Vodka - Purity
P & J Production, Kalby, Sweden
Importers: Purity Vodka New York, NY
PROOF: 80 (40%)
AGE: Not Applicable
TYPE: Swedish, Grain (Wheat and Barley)
PRICE: $39.00 750 ML
Notes: This vodka is produced in Sweden (land of vikings, Ikea, lute fisk, and aquavit, among other things). A vodka crafted with malted winter wheat, barley water directly from a deep aquifer and deionized water in a precise proportion to bring the vodka down to 80 proof. Unlike many spirits these days, they make this vodka in hybrid alembic and 8 plate double column still custom designed by Kolte of Germany and it actually tastes like something other than grain alcohol and little else.
The distiller only uses a fraction -10% of the entire distillation taken from a narrow cut from within the heart of the distillation itself (some distilleries use up to 30%) to create this vodka and does not filter it to preserve the taste. There are a lot of amazing details of exactly how precisely they engineered the whole process and product that would run pages on this review so I'm going to point you to their website (http://www.purityvodka.com) for all the details on the painstaking processes they use.
Despite these rather expensive protocols and procedures they still sell Purity for a reasonable price given all those factors - especially if you consider that Grey Goose sells for about the same money and is nowhere near the quality or taste. Other relevant points about this vodka is their green approach to both their use of estate grown older style grains (read non GMO) and the recycling of leftover grains and waste heat - both of which are large, problematical by products of distilling. About the only thing we do take issue with is the number of times distilled (34) as we do with most vodka distillation claims - a plate in a still does not make a separate distillation in our opinion - but we can't argue with the overall results.
Appearance: Faultlessly clear, on swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass which then scallops developing legs and droplets.
First Impression: Creamy yet spicy grain notes, with the barley providing a nice backbone for the wheat notes. A almost vanilla bean, crème soda, smell with subdued traces of wheat alcohol based alcohol playing off the deeper barley notes.
Taste: Slightly oily mouth feel on the tongue,with a nice if somewhat understated mineral body to it. Mild, crisp bite to it on the edges of your tongue and a pleasant warming. Very nice grain taste with a fleeting sweetness, then dry, turning a touch sweet again, then on to a drier, long and pleasantly lingering finish. No burn!
Drinks: Excellent vodka martini that stands up to an olive or twist. Great all around for all the drinks we tried it on - adding a nice body/weight to a drink. Makes a wonderful bone dry vodka and tonic. A vodka for adults who want to TASTE the vodka they are using - not some flavorless soulless grain alcohol. It is also quite good on it's own at room temperature - try that with Avian Fashion Victim Vodka!
NOTE: Use Noilly Prat, and keep the vermouth refrigerated after opening for the best taste.
Bottle: Thick clear pressed glass designed with a faceted appearance which gives it the look of a faceted crystal with a and a nicely heavy decanter bottom help the balance and feel. Silver/pewter neckwrap and nicely done graphics silkscreened directly to the glass bottle gives distinctive and attractive appearance overall and a feeling of prestige and quality rather than just another overpriced vodka in a frosted bottle. Solid metal cork top has a nice weight to it and the synthetic cork makes for a neutral and leak proof seal.
Final Thoughts: A very well made vodka with a good backbone of taste to it- unlike many on the market today who try to be (at best) as tasteless as possible, this vodka makes you sit up and pay attention to it and it's subtleties. While a touch pricey, putting it solidly in the premium category - it's overall quality would in my mind put it the ultra premium segment without the price usually commanded in that segment.
Fast loading website with a wealth of information - particularly if you click on the pdf files. Nicely done and informative