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Posts Tagged ‘Vodka Review’

Review: Zubrowka (Bison Grass) Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 13, 2011

Zubrowka or ‘Bison Grass’ Vodka is an original Polish Vodka distilled at the Polmos Bialystok Distillery located 200 km northeast of Warsaw. In this region of the world, Vodka(or at least a spirit similar to Vodka) has been flavoured with Bison Grass for over 600 years. The Bison grass (Hierochloe odorata or Herchloe Australis) grows in the Białowieża Forest (which lies in Northern Poland and Belarus), although distinct varieties of this herbal grass grow in other locations as well including North America where the plant has been known as ‘Sweetgrass’ or ‘Holy Grass’.

I should mention that received a bottle of Zubrowka Vodka from Ashley Calapatia, who is with the PR agency representing Zubrowka Vodka in Canada. I was requested to provide a review of the spirit here on my website, and here is an excerpt from that review:

“… The vodka carries a light herbal aroma in the glass but identification of any particular scent was remarkably difficult. Descriptors like vanilla, sage, thyme, rosemary and cinnamon were tossed back and forth amongst us, but I think it is somewhat safer to say we discerned a lightly pungent herbal quality on both the nose and the palate that was quite different from what any of us had encountered before….”

My full review may be read here:

Review: Zubrowka (Bison Grass) Vodka

Cheers!!

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Review: O2 945 (Super Premium) Sparkling Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 30, 2011

O2 945 Super Premium Sparkling Vodka bills itself as the world’s first Super Premium Sparkling Vodka. When I sampled this spirit at the Wine and Food Festival last fall I was actually quite smitten by what I encountered, hints of citrus, and some awesome tiny bubbles filling my mouth. (Anyone who has read some of my reviews, and the cocktails which I like to construct for the various spirits I have sampled, realizes that I am a soda loving  person. A spirit that combines my love of soda bubbles with a light crisp taste really has my attention from the get go.)

I contacted the importer of O2 Vodka, Premium Imports, to see about getting a sample to review on my blog. After a few months they came through in spades with samples of each the O2 Premium Sparkling Vodka and the 945 Super Premium Sparkling Vodka. Both versions carry nice light citrus notes and those wonderful champagne-like bubbles to the palate. These bubbles are supposed to stimulate the taste buds accentuating the flavours of food the vodka is served with, and the flavours of the cocktails the vodka is served in.

I invited several of my good friends over for a Vodka Tasting where we put the O2 (945 Super Premium) Sparkling Vodka through the rigors of my review methodolgy.  Here is an excerpt from what we discovered:

“…The first sip brought forward a stronger citrus presence which one of my friends at the tasting likened to a spear’s thrust of citrus zest. The carbonated bubbles seem to be bringing forward much more of the citrus flavours of the vodka…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: O2 945 (Super Premium) Sparkling Vodka

As well I have included a nice cocktail with the review, Rustic Soul.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!

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Review: Black Stallion Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 2, 2011

Black Stallion Vodka is a product of Black Stallion Spirits, a Calgary, Alberta based company which has been importing Russian Vodka since 2002.  This is an authentic Russian Vodka distilled at the Kratos Distillery, one of the oldest producers of liquor products in Russia. The distillery was fully reconstructed and modernized in 1997, and a new main building was constructed with modern equipment installed.

There is a lot of information on the back of the bottle; but, unfortunately for me it is all written in Russian.  I would have liked this information to be translated as I like to read about the heritage of the spirit I am sampling, but I can glean from the bottle that it is a 750 ml size, and the spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is an excerpt from the review:

“… As we all took our first full swallow of the Black Stallion, I noticed the spirit imparted some real warmth to my palate and the back of my throat. The vodka was carrying some hotter rye-like spices from the grain distillate forward….”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Black Stallion Vodka

As well I hope you enjoy the recipe at the end of the review, The Vodka Darby Cocktail.

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Review: Pristina Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 21, 2011

You might say that I am a bit of a Highwood Distillers enthusiast. I toured their distillery last year (See Highwood Distillery Tour), and I have unabashedly fallen in love with the quality of their whisky which seems to me to be one the best kept secrets of the whisky world. In spite of my fondness for this distillery, I find myself continually underestimating their abilities.

And so we come to Pristina Vodka

I guess I should have known when I received my sample bottle that what was inside would be nothing short of marvelous. But maybe it was the uninspiring bottle and label, or maybe it is just a case of us Canadians being a little too self conscious to believe we can be as good as everyone else in the world. Whatever the reason, when I put the Pristina in a flight of Vodka samples at a recent tasting where it was up against an Authentic Russian Vodka called Black Stallion, a real Polish Vodka called Alchemia Czysta, and a Vodka made in France called Grey Goose, I was not expecting what happened.  What happened was that every person at my tasting session chose the same Vodka as their favourite, and every person said it wasn’t even close. That favourite, the clear head and shoulders winner without reservation in everybody’s opinion, was of course the Pristina Vodka from Highwood Distillers.

I guess I have already tipped my hand that the score will be high, but here is an excerpt from my review:

“…My good feelings towards the Vodka continued as I took my first large swallow (shot). I was happy to taste no vegetal tones and to feel no burn at all in my throat. The swallow was clean and completely smooth. The back of my mouth received a mildly spicy warmth; but my throat felt no heat, even with a substantial swallow of the Pristina Vodka…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Pristina Vodka

As well I have included a suggested recipe in the form of a Vodka Tonic.

Please enjoy the review!

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Review: Pristina Espresso Flavoured Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 19, 2011

Four of us were gathered around my kitchen table sampling four flavoured Vodkas and two new rums on a lazy Sunday afternoon a couple months ago. The line up of flavoured Vodkas included Alchemia’s Chocolate Infused Vodka and their Ginger Flavoured Vodka. We also had the Birch Special from Nemiroff.  And the two rums were great, Panamonte’s Panama Red 108, and Atlantico’s Private Cask Rum. If you follow the links you can read all the reviews; but, I did save the last review from that lazy Sunday afternoon flight of spirits for the one which surprised me (in a most delightful way) the most. The Pristina Espresso Flavoured Vodka towered over the rest in that informal tasting session, and it is time for me to provide a review.

As a bit of background information, the Pristina Espresso Flavoured Vodka was introduced to the Western Canadian market in 2009 by Highwood Distillers. The product is produced from Highwood’s own quadruple distilled, triple filtered, wheat vodka (called Pristina Vodka), and flavoured with the extracted oils from real espresso coffee beans (and inverted sugar from Taber, Alberta). A final filtration is completed after the flavoring process is complete to ensure spirit clarity and removal of any suspended particles. The result of Highwood’s care and attention to detail is evident in the final spirit.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…I wish that I would have had a video camera rolling when I poured those first shot glasses of Pristina Espresso on that lazy Sunday afternoon with three of my friends. The reactions each of them had as they raised the glass to their noses to take a sniff was absolutely priceless. It was a look of shock, mingled with joy and excitement, and that look was the same on all of the faces (probably my face as well)…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Pristina Espresso Flavoured Vodka

Please enjoy the review and the suggested recipe that follows!

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Review: Alchemia Czysta (Pure) Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 14, 2011

Alchemia Vodka is distilled in Poland by a company called, Bialystok S.A., which is apparently one of Poland’s largest producer’s of distilled spirits. The Alchemia Czysta (pronounced chis ta and meaning ‘pure’) is a rye grain Vodka, and I was given a sample bottle for the purpose of this review by Paul Charabin of PB Beverages, an Alberta based company which imports and distributes a wide selection of spirits from around the world. The bottle I was given was the 750 ml size, and the label tells me the Czysta Vodka is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is an excerpt from my Review:

…When I brought the glass to my nose I noticed light rye-like spices in the air but no light citrus aromas. I let my nose take a few more sniffs...”

You May read the full review here:

Review: Alchemia Czysta (Pure) Vodka

As well I thought it was time to introduce one of my favourite cocktails as my recommended recipe for the Alchemia Czysta Vodka, the Sloe Comfortable Screw.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!

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Review: Grey Goose Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 7, 2011

Grey Goose Vodka was created by Sidney Frank who recognized in the mid 1990′s that North America was ready for a new premium vodka brand. He based his new brand upon what he believed to be a North American perception of the superiority of French production. He therefore chose a distillery in the Cognac region of France which would use French Winter Wheat as the base for his Vodka’s distillation, and a water source which was filtered through limestone. To say that his new brand was a success would be a wild understatement, as Mr. Frank successfully introduced his Vodka to the world in 1997, and then successfully sold the brand to Bacardi in 2004 for an amount which was reported (by Forbes Magazine) to be in excess of two billion dollars.

Since then, Grey Goose has become the standard by which Vodka is judged. I know this because almost every time I receive a sample of Vodka from a person in industry, they tell me that their Vodka is ‘just as good’ as Grey Goose. Since Grey Goose is the standard, I thought that it was about time to put the spirit through the paces of my review system here on my website.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The flavour impressions which I encountered during my first sip were reinforced when I took a nice shot or swallow of a larger portion of the spirit. Ghostly impressions of wheat and starch and just a hint of sweetness. This is very good…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Grey Goose Vodka

I have included a recipe which tastes extremely nice with the Grey Goose, The Vodka Daiquiri.

Please enjoy the review and the recipe which follows!

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Review: Nemiroff Lex (Super Premium Vodka)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 30, 2011

Lex is the Super Premium Vodka from Nemiroff which was introduced in Ukrainian markets in 2003. It is a very interesting premium vodka spirit produced from grain alcohol which has been aged in wood for six months. According to information supplied to me by Igor Kashkan (the local importer of Nemiroff Vodka), the spirit undergoes eleven stages of purification, and then the resulting spirit is enhanced with aromatic spirits from natural oats and the Linden Blossom. According to the Nemiroff website, the recommended manner in which to enjoy the Lex Vodka is to sip it slowly, savouring its unique qualities neat. Complicated cocktails and/or drinking the Lex as a ‘shot’ style vodka is not recommended.

However, I am a bit of a contrarian, and so I prefer to analyze this spirit in the same manner as I have analyzed the other Vodkas I have reviewed, and I will partake in shots and cocktails to arrive at my own conclusions and share them with you.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The initial aroma of the vodka presented tantalizing glimpses of a spicy grain in combination with a warm sweetness and a mild lemon citrus. I am thinking that this sweet lemon citrus must be the Linden Blossom which the Nemiroff website says is evident in the aroma of the vodka…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Nemiroff Lex (Super Premium Vodka)

As well I have included a recipe suggestion (which really isn’t a recipe at all) called The Russian Soldier.  Please enjoy the review!

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Review: Alchemia Imbirowa (Ginger Flavoured Vodka)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 28, 2011

Alchemia Vodka is distilled in Poland by a company called, Bialystok S.A., which is apparently one of Poland’s largest producer’s of distilled spirits. Alchemia Imbirowa (pronounced eem-beer-ova ) is a premium grain distilled vodka from Poland infused with natural ginger root. The infusion process saturates the already distilled vodka with the flavouring ingredient allowing both colour and flavour to be imparted to the final spirit.

I was given a sample bottle of Alchemia Imbirowa for the purposes of this review by Paul Charabin of PB Beverages, an Alberta based company which imports and distributes a wide selection of spirits from around the world. The bottle I was given was the 750 ml size, and the label tells me the ginger infused vodka is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

…There is far more sweetness than what was evident on the nose and the mouth-feel is somewhat syrupy. The ginger is also very apparent quickly heating the mouth with a peppery sharpness. I have been experimenting lately with flavoured syrups for cocktails and this reminds me of what I imagine a ginger syrup would taste like. ..

You May read the full review here:

Review: Alchemia Imbirowa (Ginger Flavoured Vodka)

As well I have included a new twist on the classic Cosmopolitan which I have chosen to call the Ginger Cosmopolitan.

Please enjoy the review!

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Review: Alchemia Czekoladowa (Chocolate Infused Vodka)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 16, 2011

Alchemia Vodka is distilled in Poland by a company called, Bialystok S.A., which is apparently one of Poland’s largest producer’s of distilled spirits. The Alchemia Czekoladowa (pronounced chek-o-la-dova ) is a premium grain distilled vodka from Poland infused with naturally derived cocoa. The infusion process saturates the already distilled vodka with the flavouring ingredients allowing both colour and flavour to be imparted to the final spirit.

I was given a sample bottle of Alchemia Czekoladowa for the purposes of this review by Paul Charabin of PB Beverages, an Alberta based company that imports and distribute a wide selection of spirits from around the world. The bottle I was given was the 750 ml size, and the label tells me the chocolate infused vodka is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…I had three friends over when I sampled the Alchemia Czekoladowa. I poured each of them (and myself) a healthy shot of the flavoured Vodka and watched each bring the glass up to their nose and take a deep wiff. A satisfied smile broke out on each of their faces…”

You may read the full review Here:

Review: Alchemia Czekoladowa (Chocolate Infused Vodka)

Of course I could not resist a few cocktail experiments with this richly flavoured spirit, and at the end of the review I share two of them, The Chocolate Cola Martini and The Iced Chocolate Cocktail.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktails which follow!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Vodka, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

 
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