Vodka - Comb Vodka
Stilltheone Distillery, Port Chester, New York

 

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Comb Vodka
Stilltheone Distillery, Port Chester, New York

PROOF: 80 Proof (40%)
TYPE: Hand - Crafted American Vodka, Honey Base
AGE: Not applicable
PRICE: $37.99 750 ML

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Notes
: Pot distilled in a this vodka is made from orange blossom honey from Florida and Berkshires aquifer water (real water - not some stripped out reverse osmosis or otherwise tasteless, boring, fear of taste and processed to death water). Using honey is an expensive and difficult proposition for distilling first you have to dilute the honey down so it will ferment into a wine or mead ,then distill.

They also take a refreshing minimalist approach to their distillation and filtering. While the vodka is made in small batches like many artisanal vodkas these days, they don't go in for the vodka arms race approach of multiple distillations - which strip out flavor and can cook it to death - and even more so applies to the filtering - none- so you don't lose a lot of flavor there either.

If you distill in individual batches and make sure that the purest hearts of each distillation are separated form the fore shots and feints
(the off-smelling hangover material) you don't need to keep repeating the process and filtering it to remove your mistakes and also all the character. They also make a honey brandy and we hear rumors of a gin.

Appearance: Crystal clear, no sediment whatsoever. On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with crenellated edge line (meniscus) then quickly dissolves to droplets. Wonderful bright appearance.

First Impression: At first whiff you can not only immediately tell this is not a grain or a potato vodka but you can instantly pick up the orange blossoms. Very much a orange blossoms and honey bouquet with other slight floral notes.

Taste: Wonderfully light, but flavorful body to it - No nasty grain/rubbing alcohol scents to it. Very nice smooth taste to it with aromatic orange blossom honey, citrus, nicely dry, not sweet as some would expect coming from honey. The slightly mineral taste to the water adds some nice depth and weight to backstop the more ethereal aspects of the honey vodka. Slight and very pleasant warming finish to it with lingering orange blossom and dry honey finish.

Drinks: Works well in the standard vodka drinks, touch of sweetness and nice body, plays well with other ingredients. They have developed a few cocktails that they have on their website . Lighter bodied without the spirity smell a lot of other vodkas have. Think orange blossoms and a slightly green, sugar cane, taste profile. Works nicely with citrus drinks and herbals, Makes for a interesting variation on a Last Word for instance.

NOTE: Use Noilly Prat and keep the vermouth refrigerated after opening for the best taste.   

Bottle: Brilliantly clear glass, tall cylindrical bottle with a sharp shoulder and no frosting on the glass (a refreshing change). Simple but interesting graphics (honeycomb design) are silk screened on a plastic stick on label. Decent synthetic cork is a good tight fit without being a challenge to open. Finished with a dark honey colored plastic neckwrap.

Final Thoughts: Actually a rather nice vodka. Well made with good, distinctive flavors and mouthfeel along with being deadly smooth. One of the few vodkas we know of made entirely from honey (not a rectified alcohol and honey vodka mix)or a honey flavored after the fact grain vodka. Making a vodka made from one of the most expensive base materials around (maple syrup in Vermont Gold being a close second) is a expensive, tricky and rather labor intensive undertaking.

While it is slightly pricey, it is by far one of the better and unique vodkas in the Premium Category and given the price of raw materials costs a lot more than the others to produce so the price is more than justified. This vodka is also proof that if you do something right the first time, you don't have to process it to death . Hats off to them for leaving the flavor, body and nuances to make it a vodka that can enjoy rather than a tasteless souless clone of every other avian fashion victim wannabe.

Website: http://combvodka.com/index.html

Simple, straightforward website.





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