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Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka

Review: Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka   (87/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on May 02, 2017

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.

Photo Courtesy Brittany Bellamy (All Rights Reserved)

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.

Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka is produced one batch at a time under the care and supervision of the Distillers, Colin and Meredith Schmidt. The Vodka is triple distilled and filtered three times through stone carbon before it is brought to 40% alcohol by volume and bottled.

I reviewed Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka first in 2012, and then revisited the brand this year 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). I tasted the spirits in pairs, and when I determined which vodka from each pair was my preferred spirit, then I tasted the winners of each of the previous tasting sessions went head to head in a final taste-off.

The First Impression 8.5/10

Last Mountain Vodka arrives in a tall, elegant slender bottle. These tall bottles seem to be popping up all over nowadays, and I have been forced to adjust my liquor shelves to accommodate their growing numbers. The bottle is sealed with a nice tight synthetic cork.

The only drawback to the presentation is lack of ‘pop’ in the label. It’s not that the label is unattractive or anything like that, it just doesn’t stand out quite as well next to some of those other bottles I have on my shelf. Given that this is a relatively new micro-distiller I am more than satisfied.

The First Sip  17.5/20

In each tasting session I served the Vodka spirits after chilling them for several hours in my freezer. The temperature of each spirit was about 1 degrees Celsius. When I poured out the sample of Last Mountain Vodka into my shot glass I noticed the vodka displayed a pleasing light citrus (lemon and lime) aroma with a touch of mint and a few hints of rye-like spices.

When I sipped the spirit, it had a clean mouth-feel , and I noticed a mild rye-like spiciness across the palate, a light creamy of wheat flavour (porridge) and a cleansing lemon lime bite. As the spirit warmed, an ever so light vegetal presence appeared and impressions of lemon and lime grew in the glass. However I could not discern any appreciable burn or discomfort even as the vodka warmed to room temperature.

Taking a Shot  17.5/20

The first full swallow (shot) of Last Mountain Vodka was very nice. The spirit imparted a spicy but gentle ‘pop’ in the back of my mouth with warm citrus flavours that went down smoothly. Pleasant aftertastes of lemon, lime and mint are all that remain after the swallow.

The only drawback, (and I want to make it clear that this is a very minor point) is that a very light burn creeps into the throat when taking a full-sized swallow. This burn does not get uncomfortable, and it does not increase at warm serving temperatures. It seems to have more to do with a grainy spiciness of the vodka, than it has to do with any harshness of the spirit.

Out for Dinner  17.5/20

I next sampled Last Mountain Vodka with some snacks  which included smoked wieners, a variety of cheeses including cheddar, Gouda, and Edam, some fresh-baked bread and buns, breaded spicy chicken wings, and some pepperoni pizza.

When one sips a nice crisp clean Vodka, they will notice that it tends to cleanse the palate between bites of food making the mouth more receptive to the food experience which comes after.  The idea is to take a bite of food, follow it with a swallow of Vodka and then take another bite of food. Then we decide if the food tastes better when paired with Vodka. In the case of the Last Mountain Vodka everything was tasting nice. There were no bitter aftertaste nor any metallic flavours translating to either the food or the vodka. The food tasted fresh and delicious, and the Vodka continued to taste clean and nice.

Cocktails 26/30

At the end each tasting session I mixed a small Vodka Gimlet with each spirit. Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka was a nice mixing Vodka as the crisp clean taste of the spirit worked  well in the citrus cocktail which was lightly tart with just a hint of an underlying earthy bitterness. I also made a Cosmopolitan  and as with the Gimlet, the vodka complemented the citrus flavours in the mixed drink.

I could have chosen either these cocktails to feature with the Last Mountain Vodka but instead I went with my creation of a few years ago, the Mountain Raspberry Cocktail (see recipe below).


Final Score  87/100

Excellent all round Vodka which is especially nice when sipped or served a a shot.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Vodka Reviews.


Suggested Recipe:

Mountain Raspberry Cocktail

Mountain Raspberry Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Last Mountain Vodka
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/4 oz Cranberry Juice
3/8 oz  Raspberry Syrup
a Slice of Lime

Pour the Vodka the juice and the raspberry syrup into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass
Complete by expressing the juice from a slice lemon peel on top of the cocktail

It is very easy to turn this recipe into Mountain Raspberry Punch

Mountain Raspberry Punch

2 oz Last Mountain Vodka
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 oz Cranberry Juice
1/4 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Raspberry Syrup

Build in a Large Tumbler and Enjoy!


As usual 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)
90 – 95     Gold Medal (Highly Recommended for Vodka Shots and Sublime Cocktails)
95.5+       Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)


6 Responses to “Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka”

  1. brad said

    Looks like an excellent excuse for a road trip to Saskatchewan to pick up some bottles.

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