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Posts Tagged ‘Premium Vodka’

Review: Signature Vodka (MASV)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 10, 2011

M. A. Signature Vodka is a spirits manufacturer based in Montreal, Quebec. They produce what they call a ‘Herbal Infused’ Vodka which is at its heart, a Canadian grain vodka, that has been infused with a rhizome herb called curcumin (a component of turmeric) also called curcuma longa. This herb has a distinctly earthy flavour. It is somewhat bitter, somewhat peppery, and perhaps a little like ginger or mustard. As far as I can tell it has many culinary uses including being used as an ingredient for Indian curry powder.

If you visit the Hang Over Free Vodka website you will see that it is the same as the website for Signature Vodka. That is because Signature Vodka promotes itself as an infused ‘hangover free’ vodka. In fact, the Signature Vodka website devotes a great deal of space to the hangover free concept, as well as other reputed medicinal benefits of curcumin.

The nature of the Signature Vodka website prompted me to email the company and try to get some more information about the herbal infusion. What I was told, is that the infusion is in such small quantities that the FDA, the LCBO and the SAQ could not actually find it using their regular lab tests.  I will be honest and say I really do not know what to make of all of this; therefore my review, for the most part, ignores the herbal infusion and instead concentrates on the merits of this spirit as a Premium Vodka.

Here is an excerpt:

” … We all noticed how there was very little aroma apparent in the  glass, and only wisps of flavour which resembled a faint touch of lemon and a mild citrus spiciness. After the sip, a nice feeling of warmth was imparted to the back of the mouth and into the throat. The Vodka is soft, mild, and very nice … “

You may read the full review here:

Review: Signature Vodka (MASV)

Please enjoy the review and the suggested recipes, the Russian Soldier, The Blue Glacier, and the Harvey Wallbanger!

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Review: Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 1, 2011

Photo Courtesy Brittany Bellamy (All Rights Reserved)

Colin Schmidt was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 1992. After being drafted, he spent four years playing College Hockey and then signed his first pro contract in 1996. Colin’s pro experience was brief, cut off by a few shoulder injuries after a short spell of what Colin referred to as “playing left bench.” Fortunately, as far as we are concerned, Colin’s story did not end there.

A few years later, Colin, who was working in the mortgage industry, and his wife, Meredith, whose background was in banking, began to look for their own business opportunities in Saskatchewan. Colin had a friend who had started up a micro-distillery in Colorado, and the idea to begin a similar operation in Saskatchewan was very appealing to them. In August of 2010, Colin and Meredith’s hard work and perseverance paid off when they opened Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, called the Last Mountain Distillery.

Colin arranged for me to receive a bottle from batch number 12 and asked me to provide a review. I set up a gathering with my friends, and we sampled the Vodka blind in a tasting with three other vodkas I had recently acquired.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… When I poured out the samples of Last Mountain Vodka into each shot glass for my guests, we discovered the vodka displayed a pleasing light citrus (lemon and lime) aroma and a clean mouth-feel that was very appealing. I noticed a mild rye-like spiciness in my mouth, and when I sipped the spirit those lemon and lime sensations seemed to grow as the vodka sat on my tongue…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka

As well I have included a nice cocktail called, the Mountain Raspberry Cocktail and a nice Punch recipe called Mountain Raspberry Punch.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktails!

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Review: Schramm Organic Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 11, 2011

The Pemberton Distillery is located in the heart of the Coast Mountains, an area known for its massive ice caps and pure glacial streams. The spirit the distillery produces, Schramm Organic Vodka debuted in August of 2009 as an authentic sipping vodka which is produced  from whole organic potatoes (grown just 15 km from the distillery in the Pemberton Valley). The Master Distiller, Tyler Schramm, studied a Masters of Science in Brewing & Distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. He focused his University thesis on the complex art and science of potato vodka distillation with the goal to prove that vodka could be just as rich and complex as a single malt scotch.

To that end, Schramm Vodka is produced using an all natural fermentation process that does not use of chemicals, synthetic anti-foaming agents, or additives. In fact, the distillery boasts that they follow the same traditional methods used by single malt scotch distilleries. They distill in small batches using a hand-operated copper pot still, and the entire distillation is performed by Tyler Schramm, who is continuously testing and sampling the vodka for quality. The blended spirit is charcoal filtered to maximize purity while still maintaining the smooth mouth-feel and unique character of the Pemberton potato.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

… The Vodka has kind of a punky, starchy potato flavour (and trust me that is better by a lot than how it sounds). The palate is heated up and the back of the throat experiences a lot of warmth but the spicy, let me call it ‘rye-like’ heat doesn’t become uncomfortable….

You may read the full review here:

Review: Schramm Organic Vodka

I have included a couple of recipes, The Blue Lemon Martini, and Schramminade.

Please enjoy the recipe and the review!!

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Review: Patriot Excellence Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 4, 2011

The Patriot Excellence is a French Vodka which was brought into my local by Paul Charabin of PB Beverages, an Alberta based company which imports and distributes a wide selection of spirits from around the world. The Vodka is filtered six times, and is made from a blend of 100% natural grain spirits and pure spring water.  It is advertised as an exceptional vodka with an elegant, ideal, and smooth taste.

My friends and I approached this spirit blind against four other vodka spirits at one of my recent taste events. Much to our surprise, the Patriot Excellence Vodka (unlike other hyped spirits we have tried) lived up to its advertising being by far the best Vodka at the event.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…When I poured out the samples of Patriot Vodka into each shot glass for my guests it was obvious right from the beginning that the Vodka was going to be a hit with everyone. It was creamy, and displayed a clean aroma and mouth-feel that my tasting group has only experienced in the very best of Vodkas…”

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Patriot Excellence Vodka

As well I created a nice cocktail featuring raspberry syrup and Patriot Excellence Vodka called, Rustic Breeze.

Please enjoy the Review and the Cocktail!

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Review: Luksusowa Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 27, 2011

Luksusowa Vodka is an authentic potato vodka produced in Poland and distributed world-wide by the Pernod Ricard conglomerate. The vodka is produced utilizing a combination of traditional and modern production methods which include an initial distillation at a local ‘farm distilleries’, and then further refinement at a larger centralized plant where a continuous column still processes the distillate in a triple distillation which is used in conjunction with gas chromatography to produce a pure potato spirit. This pure spirit is combined with natural spring water from deep artesian wells to produce Luksusowa Vodka.

I learned while researching this spirit that Luksusowa, being a pure potato vodka is gluten-free. It is a good alternative spirit for those who are gluten intolerant or those who may have Celiac disease. For my review, I received a bottle of from the PR agency which represents Luksusowa in Canada. I put the spirit through the paces of my, Vodka Review Methodology and here is an excerpt from the resulting review:

… When I sampled the Luksusowa Vodka, I invited three friends to help me. I poured each of us a sample in a shot glass for the initial sip, and asked each person to sip just a little letting it sit on their tongue before swallowing…. We all felt the Vodka was very clean on the nose. I thought I could smell a very light starchiness with perhaps a very light hint of citrus zest and spice…

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Luksusowa Vodka

As well I have included a nice recipe for this spirit called the Arctic Vodka Cooler.

Please enjoy the review and the included recipe!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: O2 945 (Super Premium) Sparkling Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 30, 2011

O2 945 Super Premium Sparkling Vodka bills itself as the world’s first Super Premium Sparkling Vodka. When I sampled this spirit at the Wine and Food Festival last fall I was actually quite smitten by what I encountered, hints of citrus, and some awesome tiny bubbles filling my mouth. (Anyone who has read some of my reviews, and the cocktails which I like to construct for the various spirits I have sampled, realizes that I am a soda loving  person. A spirit that combines my love of soda bubbles with a light crisp taste really has my attention from the get go.)

I contacted the importer of O2 Vodka, Premium Imports, to see about getting a sample to review on my blog. After a few months they came through in spades with samples of each the O2 Premium Sparkling Vodka and the 945 Super Premium Sparkling Vodka. Both versions carry nice light citrus notes and those wonderful champagne-like bubbles to the palate. These bubbles are supposed to stimulate the taste buds accentuating the flavours of food the vodka is served with, and the flavours of the cocktails the vodka is served in.

I invited several of my good friends over for a Vodka Tasting where we put the O2 (945 Super Premium) Sparkling Vodka through the rigors of my review methodolgy.  Here is an excerpt from what we discovered:

“…The first sip brought forward a stronger citrus presence which one of my friends at the tasting likened to a spear’s thrust of citrus zest. The carbonated bubbles seem to be bringing forward much more of the citrus flavours of the vodka…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: O2 945 (Super Premium) Sparkling Vodka

As well I have included a nice cocktail with the review, Rustic Soul.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!

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Review: Black Stallion Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 2, 2011

Black Stallion Vodka is a product of Black Stallion Spirits, a Calgary, Alberta based company which has been importing Russian Vodka since 2002.  This is an authentic Russian Vodka distilled at the Kratos Distillery, one of the oldest producers of liquor products in Russia. The distillery was fully reconstructed and modernized in 1997, and a new main building was constructed with modern equipment installed.

There is a lot of information on the back of the bottle; but, unfortunately for me it is all written in Russian.  I would have liked this information to be translated as I like to read about the heritage of the spirit I am sampling, but I can glean from the bottle that it is a 750 ml size, and the spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is an excerpt from the review:

“… As we all took our first full swallow of the Black Stallion, I noticed the spirit imparted some real warmth to my palate and the back of my throat. The vodka was carrying some hotter rye-like spices from the grain distillate forward….”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Black Stallion Vodka

As well I hope you enjoy the recipe at the end of the review, The Vodka Darby Cocktail.

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Review: Pristina Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 21, 2011

You might say that I am a bit of a Highwood Distillers enthusiast. I toured their distillery last year (See Highwood Distillery Tour), and I have unabashedly fallen in love with the quality of their whisky which seems to me to be one the best kept secrets of the whisky world. In spite of my fondness for this distillery, I find myself continually underestimating their abilities.

And so we come to Pristina Vodka

I guess I should have known when I received my sample bottle that what was inside would be nothing short of marvelous. But maybe it was the uninspiring bottle and label, or maybe it is just a case of us Canadians being a little too self conscious to believe we can be as good as everyone else in the world. Whatever the reason, when I put the Pristina in a flight of Vodka samples at a recent tasting where it was up against an Authentic Russian Vodka called Black Stallion, a real Polish Vodka called Alchemia Czysta, and a Vodka made in France called Grey Goose, I was not expecting what happened.  What happened was that every person at my tasting session chose the same Vodka as their favourite, and every person said it wasn’t even close. That favourite, the clear head and shoulders winner without reservation in everybody’s opinion, was of course the Pristina Vodka from Highwood Distillers.

I guess I have already tipped my hand that the score will be high, but here is an excerpt from my review:

“…My good feelings towards the Vodka continued as I took my first large swallow (shot). I was happy to taste no vegetal tones and to feel no burn at all in my throat. The swallow was clean and completely smooth. The back of my mouth received a mildly spicy warmth; but my throat felt no heat, even with a substantial swallow of the Pristina Vodka…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Pristina Vodka

As well I have included a suggested recipe in the form of a Vodka Tonic.

Please enjoy the review!

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Review: Alchemia Czysta (Pure) Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 14, 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. The Alchemia Czysta (pronounced chis ta and meaning ‘pure’) is a rye grain Vodka, and I was given a sample bottle for the purpose 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 Czysta Vodka is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is an excerpt from my Review:

…When I brought the glass to my nose I noticed light rye-like spices in the air but no light citrus aromas. I let my nose take a few more sniffs...”

You May read the full review here:

Review: Alchemia Czysta (Pure) Vodka

As well I thought it was time to introduce one of my favourite cocktails as my recommended recipe for the Alchemia Czysta Vodka, the Sloe Comfortable Screw.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!

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Review: Grey Goose Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 7, 2011

Grey Goose Vodka was created by Sidney Frank who recognized in the mid 1990′s that North America was ready for a new premium vodka brand. He based his new brand upon what he believed to be a North American perception of the superiority of French production. He therefore chose a distillery in the Cognac region of France which would use French Winter Wheat as the base for his Vodka’s distillation, and a water source which was filtered through limestone. To say that his new brand was a success would be a wild understatement, as Mr. Frank successfully introduced his Vodka to the world in 1997, and then successfully sold the brand to Bacardi in 2004 for an amount which was reported (by Forbes Magazine) to be in excess of two billion dollars.

Since then, Grey Goose has become the standard by which Vodka is judged. I know this because almost every time I receive a sample of Vodka from a person in industry, they tell me that their Vodka is ‘just as good’ as Grey Goose. Since Grey Goose is the standard, I thought that it was about time to put the spirit through the paces of my review system here on my website.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The flavour impressions which I encountered during my first sip were reinforced when I took a nice shot or swallow of a larger portion of the spirit. Ghostly impressions of wheat and starch and just a hint of sweetness. This is very good…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Grey Goose Vodka

I have included a recipe which tastes extremely nice with the Grey Goose, The Vodka Daiquiri.

Please enjoy the review and the recipe which follows!

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