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Siku Ice Glacier Vodka

Review: Siku Ice Glacier Vodka  (85/100)
a review by Arctic Wolf
Posted: May 26 2011

Greenland is a land of ice. In fact this large Island (which is actually the third largest country by landmass in North America) is practically covered in ice. Miles upon miles of ice which was laid down thousands and thousands of years ago! In fact the Qalerallit Glacier which covers most of Greenland is estimated to be up to 60,000 years old. This means that the water which is frozen in that glacier just might be some of the purest water on earth, frozen and covered at a time far before man-made pollutants could be trapped with it.

Siku (in Greenland) means ice, and the Siku Glacial Ice Vodka is literally made from ice. The process begins with ice which has calved from Greenland’s Qalerallit Glacier. This ice is harvested at sea, and then it is blended with a five time distilled American (96 % alcohol) grain spirit transforming into Vodka via a proprietor stirring process at minus 25 degrees Celsius in small handcrafted batches. This blending process takes place in the Netherlands where the final spirit is bottled.

I was fortunate enough to be given a bottle of Siku Glacier Ice Vodka by Grant Schneider of Aligra Wine and Spirits. He wanted my opinion, and I thought I should share it here on my website.

The First Impression 8.5/10

The Siku Glacier Ice Vodka arrives in the nice tall bottle pictured to the right. A light green tint applied to the glass at the bottom of the bottle gives a nice illusion of glacier water lying in the depths of the Vodka bottle. As well, the graphics on the bottle are quite unique and eye-catching. Finally, the bottle is topped with a very good synthetic cork enclosure. My only quibbles with the presentation are that the bottle is just a little too tall to fit comfortably on my bar shelf, and that the paragraph of information written on the side of the bottle is very difficult for me to read.  If the information was worthy of being placed on the bottle; then it is most definitely worthy of being easily read by the consumer.

The First Sip 17/20

I began my tasting of the Siku Vodka by pouring a small amount into a large shot glass and bringing it up to my nose. A mild lemon and lime citrus aroma greeted my nostrils with a light but firm aroma of grain. As I sipped the ice-cold spirit (actually about 2 degrees Celsius), my first impression was that there certainly was a lot more flavour associated with the Siku Vodka than with other Vodkas I have tried to this point. A warm citrus covered my tongue with hotter (rye-like) impressions of grain following. I like my vodka to demonstrate a little character with nice flavour nuances, so I view the stronger flavour impressions positively. There are however some minor distractions. A light but discernible burn accompanies the stronger flavour, and there is a hint of metallic/bitter aftertaste.

Taking a shot 16.5/20

When I took a shot of the Vodka, I was again impressed by the initial flavour impressions of lemon and lime citrus which were quickly devoured by a growing graininess. The vodka really has some ‘pop’ in the mouth when you take it in half an ounce at a time. As much as I liked that ‘pop’ in my mouth, I also noticed that the burn I noticed in my initial sip had intensified, and so had that mildly bitter metallic aftertaste. The saving grace for this spirit is that the finish included a nice warm rye-like aftertaste as well, which means that although I was distracted to some extent by the burn and the light bitterness, I was delighted by the grain.

Out for Dinner 17/20

I paired the Vodka with my yummy Pepper Pot soup, some mixed pickles, and some open face cheddar cheese and ham sandwiches.  The pairings were a big hit. The more aggressive grain and citrus flavours of the Siku Vodka seemed to sharpen my palate making me appreciate the food much more.

This is definitely a good Vodka to serve with food and friends.

Cocktails  26/30

As I always do, I made a nice Cosmopolitan as the first cocktail to serve with the Siku Vodka. It was nice and tangy but it also carried just a bit of that mildly bitter aftertaste which has been haunting this tasting. I followed the Cosmo with a Blue Lemon Martini, and then a Pink Pussy Cat on subsequent evenings. Each cocktail was tasty and refreshing. The character of the Siku Glacial Ice Vodka did shine through the cocktails, but as with the Cosmo I always tasted just a hint of metallic bitterness which just seems to be part of the make up of the Siku Vodka.

I constructed one of my own cocktails as well which I decided to call, The Blue Glacier. (See Recipe Below)

Some Final Thoughts:

I really like the character that Siku Glacial Ice Vodka displays. Produced from a 96 % grain alcohol distillate, this vodka still contains enough esters and congeners to impart significant flavour characteristics into the final product. However a subtle underlying bitterness haunted the tasting which prevented me from scoring the spirit in the stratosphere. In spite of the mild bitterness I encountered, I find myself highly recommending  Siku Vodka.

I believe in Vodka with character, and this particular Vodka has tremendous character!

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Final Score 85/100  (Excellent)

Recommended for Shots and Cocktails

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Vodka Reviews.

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Recipe:

The Blue Glacier

2 oz Siku Glacial Ice Vodka (Well Chilled)
1 oz Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 oz Blue Curacao

Crushed Ice
Cubed Ice

Add all of the ingredients into a metal shaker
Add a 50-50 mixture of cubed ice and crushed ice
Shake vigorously until the outside of your shaker frosts.
Strain into a well chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a lime slice

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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You may (loosely) interpret my 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)

 
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