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Vodka - Core Vodka


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Core Vodka
Harvest Spirits, Valatie, New York

PROOF: 80 (40%)
AGE: Not applicable
TYPE: New York State Apples

PRICE: $41.99 750ML


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: This is one a the very few (read damn few) vodkas that is actually produced by a small distiller. Not bought in bulk (by the tank truck or railroad tank car) and relabeled like a lot of vodka these days or redistilled (rectified) then bottled by by someone trying to look like a small distiller. They are even further in the tasteful minority by not only growing their own, but using apples instead of grains to make their vodka.

The apples are grown on their own farm in a sustainable manner, harvested, hand-inspected, mashed ( made into apple cider and fermented ) all on site. Then they distill the resulting hard cider in small hybrid copper pot/column stills rather than the industry standard column stills - which are huge affairs that produce industrial grades and quantities of spirits for the mass market.

This is a insanely labor and cost-intensive process. Unlike most vodka producers, they grow their own fruit and ferment it themselves in small batches,distill it and bottle it so that it ensures quality and consistency from the fruit to the bottling. Most of the other vodkas (in Russia and America) buy bulk ethanol, tweak it, and add water.
Core distills their products three times in order to achieve purity but still retain character and taste.

Appearance: Bright silvery, clear as a bell with the kind of weight to it that makes it almost seem like a light mineral oil. On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with scalloped edges becoming a few long thin legs with lots of droplets forming. Wonderful bright appearance.

First Impression: Slightly sweet nose with a definite but not overly heavy scent of apples. A welcome change from the tyranny of grain, subdued alcohol notes. not the sharp alcohol vapors like some, well most, grain based vodkas.

Taste: Mouth entry is more like a eau de vie- lighter weight and lighter mouthfeel than a standard vodka. A little sweet and smooth with the alcohol warming you nicely and tingling the tongue. Nice aromatic apple notes after the vodka is gone with a lingering pleasant finish.

Drinks: Quite drinkable at room temperature if you like eau de vies or grappa. But, like every other vodka, much better cold. Excellent martini*- deadly smooth. Works very well in other drinks also.

*Use Noilly Prat and  keep the vermouth refrigerated after opening for the best taste.  

Final Thoughts: If honesty, sincerity, complexity, and sense of place mean anything to you - especially contrasting to the soulless oceans of other vodkas out there, buy this one.

As a sidebar this product is made from fruit not grain (especially wheat) so people who have gluten issues should welcome this as an alternative to the usual.

Bottle: Short cylindrical clear glass bottle with short neck and black neckwrap. Minimalist, almost machine-age graphics, with a smoke tint to the silkscreened label. Somewhat distinctive and easy-to-spot, makes it easy to find on a store of bar shelf.


Fast loading, nicely done, website. One of the more informative websites from a microdistiller. Be sure to read the distillers notes on the batch you are drinking ( and of course the other ones too). Nice to know how your spirits were raised.



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