Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 4, 2013
The Khortytsa Distillery is located in the City of Zaporizhzhia, in the south of Ukraine. The facility is relatively new, and its first distilled products were rolled out in December of 2003. According to the company website, the distillery uses only high quality grain spirits produced by Ukraine’s best factories for vodka manufacturing. Although the facility and the brand are relatively new, they have made a significant impact in the global market where today as Khortytsa is found in 85 countries worldwide. The brand was recently introduced into Canada, and I was recently asked by the local importer, Ukrainian Drinks Ltd. to provide a few reviews of some of their selected products.
The Khortytsa Structured Vodka is produced using what the company calls ‘structured water’ which apparently has similar properties to the water within the human body and allows the Vodka to be more easily digested (at least according to the pressers I have read). The Khortytsa brand also boasts that its Structured Vodka has been certified “Organic” by the EU (European Union), and certified “kosher” by the Orthodox Union (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America).
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… When the Vodka was raised to my nose I noticed very delicate notes of lime zest and spice. As I sipped it, the impression upon my palate was of citrus zest with hints of lemon, spicy white pepper and cloves. All of us at the mini-tasting agreed the vodka was clean and very smooth with no detrimental aftertaste …”
Please enjoy the review, and do indulge in my newest recipe suggestion,the Bluebird of Happiness.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Bluebird of Happiness, Cocktails, Khortytsa, Structured, Ukranian Vodka, Vodka, Vodka Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 28, 2013
BELUGA Vodka has been in production since 2002, when the first 38 bottles rolled off the production line at the Mariinsk Distillery on December 13th. The history of this particular plant actually stretches back 113 years to 1900 when it was built in the town of Mariinsk which is located in a remote area of southwestern Siberia (the Kemerovo Oblast), where the West Siberian plains meets the South Siberian mountains. Apparently, this plant was apparently constructed in this remote area of Siberia for a very special reason, the Getreidemalz Siberian spring water which is pulled from an aquifer 250 meters below the ground. The special properties of this water (the aquifer contains quartz) are said to make it ideal for producing vodka.
I was contacted by the Beluga Vodka Company about three months ago inquiring as to how they could send me a sample of the Beluga Transatlantic and Beluga Allure Vodkas. Thanks to the assistance of Thirsty Cellar Imports, who are the local distributors of Beluga Noble Vodka (see my review here), I was able to receive the samples in good order and provide a review on my website.
You may click the following excerpt to read the full review of this special Vodka:
“… when I raised it to my nose I sensed merely whispers of aroma. The first sip brought impressions of a vague creaminess to my mind which hinted at cream of wheat porridge. There is a mild spiciness with subtle flavours of lemon zest, and an ever so light sweetness which reminded me of the sweetness of fresh bread …”
As you can see by the picture to the right I have also include a nice recipe which I feel suits the mood and ambiance of this Special Edition Vodka, the Minted Vodka Daiquiri.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Beluga Vodka, Cocktails, Minted Daiquiri, Russian Vodka, Super Premium Vodka, Transatlantic Racing, Vodka | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 23, 2013
Souvenir Vodka (according to their website) is a quadruple distilled Ukrainian Vodka. It arrives in a frosted bottle with a clear window shape in the front which is designed to allow the consumer to have their own image placed at the back of the bottle to be seen through this window. The idea is to allow clients to use the bottle for a variety of purposes such as to commemorate special events like weddings or anniversaries, or to advertise company logos, or whatever other purpose can be imagined. I was told that the Vodka within is a very high quality product from a major Ukrainian distillery, and therefore the company or individual who has purchased the Vodka for their event will not only gain the branding impact of the bottle presentation, but will also be seen as having discriminating taste.
The concept sounds interesting, and I decided to put the Souvenir Vodka through the rituals of my tasting methodology to see how it stacks up.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… As I took my first full swallow of the Souvenir Vodka ‘shot style’, I noticed a spicy warmth upon my palate and in the back of my throat. To my way of thinking this spiciness is almost rye-like and it tickles the tonsils giving the spirit a ‘bracing’ quality …”
The review includes a new recipe I call the Viridian Viper.
Please enjoy the review and the recipe, Budmo!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Souvenir Vodka, Ukranian Vodka, Viridian Viper, Vodka, Vodka Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 3, 2013
Beluga Noble Gold Line Vodka is an exclusive ultra-premium Vodka and according to the Beluga Website, it is manufactured from malted spirit and pure Getreidemalz Siberian spring water. Even though artesian spring water is naturally pure, for this Vodka, the spring water must also undergo an extra filtration for an even higher level of purity. After being distilled five times, the vodka is enriched with special ingredients such as rice extract and golden root (rhodiola rosea) extract. The addition of minute quantities of special ingredients is consistent with what I know of traditional European production methods where each distilled vodka has its own recipe and its own special ingredients. It is these special ingredients used in very small proportions which contribute to the individual character of each Vodka. (By small quantities I really do mean small; typically these extra ingredients are measured in parts per million.) After all of this, the Vodka is rested for 90 days before bottling. This rest period apparently allows the molecular components within to stabilize allowing for a smoother more velvet-like mouth-feel and taste.
Beluga Noble Gold Line Vodka has recently been introduced into my home Province of Alberta. This is a super premium Vodka which is priced well above anything I have seen to date in the Vodka category (approx $175.00 per bottle in Alberta). A bottle was delivered to me by Thirsty Cellar Imports, who are importing this spirit and I was asked to provide a review on my website.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
” … The first taste was lightly sweet and lightly spicy with a flavour I would describe as soft and clean. Hints of lemon tantalized my mouth, and I seem to taste mild hints of bay leaf and thyme, and perhaps an ever so light impression of ginger. As the vodka warmed, the flavours increased in strength; but they never become more than vague impressions. It is almost as if I feel the flavour rather than taste it… “
Here is a link to my full review:
Please enjoy my review of this new Super Premium Russian Vodka!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Beluga Vodka, Cocktails and Recipes, Super Premium Vodka, Vodka, Vodka Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 24, 2013
I was able to meet up with, Burt Stewart, Vice President of Sales for Patron Spirits a few weeks ago who was in town promoting Ultimat Vodka. Ultimat is a Polish Vodka (at the premium end of the scale), produced from the rather unusual mixture of both grains and potatoes. The grains (rye and wheat) are said to supply complexity and smoothness, while the potato spirit is said to lend a richness to the vodka which makes this a new experience for the Vodka connoisseur.
After I met Mr. Stewart, I was told by the representative from Select Wines (the local importers) that they wanted me to have a bottle of the Ultimat to review on my website; there was a catch though, I would have to also accept a bottle of Grey Goose, and taste the two side by side before writing my review. It seemed a reasonable request and so I accepted. Thus my review of the Ultimat will contain references and comparisons to Grey Goose Vodka throughout. Even I am curious as to how this is going to work out.
You may read the comparative review here:
If you are interested, my original review for Grey Goose Vodka can be found here:
Each Review contains a different Cocktail, my new Emissary Cocktail, and the Vodka Daiquiri.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Grey Goose, Patron Spirits, Ultimat, Vodka, Vodka Review, Vodka tasting | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 12, 2013
I was surprised when I received the press materials for Luksusowa Wisniowa (the cherry flavoured version). I discovered that the Vodka Liqueur which carries the Luksusowa name may not in fact use the potato based Luksusowa Vodka as its base spirit. Instead, Luksusowa Wisniowa (according to the press materials given to me anyway) is a cherry flavoured vodka made from real cherry fruit and the finest grain spirit.
Irregardless, of how the spirit was produced, the deep reddish tones of the spirit and its lovely cherry flavour make it a perfect flavoured Vodka for Valentines Day Cocktails, which is why I have chosen today to publish my review:
Your may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… In the breezes above the glass I notice quite a bit of spice in the air and the scent of a lightly sweet hard cherry candy. The spice reminds me of cardamom or ginger and seems to give the aroma a light effervescence which was rather unexpected. Hints of menthol arise, and although I am not really sure, I seem to receive an impression of Ruby Port wine in those breezes …”
Of course I have a few of those Valentines cocktails as well:
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Vodka, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Flavoured Vodka, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Luksusowa, Vodka Review, Wisniowa | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 27, 2013
Smirnoff Vodka has become more and more popular such that now (according to brand owner Diageo) it is the number 1 selling Vodka in the entire world being sold and distributed in over 130 countries. It is not only sold in many countries, it is also produced in many countries. My understanding is that Smirnoff 21 is a triple distilled spirit, produced on a large multi-column still from North American prairie grain. The particular sample of Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka which I am reviewing was produced here in Canada for the North American Market and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… I always serve Vodka in a shot glass, and in that shot glass the spirit demonstrated a very obvious scent of balsam, grain, and a sweep of lemon zest. When I took a sip, I found the flavour matched the scent. I tasted the spiciness of grain with that very light, somewhat earthy lemon/balsam flavour … “
Here is a link to the full review which includes two cocktail, the Vodka Cooler, and the Vodka Darby:
Please enjoy the Review!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Diageo, Smirnoff, Vodka, Vodka Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 28, 2012
(a reposting of my best interview of 2012)
Allow me to welcome Alexandre Gabriel, President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand to my website.
Alexandre Gabriel was born in France, on a farm in southern Burgundy near the medieval town of Cluny, where his grandfather taught him how to make wine and distill spirits. He went to university in Lyon, and then in the U.S. as an exchange student, before returning to Paris to attend business school. More than 20 years ago, Alexandre came upon an ancient and almost defunct Cognac house. Through his passion and his vision, Alexandre Gabriel turned this small Cognac House into a specialized house of artisan spirits before the term was even coined. He re-built what is known today as Cognac Ferrand, in the heart of the Grande Champagne district of Cognac.
Mr. Gabriel believes in making spirits for people who enjoy the epicurean life and for the bartenders that make these epicurean libations possible.
I was given the opportunity to conduct an email interview with Alexandre Gabriel here on my website, and to my delight, Mr. Gabriel exceeded all of my expectations sharing his energy and passion for Craft Spirits. Mr. Gabriel shares how he “fell into a barrel of Cognac” when he was “only 2 years into drinking age by American standards”. He explains why craft spirits are so important to Cognac Ferrand, and whether or not he is he is leading the spirits world into the realms of madness.
We discuss not only Cognac, but also Gin, Vodka and Rum, and then Mr. Gabriel shares not only two of his favourite cocktails with me, but also (after a certain amount of wailing and gnashing of the teeth), his favourite or most treasured spirit which Alexandre would wish for if he were to be stranded on a deserted island…
Here is a link to the full interview:
Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cocktails & Recipes, Gin, Interviews, Liqueur, Rum, Vodka | Tagged: 1840 Cognac, Alexandre Gabriel, Citadelle Gin, Cognac Ferrand, Interview, Plantation Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 22, 2012
According to the website information, Beluga Noble Russian Vodka is manufactured in a remote area of Siberia, reported to be 300 km from the nearest large settlement. The vodka is produced from grain alcohol (some of the alcohol may be produced from malted grain), and purified Siberian spring water. Even though artesian spring water is naturally pure, for this Vodka, it must also undergo a double filtration, through quartz sand and a special silver filter. After distillation, a third stage of purification involves a 10.5 meter coal column filter which is composed of birch charcoal. Prior to bottling, the vodka is rested 30 days. This rest period apparently allows the molecular components within to stabilize allowing for a smoother more velvet-like mouth-feel and taste.
Interestingly enough, Beluga vodka also contains other special ingredients (in extremely small quantities) such as honey, oat extract, and Silybum Marianum (milk thistle) extract. The addition of minute quantities of special ingredients is consistent with what I know of traditional European production methods where each distilled vodka has its own recipe and its own special ingredients. It is these special ingredients used in very small proportions which contribute to the individual character of each Vodka. (By small quantities I really do mean small; typically these extra ingredients are measured in parts per million.)
Beluga Noble Russian Vodka has recently been introduced into my home Province of Alberta. It is a Premium Vodka which is priced to occupy the same market niche as Grey Goose and Belvedere. A bottle was delivered to me by Thirsty Cellar Imports, who are importing this spirit and I was asked to provide a review on my website.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… The nose is clean with faint wisps of lemon and spice. There is something else in the air as well, a very soft aroma which seems very vaguely sweet and herbal, and at the same time very vaguely like fresh cereal porridge (made with milk). As I sip the Vodka, I am very impressed. I taste very lightly sweet flavours of lemon and citrus zest as well as a very gentle spiciness. The aftertaste is vaguely sweet reminding my of honey or cane syrup, and I taste a very light maltiness which is very appealing… “
Here is a link to my full review:
Please enjoy my review of this new Premium Russian Vodka which includes recipe for a standard Vodka Martini, and my own Estate Cocktail.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Beluga Vodka, Cocktails and Recipes, DrinkWire, Martini, Premium Vodka, Russian Vodka, Vodka | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 2, 2012
There are subtle aromas and flavours which can be appreciated when Vodka is sipped or when it is consumed as a shot. As well, when served with good food, vodka has the ability to enhance the gastronomic experience by cleansing the palate between bites allowing you to taste each morsel more completely. When I review Vodka on my website, I try very hard to convey my appreciation of these subtle nuances of pleasure which Vodka can provoke. I think I am doing something right, because my Vodka reviews are amongst the most popular on my website.
This Year I have separated the Vodka Awards from the Tequila and Gin Awards to give them more prominence. All spirit samples which I receive to review on my website are automatically considered for my awards. I do my review, and then I set aside the remainder of the spirit for the end of the year judging. This year, for the first time ever, I also received additional industry samples specifically for these awards.
Here are the recipients of my 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Vodka. These Awards are for the best Vodka Spirits I encountered in the year 2012:
Posted in Awards, Flavoured Vodka, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Premium Vodka, Rum Howler Awards, Vodka Awards, Vodka Review | Comments Off