ciroc bottle

Since when did drinks start getting subtitles? I bought what I thought was a standard bottle of Ciroc vodka and it turns out that oh no, this is a snap frost vodka - whatever that is. Everything has subtitles, every drink has a slogan. Now the frost is clinging nicely to the frozen bottle I’ve got for this taste test, hanging onto the bottle at the level where the vodka is and not melting away so that’s a good thing I guess, it might even be an accurate description?

Anyway France is a country renowned for it’s wine, I heard once that when you’re in hospital you get a daily allowance of half a bottle of the stuff every day, so who says the NHS is the greatest health organisation in the world?

Now a French vodka might seem a little unusual, but one of the best known premium vodkas, Grey Goose, is - ostensibly - from France, so it’s not that unusual and this vodka has been one of my favourites for a while (there’s a spoiler) but here I will be trying to be as objective as possible whilst chugging down the stuff.

What’s different about this vodka is that it’s made from “Fine French Grapes” showing once again you can make vodka from nearly anything - but is it going to affect the taste?

Step one; the chilled from the fridge sample:

Straight away there’s a nice smell there; I gave it a bit of a swish in the glass to stir it up a little, but above the scent of alcohol there’s something else there, a faint hint of fruit of some kind. Now for a sip.
Smooth as anything, now my lips this weekend have been cracked to all hell due to the horrible weather and cranked up heating, but no worries at all with this, it’s smooth as silk; goes down past the lips, over the tongue and down into the belly nicely. A second gulp just savouring it in the mouth and it’s not that viscous but there’s no burn at all, but you can feel the crisp coolness of it before it goes down. Then briefly afterwards like a danger curry there’s an after bite, a little bit of heat as the warmth hits the belly. Delicious.

Next, frozen. That bottle is looking pretty nice.

A much stronger smell from the bottle; I can actually faintly smell grapes, it’s quite distinctive and clear. The smell of alcohol has faded away a little to give just that hint of fruit. A sip from the bottle; and mmmm, that’s a little more viscous, an edge of bite, a mere moment, on the lips but then - oh so smooth drinking it down. Holding it in the mouth again it’s still nice, no burn and the taste of grapes is quite clear; it’s a faint warmth that builds going down and the aftertaste is grapes still. Fantastic.

Finally; room temperature.

No discernible smell from this one, a little swish in the glass and maybe, maybe a hint of smell, but after the chilled and frozen it’s really really faint.
Now it feels quite warm, temperature wise, after the frozen - expected, but this has brought out the grapes once again. It’s really nice. It’s room temperature and I can swish it around my mouth for a few seconds and then just swallow and it’s still smooth smooth smooth. Warmer going down, maybe a little edge of bite.

It’s hard to choose which is the favourite temperature for a change; let’s try them again. All good frankly. Damn, hard choice. Hic.

Quality 9/10. This is really smooth stuff. There is bite, but it’s an after bite or an edge of a nibble on the lips; it’s so smooth it can be enjoyed at any temperature. With the flavour in it as well I can see it’d make a decent mixer for some custom cocktails but since it’s got such a lovely subtle flavour that’d frankly be a bit of a waste.

Flavour 8/10. Really nice flavour, the grapes come through in the mouth and as an aftertaste deliciously, it’s such a nice change and it’s really nicely done. Grape vodka tasting of grapes. delicious.

Presentation 7/10. It’s a very cleanly designed bottle with a little blue spot on it and carefully stencilled letters. It looks like quality and the little hat over the “I” makes it look a bit posh as well.

Alcohol: 40% by volume

Cost: £32 Which is frankly a bit of a steal for something this nice. It’s an excellent quality vodka.

Conclusion: Subtle, smooth, warm and crisp. Pure quality and unusual flavour. This is a fantastic vodka, it’s hard to pick which temperature it shines at best, but if pushed I’d say frozen just outshines the others but frankly you can drink it at any temperature you like. Delicious.



February 2015

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