Review: Opulent Vodka 84.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on August 03, 2015
Opulent Vodka is an American made spirit produced from what their website calls ‘American-bred corn’. The spirit apparently undergoes an “intense distillation process” which is repeated five times after which it is reduced to bottling proof using deionized water. The vodka appears to be produced by Johnson Brothers Wine and Spirits, which I believe is under the umbrella of companies owned by Crosby Lakes Spirits Company, of Minnesota.
When I sampled Opulent Vodka for the first time, I was also sampling three other vodka spirits, Polar Ice, Iceberg and Skyy Vodkas. I created a set of tasting notes for each spirit, and from those notes, and from a second set of tasting notes which I prepared in my private tasting room when I sampled Opulent in isolation from the other spirits afterwards, I prepared this review.
Opulent Vodka is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume.
In the Bottle 9/10
Opulent Vodka arrives in the very nice glass bottle shown to the left. The square based bottle tapers gently from the shoulders to the base and the large diamond-shaped dimples under the OPULENT label lend an impression of elegance and class. I like what I see, and I feel the bottle stands out from the crowd when it is set next to the other vodka spirits I have on my bar shelf.
The First Sip 17.5/20
Served at a cold temperature (in a large double shot glass) the Opulent Vodka has a relatively clean aroma with bits of spice, perhaps a hint of mintiness, and a touch of citrus zest. As I sipped upon the cold spirit, I decided that the vodka has a surprisingly spicy bit even at the cold serving temperature. Fortunately that mint-like quality I noticed when I inspected the breezes above my glass manifests itself into a soothing menthol-like quality as you sip. There is also a pleasant lemon-like sweetness as well. As the spirit warmed up, I could taste firmer lemon and mint-like flavours. The spiciness began to resemble a bit of fine peppermint spice but did not seem to build to any level of discomfort.
The Vodka tastes quite nice.
Taking a Shot 16.5/20
After I swallowed a full 1/2 ounce shot, I felt that the spirit brought forward a light corn sweetness through the finish which was quite nice; however there was also a bit of a spicy burn which warned me that perhaps the spirit was not as smooth as it appeared on first sip. The light burn increases with temperature, and I would not recommend shooting this particular Vodka unless it is served at a cold temperature. On the positive side, the aftertaste is very pleasant. The Opulent seems to heat the palate with small amounts of both white pepper and peppermint while at the same time it leaves ebbing flavours of sweet lemon and menthol behind.
Out For Dinner 17.5/20
The light spiciness of the vodka works quite well with food. I made a nice plate of fresh-baked buns, with cheddar cheese, ham slices, pepperoni and garlic sausage, as well as a bowl of my famous pepper pot soup. In particular the bread tasted much nicer after each sip of vodka as the sweetness of the bread seemed to be highlighted. The lightly salted foods I served tasted very nice as well. Between bites the aforementioned spiciness of the Opulent vodka cut through the flavours cleansing the palate quite well, and the spirit remained nice to sip even as glass grew warmer.
I was working with a small sample of Opulent Vodka, and as I result I was only able to build one cocktail for this review. I decided that since I was tasting 3 other spirits as well, I would make the same cocktail with each of them so that I could compare each spirit on an even playing field. I chose to build Vodka Daiquiris as they have become my standard bar drink for comparing Vodka.
The cocktail I made with Opulent Vodka was noticeably sweeter than the others even though all of the drinks were created in exactly the same way. (If you go through the review you will notice I found sweetness when I sipped and when I shot the Vodka as well.) The cocktail made with Opulent, although sweet, was still quite nice; but as far as things went that afternoon while I was sampling all four spirits, this was the least preferred cocktail.
Although I do not have any spirit left to confirm this, I suspect a Greyhound where Vodka is mixed with grapefruit juice and no added sugar, would be the direction I would go next time with Opulent Vodka.
1 1/2 oz Opulent Vodka
3 oz fresh Grapefruit Juice
Fill a tumbler with Ice Cubes
Add the Vodka and Grapefruit Juice
Stir and Enjoy!
Please enjoy responsibly as well!
Note: If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
Final Score 84.5/100
(Very Good for Sipping; Pleasant for Shots and Mixed 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)