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Posts Tagged ‘Premium Vodka’

Review: Big Rig Premium Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 12, 2016

Big Rig Vodka SAM_2335The Big Rig Craft Distillery opened their doors on October 17, 2015 and they already have an impressive line-up of spirits for sale at their boutique store within the facility. These spirits include their Premium Vodka and Wildrose Gin; their selections of White Dog Distillate (not whisky for three years yet); and their intriguing Sugar Beet Brum. As well, they are experimenting with an array of flavoured Vodkas some of which are bottled and ready for sale, and others which are in development.

Big Rig Premium Vodka is produced from a Rye and Red Winter Wheat mash on the company’s main still (Mighty Morley). This is a versatile still consisting of a large wash still, two columns, and a condenser. The columns are different sizes, a short 4-plate column is used for stripping the spirit (reducing the water content), and a tall 16-plate column is used for Vodka production. When the company refers to their spirit being distilled 16x, they are referring to the 16 plates in the tall column still. Their distillate must be distilled through each plate on the way up the column. After distillation the spirit is triple filtered and reduced to bottling proof (40 % alcohol by volume).

(More complete information regarding the production of Big Rig Premium Vodka can be found here: The Big Rig Distillery Tour.)

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Big Rig Premium Vodka

“… When I allow the vodka to warm up, its flavour profile becomes more interesting. The aroma begins to carry a firmer vegetal presence with impressions of banana and plantain mixing with lemony balsam. The flavour also brings a firmer (but not strong) vegetal component with flavours of banana and plantain sitting underneath the impression of grain spice and citrus …”

Please enjoy my review of this product from Alberta’s newest craft Distillery.

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Cocktail Hour: The Cosmopolitan

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 11, 2016

The cocktail presented today is the modern Cosmopolitan, which according to the IBA (International Bartenders Association) is a cocktail made with Vodka Citron (lemon flavoured vodka), Cointreau (orange liqueur), Cranberry Juice, and freshly squeezed Lime Juice. The serving is by no means consistent, and if you order a Cosmo (as the bar drink is frequently referred to) you will most likely receive a variation on the recipe usually using a regular vodka instead of the lemon flavoured variety.

Cosmopolitan (Big Rig)Like most home bartenders, I do not have a ready supply of Vodka Citron, nor a suitable lemon vodka substitute in my home bar. However, I wanted to construct a Cosmopolitan which would be similar to the IBA formulation. I did this using my newly acquired Big Rig Premium Vodka, and tweaking the recipe by adding a touch of lemon juice and decreasing the lime juice by the same amount. I tried different garnishes, and decided that orange peel seemed to suit the overall flavour profile of the serving (the IBA formulation states a lime slice garnish).

Here is a delicious Cosmo, which you can make at home:

Big Rig Craft Distillery Cosmopolitan

2 oz Big Rig Premium Vodka
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Cranberry juice
3/4 oz Lime juice
1/4 oz Lemon juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Orange Peel

Add the first six Ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass
Garnish with Orange Peel

Note: If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: My review for Big Rig Craft Distillery Premium Vodka will publish tomorrow!

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Review: Sobieski Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 4, 2014

SAM_1001 SobieskiSobieski Vodka is (according to their website) the number 1 selling premium vodka in Poland. It is a true Polish Vodka distilled on a multi-column still from 100% Dankowski rye which was harvested in the low-lying Mazovia (Masowse) region of Poland. The spirit was named ‘Sobieski’ to pay homage to King Jan III Sobieski (1629 – 1696) who is generally regarded as the last great King of Poland whose spirit of indomitable will remains even today as an integral aspect of the Poland’s national character.

When I sampled Sobieski for the first time, I had several friends over, and we tasted the Vodka as part of a private tasting event which included 2 other Vodkas each representing a similar style, but each at a different price range. The aim of the tasting was to see whether we could taste the difference between economy, premium and ultra-premium spirits in a relaxed almost-party like setting. (The three Vodkas included in the tasting were, Khortytsa Platinum Vodka (priced at $17.95), Sobieski Vodka (priced at $25.95), and Belvedere Vodka priced at ($48.95). The prices given are based upon current LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) listings.)

SAM_1002 Yellow BirdAfter the tasting event, I continued my examination of each spirit putting each brand through the paces of my Vodka Review Methodology. This is of course the review for Sobieski vodka imported into Alberta by the Western Canadian distributor Charton Hobbs who provided my sample bottle for this review.

You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Sobieski Vodka

“… When I threw back a shot of Sobieski, I was very pleased at how clean and smooth the spirit tasted. When served well chilled, the Vodka displayed no burn at all, only a nice spicy glow which heated the palate lightly and slowly crept down the throat …”

I hope you enjoy my review which includes a nice cocktail recommendation, my own Yellowbird of Sunshine, which mixes Sobieski Vodka with lemon juice and Maraschino liqueur (and tastes absolutely delicious).

Pravda!

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If you are interested in a direct comparison the previously published review for Khortytsa Platinum Vodka can be found here.

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The Year in Vodka (2013 Rum Howler Awards)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 12, 2013

RH-winner2013The Rum Howler had another great year tasting Vodka in 2013 as it seems like producers from all over the world have been sending me samples for review upon my website. My quirky style of vodka review appears to have struck a chord with these producers, especially those in Eastern Europe who have told me that my willingness to bring the gastronomic experience into my review process is much appreciated. The willingness of foreign producers to send me samples in spite of the huge difficulties they can experience in dealing with Canadian Customs and Excise means that I had an unusually strong group pf spirits for this years Vodka Awards.

As is the case each year, all of my Rum Howler Awards are based upon side by side tastings within each category of spirit. I taste the spirit neat, and I also mix a few cocktails with each spirit. This year, with the very best spirits, I also compared each spirit with various food pairings in my efforts to determine the very best.

All spirit samples which I receive to review on my website are automatically considered for my awards. I do my review, and then I set aside the remainder of the spirit for the end of the year judging. I also receive additional industry samples specifically for these awards. The competition was particularly fierce this year, and it is time for me to reveal the recipients of my 2013 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Vodka.

These Awards are for the best Vodka Spirits I encountered in the year 2013!

The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Vodka

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Review: Beluga Noble Russian Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 22, 2012

According to the website information, Beluga Noble Russian Vodka is manufactured in a remote area of Siberia, reported to be 300 km from the nearest large settlement. The vodka is produced from grain alcohol (some of the alcohol may be produced from malted grain), and purified Siberian spring water. Even though artesian spring water is naturally pure, for this Vodka, it must also undergo a double filtration, through quartz sand and a special silver filter. After distillation, a third stage of purification involves a 10.5 meter coal column filter which is composed of birch charcoal. Prior to bottling, the vodka is rested 30 days. This rest period apparently allows the molecular components within to stabilize allowing for a smoother more velvet-like mouth-feel and taste.

Interestingly enough, Beluga vodka also contains other special ingredients (in extremely small quantities) such as honey, oat extract, and Silybum Marianum (milk thistle) extract. The addition of minute quantities of special ingredients is consistent with what I know of traditional European production methods where each distilled vodka has its own recipe and its own special ingredients. It is these special ingredients used in very small proportions which contribute to the individual character of each Vodka. (By small quantities I really do mean small; typically these extra ingredients are measured in parts per million.)

Beluga Noble Russian Vodka has recently been introduced into my home Province of Alberta. It is a Premium Vodka which is priced to occupy the same market niche as Grey Goose and Belvedere. A bottle was delivered to me by Thirsty Cellar Imports, who are importing this spirit and I was asked to provide a review on my website.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The nose is clean with faint wisps of lemon and spice. There is something else in the air as well, a very soft aroma which seems very vaguely sweet and herbal, and at the same time very vaguely like fresh cereal porridge (made with milk). As I sip the Vodka, I am very impressed.  I taste very lightly sweet flavours of lemon and citrus zest as well as a very gentle spiciness. The aftertaste is vaguely sweet reminding my of honey or cane syrup, and I taste a very light maltiness which is very appealing… “

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Beluga Noble Russian Vodka

Please enjoy my review of this new Premium Russian Vodka which includes recipe for a standard Vodka Martini, and my own Estate Cocktail.

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