Hot, yet subtle – just the way we like them.
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 taste they lose using a column still.
This vodka (and all the other variations) are thankfully, not produced that way but in 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 a base of Fresno Chilies along with a infusion of Bell, Jalapeňo, and Habaňeros roasted by a local pepper expert. 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 alcopop flavored vodkas out there that taste more like a popsicle than a serious drink. This is made with real ingredients and nothing else.
Appearance: Clear, slight yellow cast to it with no sediment whatsoever. On swirling, it leaves a a thicker clear coat on the inside of the glass and almost seems a bit viscous. Scalloped edgeline then long thin legs. However, it is well blended in that the essential oils do not separate from the alcohol base, a difficult trick when dealing with real, fresh ingredients. Well done!
First Impression: Subtle roasted pepper smells with a slight sweetness. Does not burn or overwhelm your nose like many pepper vodkas. smells like real roasted peppers and aromatic oils. The smoke of the roasting hangs like a perfume in the glass.
Taste: Slightly sweet entry the body of the vodka coats the tongue with the oil of the various peppers and warms you nicely. The roasted peppers seem to parade through – you can taste the subtle differences between each one progressively and the delicate roasting each received. A very slight warming of alcohol as it goes down the throat, and a slight alkali and smoke 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: For any drink calling for a heat component (such as a tabasco or hot sauce) this would be a natural choice. Outstanding Bloody Marys and interesting Corpse Reviver-type morning drinks. Mixed reviews with our martini attempts. Goes well with chocolate. Also a great accompaniment to smoked fish or game.
Bottle: Distinctive, in that it is tall, clear glass, and NO frosting unlike the sea of others. Simple graphics and paper label. 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.
Final Thoughts: An outstanding value for the money – the price of some of the fashion victim flavored vodkas and far better tasting! This is a very subtle artisanal vodka with really outstanding flavor. Where most pepper vodkas have used caramel coloring and/or brute force chemical heat this one shows Lance’s deft touch and alchemy.
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.