Ever get sick of liquor commercials featuring a bunch of douchebags in expensive clothes, toasting the awesomeness of their yacht-filled lives? Then this is the (fake) vodka commercial for you. Blitzkrieg Vodka - because we just don't give a fu*k.
American Harvest is an organic vodka made right in Idaho, smack dab in the middle of America's heartland. They've got an American flag emblazoned on the bottle, and the word "America" is right there in the name of the spirit. Kind of feels like Sidney Frank (the gent who brought you a little brand called Grey Goose - you might have heard of it) is targeting Red Staters, doesn't it? We'd say he's a genius for releasing it during an election year to attract patriotic voters from either side of the aisle.
American Harvest is an organic vodka with "organic flavor" and an ABV of 40% (80 proof). It retails for under $25, and we'll let you know what organic flavor tastes like once we're able to do a full review.
National Vodka is a premium wheat vodka imported from Russia, and we've gotten our hands on five bottles - one of each of their flavors. The vodkas are distilled five times, and they've been making the stuff since 1903 so we have to figure they know what they're doing. The flavors we received were Original (we suppose that's just "vodka" flavored), Citrus, Cranberry, Horseradish and Pepparo (hot pepper), and each bottle is set to retail for under $15 so the price is right.
We're looking forward to tasting and reviewing all of the flavors, but the Horseradish and Pepparo have us the most intrigued...both have visions of Bloody Marys dancing through our heads. We'll get the reviews up ASAP, and make sure to head over to My National Vodka to learn more about the brand.
Looks like the vodka brands at your local liquor store will have to make room for Eristoff, a European brand being released by the Bacardi family. Eristoff is triple distilled and you can get it in three varieties - Original, Red and Black.
Eristoff Original (80 proof), Eristoff Red (40 proof) named for its bright red color and sweet taste of sloe berries, and Eristoff Black (40 proof) named for its dark, bold color and taste of wild berries. Eristoff is available in a full range of sizes: 1.75 liter (SRP $23.99), 1.0 liter (SRP $16.99), 750 ml (SRP $13.99), 350 ml (SRP $9.99), 200 ml (SRP $5.99) and 50 ml (SRP $1.49)
And check out that wolf on the label, huh? Why not pick up a bottle and see if it makes you howl at the moon? More at Bacardi and Eristoff.
They Say: "Absolut tea and elderflower is an unexpected combination of naturally sweet, fruity, floral flavors. Refreshing tea and white elderflower blended with vodka from grain grown in the rich fields of southern Sweden."
We Say: You'll be able to tell this is an Absolut vodka from a mile away thanks to their distinctive round-shouldered bottle, but you might be thrown by the sight of plants and flowers crawling up the side, especially if you don't know what elderflowers look like. Don't be scared - if you like tea or elderflower liqueur, we bet you'll like this one.
The nose is heavy on elderflower, a pungent sweetness, with a bit of black tea's bitterness and complexity on the back end. When you taste it you'll get the same flavors - maybe a sun tea lightly sweetened with an elderflower syrup. The effect is really interesting - not super-sweet like some flavored vodkas, and pretty distinctive all around. We can see this shining in the right cocktail - Absolut's recipes page suggests items from Mojitos to Martinis, and we can see it being delicious with just soda water and a twist.
The Verdict: Pick it up if you're feeling adventurous, or if you just want a splash of something in your iced tea.
Remember the limited edition Absolut Boston that came out a while back? If you've never heard of it, it was a black tea and elderflower-flavored vodka, and apparently it didn't taste like Boston's dirty water because it was popular enough that the company is apparently keeping it around as Absolut Wild Tea. We'll let you know how the tea party that is our review turns out and get it posted ASAP.
The more cynical of our readers out there will look at Medea vodka bottles, with their scrolling LED screens that can hold personal messages, and say "gimmick." We have to admit, we thought the same thing at first, but we put it into our holiday shopping guide because it seemed like something that'd be cool to give as a gift. Now that we've gotten our hands on a bottle we have to admit - it might be a gimmick, but it's certainly a lot of fun. As soon as we got the bottle out of the Fedex box, we spent 20 minutes programming our bottle with a variety of messages, up to 255 characters.
As much fun as the packaging is, will the vodka inside make us as warm and fuzzy? We can only hope, and we'll let you know as soon as we try it. For more info on Medea, both inside and out, go to MedeaSpirits.com, and to see the message in action, check out the video one of the interns took with his phone. (If you can't read it, it says "Let's Get Drunk.")
As people's taste in hard spirits gets more...eclectic...more and more distillers are trying to get in on the action. By this we mean people are starting to attempt to mass-market things you would have whipped up in a blender and dared your friends to drink in college - like salmon-flavored vodka.
And it's not just salmon-flavored. It's SMOKED salmon-flavored, which makes it classy enough to eat on your bagels. Everyone we've mentioned this to has wrinkled their nose in disgust - which doesn't shock us - but we can see some interesting applications for it. If people can put Clamato into their Bloody Mary, why shouldn't we be able to add smoked salmon to our screwdrivers? We'll leave you with this final parting thought, where the creators:
...said the current formula took 48 tries, and some of the first 47 attempts were downright disgusting. "Definitely the first few times we had our heave bucket close by," MacDonald said. "It was pretty bad, and you know, greasy.
Way to keep at it, boys.
We can't find a website for the stuff (you'd think we could smell it from here), so just go over to Geekologie, where we found out about it. (Thanks for the link, Wormy)
Remember the movie "Leaving Las Vegas"? It was the lighthearted romp where Nic Cage's character went to Vegas to drink himself to death. We're thinking that flick had to be the inspiration for the seven videos we found featured on Buzzfeed - why else would we be seeing videos of people doing this to themselves?
Not for the faint of heart, the above link includes videos of people "eyeballing," "slimming," snorting, inhaling, eating, shooting up, and chugging vodka. Yeah, we realize liquor is nature's perfect food, but are you that starved for it?
We're including the "eyeballing" video because we thought it was the least terrifying/most likely to cause blindness. The most important part? Doing it in both eyes to make ABSOLUTELY sure you can't see tomorrow. It kind of goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway - don't try this at home, kids. Thanks for the link, Burockracy.
Welcome to our review of Vesica Vodka, a triple-distilled Polish potato vodka that's looking to stand out in the glut of vodka brands with interesting packaging, reasonable pricing, and a distinctive flavor. But were they able to create the true triple threat? We put the three bottles the folks at Adamba importers sent us through their paces to find out.
The Look: Vesica definitely hit a home run with the shape of their bottles, with more than just the labeling to make it stand out. The only "traditional" bottle was on the 1L bottle, with the 750ML bottle taking more of a crescent moon shape. The 1.75L, instead of going for a traditional "handle" format, is shaped like two bottles standing next to each other, giving it a sleeker profile (as well as living up to its Vesica name).
The Nose: Slightly tart and even a bit grassy or herbal (in a good way) when we sniffed it from the bottle, this mellowed right out when we chilled.
The Taste: We've had potato vodkas in the past that were like an assault on the tongue, packing a huge wallop and bringing out a grimace from those not expecting it. Vesica doesn't have that, and offered a restrained mellowness that would be hard to beat. We enjoyed it in vodka martinis, and found it very sippable when served shaken over ice with a twist. It's got a smooth, snappy finish no matter how we tried it, and never failed to impress.
The Verdict: We think Vesica is immensely drinkable, especially considering it's a potato vodka, which can be a notoriously cantankerous spirit. The mellow flavor, combined with damn good price (around $10 for 750ML, $12 for a liter, and $20 for a 1.75L) put Vesica into the must-try category, especially for folks who've been scared off by potato vodka in the past. If you see it at your local liquor store, don't be scared off by that low price thinking you're buying paint thinner...pick up a bottle and you won't be disappointed.
Last week, the folks at the Liquor Snob offices were pleasantly surprised by the arrival of one of our favorite things in the world - a cardboard box gurgling with the promise of liquor for us to review. Upon opening the bottle, we found three bottles of Vesica, a luxury potato vodka - one of each of the sizes the spirit comes in: 750ML, 1L, and 1.5L. It was a happy day indeed.
Our interns were impressed by the interesting bottling (the 750ML is in a half-moon shape, different than anything we've seen before, and the 1.5 looks like two of those bottles welded together), but we are under strict orders not to open the bottles until our fearless Editor in Chief returns from his trip to Mexico, so you can look forward to that next week.
We couldn't find a specific Vesica website, so we'll send you over to Adamba.com, the website of its distributor so you can check out their other products.
We have to admit, we haven't exactly been pining for two more flavored vodkas, but we are interested in these two. 360 Vodka, which we were familiar with as an eco-friendly spirit, has just released two new varieties - 360 Cola and 360 Double Chocolate. According to the 360 Website:
The 360 Flavors are sure to take your taste buds on a wild ride. Relive the first time you ever experienced the spicy zip of cola. Enjoy the smooth, sweet taste of premium chocolate in your new favorite mixed cocktail. One thing's for sure, you've never tasted a vodka like this before.
We're fans of vodka and Coke when we've got a sweet tooth, and - we're sure you've already thought of this - who wouldn't want to put chocolate vodka on their Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch? 360 Vodka retails for $19.99 a bottle, so you'll be able to stock up for just such experimentation.
Some one sent us this video thinking we might be interested in it, probably because the question "What do you think about organic vodka?" is asked during the proceedings. We can't, however, figure out what it has to do with organic vodka. We can't figure out what it has to do with being entertaining, for that matter.
Maybe you, our brilliant readers, can tell us what the hell is going on in this video and why we should care?
Triple-distilled organic super-premium vodka
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Review Sample Supplied By: Avkinta Vodka
Typical Price: About $40
Available in: New York, New Jersey, California
The Look: The Akvinta bottle is pretty striking, shot through with crimson and gold on the label and a cool little bronze button on the side. In the glass, Akvinta looks like, well, vodka.
The Nose: Lemon and other citrus peels.
The Taste: Citrusy with some pepper and an herbal bite. Very dry mouth feel, almost astringent, which we liked. Once we chilled it some of the sharper edges went away, and we were left with a very smooth, drinkable vodka.
The Verdict: We thought this was a tasty vodka - hell, maybe they're onto something with their crazy "Quintuple Filtration" idea. They run this stuff through birch charcoal, marble, silver, gold, and platinum, which may sound like overkill but it seems to work. We liked it chilled and on the rocks with a twist of lemon, and it would be a darned good fit for any citrusy cocktail if you ask us, as long as you can foot the super-premium price tag.
They include some pretty fancy Akvinta cocktail recipes on their site, and we're dying to try the Croatian Breakfast, so it looks like we're going to have to round up some orange marmalade and egg whites.