Vodka Goes to Extremes

Vodka is traditionally supposed to be colorless, odorless, tasteless; the priority has been placed on neutrality. But a few producers are rethinking what this spirit can be in ways that go beyond adding flavorings, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

The Poland-based Chopin brand, for instance, has a Single series, in which each of the four single-ingredient vodkas-potato, “young potato” (made with early-harvested potatoes), rye, wheat-is filtered just once. (Chopin’s standard vodkas are filtered four times.) The difference is startling: The potato vodkas are redolent of dark chocolate; the wheat is downright earthy.

Swedish producer Karlsson’s has released two limited-edition vodkas in its Batch series, each labeled with a vintage to showcase the character of a single potato harvest. Also filtered once, these vodkas are distinctly sweet, with a hearty mouth feel.

Vodkas are also being produced from different ingredients. AO Vodka is a Japanese rice vodka with a fleeting, rounded sweetness, while Napa Vodka is made from sauvignon blanc grapes and has a fruity scent. Comb Vodka from New York’s Hudson Valley, is a honey-based spirit with lush apple tones, while Vermont White is distilled from milk sugar and has a rich, sweet taste.

“There’s been great evolution in beer and single-malt whiskeys,” said Christian Gylche, president of Karlsson’s. “The range of ingredients used, the geographic locations where they are made-now they are talked about.” And so it’s going with vodka.

Read the full article here.


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