Nemiroff Premium Lime Vodka
Review: Nemiroff Premium Lime Vodka (79/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on May 5, 2011.
Nemiroff Premium Lime (Vodka) was introduced to the Nemiroff brand line-up in August of 2006. According to the Nemiroff website, the Premium Lime is produced from triple distilled spirits which must undergo ten stages of purification. Additionally, the final spirit is polished to for clarity with the specially a prepared absorbent. As with all Nemiroff flavours, only natural ingredients and flavours are used in the production of Nemiroff Premium Lime.
I was asked to review the Nemiroff Premium Lime by Igor Kashcan, who is the importer of Nemiroff Vodka here in Alberta, Canada.
The First Impression 9/10
The Premium Spirits from Nemiroff are presented in a new style of bottle pictured to the right. I like the new bottle as it makes a nice impression on my bar shelf. It is not so big and clumsy that holding and pouring the vodka is awkward; rather it fits easily in my hand and is very easy to grip. I also appreciate the simple but classy labels which Nemiroff employ. There is something of class regarding the presentation of their Premium Spirits.
The First Sip 16/20
I chose to begin sampling the Premium Lime with the product chilled to about 5 degrees Celsius. The aroma of the vodka at this temperature is of light citrus which is very vaguely sweet. The sweetness does not translate onto the palate as when the Vodka was introduced to my mouth it coated my tongue and my palate with a nice creaminess, but only the flavour of lime was forefront. Lime is a very aggressive flavour, and I suspect that this is why I was not able to detect any other underlying grain flavours. Although the lime was forefront, the flavour was not tart and mouth puckering as though you were biting into a fresh lime, rather it was a creamy, mild, lime flavour that coated the palate and back of the throat after swallowing. A spicy citrus warmth fills the mouth and back of the throat upon swallowing.
I found the flavoured Vodka to be very sippable but to be honest, I was hoping for more of a tart lime punch in the flavour profile.
Taking a Shot 16/20
My friends and I all had the same reaction when we took our first shot of the Premium Lime. It was kind of vaguely disappointed feeling of flavour unrealized. You see, the lime remains firm but there really is not anything else. There are no slippery nuances of other flavours mingling with the lime. The Vodka is very clean, it goes down the throat nicely. The lime essence heats up the palate, but there was no moment of contentment when swallowing the Premium Lime. You are left wanting something more to make the experience joyful.
Out for Dinner 15.5/20
When we paired the Premium lime with food, my friends and I were stuck in the same malaise as we had been when we were swallowing small shots. The lime flavour was strong enough to alter our perceptions of the food we were consuming, but it did not actually pair well with anything we tried. The regular suspects of soft cheeses, sausage and ham, fresh buns and pickles were not really enjoyable with the Lime Vodka. I tried lemon chicken, potato salad, and oriental style meats in a later tasting with a little more success, but the Lime Vodka never really stood out and enhanced the pairings I chose.
Again the Premium Lime challenged my friends and I when we mixed a few cocktails. The lime flavour, while very noticeable when sipping the Vodka neat, disappears very quickly in cocktails. (I found the idea of mixing a lime based cocktail rather pointless as it is easier to get the right amount of lime flavour using a standard Vodka and real limes.) I decided the direction to take would be to construct a cocktail which might benefit from just a small dollop of lime mixed with other citrus components. I came up with one really nice recipe (See the recipe below for the De Lurey), but in all honesty I think the recipe would work just as well with a regular vodka, and a light squeeze of fresh lime.
This was probably the most difficult review I have written to date, and my contacts at Nemiroff are probably shaking their heads in disbelief as they read my review thinking I am crazy. The Nemiroff Premium Lime is a flavoured Vodka which is obviously of high quality, but whose flavour misses the mark for me. I felt the lime flavour if pushed up a notch (more tart and assertive) would have worked better; or conversely, if the lime flavour had been brought down a notch or two (to be more of a wisp of lime), it could have worked better as well. Another tact which would have made the product more interesting for me would have been to have some other flavour component working with the lime to make the entire drink more appealing.
In the final analysis we have a Premium Vodka Flavour which while being very sippable, was not very interesting for me.
You may read some of my other Liqueur and Favoured Spirit Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Final Score: 79/100
(Sippable but uninteresting in cocktails)
In an unusual quirk of my scoring system we have a product scoring as a mixer which I recommend only weakly for cocktails. The Premium Lime is an acceptable sipper if you relish the flavour of unsweetened lime, but is not really inspiring in the cocktail realm. Having said that, you might want to try the recipe below for the De Lurey.
The De Lurey
1 1/2 oz Nemiroff Premium Lime Vodka
1/2 Naval Orange Freshly Squeezed
1/2 Lemon Freshly Squeezed
1 oz Cranberry Juice
Mix all ingredients in a tall mixing glass with ice
Stir gently to chill
Add to a large cocktail glass with ice cubes
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 still 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)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)