In this age of modernisation, of progress and globalisation local brews and trades are making a bit of a revival, it’s like the public are bored with the same old coffee shop branded across everywhere; familiarity breeds contempt so they say, and so microbrews have risen up across the land and are marching down to the local pub.
Up north where I live there is indeed a local brewery and their beer is apparently quite nice; but drive several (lots) of hours south to the capital of this fair isle and, should you find yourself in Highgate you’ll find that they have a local distiller there, producing vodka (so stories tell me) in a kitchen and bottling it up to send out tothe world. Behold, the new wave of micro-distilleries have arrived, which makes me almost wonder, what do I need for a still license?
Maybe not, let’s see how someone who’s been doing it for a while copes before I start trying to kill myself with meths.
So; as usual starting with the chilled. Should have put a bit more in this glass really, but let’s see.
Very faint nose, but not sharp, nothing really distinctive, but I can tell that there’s something in that glass and it’s not water. Hmmm… can’t even feel the warmth. Do we have a situation here?
Ok, abandoning the non-frozen glasses, I think they’ve been tainted? If not this this pretty damn smooth. I’ll have to try again to make sure; so I’m going straight to frozen this time. The other two will have to wait, for me until tomorrow and for you a few paragraphs time.
So, frozen. No crystals in the bottle, and it’s been in the freezer for a week; that’s a good sign. Definate nose off of it, but it’s the faint smell of booze rather than flavour, not too bad.
That’s got a burn over the back of the tongue, just a little bit of heat; but nothing for the throat leaving the warmth until you get to the belly. That’s pretty respectable; it’s got a faint boozy taste, not crisp, more, a little raw. A few more sips from the bottle (I’m so classy) and that flavour is building on the tongue, numbing it in a rather pleasant way; now it’s stronger it’s hard to place, a flavour… alcohol; definitely smooth going down still, even after three gulps and nice and warm in the belly. But for the room temperature and chilled I’ll have to wait until tomorrow.
Okay now. Time travel over; time for the chilled.
Very, very faint nose; the merest hint of something there. Thats got a warmth going down, but it nips at the throat a little as it does; lovely warmth in the stomach however. Flavour is there in the mouth, good on the tongue; Just the edge of a tingle on the lips.
Last but not least; room temperature.
No real smell; got a bit of roughness to it, this definitely needs some cold to take the edge off that bite, unless you like something a bit more nippy. Still acceptable however, You get more of a burst of flavour at the back of the throat, that and the bite; maybe… edge of vanilla there. Nice.
Quality 7/10 - Smooth, but with a bite at the edge of it. This isn’t silk, but it’s nice quality stuff.
Taste 6/10 - An edge of booze and maybe vanilla gives it a feeling as much as a taste as it goes down.
Presentation 7/10 - Rather a nice label, all in all, the bottle does look more than your average run-of-the mill stuff, looks like it’s had some decent effort there.
Alcohol: 40% volume.
Cost: ~£30 http://www.masterofmalt.com/vodka/
Conclusion: A nice vodka thats above mixing grade, it’s got some aggression in the taste and flavour for when you’ve moved on from the silk and satin grade vodkas; a second tier drink I’d say, definitely not one to mix still as that’s a bit of a waste. Best served frozen, as the cold mixes well with the bite to smooth it off and just let the belly feel the warmth. But if you’re one for something more sharp then have it chilled, gives it an edge.