Multi-grain base, herb infused, pot distilled, charcoal filtered vodka date back to the 1700’s and using a windmill to grind the grains that dates to 1795.
Notes: This is a rather complicated vodka, with a equally complicated history. . . involving sailors, innkeepers, secret recipes and the like – all of which one can read about on the website .The recipe for this multi-grain herb infused, pot distilled, charcoal filtered vodka date back to the 1700’s and a windmill that is used to grind the grains dates to 1795. It was immensely popular at the Fabulous Shaker Boys après-workshop bar at Tales of The Cocktail also.
Appearance: Crystalline bright appearance,clear as a bell. Silver pool in the glass. On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with long thin legs, scalloped edging and droplets forming. Quite the show really.
First Impression: Alcohol and grain – multilayered. You can smell the traces of rye sweet/ sour notes, corn sweetness and some of the higher alcohol notes of the wheat – not the smell of rubbing alcohol that many wheat vodkas suffer from- and the herbs in the background add some mystery, depth and backbone. Nicely done distillation.
Taste: Slightly oily plump grain body glide past the tongue nipping at it with the alcohol edge and nice lingering finish. Herbs provide depth, structure and interesting enhancement to the various grains inherent characteristics. Slight sweetness and the sourness of the rye, backstopped/enhanced by the rosemary and wormwood, the corn sweetness counterpointed by the gentian root,the wheat aromatics complimented by the juniper and cedar. The charcoal filtering leaves a slightly drying effect and adds to a lingering finish. Overall, a complex yet balanced effort.
Drinks: The Gin Martini* (with a twist) was great – no, that was not a typo-the mutligrain and herb approach lends depth and complexity (something a ‘vodka martini’ sorely needs anyway). Worked well in every other vodka based drink also. Assertive enough to have a lot taste but maybe not enough to be called gin, O. K. maybe a new style – “stealth gin.”
*Use Noilly Prat and keep the vermouth refrigerated after opening for the best taste.
Final Thoughts: An very good vodka for the money. Much more complex and interesting than would you normally find at that price point and cheaper than a good gin. Highly reccomended as a change from the oceans of unremarkable vodka out there. Think of it as the gin-lovers vodka – especially as opposed to to the watery crap that is sold as a vodka lovers gin!
Bottle: Frosted glass at top and bottom with clear glass widow (with protruding frosted silhouettes of herbs. Bottle is in the shape you usually see in a clay or glass Genever bottle/jug (cylindrical with rounded shoulders and short neck).Sonnema Crest is pressed in relief on the front shoulder (and a Sonnema on the backside). Silk screened Red Band of Sonnema on the front of bottle. “Sonnema” is embossed at bottom front of bottle. Red and silver banded screwcap/foil with Sonnema in script finish the package.
Well laid-out and easy-to-navigate website. A little skimpy on information.
The Video Blurb: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J92m0oUyAKY