M2 Magic Moments Vodka
M2 Magic Moments Vodka 84/100
a review by Chip Dykstra
Published September 17, 2012
M2 Magic Moments Vodka is a triple distilled rice grain spirit from Radico Khaitan Ltd. (Radio Cask) who is one of India’s oldest and largest liquor manufacturers. (They were formerly known as the Rampur Distillery which was established in 1943.) The Vodka was launched in India in November of 2005, and it quickly became India’s fastest growing deluxe brand vodka. However, it is not just in India that this spirit has received accolades. Since 2008, Magic Moments Vodka has been a regular recipient of a gold medal for overall quality at Monde Selection in Belgium.
The M2 Magic Moments Vodka sent to me for review was bottled at 42.8 % alcohol by volume (apparently the bottles destined for North America will be bottled at 40% abv). It is distilled from grain rice, and blended with imported grain spirits from France. According to the information presented to me only a small amount of imported spirit is used, and this portion is also a rice based spirit. This makes the Magic Moments Vodka the first 100 % rice vodka I have ever tasted.
AA Impex Ltd. has recently began to import M2 Magic Moments Vodka (and the flavoured Remixes) from India into Canada. Earlier this summer I was sent samples of each spirit to review here on my website. These products have just began to arrive in Canada, and I have been told that the plans are for the entire line-up to be available not just in Alberta, but across the country. (Hopefully they will be available in the USA as well.)
Here is a link to the Magic Moments Website where you wish you can learn more.
The First Impression 8.5/10
The bottle presentation for Magic Moments Vodka is shown to the left. As you can see, the vodka arrives in a tall frosted bottle with a clear guitar-shaped window. It is only in the fine print that the bottle reveals its identity as an Indian Spirit, as the back label reveals the Vodka is blended and bottled at the Rampur Distillery by Radico Khaitan Ltd. This slighting of the brand’s Indian heritage is unfortunate, as I believe that this country is asserting itself as a very capable manufacturer/distiller of spirits on the world stage. The Vodka should be reveling in its Indian heritage, not cloaking this information in the fine print on the back label.
The First Sip 16.5/20
When I tasted the Magic Moments Pure Grain Vodka for the first time I decided to put it in a flight with a couple other Vodkas in a blind flight. I chose a locally produced brand called Marushka, and I also chose the quintessential french Vodka, Grey Goose. Marushka is an economy brand, and of course Grey Goose is a deluxe Premium Brand. I chilled each vodka (to about 2 degrees Celsius), and then I had my friend Connie pour them so that I would not know which vodka I was tasting. After the tasting event, Connie revealed the order in which she poured the spirits, and I have used my tasting notes from that afternoon tasting to write my review. (Of course I augmented those tasting notes with further trips to the bottle in my private tasting room.)
The chilled Vodka was poured into shot glasses for each of us at my afternoon tasting to sample. The M2 Vodka sample was lightly creamy and displayed some obvious citrus notes on the nose. There seemed to be a light spiciness rising into the breezes. When I sipped the vodka for the first time, that spice really took form in the mouth. I am not sure if this spiciness is indicative of the rice base for the vodka, but whatever the reason for the spice, it is a wonderfully complex spiciness which I appreciate. I seem to taste light hints of mint, and light impressions of lemon and lime zest.
As you can tell, I like what I taste, but I do notice a vague metallic aftertaste associated with the spirit as well. When I sampled the Vodka at warmer temperatures, I noticed this aftertaste was a little stronger. The aftertaste is not strong or cloying, rather it hangs around the edges of the taste perception keeping the score down just a bit.
Taking a Shot 17/20
The M2 Vodka goes down nice and clean at the cold serving temperature of 2 degrees Celsius. The palate is warmed by the spiciness, but there is only the vaguest whisper of burn. This is quite good!
At warmer serving temperatures the vodka begins to break down a little. The burn becomes more noticeable, and that metallic taste which was noted when we took a sip returns. I like the Vodka because of its nice spiciness. The metallic aftertaste is not severe, and the burn may be considered by some to be very pleasant. I was tempted to score this section just a little higher. However, looking over how I have scored other vodka spirits, I realized that a score of 17 in this section was consistent with previous reviews.
Out for Dinner 16/20
I tasted the vodka with a light assortment of food. French bread with spinach dip, my home-made vegetable-meatball soup, and little wraps of ham and lettuce in tortilla bread. The Vodka seemed to pair very well with the lightly salty soup, and the tortilla wraps. This suggests that salty foods like ham and sausage, and perhaps pickles would be good pairing for the Vodka. When paired with the bread and spinach dip however, the vodka seemed to be expressing that light vegetal/metallic quality just a bit more than my friends and I preferred. I probably eat too much bread anyway, so I am quite happy to revisit the vodka with more soup and perhaps ham sausage the next time.
Usually my friends and I enjoy a nice Cosmopolitan Cocktail, when we sample Vodka. However, I did not have any cranberry juice so this time I decided to shake things up by making Vodka Daiquiris (see recipe below) instead. This is a very easy cocktail to make, and in some ways it is a better cocktail to use for comparison than the Cosmopolitan because its simplicity allows the Vodka to impact the cocktail more strongly. The Magic Moments Vodka makes a lightly tart, and wonderfully delicious Vodka Daiquiri.
After the tasting session I decided to try a cocktail forwarded to me by the importer of this spirit, A.A. Impex called the Summertime Breeze (see recipe below). I also made myself a Vodka Martini, and then that Cosmopolitan which I had been unable to make earlier. I enjoyed all of the cocktails, however the Vodka Gimlet and the Summertime Breeze were my favourites and I have recommended them below.
Final Score: 84/100
(Recommended for shots and mixing cocktails)
The M2 Magic Moments is a nice, solid Vodka which appeals on all fronts. I was not sure what to expect from a Vodka made in India from a base of long grain rice as I have never tried any rice based spirits before. That overt spiciness I encountered on my first sip was very enticing, and if you are the type of person who is not afraid of a little spicy flavour in your Vodka, then I suspect you will like this vodka a lot. It has no obvious flaws, and I am certainly happy I was given the opportunity to taste and sample a bottle with my friends!
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Vodka Reviews.
The Vodka Daiquiri
2 oz M2 Magic Moments Vodka
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
3/8 to 3/4 oz sugar syrup (mix to your preferred level of sweetness)
Lime slice for garnish
Add the three ingredients with ice into a metal shaker
Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into a suitable cocktail glass
Garnish with a lime slice
Serve and enjoy!
The Summertime Breeze
2 oz Magic Moments Vodka
6 Lime Chunks
Mint leaves (about 6)
1 barspoon fine white sugar
dash of Angostura bitters
Lime for Garnish
Muddle the lime and the sugar at the bottom of a tall bar glass
Gently bruise the mint and ass to the glass
Add the ice the vodka and the bitters
Garnish and Enjoy!
The Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the scores 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 still 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)