Vodka - Americana Vodka
Laird and Company, Colts Neck, New Jersey
PROOF: 80 (40%)
AGE: Not Applicable
TYPE: American, Grain (Mix of wheat, barley,rye and corn)
PRICE: $ 29.99 - 750 ML
Notes: This Vodka is produced from a mix of wheat, barley, rye, and corn - not the usual mix for a vodka. Most (unflavored) vodkas tend to be made from one ingredient sometimes two. It is distilled four times still then filtered through a charcoal block filter rather than the more common bed of charcoal (up to 21 ft in some cases) seven times before bottling.
Another challenge facing vodka distillers is how to make vodka with a decent taste. It's relatively easy to distill pure grain alcohol- a relatively tasteless soulless product and cut it with whatever water is handy. The end result is tasteless, bland, and uninteresting. To illustrate the point try a taste test between a glass of distilled water and a glass of good mineral water. Which has more character? The one distilled to death, or the mineral water? Even good tap water can make the point against such a thing.
My point being it is what you leave in that counts for flavor, depth and interest. This applies both to the distillation and to the water you use. You have to distill out some things, leaving in the desirable flavor elements and not lose them in filtration either. Then the choice of water is critical- the dissolved mineral content (or lack thereof), ph and oxygenation level can radically effect the taste of water - which is one of the main ingredients of vodka and cannot be ignored as there is nothing to hide behind in terms of many other flavors. You can tell a Russian distillery from a Latvian one from the mouthfeel and taste of the water used immediately.
Appearance: Crystal clear, no sediment whatsoever. On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with uniform legs that looks like teardrops. Bright silvery pool in the glass.
First Impression: A slightly sweet smell to it, slightly alkaline (cocoa?). No off esters or oils- very clean. Nice heavy smell to it -no sharp rubbing alcohol-like smells which seem to be so common in grain vodkas these days.
Taste: Sweet and slightly oily mouthfeel and a little thick on the tongue, heavy body, with a crisp, mild bite. A slight warming of alcohol as it goes down the throat, no burn. Smooth, very smooth. That being said, it is not as thick as some vodkas but this one comes by it naturally no glycerin, citric acid, thickeners etc., added. Just an honest vodka.
Drinks: The Martini was subtle ,rounded,with a wonderful body. A slowly stirred (I disagree with their suggestion of shaking) 3 or 4 to 1 ratio of Blue Ice to vermouth with a 1-2 dashes of a good bitters and lemon zest creates a wonderfully viscous body balanced with savory herbs and citrus yield a subtle but complex martini.
NOTE: Use Noilly Prat and keep the vermouth refrigerated after opening for the best taste.
Bottle: Rectangular clear glass with red ,white and blue overpspray. Very reminiscent of Tommy Bahama rum or Trump vodka - same heavy bottom decanter (nice balance to it though) . Eye catching without resorting to the frosted bottle gimmick everyone else seems to go for.
Final Thoughts: Decent vodka but a bit pricey for what it is. Patriotic yes, nice package yes, but there are a number of other vodkas made in the U.S. for less money.
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