Domestic Vodka 2012
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Best Domestic Vodka - 2012

The Great Domestic Vodka Tasting of 2012

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 20 small batch handcrafted American vodkas with 18 pre-qualified judges. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the vodkas were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water and neutral unflavored crackers, unsalted nuts and bar snacks were available to cleanse the palate. The judges tasted through two flights of 7 vodkas and one flight of 6 vodkas.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded based on a set range of final point scores received from the judges.

The tasting notes are summaries of the judges’ opinions. The States of origin are given, with a few tidbits added for each brand.

 

Here are the final results:



Peace Vodka



DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

1.  Peace
(New York)
Locally grown whole wheat, pure Catskill Mountain water

Nose:Hint of chocolate, cola, vanilla ice cream, pastry dough, creamy, rye, peppery. Palate: Vanilla, butterscotch, cream, caramel, herbal, grassy, almond oil, nutty, pepper, nicely layered, very smooth, enjoyable. Finish: Buttery, vanilla, clean, fresh, pleasant, perfect.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



2.  Downslope Cane
(Colorado)
Juice of Maui sugar cane, gluten free

Nose: Lemon-lime, light berry, honeydew, banana, vanilla, floral, herbal, coffee bean, lively. Palate: Minty, spearmint, almond, vanilla, fruity, herbal, faint cocoa, mild zest, dances on the palate. Finish: White pepper, cocoa, wonderfully soft, creamy, smooth, gentle, delightful.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Downslope Cane Vodka



Krā-zē Vodka



3.   Krā-zē
(New York)

Nose: Berry, slightly grassy, crisp, mineral. Palate: Grainy, creamy, mandarin orange, grassy, almond oil, cashews, anise, cocoa, zesty, round. Finish: Peppery, clean, fresh, touch of sweetness.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



4. LiV
(New York)
Potato-based, gluten free

Nose: Nutty, caramel, light vanilla, sweet, jasmine, honeysuckle. Palate: Caramel, vanilla, banana, dusty, nutty, herbal elements, floral, mint, anise, black pepper, spicy, smoky, balanced, enjoyable. Finish: Coffee, black pepper, pink peppercorn, spicy, tart, creamy, silky, great.


Double-Gold Medal
Double-Gold medal



LiV Vodka



Cold River Vodka



5. Cold River
(Maine)
100% Maine potatoes, water sourced from the Cold River Aquifer

Nose: Pear, apples, cinnamon, rose water. Palate: Sweet, vanilla, cream, bread, almond, grassy, herbal, black pepper. Finish: Creamy, peppery, zesty, gentle, smooth.


Double-Gold Medal
Double-Gold medal



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

High West
(Utah)
Oat-based, snowmelt naturally filtered in deep rock aquifers

Nose: Vanilla, light coconut, grape, fruity, spicy, earthy. Palate: Butterscotch, caramel, molasses, coconut, banana, creamy, anise, almond, nutty, peppery, fruity, minty, silky. Finish: Coconut, powdered sugar, creamy, rich.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



High West Vodka



Most Wanted Vodka



Most Wanted
(Kansas)
Grain-based, slow-filtration

Nose: Touch of lemon, potato, light, gentle. Palate: Grainy, light herbal, floral tones, mild dough, creamy, light vanilla, black pepper, dry, very smooth. Finish: Mineral, pastry dough, white pepper, cinnamon, corriander, touch of pepper, mellow.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Revolution
(Idaho)
Grain-based, Rocky Mountain water

Nose: Herbal, grassy, mineral. Palate: Herbal, grassy, vanilla cream, brittle, floral, woodsy, silky. Finish: Toffee, herbal, woodsy, silky, clean, mellow.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Revolution Vodka



Plantation Vodka



Plantation
(Georgia)
Blend of Southern grain and corn based, aquifer water naturally filtered through limestone

Nose: Honey, herbal, citrus, burnt sugar, mineral, leather. Palate: Nuts, ginger, orange, citron, bread, grainy, grassy. Finish: Potato, lively, zesty, spicy, complex, smooth, very nice.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Mako
(Florida)
Hand-selected distiller’s grains (midwestern corn, barley), natural iron-free limestone spring water, 5 times distilled

Nose: Berry, tropical, cola, light lime, grain. Palate: Vanilla, caramel, cream, silky, herbal, mint, light pepper, peppery, mineral, layered, mellow. Finish: Caramel, lightly spicy, zesty, mint, smooth, clean.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Mako Vodka



Valentine Vodka



Valentine
(Michigan)
Blend of barley, red Michigan wheat, and corn

Nose: Citrus, grain, dusty, subtle. Palate: Dusty, mineral, wet stone, melon, lemony, grassy, botanicals, grain, rye, creamy, light caramel, cocoa. Finish: Nutty, powdered sugar, anise, dry, crisp, creamy, rich, full-bodied.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Zodiac
(Idaho)
Potato-based, gluten free, pure Rocky Mountain spring water

Nose: Light grain, some spice, complex, clean. Palate: Almond, nutty, rye, slightly peppery, herbal, grassy, floral, mineral, complex, very smooth. Finish: Almond, clean, intense floral, soft, silky, balanced.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Zodiac Vodka



1876 Vodka



1876
(Texas)
Sweet midwest corn, purified water

Nose: Nutty, peppery, grassy, floral, clean, fresh. Palate: Buttery, vanilla, peppercorn, black pepper, mineral, tangy, soft, silky, mild, mellow, smooth, balanced. Finish: Creamy, floral, fresh.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Goat
(Colorado)
Grain-based (including corn), three distillations and two charcoal filtrations

Nose: Subtle, spearmint. Palate: Powdered sugar, grainy, dusty, mineral, lemon peel, almond, minty, zesty, smooth, clean, fresh, light. Finish: Creamy, nutty, soft, clean, fresh.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Goat Vodka



Clear 10 Vodka




Clear 10
(Kansas)
Local grains and naturally-filtered water, slow-filtered 10 times

Nose: Almond oil, subtle, delicate, neutral. Palate: Vanilla, cola, almond oil, touch of butter, grainy, stone, silky, rich, delicate, clean, smooth, balanced, refined. Finish: Floral, mint, soft, zesty.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Cold Steel
(Oregon)
100% American winter wheat grain, natural spring water, filtered through a virgin coconut husk

Nose: Summer cotton field, mineral. Palate: Vanilla, almond oil, grain, dough, bread, herbal, earthy, soft, dry. Finish: Soft, clean, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Cold Steel Vodka



Mastermind Vodka




Mastermind
(Illinois)
Local select Midwestern grain (corn & wheat)

Nose: Herbal, faint lemon, grainy, peppery. Palate: Layers of cream, buttery, vanilla, grassy, minty, delicate. Finish: Spice, very nice, elegant.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Blue Flame
(Washington)

Nose: Peppery, floral, woody, mezcal elements. Palate: Rich layers of stone fruit, fig, walnut, almond oil, anise, creamy, mezcal, pepper, woody, complex. Finish: Butterscotch, forceful herbal elements, smooth, bold.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Blue Flame Vodka



Veracity Vodka label



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS:

Veracity
(Oregon)
Organic corn-based, well water, cold filtered 10 times

Nose: Lime, citrus, kiwi, herbal, zesty. Palate: Rye, grain, herbal, grassy, minty, spicy, peppery, wet stone, cedar, cigar box, intense. Finish: Cocoa, sweet, black pepper, spicy, floral, nice, clean, crisp, mineral.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Southern
(Georgia)
Corn-based, slow carbon filtration

Nose: Bread, herbal, anise, minty, cedar. Palate: Fruity, creamy, vanilla, sweet, almond, nuts, rye, grain, white pepper, wasabi, mint, mineral, woodsy. Finish: Gentle, herbal, mineral, bold, full-bodied.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Southern Vodka

 

 

 

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Comments or questions welcome, please e-mail to: editor@thefiftybest.com

 

 

Comments and Suggestions:

 
Wed. June 12, 2013 8:48 PM - by: matt
Tahoe Blue Vodka actually beat American Harvest at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, taking 1st place in the competition. American Harvest in that case is actually categorized as unflavored.
 
 
Thu. May 2, 2013 11:41 AM - by: James
American Harvest Vodka is not an unflavored vodka. It has sugar infused in the final stage. It would belong in the flavored vodka category.
 
 
Wed. March 27, 2013 7:15 AM - by: Clark Kent
American Harvest Vodka has been introduced into the Illinois marketplace. American Harvest is from the same company who made Grey Goose and from the same master distiller. After tasting it at a friends house I feel it is the best vodka I have ever tried. Why have you not listed this great vodka on your list?
 
 
Thu. October 18, 2012 3:18 AM - by: Ashok Thakur
i like collect the infomation about the vodka
 
 


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