams of sugar at a sessionable 4.5% abv.”
Ginger & Oak is available Year-Round in 16 oz. cans and 22 oz. bottles. You can expect to find Ginger & Oak – along with Lemon Orchard and Ancient Berry – at kombucha-friendly retailers located within Flying Embers‘ distribution footprint in Southern California, “the San Francisco Bay Area, Oregon and Washington; southwestern states Arizona and Texas; and . . . the east coast via New York, Philadelphia and [the] New England area.”
Now that we are all a bit more familiar with this offering’s background information, let’s crack open a few cans and get into our first “Kombucha Edition” of Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for Ginger & Oak from Flying Embers
Appearance: Fresh off the pour, Ginger & Oak presents itself as a hazy lemonade-like yellow in color and is capped with loose bubbles that almost instantly dissipate (similar to that of a soda). When held to direct light, the color intensifies to become more of a sunshiny yellow. This kombucha is quite cloudy, but a peppy carbonation presence can still be seen streaming within.
Aroma: Quick to grab your attention, the aromatics open with a pronounced herbal tea character that offers notes of bitterness, maltiness and smoke. Ginger swiftly rushes in to brighten things with its zesty, spicy and citrus-like qualities. The added turmeric further reinforces the ginger and its citrus notes by adding a touch of orange. The profile is rounded off with an incredibly pleasant woody earthiness.
Taste: That herbal tea quality immediately asserts itself here as well by opening the experience with a punchy bitter note (we assume this is the ashwagandha making itself known). That powerful note is rapidly tempered as the black tea base imparts soothing tones of caramel, leather and honey. Smoke and earth surface just before a bright burst of ginger and citrus (lemon and orange) takes over to close things out.
Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium in body with a lively carbonation, this kombucha is light and easy-drinking. Moving easily through the tart, herbal and sweet portions of the palate, it eventually finds a nice balance and finishes dry enough to keep you craving another sip. Coming in at a low 4.5% ABV, there is no sign of heat or booziness. The aftertaste is all ginger and lemon-laced herbal tea.
Final Thoughts: If you do not drink kombucha very often, you might be taken aback a bit by the first sip of Ginger & Oak. By the second sip, your mind and taste buds adjust, allowing everything to come together as the herbaceous, earthy and bitter notes are balanced by the black tea base and the ginger and citrus tones take things to the next level with a zesty brightness. This makes for an incredibly enjoyable and invigorating experience that firmly engages your senses and seemingly wakes up your brain. It is a unique but familiar experience that just leaves you feeling good and satisfied . . . and that is a winning result if you ask us. If you are looking to mix up your libation lineup with something new/different or are already a big fan of kombucha, be sure to check out Ginger & Oak and other offerings from Flying Embers whenever you happen upon them. Prost!