Alchemia Czekoladowa (Chocolate Infused Vodka)
Review: Alchemia Czekoladowa (Chocolate Infused Vodka) 83/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on June 16, 2011
Alchemia Vodka is distilled in Poland by a company called, Bialystok S.A., which is apparently one of Poland’s largest producer’s of distilled spirits. Alchemia Czekoladowa (pronounced chek-o-la-dova ) is a premium grain distilled vodka from Poland infused with naturally derived cocoa. The infusion process saturates the already distilled vodka with the flavouring ingredient allowing both colour and flavour to be imparted to the final spirit.
I was given a sample bottle of Alchemia Czekoladowa for the purposes of this review by Paul Charabin of PB Beverages, an Alberta based company which imports and distributes a wide selection of spirits from around the world. The bottle I was given was the 750 ml size, and the label tells me the chocolate infused vodka is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
The Alchemia bottle has been designed to resemble an old style alembic which is a laboratory tool used in by ancient alchemists. (I will admit that my original thought on the bottle was that the company was trying to make a stylized letter A, and the connection to an alembic was totally lost on me.)
The tall masculine bottle makes an impressive display on my bar shelf; although I have a quibble with the ‘tallness’ of the bottle as I had to move my shelves around to allow it to fit into that bar shelf. Of course, I was not happy to discover a metal screw cap under the stylized plastic topper. My disdain for metal screw caps has been well recounted in other reviews.
But….the bottle does look darn nice on my readjusted shelves!
In the Glass 8/10
I had three friends over when I sampled the Alchemia Czekoladowa. I poured each of them (and myself) a healthy shot of the flavoured Vodka and watched each bring the glass up to their nose and take a deep wiff. A satisfied smile broke out on each of their faces. (The tasting event is off to a great start.)
I felt the aroma from the glass resembled a freshly opened canister of Fryers cocoa sweetened with a dab of honey. My friends each identified the aroma as resembling rich, dark bittersweet baking chocolate. Whichever of these descriptors that you choose, the chocolate infused vodka smells good!
I took a little more time trying to get under the chocolate to see if I could smell any of the underlying grain from which the Vodka was distilled. I imagined I could catch wiffs of a rye-like graininess, but the chocolate is so rich that I probably did not.
In the Mouth 50/60
Imagine if you can, a dark, rich, mildly bittersweet Belgian Chocolate carrying the punch of 40 % alcohol within its goodness. If you can, you have some hint of an idea of how this chocolate flavoured Vodka tastes. (I noticed my friends were all in a good place as they sipped on their glasses.) The spirit was not as creamy as you would expect based upon the flavour sensation, which I guess is because of that 40 % alcohol content. I am pretty sure that also explains the heat that the spirit imparts on the tongue and in the mouth.
It wasn’t long before each of us was experimenting with the chocolate infused vodka to see what we could mix it in. I tried some cola right off. At a fifty-fifty ratio, the caramel from the cola was doing a wonderful dance with the chocolate in the vodka. One of my friends added an espresso coffee flavoured vodka and created a wonderful mocha flavoured cocktail. I suspect the combinations that will work with Alchemia Czekoladowa are endless.
In the Throat 12.5/15
As you would expect from a spirit where the only aroma and flavour I have mentioned is chocolate, the exit is filled with oodles and oodles of sweet cocoa. It is actually more correct to say a mildly bitter-sweet cocoa, which was just fine as the spirit does not become cloying in the throat.
But there is also just a little burn, and a hint of metallic aftertaste which spoils perfection.
The Afterburn 8/10
The Alchemia Czekoladowa is a very good Chocolate Infused Vodka. I found the chocolate flavour to be quite rich and very much to my liking. I was hoping for a little more creaminess in the texture and mouth-feel which is perhaps why my scores are not slightly higher.
This spirit plays well with cola, coffee, and even (if you check out my recipe below) ice cream. Those are three of my favourite things, so I think you can safely assume that my recommendation for the Alchemia Czekoladowa is very enthusiastic.
You may read some of my other Liqueur and Favoured Spirit Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
The Chocolate Cola Martini
1 oz Alchemia Czekoladowa (chilled)
1 oz Cola (refrigerated)
Rub the inside of a chilled wineglass with a mint leaf and discard
Add the chilled Alchemia Czekoladowa and the refrigerated cola
Garnish with a second mint leaf
Iced Chocolate Cocktail
1 oz Alchemia Czekoladowa
Pout the Alchemia Czekoladowa into a small cocktail glass
Add a small dollop if vanilla ice-cream
stir until the ice-ream is melted
My Scores are out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret them as follows:
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing spirit. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails.)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)