Review: AnestasiA Vodka (90.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Published June 26, 2015
AnestasiA Vodka was created as a result of founder, Yuliya Mamontova’s desire to create a luxury spirit in the United States. Yuliya’s passion was a result of her upbringing, as she learned the arts of fermentation and distillation as well as the expertise of marketing and packaging firsthand growing up in a family of European Vodka Producers.
Her luxury vodka, AnestasiA, is produced in Bend Oregon from corn which is sourced from Pacific Northwest farms and water which flows from Bend’s Cascade Mountains. According to the company website:
“The waters of this range flow through riverbeds of lava rock, and thereby avoid picking the sediment—metallic salts such as magnesium and calcium—present in most water sources. In fact, our waters contain 90% less of these compounds than your average drinking water. This makes our water remarkably ‘soft’, and results in Anestasia vodka’s naturally derived purity.”
The AnestasiA spirit is five times distilled, and after the final distillation, the distillate is brought to bottling proof with the soft Northwest water. Then it is filtered a further five times through crushed lava rock, neutral charcoal, and Arkansas-derived quartz crystal. The final Vodka is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume in a stunning decanter type bottle (shown below) which is made partially from recycled materials.
Founder, Yuliya Mamontova, reached out to me through my website, and asked me if I would agree to receive a bottle of her luxury Vodka to review. I will begin that review where I always do, with the presentation of the spirit which is this case is within that stunning decanter.
The First Impression 9.5/10
The AnestasiA Vodka decanter is shown to the left. It was conceived by New York designer, Karim Rashid. The bottle concept (which to me looks like a jagged ice sculpture) apparently is an organic expression of the angular form of the letters V and K which are contained in the word ‘vodka’. As indicated in the preamble, this bottle is made partially from recycled materials, and thus not only is a stunning abstract representation in angular form of the word Vodka, it also embodies the notions of sustainability and respect for the earth and our natural environment.
The First Sip 17.5/20
I chilled the AnestasiA Vodka to just above zero degrees Celsius and poured myself a nice double shot in a large shot glass. At the cold serving temperature I could detect absolutely no aroma above the glass, however, when I sipped the vodka I could taste a firm lemon zest with just a hint of grain spice. It is very pleasant especially with the lingering lightly sweet lightly spicy lemon flavour which coats the palate.
I was expecting the vodka to show more bite as the temperature increased, but I was pleasantly surprised when I sampled it at 10 degrees Celsius and found no appreciable burn. The spice was more intense as was the zesty lemon flavour, however I found the new intensity enjoyable.
Taking a Shot 18/20
The AnestasiA is a really nice shooting Vodka. The spirit goes down very smoothly and then brings a creeping warmth up from the belly through the throat to the palate. This is just how I want my Vodka to behave when I take a full swallow. Yumm!
The lemon zest is subdued when shooting the spirit but bits of this lemon flavour reveal themselves amidst the warmth and spice which has crept back up to the palate. At warmer serving temperature the lemon zest reveals itself more quickly, but I am hard pressed to find any burn at all.
Out For Dinner 18/20
I think my Vodka reviews are my favourite reviews. This is because part of my process for reviewing vodka is to test how it performs when paired with salty and spicy foods (as well as breads and cheeses). Lightly salted crackers, marble cheese, black forest ham, pepperoni and farmer’s sausage, and a nice bowl of my spicy hamburger ball soup were all set out in a platter next to the AnestasiA Vodka. In addition, I served a platter of honey garlic Chicken wings and a meat lovers pizza with both mozzarella and cheddar cheese topping.
Simply put, the vodka was a delightful accompaniment to the entire feast. The spirit acted as a good palate cleanser allowing me to enjoy all of the food items thoroughly. As well, the vodka seemed to taste better especially when sipped after nibbling on the salty foods like the cheese and crackers and the pizza. (I expect that those who like caviar and Vodka will be delighted with AnestasiA).
Cocktail Hour 27.5/100
AnestasiA is a Vodka spirit ideally suited for Martinis and Gimlet/Daiquiri style cocktails. It is smooth and brings no burn or metallic aftertaste to the cocktail experience. To that end I mixed a Vodka Daiquiri which has become my standard cocktail for Vodka comparisons. The cocktail mixed with AnestasiA was lightly tart and delicious showcasing the lime to great effect. I decided to go further down this path and mixed a new cocktail I call Tactical Equilibrium. The idea was to show how a smooth elegant Vodka can tame a rough gin producing a cocktail worthy on any fine restaurant or bar’s premium menu.
1 oz AnestasiA Vodka
1 oz Gilbey’s Gin
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
3/8 oz sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
Add the first five ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Double strain into a chilled Martini Glass
Garnish with a thin slice of Cucumber
Of course, you should enjoy responsibly!
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: During the review process I also made a dry Vodka Martini with AnestasiA. It was delicious and is definitely recommended as well.
Final Score 90.5/100
(A great Vodka, suitable for sipping, shooting and cocktails!)
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Vodka Reviews.
You may (loosely) interpret my score 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 Vodka. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again for cocktails only.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this Vodka in shots, although cocktails are preferable.
85-89 Excellent! Shots or cocktails!
90-94 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 – 80 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
81 – 89 Silver Medal (Recommended for shots and mixing cocktails)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly Recommended for Vodka Shots and Sublime Cocktails)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)