Review Lerskaa Vodka (73/100)
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on October 18, 2011
Lerskaa Vodka is produced in Belize, the northernmost mainland country of Central America. A former British Colony, Belize lies just south of Mexico with the Caribbean Sea to the east and Guatemala to the west and south. The Vodka is a product of Traveller’s Liquors Limited who have been involved in the production of 1 Barrel Rum in Belize since the early 1960s.
Lerskaa Vodka is distilled to over 190 proof, and interestingly, it is a sugar cane based spirit rather than a grain vodka. In my tasting sessions my guests and I each noticed a light caramel aroma and flavour associated with the spirit.
Recently, I was given a bottle of Lerskaa by a representative of Travellers Liquor Canada for the purpose of this review, and it is with that bottle that I shall begin…
The First Impression 8.5/10
Lerskaa arrives in the frosted bottle pictured to the left. Both the frosted bottle and the bright labeling are attractive. The presentation is not over the top but it is professional. I have no quibbles with what I see.
Talking a Sip 13.5/20
To help with my review of the Lerskaa Vodka, I had four guests over, and we sampled the Lerskaa along with three other Vodkas as part of a Saturday evening tasting session. This was the very first cane Vodka my group had ever tasted, and in order to keep everything unbiased, I conducted the session in a blind format. I had previously chilled everything to about 1 degree Celsius, and we began with each guest and myself tasting the Lerskaa in shot glasses. Two of my four guests immediately commented on the light caramel aroma in their glasses. I had noticed it as well, but I knew we were sampling a cane vodka and this may have influenced my perceptions. My guests had no preconceptions, and it was a nice vindication of my nose that they had noticed it too.
As the first sip sat on my tongue, I could taste that the vodka had a very lightly sweet caramel/syrup taste. There was also some noticeable spiciness of lime citrus. However, when I swallowed the Vodka, I noticed some metallic bitterness had crept into the aftertaste. There was also a light burn in my throat. My guests were not enthusiastic about the aftertaste either, although some enjoyed the experience more than others.
Taking a Shot 13.5/20
When we each took a large swallow of the Lerskaa Vodka, it was pretty much unanimous that the spirit carried a bit of burn. There was also a kind of bitter metallic finish which accompanied the burn, and the shot style swallow was not enjoyed. The finish is at odds with the initial lightly sweet flavour. In subsequent tastings in my private tasting room, I found that at warmer temperatures the Lerskaa Vodka quickly becomes harsh.
Out for Dinner 13/20
For food pairing my friends and I had quite a Saturday night feast. There were slices of pepperoni pizza, smoked cocktail sausages, fresh bread with spinach dip, feta cheese in pasta rolls, and assorted raw vegetables with dip. Unfortunately for us, the food and the Vodka did not seem to get along. In fact the food seemed to amplify that bitterness we all tasted in the finish. A swallow of food followed by a swallow of Vodka was not a pleasant experience.
Up to this point my tasting group had determined that the Lerskaa Vodka was not really suitable for sipping, or for shot-style tastings. Fortunately we did find redemption for the Lerskaa, as when we mixed the vodka we found that it works well in party style cocktails. I think perhaps that little bit of caramel sweetness, and that dabble of lime citrus flavour we found in the Vodka was more suited to be mixed in a cocktail than to be served neat.
I made a nice zippy Cosmopolitan for my friends to share, and afterwards in my private tasting room I mixed a nice Vodka Darby. I did try a Vodka Tonic that didn’t work out so well; but if I stuck with tart fruity cocktails the Lerskaa Vodka and I were quite happy.
Final Score: 73/100
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Vodka Reviews.
A tropical vodka deserves a tropical cocktail and the Blue Hawaii is just such a cocktail. But since I was using a Vodka from Belize, I thought I should change the name to Blue Belize.
1 1/2 oz Lerskaa Vodka
1 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz Bols Blue Curacao
1/4 oz Galliano
Place the Vodka, the Blue Curacao, and the fresh juice into a metal shaker
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into a large glass filled with ice
Float the Galliano on top
Garnish with a lime slices, pineapple spear or maraschino cherry
Please Enjoy Responsibly!
As usual 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)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly Recommended for Vodka Shots and Sublime Cocktails)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)