Vodka - Rehorst Vodka Great Lakes Distillery
Great Lakes Distillery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
PROOF: 80 (40%)
AGE: Not applicable
TYPE: American grain (Wisconsin wheat)
PRICE: $30.00 750ML
Notes: 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.
These people buy local Wisconsin wheat that they hand-inspect, do their own mashing (preparing and fermenting the grain) then distill the resulting product in small copper pot stills rather than the industry standard column stills. This is a insanely labor and cost-intensive process. Unlike most vodka producers, they buy their grain and ferment it themselves in small batches,distill it and bottle it so that it ensures quality and consistency from the grain to the bottling. Most of the other vodkas (in Russia and America) buy bulk ethanol, tweak it, and add water.
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. Wonderful bright appearance.
First Impression: Very slightly sweet nose, subdued almost nonexistent smell of alcohol and wheat. No sharp alcohol vapors like some, well most, cheaper brands.
Taste: Slightly oily grain body the kind of body that cheaper vodkas strive for by doping with sugar, glycerin, or vanilla as shortcuts and obfuscations. A little sweet and smooth with the alcohol warming you nicely and tingling the tongue. Wonderful soft body to the vodka with a subtle mineral presence to give it gravity. Nice medium-length finish.
Drinks: Actually a nice vodka to have at room temperature to appreciate the smoothness and body. 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: One of the few vodkas that are actually worth paying over $25 for. About the same money as either Stoli or the Avian Fashion Victim Vodka, with more honesty, sincereity (meaning they worked for it rather than used short cuts), complexity, and sense of place.
Bottle: Tall cylindrical clear glass bottle with longish 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.
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