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Posts Tagged ‘Vodka’

Review: Reyka Small Batch Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 18, 2017

Reyka Small Batch Vodka is produced at Iceland’s first distillery (the Reyka Distillery) located 74km outside of Reykjavik in Borgarnes, Iceland. At the Reyka distillery they collect water from a spring that runs through a lava field. The water is naturally filtered by the lava rock and with that clean water they distill their spirit in one of the few Carter-Head Stills in the world. Each distillation takes about 6 hours and yields 255 preciously small cases. The final vodka contains only natural flavors and extracts. The final spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

I sampled Reyka Small Batch Vodka for the first time when I chose to compare four Vodkas in a small tasting competition (Smirnoff No. 21 Red, Reyka, Skyy and Last Mountain Distillery Hand Crafted Vodkas) earlier this year. My review of Reyka Vodka is based upon the tasting notes from that Tasting Competition.

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Reyka Small Batch Vodka

“… As the spirit warmed the flavours came more into focus reminding me of lightly sweet lemon and lime balsam and white fruit pith. Grain spice and a few hints of mint completed the flavour profile …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a wonderful gimlet style cocktail, the Vodka Darby.

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Review: Provincial Spiced Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 2, 2017

recliner-sam_2933Radouga 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 I sampled the distillery’s 7-time distilled Provincial Vodka (review here). After the show D’arcy arranged for me to receive a few samples of their line-up of Paul’s Pies Liqueurs (Paul Riben is the Owner/CEO of the distillery), as well as the Provincial Spiced and Provincial Vodkas.

Paul Riben distills all of Radouga Distilleries products using grain that Paul grows himself. The operation is a true field to glass operation. I sampled all four spirits over the holidays, and I have decided to share my thoughts here on my website.

Here is a link to the review for Provincial Spiced Vodka.

Review: Provincial Spiced Vodka

“… The main flavours are a mixture of darkened caramel and some lightly bitter wood spice. I add an ice-cube and quickly decide that this was also a mistake as the light sweetness of the spirit is quelled allowing the bitterness within the wood spices free rein. There are perhaps a few toasted coconut flavours and some light almond-like flavours developing in my consciousness …”

 

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Review: Grays Peak Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 20, 2017

vodka-darby-sam_3017Grays Peak Vodka is an American spirit produced in Minnesota apparently for the Prestige Wine Group. According to their website information, the spirit is distilled five times from corn using water that undergoes a proprietary reverse osmosis process to any trace minerals and trace elements. The resulting spirit is then filtered through charcoal for added smoothness and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

The spirit is part of the Preferred Selection at the Western Canadian Liquor Depot chain of stores.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Grays Peak Vodka 

“… When I brought my full shot glass to my nose, I noticed very little in the breezes at first. However as the spirit warmed I began to sense a light hint of vanilla beside some grain spice with perhaps a touch of mint (or menthol) in the breezes as well …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice cocktail recommendation, the Vodka Darby.

Chimo!

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Review: Ketel One Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 13, 2017

ketel-martini-sam_3029Ketel One Vodka is a Dutch spirit distilled from European Wheat in copper pot stills. It is produced by the Nolet Distillery in Schiedam (the Netherlands). The Nolet Distillery was founded in 1691, has remained a family owned distillery to this day.

When the Ketel One brand was developed the name was chosen to recognize the coal-fired copper still that was originally used to distill it. In dutch that name is  Distilleerketel #1.  Although the brand was created by the Nolet family (in 1981) and is still produced at their facility in Schiedam, Ketel One Vodka is now sold world-wide by Diageo through an agreement reached with the distillery in 2008.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Ketel One Vodka

“… there was unanimous consent around the table that the vodka was extremely smooth going down. I could feel a bevy of clean peppery spice in my mouth, but there was no burn or discomfort after the swallow. There were light after flavours of vanilla, lemon zest and grain spice, but no metallic flavours nor any sign of vegetal aftertaste …”

Please enjoy my review.

Chimo!

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Review: Lowry Park Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 6, 2017

sam_3018Lowry Park Vodka is an American spirit produced by Terrapure Spirits in North Charleston (South Carolina). The spirit is distilled six times from grain, and is part of the Preferred Selection at the Western Canadian Liquor Depot chain of stores.

As part of the review process, I first sampled the spirit on my own side by side with three rival vodkas (Antrim, Gray’s Peak, and Ketel One) where I put all spirits through the paces of my review methodology. I served the spirits chilled and sipped them each neat, swallowed shots, and then sampled each with a variety of foods. I finished the tasting session with some cocktails made from each spirit. The following week held a Vodka tasting for a few friends where we repeated the tasting in a group format. Based upon these two tasting sessions, and based upon comments from my friends I constructed my review for each spirit.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Lowry Park Vodka

“… When I tossed down a full swallow (served cold), I found the spirit smooth. The light mint flavour and the grain spice felt nice in the mouth and throat although there was perhaps just a hint of burn as well. The light burn didn’t really concern me as it could easily be that I was misinterpreting grain spice as burn at the cold temperature I was serving the spirit at …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice cocktail suggestion,

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Review: Antrim Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 27, 2017

Blushing Lady

Blushing Lady

Antrim Vodka is a ‘destination’ brand exclusive to Liquor Depot and Wine & Beyond stores in Western Canada, produced by Highwood Distillers who are located in High River, Alberta (about 40 Kilometers south of Calgary). The spirit is triple distilled from prairie wheat in a batch style distillation.

As part of the review process, I first sampled the spirit side by side with three rival vodkas (Ketel One, Gray’s Peak, and Lowry Park) where I put all spirits through the paces of my review methodology. I served the spirits chilled where I sipped them each neat, swallowed shots, and then sampled each with a variety of foods. I finished the tasting session with some cocktails made from each spirit.

Here is a link to my full review for Antrim Vodka:

Review: Antrim Vodka

“… When I brought my full shot glass to my nose, I sensed very little in the breezes at first. However as the spirit warmed I began to notice light wispy bits of flour and grain spice. There was also a mild hint of citrus zest wandering in the breezes …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my stunning new cocktail, the Blushing Lady.

Chimo!

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Review: Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 6, 2017

okerlund-sam_2960

‘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:

Review: Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka

“… 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!

Chimo!

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Review: Foothills Vodka (Gluten Free)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 30, 2017

reverse-vesper-sam_2950Foothills 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.

As part of my review process, I held a Vodka tasting for my friends (the Rum Chums) where we sampled three other new vodkas (Norvegia, Tryst and Provincial) in a tasting flight with the Foothills 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.

Here is a link to my review for the Foothills Vodka:

Review: Foothills Vodka (Gluten Free)

“… As we sipped, we noticed that the corn-like sweetness was firmer than the nose would have implied and it was accompanied by impressions of black licorice, vanilla and a mild butterscotch. These impression grew quickly as the spirit warmed …”

Please enjoy the review which contains two suggested cocktails which mix Highwood’s Empire Gin with their Foothill’s Vodka: the Vesper, and the Vespered Lime Gimlet.

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Review: Tryst Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 23, 2017

Reverse Vesper

Lemon Gimlet

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:

Review: 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.

Chimo Everyone!

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Review: Provincial Vodka (Radouga Distilleries)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 16, 2017

lemon-lime-gimlet-sam_2946Radouga 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:

Review: Provincial Vodka

“… 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!

Chimo Everyone!

 

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