Nicely and not overly done pepper vodka. Spicy but not nuclear, flavor over brute force.
Notes: A small microdistillery 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 microdistilling.
Using a custom designed copper potstill (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, Grain Vodka, Pepper Vodka, White Rum, Gold Rum, Spiced Rum, Vanilla Rum, Wine Barrel Aged Rum, Double Diamond Whiskey, and a Malt Whiskey.
This vodka uses New Mexico hot peppers (from Roadside Ristras) and Indonesian black peppers as ingredients to flavor their vodka.
Appearance: Clear, slightly gold oil appearance no sediment whatsoever. On swirling, it leaves a a thicker clear coat on the inside of the glass and displays some very tenacious legs and film on swirling. Unlike some other pepper vodkas the oils do not separate or bead up. This shows a good emulsification and blending – these guys obviously know what they are up to.
First Impression: Restrained but nice hot pepper smells and a nice heavy grain presence.
Taste: Oily mouth feel and body, rolls across the the tongue with the oil of the hot peppers that immediately hit you then fade nicely. It is a one pepper hit so it lacks complexity to some degree but nicely done all the same.
Drinks: Of course it makes a wonderful Bloody Mary, and a number of other drinks calling for a heat component. Also plays nicely with a number of herbs so it is worth playing around with.
Bottle: Tall cylindrical generic clear glass, and NO frosting unlike the sea of others. Simple paper label and graphics pasted directly onto the glass. Bright red neck wrap and black and red label distinquidsh it from their other vodkas. 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: An good value for the money – better than most pepper vodkas (that cost more), with a good assertive taste but that does not go overboard just because they could. I applaud their restraint and subtlety.
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