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Last Mountain Sweet Tea Flavoured Vodka

Review: Last Mountain Sweet Tea Flavoured Vodka   (80/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on August 07, 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 Sweet Tea Flavoured Vodka is made using all natural ingredients including real tea freshly brewed for each batch. It is bottled at 35.2% alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

The Sweet Tea Flavoured Vodka arrives in the 750 ml jug-like bottle shown to the left. The spirit has an old-fashioned look complete with the charm of small ring on the neck of the bottle, and a wood topped cork which seals the bottle. I like the label which has a partial picture of a nice glass of a cold iced-tea drink which gives us a hint as to how Colin and Meredith expect us to serve their flavoured vodka.

In the Glass 8.0/10

The Sweet Tea Vodka has a lightly thickened consistency. When I brought it to my nose I was pleasantly surprised to find  tell-tale traces of honey in the air rather than sugar syrup. The all natural ingredients advertised thus may include fresh honey as well as freshly made tea.

Honey is very aggressive in both flavour and aroma which means that the scent of tea leaves is not immediately apparent. Once they develop I noticed that alongside the combination of the tea and honey is an additional an impression of anise or licorice. My wife who drinks much more tea than I do has quite a variety of teas in her cupboard, so I took grabbed a variety of tea bags and tried to see if I could decipher which variety of tea I was encountering. Earl Grey seemed to come the closest as it also seemed to have traces of licorice in its olfactory profile.

I like what I have encountered to this point, but I am concerned that the honey-like impression is perhaps just a little too strong.

In the Mouth 47.5/60

The first sip reinforced the impression of a winding note of honey which runs through the spirit. That licorice-like note which I noticed in the breezes is also apparent when I sip the sweet tea flavoured vodka, and I am beginning to wonder if it is a part of the natural tea flavour, or if perhaps it is part of the fresh natural ingredients added to round out the flavour. Although the spirit is easy to sip (this is not surprising as the underlying Vodka (Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka) was reviewed here several weeks ago and was found to be an excellent spirit which imparted very little in the way of undesirable aftertaste or harshness) I am distracted to a certain extent by the winding honey flavour which runs though the spirit. I should point out though that when I served the Sweet Tea Vodka to a few friends they disagreed strongly with me insisting that the honey flavour they encountered was appreciated, and they would not want to see it diminished.

I decided to try the Sweet Tea Lemonade recipe (shown below) which I found on the Last Mountain Distillery Website. I made both a pitcher of fresh lemonade and a pitcher of Iced Tea and then mixed myself a glass of Sweet Tea Lemonade. Interestingly the light licorice flavour all but disappears in the mixed drink. Again I found the impression of honey distracting, but my friends (as they did before before) disagreed strongly.

In the Throat 12/15

When sipped neat, the added sweetness lengthens the spirit. As indicated the underlying vodka appears to be of high quality which results in a spirit which is easy to sip and its flavours are not disturbed by astringency or undesirable metallic flavours .

The Afterburn 8/10

The Last Mountain Sweet Tea Vodka is a spirit I struggled with. I should point out that it is easily recognizable that the underlying Vodka within the spirit is top-notch, and I should also make the point that pretty much every other person I sampled the spirit to, loved it. I note that other honey flavoured spirit’s have not fared well in my ratings so I think that for the purposes of this review I must bow to the wisdom of my friends and accept that the honey flavour which I found distracting was actually a compliment to the tea flavoured spirit.

If you are interested, here is a link to my other published Flavoured Vodka Reviews.

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Suggested Recipe

Sweet Tea Lemonade

3 oz Last Mountain Sweet Tea Vodka
4 oz Lemonade
3 oz Lime Juice
Ice
Lemon Slice

Combine the ingredients with ice into a large Glass
Garnish with a slice of Lemon
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!

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You may (loosely) interpret the scores 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 rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact 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 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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