Vodka - Downslope Grain Vodka
Downslope Grain Vodka
Down Slope Distilling, Littleton, Colorado
INGREDIENTS: 65% Barley, 35% Rye
PROOF: 80 (40%)
AGE: Not Applicable
TYPE: American, Grain
PRICE: $28.00 - 750 ML
Notes: A small micro distillery put together by three partners who are passionate about adult beverages (they got their start in homebrewing beer) and threw themselves into research on how to take the next step into micro distilling.
Using a custom designed column still, a unique filtration process, and techniques they describe as more artisanal than state of the art in limited space they have somehow still managed to create an impressive portfolio of products which include: Cane Vodka, Pepper Vodka, White Rum, Special Gold Rum, Spiced Rum, Vanilla Rum, Wine Barrel Aged Rum, Double Diamond Whiskey, and a Malt Whiskey.
Some unusual aspects to this vodka include using a fairly unique mashbill of 65% malted Barley, and 35% Rye for a much spicier and flavorful start. They then use both a custom designed pot still for the first distillation then a custom designed column still for the second higher distillation. This is followed by filtering through a custom copper filtration unit with carbon at a drip rate almost as slow as that Japanese cold coffee method - and with equally delicious results (but in an entirely different way or result).
Appearance: Crystal clear, no sediment whatsoever or separation. Lovely thick body. On swirling, it leaves a a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass, then some beading (droplets) and legs forming.
First Impression: Really woke me up and take notice with the bouquet. Very malty and spicy! Lots of grain notes, the barley catches your attention immediately along with spicy rye back notes, with clean alcohol notes, cream soda/vanilla bean notes.
Taste: Nice mouth feel, a more round and and malty with a lot of rye spice on the backside with touches of vanilla and caramel with a lovely smooth finish to it.
Drinks: Plays well with other ingredients. A touch sweeter and has more presence both in taste and mouthfeel than most vodkas and brings a unique set of tastes and aromas to the mixing bar. Think of it as a highly distilled white dog with a lot of whisky (as in Scotch or Irish) and rye from a mixological standpoint and you can't go wrong. Actually after some contemplation it is much more like a new system Genever (for those who know what that is) but with even more flavor than most.
Bottle: Tall cylindrical generic clear glass, and NO frosting unlike the sea of others. Simple paper label and graphics pasted directly onto the glass. White paper label and turquoise green/blue colored neck seal distinguish it from the other varieties they offer. Actually less is more in that the bottle stands out because of the plainness. No nonsense, straightforward, shows the vodka to good effect.
Final Thoughts: Like their other vodkas they use unusual ingredients with great attention to detail and using unique distillation and filtration techniques. A excellent vodka using premium ingredients, it is actually worth the price (and more), unlike many others in the price category. Definitely a vodka enjoy in a vodka collection for it's unique characteristics both in production and taste. Not to mention drink whenever possible (within reason and limits of course). These guys are excellent examples of what microdistilling should be about - creativity, dedication, and making the best use of the best local materials to make a unique and wonderful product.
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