O2 945 (Super Premium) Sparkling Vodka
Review O2 945 Super Premium Sparkling Vodka (82/100)
A review By Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted 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 what we found:
The First Impression 9/10
The O2 945 Super Premium Sparkling Vodka arrives in the nice black bottle that is pictured to the left. The bottle design seems to stand out a bit in a pleasing presentation that catches the eye. My only quibble is the rather small metal screw top closure. Like many people I sometimes will toss a bottles of Vodka in my freezer to chill it before I serve it. The small metal screw cap seems rather flimsy. It is short and has only a few threads. This is disconcerting because the cap will expand and contract at a different rate from the bottle it is sealing. As this is a sparkling beverage, any failure of the seal will be especially damaging to the contents of the bottle. I should point out that the Vodka is bottled at 47 % alcohol by volume which for me is a very nice way to start.
The First Sip 15.5/20
The initial aroma from the glass is of a very light citrus, and my first reaction was that the 945 Sparkling Vodka would be much more to my liking than the previously reviewed O2 Premium Sparkling Vodka. The Vodka seems cleaner and crisper at first blush. 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 and much less of the metallic aftertastes than we remembered from our previous tasting of its lower priced sibling.
Taking a Shot 15.5/20
When my friends and I took our first shots of the 945 O2 Super Premium, it was the citrus flavours of the Vodka which was brought forward substantially by the sparkling bubbles. The vodka is very smooth with no burn, but that citrus element brought forward by the carbonation was a little strange at first and took some getting used to. We all noticed some vaguely metallic aftertaste, but to be honest it was more of a remnant of the carbonation we were tasting. As I said above, this really is a big step up from the O2 Premium.
Out For Dinner 14.5/20
My friends and I sampled the O2 945 Super Premium Sparkling Vodka with fresh tomatoes, mildly spiced sausage, bread and spinach dip. The consensus was that the Vodka did not seem to affect the food in any way whatsoever. I had expected that either the carbonation would provide a cleansing effect on the palate, or it would add some sort of flavour characteristic either positively or negatively to the food. It did neither. The food tasted as it did before, and so did the O2 945.
This is the portion of the review where I expected great things from the Super Premium Sparkling Vodka, and I was not disappointed. This is a very good cocktail Vodka.
I made a Pink Pussy Cat and the carbonated bubbles took it to a new level. I made a Cosmopolitan and it was absolutely fantastic. I might be lukewarm with this Vodka as a sipper but as a mixer, it is superb. It will definitely have a place in my bar as a mixing Vodka when I want to serve my guests cocktails which are unique and delicious.
Final Score: 82/100
(Qualifies as a Sipper but really meant for great Cocktails)
Vodka recipes with fruit juice seem to work the best with the O2 945. Those tiny bubbles pick up the fruit flavours and deliver them crashing into your mouth. Here is a recipe of my construction, Rustic Soul.
1 3/4 oz O2 945 Super Premium Vodka
3/4 oz Triple Sec
3/4 oz fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Cranberry Juice
1/4 oz Raspberry syrup
Place the Triple Sec, the fresh juice and the Raspberry Syrup into a metal shaker
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into another glass filled with ice
Add the O2 945 Super Premium Vodka
Stir and then strain into a suitable cocktail glass
Garnish with a lime slice if desired
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 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)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly Recommended for Vodka Shots)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)