Silver Swallow “Luxury De Luxe Kombucha Blanc” Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Alcohol <0.5%) Silver Swallow Website $57 (for 3 x 750ml bottles)
Having always really enjoyed a good Kombucha, it’s rarely that I walk by an unfamiliar one in a store without giving it a shot. Saying this, I’ve come to discover that there are certainly more utterly awful Kombuchas out there than there are decent examples, and thankfully this bottling falls into that latter more elusive category.
I’ve seen this elegant cage/cork-sealed bottle lurking in the door of our fridge for a couple of months now, and so while my wife was away skiing with our son I thought I’d have a sneaky little taste. Unfortunately for her, and for me when she finds out, I loved the stuff so much that I consumed the entire bottle in one sitting. I’m wondering if I can possibly replace the bottle before she actually notices it has gone, as if I don’t I’m going to be in for a world of
hurt trouble. Seriously.
(Postscript: She busted me on this one… doghouse for me)
The packaging has a lot more style and élan than one will find with one’s common-or-garden Kombucha (no ersatz hippy psychedelia here), and this speaks to the contents of this curvy and contoured 750ml bottle.
This Kombucha is named after the Silver Swallow, a rare organic white tea that is hand picked in Yunnan, China only once per spring. In the hill country of Fujian, legend tells of a silver swallow that many, many centuries ago led the daughter of an veteran tea artisan to discover the bushes that to this day produce organic Silver Swallow white tea.
Origin story marketing aside, it is this very particular tea that brings its unique flavours to this utterly charming champagne-styled beverage.
Pouring with just a touch of haziness, the carbonation is pleasingly soft, with none of that aggressive Soda-Stream/pompa di bicicletta found in many a Kombucha. One will find delicate aromatics not dissimilar to those found in many New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, so think: slightly herbal/grassy, passionfruit with just a teeny hint of blackcurrant. It’s dry, but there’s a perceived, almost light honeycomb-like, sweetness, bringing an exquisite balance. In my experience it’s rare to find such divine equilibrium in a non-alcoholic beverage. The dry herbal/fruit finish is pleasingly persistent.
Although it’s decidedly off-label usage, I highly recommend this as a hangover-with-upset-stomach cure.
(Four and a half apples out of a possible five)