Vodka - Christiana
Notes: This vodka is one of the few vodkas produced with potatoes - which contrary to popular prejudice (particularly vociferous among Russians for some reason) - is a premium ingredient for vodka. At about 1/3 less yield per kilo and a lot more prep work to ferment and distill make it a difficult and expensive undertaking.
Also people who suffer from Celiac's Disease (a genetic intolerance to gluten found in grains) will find this a welcome addition to the kinds of distilled spirits they can drink. This particular vodka uses Organic Trondelag Potatoes (a rather sweet variety), Norwegian spring water, and is distilled 6 times before being charcoal filtered and aerated.
Christiana is the old name for Oslo, capital of Norway.
Appearance: Crystal clear, no sediment whatsoever. On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with fjord like edges forming (no, really!) and long legs. It sits in the glass and almost glows. Wonderful purity and body.
First Impression: Alcohol in a round,deep and sweet way, tickling and teasing slightly sweet smell to it. Well done distillation.
Taste: Nice oily thick entry with slightly sweet taste and a spritely tingle to the sides of the tongue with a very restrained warm finish. Oily body but not too heavy - this vodka came by its body honestly-not doped up with sugar, glycerin, or vanilla like a lot of others. A very clean vodka!
Drinks: Chilling Christiana down increases the thickness and and enhances the sweetness (but not overly so) and makes it dangerously easy to drink straight. With its smoothness and wonderful body it lends a weight and mouthfeel to a cocktail that you will not see with many other vodkas and so we highly recommend it for such pursuits.The martini was wonderful (use a twist not an olive too complement its delicacy).
NOTE: Use Noilly Prat and keep the vermouth refrigerated after opening for the best taste.
Final Thoughts: One of the best potato vodkas out there. A super premium vodka that is actually worth the money for what you get (unlike many that spring to mind). This is the vodka Grey Goose was aspiring to be (and failed). Extra bonus is that being made from potatoes so people with wheat/grain allergies can enjoy it also. I too appreciate a good potato vodka,the body tends to be thicker and heavier, and they have a more round mouthfeel.They also tend to smell less like alcohol (O.K., rubbing alcohol, to be blunt) than some of the grain varieties although they can be very good on their own merits.
Bottle: Clear light blue (think glacier ice) glass bottle with slightly bulbous rounded shoulders. Simple tasteful silk-screened label and cork closure. Norwegian flag paper label tops the closure.
Nice if minimalist website. Slow to load, a touch tricky to navigate. Could use more information.