Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 6, 2017
‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund’s Cocktail
Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka is produced by Goodridge & Williams, an independent craft distilling company located in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). According to the company website, the Vodka is produced from a slow distillation using traditional copper pot-still. I should note that the label on the bottle clarifies this information stating that the distillation process includes distillation through 38 column plates. The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
I sampled three other new vodkas in a tasting flight with Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka (Foothills, Tryst, and Provincial Vodka). I served each of the spirits chilled where I sipped them each neat, swallowed shots, and then sampled each with a variety of foods. I finished the tasting with some cocktails made from each spirit.
Here is a link to my newest Vodka Review:
“… I took a cautious sniff at the breezes above the glass and I noticed a touch of creme de fresh on the nose with vanilla pudding and cream of wheat porridge. The impression was subtle but it was quite pleasant. When I took a small sip, those aromatic impressions manifested upon the palate as light flavours of lemon and citrus zest melded with vanilla and some of that cream of wheat porridge …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a mixed drink suggestion, ‘Mean” Gene Okerlund’s Cocktail!
Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Cocktail, Goodridge & Williams, Mean Gene, Okerlund, Review, Sid's Hancrafted, Vodka | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 30, 2017
Foothills Vodka is produced by Highwood Distillers from selected corn grain to ensure the product remains wheat and gluten-free. The spirit is produced from a batch style distillation, distilled ten times for maximum smoothness and purity.
Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Foothills, Highwood Distillers, Review, Vodka | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 23, 2017
Tryst Vodka is an American spirit distilled six times from grain.The spirit was produced by TerrePURE Spirits, located in North Charleston, South Carolina, and the company boasts of it ‘revolutionary’ TerrePURE* process which is said to offer the cleanest, smoothest and best tasting vodka know to man. The Spirit is part of the Preferred Selection at the Western Canadian Liquor Depot chain of stores, and I was recently provided a bottle for review here on my website.
As part of the review process, I held a Vodka tasting for my friends (the Rum Chums) where we sampled three other new vodkas (Norvegia, Provincial and Foothills) in a blind tasting flight with the Tryst Vodka. I served the spirits chilled where we sipped them each neat, swallowed shots, and sampled each with a variety of foods. We finished the tasting with some cocktails made from each spirit. Comments from my friends often make it into my reviews
Here is a link to my thoughts regarding Tryst Vodka:
“… When we all took a full shot I noted that a corn-like sweetness had been building and I also tasted hints of mint meandering within a firm spicy grain. The combination of spice and clean alcohol warms the belly after the swallow; however it does not bring an undo amount of burn to the throat …”
Please enjoy my review which includes two nice cocktail recipes, the Lemon Gimlet and the Reverse Vesper.
Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Review, TerrePURE Spirits, Tryst, Vodka | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 16, 2017
Radouga Distilleries is a small distillery which began operations in Blaine Lake Saskatchewan (near Saskatoon) on November 20th 2014. Recently I met one of their sales reps (D’arcy Nemanishin) at the November Edmonton Food and Wine Show. We chatted briefly and after the show D’arcy arranged for me to receive a few sample of their line-up which included their Apple and the Blueberry Pie Liqueurs (reviewed here and here) as well as their Provincial and Provincial Spiced Vodkas. I sampled (and my wife sampled) all four spirits over the holidays, and I have decided to share my thoughts here on my website. This is the review for the Provincial Vodka.
As part of the review process, I held a Vodka tasting for my friends (the Rum Chums) where we sampled three other new vodkas (Norvegia, Tryst, and Foothills) in a tasting flight with the Provincial Vodka. I served the spirits chilled where we sipped them each neat, swallowed shots, and sampled each with a variety of foods. We finished the tasting with a cocktail made from each spirit.
Here are my thought on the Provincial Vodka from the Radouga Distillers:
“… The first sip was quite smooth. I noticed a nice grain-like spiciness and a little stronger lemon flavour that the nose would have implied. As the spirit warmed the intensity of the grain spice increased …
Please enjoy my review which includes two nice cocktail suggestions, the Provincial Greyhound, and the Provincial Gimlet!
Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Distilleries, Provincial, Radouga, Review, Rum howler, Vodka | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 4, 2017
Last year, I pointed out that there seems to be a divide among vodka producers between those who value purity of spirit above all else, and those producers who allow their vodka spirit to express a certain level of flavour. I am firmly in the camp of those who enjoy the subtle aromas and flavours which can be appreciated when Vodka is sipped or when it is consumed in a cocktail. However, this past year I began to notice that some vodka makers are taking this philosophy too far.
This new phenomena appears to be part of the craft spirit movement. Using their small micro-stills the micro-producers are embracing a great deal of more flavour within their vodka spirit than I would ever have suspected. As one micro-distiller explained to me,
“Vodka doesn’t have to be a colourless odourless spirit meant only to be hid in a cocktail or tall soda drink.It can and should be enjoyed on its own, for its own sake.”
That sentiment sounds right to a point; however after tasting this particular producer’s vodka I wondered if perhaps he was merely justifying the outcome of a distilling process that (for economic reasons) did not fully rectify the spirit. The heavy congeners within the spirit certainly gave it flavour; however the flavour achieved was fusel with strong vegetal components the combination of which did not fit my paradigm of excellent vodka.
To that end, my call to all producers (new distillers and old) is that when they distill this spirit which we call vodka, the aim should be to eliminate fusel flavours and heavy congeners. That is not to say that vodka should be refined to the point of being a tasteless spirit. But the flavours that are left within should be light subtle flavours which enhance rather than dominate the vodka experience (and the cocktail experience). This may be a more expensive road to tread; but it is a road that will lead to repeat sales (and perhaps even a Rum Howler Award).
You can find out who won this years Rum Howler Awards for Vodka by following this link:
Posted in Awards, Extras, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: 2017, Review, Rum Howler Awards, Vodka | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 8, 2016
The concept for Our/Vodka was born in Stockholm in 2010. Founder and CEO, Åsa Caap, who was the former Innovations Director for The Absolut Company, in collaboration with four entrepreneurs from the Swedish agency Great Works developed the idea of local partnerships in which feature a vodka partly distilled, blended and hand bottled in micro-distilleries in different cities. All of the local partners share the same secret recipe, but ingredients are sourced as locally as possible to give each particular vodka its own unique character. According to the Our/Vodka website:
Our/Vodka was treated as a black ops project under the umbrella of Pernod Ricard before the first micro-distillery opened up in Berlin in 2013 together with two local partners. The pilot in Berlin was a success and a new brand was born.
Our/Vodka now has similar micro-distilleries up and running in Detroit, Seattle, Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Miami and New York (in addition to the original micro-distillery in Berlin) as of the end of 2016.
Here is my Review:
“… When I was tasting Our/Detroit Vodka for the first time, I chilled the spirit in my freezer for several hours and then served the vodka cold in a small shot glass. Having been placed in my deep freeze for a few hours, Our/Detroit spirit was thickened and lightly creamy. At this cold temperature the vodka was very clean with very little aroma or taste. There was a light grainy spiciness and hints of lemon zest, but that was all …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice suggested cocktail, the Peppermint Gimlet.
Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Our/Detroit, Our/Vodka, Review, Vodka | Comments Off on Review: Our/Detroit Vodka
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 30, 2016
Extra Zytnia is a Polish rye grain Vodka produced from 100% rye grain neutral spirit. The brand is considered ‘Retro’ in Poland hearkening back to the vodka spirit as it was produced a generation ago. Zytnia is in fact one of the oldest pure vodka brands in Poland and has been produced continuously from the same recipe for over 70 years. One of the most popular brands in Poland during the 1980s, the vodka brand saw its sales slump at the turn of the century; however, a new marketing campaign which is empasizing the spirit’s roots as a traditional ‘old school’ vodka has reinvigorated the brand, and it is now making a solid comeback in its domestic market.
Zytnia Extra Vodka was recently introduced into Ontario (through the LCBO) available in the retro clear bottle shown to the left, bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… Extra Zytnia was creamy and displayed a clean nose which featured a light grainy spiciness with hints of citrus zest. When I took a sip the vodka matched up well with the nose as the spirit was smooth and clean with a light spiciness …”
Please enjoy my review of this very nice rye grain vodka.
Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Extra Zytnia, Review, Rye Grain, Vodka | Comments Off on Review: Extra Zytnia Vodka
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 23, 2016
Norvegia is a Norwegian Vodka produced from organic potatoes (the Trondelag varietal if you are interested). The spirit is five times distilled and brought to bottling proof with water sourced from the Folgefonna Glacier which was formed about 6000 years ago. The water from this glacier was bound to ice before airborne industrial pollutants were prevalent in the atmosphere, and as such the water from this glacier is so pure that it does not require chemical purification.
This new potato spirit was recently introduced into Ontario (through the LCBO) and is available in the slender blue bottle shown to the left, bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
Here is a link to my review:
“… Novegia Vodka is very clean. I could smell a light potato starch aroma, mild hints of lemon balm and wisps of white pepper when I brought the shot glass I was using to my nose. The texture was creamy, and when I took a sip the flavour matched up well with the breezes above the glass …”
Please enjoy my review of this outstanding Potato Vodka.
Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Norvegia, Norway, Potato, Review, Vodka | Comments Off on Review: Norvegia Vodka
Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 8, 2016
Gin and Tonic
The weather has been warm recently, and I found myself wanting to make a nice cold Gin and Tonic. On this particular day I was feeling adventurous and wanted to try an experiment that I had been mulling for some time. I wanted a Gin and Tonic; but I wanted to challenge myself by mixing the serving with a gin which I had previously deemed as being unsuitable for that particular libation. That gin was Tanqueray Rangpur.
Tanqueray Ranpur is a relatively new spirit in the Taqueray family. When I reviewed it last year, I stated that I thought the spirit possessed more than just a passing resemblance to the new “American Style” of gin. This was because within the spirit, the juniper is held in check and other botanicals (in this case strong citrus flavours) are allowed greater expression. Frankly this ‘American Style’ is not a direction I prefer; I like my gin to have a firm juniper presence reveling in the flavour of the berry which gives the spirit its name, especially if I am making a Gin and Tonic. In the case of the Rangpur Gin, I felt that a strong flavour of lime zest would spoil my G & T cocktail. (Lime zest is derived from the lime peel not the lime juice.)
I grabbed my bottle of Rangpur Gin from the shelf, and then (feeling a little like James Bond) I grabbed a vodka bottle as well, in this case Iceberg Vodka. My aim was to use the vodka in the serving to dampen the firm flavour of lime zest while at the same time keeping the alcohol strength of the mixed drink the same as it was before. In essence I was ‘vespering‘ my Gin and Tonic (see post on the Vesper Cocktail here).
Gin and Tonic Vesper
After a few tries, I developed a recipe I was quite happy with.Although the resulting Gin and Tonic Vesper was not nearly as juniper forward as would be the case in my usual gin and tonic cocktail, the final serving was nevertheless, refreshing, and the lime zest push from the Rangpur Gin was held in check.
Gin and Tonic Vesper
1 1/3 oz Tanqueray Rangpur Gin
2/3 oz Iceberg Vodka
1/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/8 oz Sugar Syrup
Add the first four ingredients into a rocks glass
Stir and add ice
Fill with Q-Tonic
Garnish with cucumber
Note: If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
If you are interested, you may read my reviews for Tanqueray Ranpur Gin and Iceberg Vodka by clicking the links below:
Enjoy my vespered cocktail and my reviews, Chimo!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: Cocktail, Gin, Gin and Tonic, Iceberg Vodka, Review, Tanqueray Rangpur, Vesoer, Vodka | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 3, 2016
Legend Distilling is a small craft distillery in the heart of B.C. Okanagan Wine Country. Owner’s Dawn and Doug Lennie moved to Naramata 11 years ago and witnessed the progression of the wine business happening all around them. They were already running their own businesses, but had a dream of working together to build a new company they could share. Whiskey was always been a passion of Doug’s and he had also been watching what was going on with craft distilling in the US. Both Dawn and he decided that spirits would be a great business to bring to the community as a compliment to all the great wines available around them. For Dawn and Doug, offering something new in the area was key. This included their unique location along the Naramata Bench, as other distilleries were being located in more industrial areas.
The Distillery’s flagship Vodka Shadow In the Lake Vodka which pays homage to the legendary beast Ogopogo. The spirit is produced from 100 % wheat grain grown in the South Peace area of British Columbia which is ground on site at the distillery. It is produced one batch at a time using the distillery’s 3000 litre mash tun and 600 litre hybrid pot still which has one 4 plate column and one 16 plate column attached.
Here is a link to my newest Vodka Review:
“… The Shadow in the Lake Vodka was slightly thickened at that cold temperature, and when I brought my shot glass to my nose I noticed the spirit a light vegetal aroma creeping out of the glass. There was also a very light grainy spiciness and a pleasant mint-like scent rising into the breezes …”
Please enjoy my review and the accompanying cocktail suggestion, the Cosmopolitan.
Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Legend Distilling, Ogopogo, Review, Shadow In The Lake Vodka, Vodka | Comments Off on Review: Shadow in the Lake Vodka