This vodka renews my faith in mankind…
Notes: This Vodka is micro-distilled in Traverse City Michigan at the Grand Traverse Distillery using locally grown rye and is triple distilled in a small potstill. Of special note is that they produce their own vodka from rye – they don’t buy bulk alcohol and rectify (redistill) it – unlike many others. This is MUCH more labor intensive but leads to a much more handcrafted product from start to finish (and it shows).
Appearance: Attractive viscous body to it, clear, no sediment whatsoever. On swirling, it leaves a thick but tenacious clear coat on the inside of the glass, then legs and droplets.
First Impression: Cherry of course – but unlike many other “cherry” flavored vodkas it tastes real. Very reminiscent of the kind in a Maraschino Liqueur- (a dry, clear product) but even drier, with a delightful hint of chocolate/cocoa alkali. On deeper inhalation you pick up hints of the alcohol cutting through the cherry along with the chocolate and minerallly notes.
Taste: Cherries dusted with chocolate powder. Dry in taste, but oily in texture on the tongue. It coats the tongue with the cherry flavor which the alcohol then cuts through the centerline of the tongue. A very slight warming of alcohol as it goes down the throat, and leaves a pleasant primarily cherry and some chocolate taste but does not cloy or cling like grim death the way others do. Reminds me of the Van Wees Hemel op Arde a (chocolate and cherry liqueur produced in Amsterdam) in flavor but much drier. Wonderful stuff! A singular cherry vodka that leave the other, candy flavored dross on the bottom shelf where they belong.
Unlike the many other cherry vodkas out there this one was made for adults.
Drinks: An interesting vodka, but as with any flavored vodka, it limits what you can do with it to the realm of specialty drinks.Work as a substitute in drinks that call for Maraschino Liqueur or Cherry Herring (which is getting difficult to find) especially if you want a lighter body or don’t want the coloring that Cherry Herring gives to a drink.
Check their web site for more ideas.
Cigars: Something mild and smooth, Rocky Patel or Davidoff, natural or shade wrappper.
Bottle: Tall cylindrical frosted bottle but unlike so many other vodkas these days it is a very light dust/misting type of frosting which tapers of near the shoulder and has attractive silk screened graphics of a row of trees and a red band with “Natural Cherry Flavor” and a red topped synthetic cork (better seal than the real ones) to denote it from the unflavored version (black top) – not easily lost in the forest of vodkas at your local store.
Final Thoughts: A very well done cherry vodka. The chocolate plays off the cherry very nicely and keeps the cherries from balanced out ( rather than getting too cherry candy or medicinal in flavor. The rye base carries the flavors well and has a good weight/mouthfeel to it the flavors are natural tasting, balanced and not overdone.
Web site:: http://www.grandtraversedistillery.com
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