Recently we added a new British range of Vodkas and a Gin from The English Vodka Company.
There has been a growing trend of British small batch distilleries that have popped up. Some might see this as just another looking to jump on the Sipsmith/Chase bandwagon. The less cynical would see it as a positive sign of the future of English Distilling. I’m truly hoping for the latter as anyone that has been watching activities over the pond on small batch distilleries will see we may have only just started in the UK.
We’ve been blessed by having some great small batch vodka and gin come out of the stables of Sipsmith, Adnams and Chase so I guess its only a matter of time before we see a line that isn’t that all that its cracked up to be.
When I tried the Vodka I dived straight in on the premium 54% offering. This English Spirit Vodka was surprisingly smooth so much so that I am sure if it was a blind test you would be oblivious to how strong it is. It has an unusual zest to its finish – think of a hint of pepper. You don’t get the heavy burn aftertaste that can occur with this sort of strength vodka which again is great sign.
Moving on to the standard English Spirit vodka and again it is a good smooth drink and is clearly a superior product to your everyday vodka. With a price tag of £25 it is not a bad price either. Similar notes to the higher strength, but this is what you would expect from the same base product which in this case is sugar beet.
A great point of this vodka is the depth of flavour, clearly the distiller has spent a lot of time perfecting the product. The English Spirit Vodka can sit quite comfortably in a range either side of the other British spirits and hold its own.
Currently you can buy Coffee, Seasonal Fruits and a Vanilla vodka.
I’d been very keen to try the coffee vodka as back in the day Van Gogh Coffee vodka was a personal favourite as well as being an early best seller, so I had two reasons to hope this one was a positive experience.
Well I wasn’t disappointed, it tastes exactly like good coffee smells! Nice and smooth with a refreshing, almost dark chocolate sense of a taste. Columbian coffee beans are used in this vodka and you can see in the bottle that there were no half measures in ensuring you get a real coffee kick with this marvellous drink. The drink itself has a wonderful colour that is very dark at the bottom due to the numerous Columbian beans and gradually gets lighter towards the top of the bottle.
Vanilla is one of the most popular flavour offerings that can be found in the Vodka market today. Manufacturers seem to think that it is the easy route to go down. Well that was my impression anyway. Vanilla can be such a potent flavour that it can be a little too sickly. The English Spirit offering uses the 37.5 abv English Spirit Vodka as a starting point. The distiller then adds a carefully spliced vanilla pod into the bottle and then lets the mix get to work on its own. The finished article sits quite nicely, not too heavy in vanilla and you do also sense a hint of cinnamon. You wouldn’t turn a second down if offered put it that way!
The first thing you notice about the seasonal fruits vodka is the plentiful amount of strawberries that sit in the bottom of the bottle. The drink is a really smooth and somewhat creamy taste which as you would expect is rich with a berry flavour. As by now you have come to expect the vodka is from the standard abv English spirit vodka. The berries are then added so that the vodka infuses all of the flavours into the liquid, this creates a somewhat perfect drink for a hot summer’s day.
I’m sure by now you realise that these vodkas are not what you would expect on the supermarket shelf. They all have their own character and uniqueness that going forward, I believe will stand it in good stead in the growing English spirits market. This range does seem to have something for everyone’s taste so I am confident you will not be disappointed.