Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cold River Vodka

I may as well make my first departure from the stated aims of this blog a foray into my second favorite spirit:  Vodka!  As a descendant of the people who have conquered Eastern Europe in the last half millennium (Lithuania, Poland, Germany), it makes sense that that most Slavic of all drinks has made it into my repertoire.  When it comes to vodka, I'm a snob, even more so than with Scotch.  If it's lower quality than Absolut, I won't touch it, even in a mixed drink, and I tend to go with Grey Goose.

Despite my proclivity for Grey Goose, potato vodkas are by far the best in my opinion, and Maine Distilleries, Inc.'s Cold River Vodka is my favorite.  Unlike with beer, where bitterness is often a positive, or Scotch, where some harshness is both expected and encouraged, vodka should be truly smooth.  Often cited as being the "tasteless" or "odorless" spirit, good vodka is not remotely tasteless.  Rather, Cold River, like all good potato vodkas, has a sweetness to it that grain vodkas lack, and a character that is all its own.  You shouldn't make the "whisky face" with vodka; whether drunk straight, in a martini (my two preferred methods), or in some other mixed drink, drinking vodka should be a purely pleasant experience.  Cold River fulfills that.  Additionally, there is the positive aspect of Cold River being an American made and distilled product, with the distillery using potatoes from a farm in Maine that was going out of business until the decision was made to start using the yield to distill spirits rather than attempt to compete with larger factory farms that sell to McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King.  Also, being American made, there are no import tariffs to raise the prices; despite its superior quality, ingredients, and taste, Cold River will cost you about the same as (or less than) Stolichnaya (Russia) or Grey Goose (France).


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