Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka
Review: Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka (84.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on January 14, 2017
Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka is produced by Goodridge & Williams, an independent craft distilling company located in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). According to the company website, the Vodka is produced from a slow distillation using traditional copper pot-still. I should note that the label on the bottle clarifies this information stating that the distillation process includes distillation through 38 column plates. The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
I sampled three other new vodkas in a tasting flight with Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka (Foothills, Tryst, and Provincial Vodka). I served each of the spirits chilled where I sipped them each neat, swallowed shots, and then sampled each with a variety of foods. I finished the tasting with some cocktails made from each spirit.
The First Impression 9/10
Sometimes it’s hard to discern why I like one bottle on my vodka shelf better than another. At first glance Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka bottle doesn’t seem to grab me with any sort of ‘wow’ factor. Yet I like the clean long-necked bottle with its craft label. Part of the appeal is the synthetic cork topper which I always appreciate, and part of it is I am sure the information on the label describing the Vodka.
The label tells me the vodka is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume, but more importantly it tells me that the spirit has been distilled through 38 plates on the column still. I have seen many small micro-distilleries tout that their products are 8x or 10x distilled by which they mean that the spirit went only once through there 8 plate or 10 plate small column still. The Vodkas produced by these companies are only partially rectified and often contain excess fusel flavours. I am excited to try a spirit from a Canadian Micro-distiller which appears to be more fully rectified.
The First Sip 17/20
When I was tasting Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka for the first time, it had chilled in my freezer for several hours and was then served cold in a small shot glass. Having been placed in my deep freeze for a few hours, the spirit was thickened, and lightly creamy.
I took a cautious sniff at the breezes above the glass and I noticed a touch of creme de fresh on the nose with vanilla pudding and cream of wheat porridge. The impression was subtle but it was quite pleasant. When I took a small sip, those aromatic impressions manifested upon the palate as light flavours of lemon and citrus zest melded with vanilla and some of that cream of wheat porridge.
When the spirit was allowed to warm to room temperature the flavour did not change much. The flavour impressions were stronger on the palate of course; but I was happy that there was only a small amount of astringency present. There was a firm bite of grain spice; but that bite of spice would not dissuade me from sipping the vodka in this format again.
Taking a Shot 17.5/20
Taking a full swallow, the grain spice comes through firmly. I also taste a light lemon flavour with vanilla and hints of mint in the finish. I would still say the vodka is smooth, although it is true that the spicy grain-like bite builds after the swallow upon the palate. Just as it was when I sipped the spirit, as the vodka warms the flavours intensify; however, I sense no vegetal flavours or metallic aftertaste making this a spirit which I can certainly recommend for shots.
Out for Dinner 16/20
A good vodka will cleanse the palate between bites allowing you to more fully appreciate the food flavours you are encountering. Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka however, seemed to have no impact positive or negative with respect to any of my food pairing that day. The morsels of food I had prepared (spicy hamburger ball soup, smoked wieners, Edam and cheddar cheese, fresh-baked buns and ham slices) did not seem to taste any better after a sip of vodka, although it should be stressed that they did not taste any worse either. I suspect that the pot still distillation which allows the vodka to carry those light creamy flavours of vanilla and cream of wheat porridge also gave the vodka a lightly creamy texture which coated those flavours on my palate. As a result the vodka did not act as a palate cleanser.
As indicated though, the light flavour of the vodka did not detract from the experience either. While Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka would not be my first choice as a gastronomic enhancer, I would not turn down a shot glass with my food either.
Cocktail Hour 25/30
I mixed both a Cosmopolitan, and a Martini with the handcrafted vodka. Although each cocktail was certainly fine, I found the fruit did not pop in the Cosmo, and the Martini seemed … a tad muddled is the best word I guess. Again both cocktail were certainly fine; but I was somewhat surprised that I actually preferred this vodka on the rocks instead. (See below for suggested serving.)
Final Score 84.5/100
A good sipping and shooting vodka!
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Vodka Reviews.
As indicating in my review, I found Sid’s Handmade Vodka to be a functional mixer; however the spirit seems to prefer to stand alone. So after some careful consideration I have decided to recommend a serving which I saw ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund share during an episode of Legend’s House on the WWE Network.
‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund’s Cocktail
2 1/2 oz Vodka (I recommend Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka)
Fill a Tumbler with fresh ice
Add a liberal amount of Vodka
If you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
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)