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Lowry Park Vodka

Review: Lowry Park Vodka   (84.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on March 06, 2017

Lowry 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, Grays 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.

lowry-park-vodkaThe First Impression 7.5/10

These tall slender bottles seem to be more and more common in the vodka category these days. I like the look of the bottle which has a sleek elegance on my bar shelf, but one drawback is that these bottles are often too tall to fit in a typical cupboard or bar shelf. I have to adjust my Vodka Shelf to accommodate them, but many consumers may be reluctant to do the required work to make them fit, and thus pass on the vodka in favour of a bottle that fits betters.

The blue label with the white lettering is easy to read, but it also seems just a tad underwhelming. The label contains very little useful information about this particular spirit. My friends at my vodka tasting were put off by the label, and I am not inspired by it either. The corked topper does hint that this spirit may be more refined than the label would indicate.

The First Sip  17/20

When I poured the vodka the first time, I had chilled the spirit to just above the freezing point of water (1 or 2 degrees Celsius) and the vodka was slightly thickened with a clean nose which featured hints of grain spice and lemon zest. The first sip reinforced those impressions with an ever so light mint-like impression and hints of vanilla added to the fray. At my group tasting, all of my friends seemed to enjoy the menagerie of light flavours within the spirit.

As the spirit warmed, we began to notice a very light metallic bitterness creeping into the aftertaste. The hint of metallic flavour did not distract our enjoyment until the spirit had warmed to almost room temperature. Most vodkas break down earlier than this.

Lowry Park is a very good sipping Vodka.

Taking a Shot  17/20

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.

And indeed when I allowed the spirit to warm, I again found it quite smooth (not as smooth as when chilled) and the light burn although present and more defined was still not at a level that caused discomfort. I did notice that very light metallic aftertaste which increased slightly as the vodka neared room temperature. I preferred the shot to the sip; however, my friends at the tasting seemed to be evenly split.

All of us were enjoying the Lowry Park Vodka.

Out for Dinner 17.5/20

At my large tasting, my friends and I had all brought a little food over, and the result was a platter of Mundare kielbasa sausage, Cheddar and Edam cheeses, ham and pepperoni pizza, pita bread with hummus and tzatziki and my increasingly popular pepper-pot soup. The purpose of part of the tasting is to try to figure out if the Vodka we are sipping between bites of food improves our enjoyment of the food and if the food improves the Vodka experience. Generally speaking a clean vodka which carries no metallic or bitter aftertaste will go well with most of the foods we try. All of this is subjective, and I have found group of friends helping me is the best way to approach this part of the review.

When I went over the comment sheets from my friends I saw a consistent thread which can be summed up as, Lowry Park works with all of the foods we had prepared. It acts as a great palate cleanser improving the flavour of each of the various foods, and the vodka itself tastes good between bites as well. The only slight flaw was that light metallic aftertaste which has been consistent throughout the tasting. I have to stress that the effect of this aftertaste is only a minor distraction, and that the vodka was a great accompaniment to all the foods we tried.

Cocktail Hour 25.5/30

I served all of the spirits in similar cocktails during my tasting sessions. When I sampled the spirits on my own, I made Gimlets, and when I sampled the spirits with my friends, I made Cosmopolitans. Lowry Park Vodka seemed to add an ever so light sweetness to each of these cocktails or maybe saying that it seemed to very lightly blunt the tartness of each would be more correct. The result was actually quite enjoyable and led me to venture a little further on my own afterwards with a few martinis. I found dry martinis worked best, although I think a Vesper (martini with both gin and vodka) would have been more ideal.

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Final Score 84.5/100

(A very good overall vodka for Sipping, Shots and for Short Cocktails)

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

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Suggested Recipes

sam_3018Lemon Lime Gimlet

2 oz  Lowry Park Vodka
1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
ice
Lime Slice for garnish

Add the five ingredients with ice into a metal shaker
Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a slice of lime!

Note: 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 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)

 

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