Complex mash bill, real water and handcrafted from start to finish makes for a complex, full bodied vodka.
Notes: This vodka is made from a blend of grains- most vodkas are one grain wonders, that because they are from one grain only tend to be likewise one dimensional. White Water other hand uses a blend of corn (over 50 %), rye (probably about 20-30%) and barley (best guess 10-20%) which leads to a nice ,complex vodka that seems to combine many of the good points of each grain.
This vodka unlike many “artisanal/ microdistilled” vodkas is actually FERMENTED and distilled by the distiller Smooth Ambler. Far too many of the other ones are simply food grade ethanol (aka GNS or grain neutral spirit) that is bought in bulk, redistilled (maybe), refiltered (again maybe) then bottled and labeled as a micro. The appropriate professional term is a rectifier , fraud and other far less polite terms are more evocative .
Their other products include: Smooth Ambler Exceptional White Whiskey (a unaged whiskey which uses a bourbon mashbill) and Greenbrier (an American dry gin). They are also planning a brandy release for April of 2011.
Appearance: Crystal clear, almost sap like no sediment whatsoever. On swirling it leaves a clear oily coat (sign of nice body) on the inside of the glass with some legs slowly developing with small droplets clinging to the glass rather than receding altogether. Viscous look and feel.
First Impression: Exceedingly clean distillate smell, grain, citrus, fruits and slight alkali tang.
Taste: Nicely oily on the tongue, medium body. Crisp, mild bite to it on the edges of your tongue. Nice mineral like feel to the body , but balanced. Slightly sweet and fruity with a grain-like aftertaste, with a attractively oily body/mouth feel with a lot of a creamy fruity and citrus notes. Also unlike a lot of other vodkas of late this packs a lot of mineral/stone notes to it. As to how this all happens my best guess is the following: the corn adds sweetness and creamy notes, the rye adds the spice (sweet/ sour, spicy notes), and the barley adds some nice weight to the overall taste. The limestone water (not some filtered to death tasteless sissy water) adds a lot of complexity and backbone the same way a skeleton allows structure to a body and lets it all hang together nicely.
Drinks: The martini was outstanding, it had everything that a standard vodka doesn’t have flavor, mouthfeel and body among other things. In other drinks, it proved to be an excellent choice of vodka. The fruity,spicy, and mineral qualities added nuance,structure and depth to the drinks. Although personally I like to drink White Water straight at room temperature to not miss any of its nuances.
Bottle: Tall clear glass bottle with rounded shoulders shows the vodka to excellent effect. Nice heft to the bottle and a good grade of clear glass with nice decanter base so it is solid and hard to knock over. Name and trademark are silkscreened directly on label. Wrap around paper label with simple graphics makes for a distinctive but uncluttered look. Also lists handwritten batch and bottle numbers. Red and black neckwrap with composite cork closure (what it lacks in character it makes up for in sealing).
Final Thoughts: If you like tasteless, soulless fear of flavor vodka you are going to hate this vodka. if you enjoy full flavored complexity and and good hard mineral backbone in your vodka you will love this vodka for all of those reasons and more. Far tastier and more complex than Avian Fashion Victim Vodka for less money- easy choice.
Web site: : http://www.smoothambler.com/verify_age.php
Good simple web site easy navigation, simple and straightforward. Need more information and updating. Their Facebook page is much more up-to-date, if a bit to get through.