A lovely exotic vodka using real exotic fruit not some made up chemicals unlike some.
Notes: This vodka is produced in a old aircraft hanger near San Francisco in small Holstein Pot Stills. Most commercial vodka is produced in column stills at rectification plants (read chemical factories) in huge refinery like settings and quantities.
In order to make their products taste like something other than dry gas for your car they add things like glycerin and vanilla to add the body and tast they lose using a column still.This vodka (and all the other variations) are produced in small quantities in a extremely labor intensive process compared to the industrial standards of many other vodkas. It is the “Arts and Crafts Movement” version of vodka.
This version uses Buddhas Hand, a yellowish/whtie fruit that looks as if it has long fingers. Used as a aromatic air freshener in Asia, it is exotic and hideously expensive here. As with their other flavored vodkas they infuse and macerate their flavorings, rather than add extracts or chemicals to a grain alcohol base. As such, it is a standout from the alcop flavored vodkas out there that tast more like a popsicle than a serious drink. This is made with real fruit and nothing else.
Appearance: Clear, no sediment whatsoever. On swirling, it leaves a a thicker clear coat on the inside of the glass and almost seems a bit viscous. However, it is well blended in that the essential oils do not seperate from the alcohol base, a difficult trick when dealing with real, fresh ingredients. Well done!
First Impression: Wonderful smell at first intense aromatic oils, smells exactly like a Buddhas Hand, not a chemists equivalent thereof.
Taste: Coats the tongue with the oil of the Buddhas hand. It has a distinct yet somewhat hard to classify signature, part orange, lime oil, and lemon. An understated blend of citrus with a wonderful round taste to it. Not sharp or bitter in any way and not sugared to death either. A very slight warming of alcohol as it goes down the throat, and a slight alkali aftertaste. No chemical aftertaste or tang like you get from a lot of other flavored vodkas or that coating of flavor that clings like grim death that the others can leave.
Drinks: An interesting vodka, but a challenge to mix with. Any drink calling for a non-sweet lemon/citrus would be a natural for this one, we didn’t have enough to do many experiments with. It could make a mean Cosmopolitan variation with some more research. It could also replace Cointreau or Combier for the orange liquer component of a cocktail. Mixed reviews with our martini attempts. It’s well worth some exploring and experimenting.
Final Thoughts: An outstanding value for the money – the price of some of the fashion victim flavored vodkas and far better tasting! This stuff will ruin you for many of the other flavored vodkas, there will be no turning back.
Bottle: Distinctive, in that it is tall, clear glass, and NO frosting unlike the sea of others. Simple graphics silkscreened or printed directly onto the glass. Nice heft to the bottle and a good grade of clear glass with a weighted bottom to it. Thin but robust shape similar to a good french brandy bottle. No nonsense straightforward, shows the vodka to good effect.
Website:: http://www.hangarOne.com Fast loading with a fair amount of information. Easy to read with good content and descriptions of production if a bit terse. Again, they really need to post some drink recipes or other ideas on how to use their vodka (food recipes or accompaniments?), and make it available in 200 ML bottles for people to try it.