Vodka - X-Rated Vodka
Notes: Normally I am very wary when I see something that tries to play up a sex angle or inference.That, or some unnatural color usually tell me to stay away! Experience has shown me these products are trying to overcome something nasty.This is happily not the case with this vodka. This vodka is produced in Cognac using French wheat and la baie rose de Bourbon (Schimus terebinthifolus) from Madagascar (translates as roseberry grain but better known as pink peppercorns) distilled seven times in a copper alembic still charcoal filtered then cut to 80 proof for bottling.
They also sell a X-Rated Fusion Liqueur (blood oranges from Provence, mango and passion fruit from Brazil), and Jean Marc XO Vodka.
Appearance: Crystal clear, no sediment whatsoever. On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with a scalloped edge developing, then long thin legs. Wonderful bright appearance.
First Impression: Alcohol and grain, plump smell of grain, no mistaking this is a wheat vodka. After sitting for a bit, the anis and pepper start to come forward a bit more.
Taste: Plump grain body slides past the tongue and a wonderful warm finish. Touch of sweetness with the higher notes from a good wheat grain.The roseberry lends a light anis and pepper touch which actually adds to the body and smoothes the vodka considerably while giving it a nice bite at the finish. Slightly oily and medium thick body, the kind of body that cheaper vodkas strive for by doping with sugar, glycerin, or vanilla.
Drinks: Already very clean to start with, chilling it down makes it even more smooth. Excellent at room temperature, amazing cold. Martini was excellent (with a twist). All the other drinks had more smoothness and bodybecause of this vodka. It should be a very interesting vodka to mix with and explore its nuances in new drinks.
NOTE: Use Noilly Prat and keep the vermouth refrigerated after opening for the best taste.
Final Thoughts:A slightly idiosyncratic and at the same time excellent product. The roseberry grain adds a wonderful complex subtlety without being overdone (like most flavored vodkas these days) and the base grain distillation was faultless. We don't usually care a lot for wheat vodkas - they can end up smelling like rubbing alcohol when badly done- but this was a delightful exception.
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