Infinitely better than some of the other tea infused spirits I have had.
Notes: This vodka is produced in “The Still on the Hill,” in the Napa Area, water, distilled four times in a stainless steel still, to 192 proof to ensure a clean distillation of only the heart of the vodka then cut to 80 proof for bottling. Thirteen generations of distillers, the Karakasevic Family have a line longer than the Beams (the only other family to come close).
They sell this vodka and the other varieties (Blood Orange, Green Tea, Key Lime, Meyer Lemon, Pomegranate, Red Raspberry, and Unflavored) in 100ml bottles so you and a few friends can try them straight or in drinks without committing the money to a 750 ml. An important point I think, because I hate spending money on a bottle I haven’t tried especially something flavored -as what can you do with it if you don’t like it? At least straight types you can mix with something. Anyway great idea for the 100 ml’s for sampling before you commit.
Made with a blend of 4 different teas to achieve the complex flavor/bouquet profile. As they say in their literature it seems blended more like a perfume than a vodka (by that I mean a skillful balancing of ingredients- not an analogy to what is going on in Russia at the moment with the vodka shortages).
Appearance: Light yellow and touch of green color, crystal clear, no sediment whatsoever (all important points – especially in a flavored vodka). On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with long thin legs. Wonderful bright appearance, lovely natural color.
First Impression: Intriguing herbal notes, like when you walk into a Chinese apothecary. Some floral sweetness, a plump smell of grain. No trace of off notes or the smell of rubbing alcohol that many vodkas suffer from. A carefully done distillation.
Taste: Plump grain body, sweet tea and ripe Asian pear or longan flavor, and herbal, alkali, warm finish. Slightly oily and wonderfully thick body.
Drinks: Their recipes show off this vodka to good effect. It is not strictly speaking a tea (or common orange pekoe tea), only infused vodka so it requires a bit of imagination, but well worth the effort. Makes an interesting martini.
NOTE: Use Noilly Prat and keep the vermouth refrigerated after opening for the best taste.
Final Thoughts: A interesting unique vodka. Whle the tea flavor is a touch sweeter than one would expect, it is a very nice if idiosyncratic vodka. Infinitely better than some of the other tea infused spirits I have had. As a Charbay product, it is of high quality and worthy of addition to your armamentarium of cocktail ingredients if you are looking to do something completely different from the herd.
Bottle:Tall, thin cylindrical frosted glass with the Charbay sun/corona in of course, green. Tasteful graphics uncluttered look.
Great graphics,music, and a horde of information -also more products than many other small distillers.