Stick a fork in that Avian Fashion Victim Vodka – It’s Done – Drink Aylesbury Duck Vodka Instead ! It has better body, taste, and less expensive.
Aylesbury Duck Vodka is part of a portfolio from the newly formed 86 CO. ( Company ) a group of adventurous ( and in some cases obstreperous ) individuals with extremely strong backgrounds in strong drink. Simon Ford formerly of Pernod Ricard, Dushan Zaric and Jason Kosmas of Employees Only a bar the stuff of legends, and Speakeasy Cocktails, an excellent book on Cocktails, are some of the players in this new venture. Rather than become brand ambassadors for someone else’s products ( depressingly commonplace career move/fate for top shelf talent in the drinks industry) they have decided to strike out on their own to bring us the best products they can find, make, or call into being. Their portfolio includes this, the Aylesbury Duck Vodka, Caña Brava Rum, Fords Gin and Tequila Cabeza at present.
Notes: A lot of what I am about to write can be found on the obsessively detailed fact sheet. Short form ? A slow fermented vodka from white winter wheat distilled but NOT carbon filtered so it still has some character to it.
Appearance: Sparkling clean, silvery looking, on swirling it leaves an even coat on the glass and then retreats leaving droplets
First Impression: Cereal grains spirits with hints of longans or rambutans and slightly minty and alkali notes.
Taste: Nicely wheat and cereal grain, with oily/silky entry with grain,alkali/cocoa notes, with light spiciness and a cellulose type of mouth feel. Drying in a pleasant way, medium to heavy body for a vodka. Delicious in an understated way in which is has quiet presence rather than a burn or fade ( a lot of vodkas seem to do one or the other)
Drinks: A very mixable vodka that actually ADDS to a drink and improves in terms of nice,understated whispers of taste, body and depth to a drink rather than simply acting as an ethanol delivery vehicle or adding spirituous/rubbing alcohol notes
Bottle: Clear glass with easy to open foil type screw cap closure. Attractive old style graphics on paper labels make the bottle easy to spot by both customers and bartenders. Interesting graphics on reverse of labels ( look through the gin) detailing old steam ship routes and fun graphics. Company trademark is embossed on the bottom of the bottle. All the bottles are designed from the ground up optimized for bartenders see http://www.the86co.com/pdf/the86co-Ergonomic-Bottle.pdf for an obsessively detailed guide on features. Feature they do not mention are that the bottle is nicely tall or long with an easy to grip neck making it the bottle to reach for in a bar fight also – or at least they don’t mention that point in the design specifications sheet.
Final Thoughts: While I am a bit of a vodka enthusiast (see my article In Praise of Vodka) I would not drink this straight at room temperature for pleasure ( I do do this for some vodkas) Aylesbury Duck Vodka beats the hell out of a lot of commonly available vodkas out there in taste, mouthfeel, body, and in many cases price for anything near its quality. Not to say it’s the best vodka I’ve ever had, but it makes the more expensive Grey Goose taste like rubbing alcohol cut with rainwater. When you add Aylesbury you add taste,some structural (and possibly moral – despite Simon Ford’s involvement – just kidding Simon) integrity to a drink, giving it some bones as it were to hang the other ingredients from – it is far more than just alcohol and water, and greater than the some of its parts.
This is the company website which will lead you to the links for all their products along with background on the company.
Product Web Page: http://www.aylesburyduckvodka.com
Very informative with amusing graphics thrown in.
Fact Sheet Webpage : http://www.the86co.com/pdf/AylesburyDuckVodka-Fact-Sheet.pdf