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Published on November 14th, 2011 | by Greg


Two Vodkas and Elderflower Liqueur from Chase and 666

On the list of spir­its, vod­ka con­tin­ues to dom­i­nate in Amer­i­ca, as it’s like­ly the best-sell­ing one of the bunch. Else­where though, whiskeys and Scotch take top slots. Per­haps that’s be­cause they aren’t fa­mil­iar with to­day’s two types of the clear liquor.

We’ll start with one re­al­ly odd one. The 666 Tas­ma­ni­an Vod­ka is tru­ly from Aus­tralia, and us­es malt­ed bar­ley as a base. Win­ner of a Gold in 2010 at the San Fran­cis­co World Spir­its Com­pe­ti­tion, they use pu­ri­fied rain­wa­ter from Cape Grim (re­al­ly!) and blend a fair­ly re­mark­able vod­ka. Crys­tal clear, clean, and smooth, this one im­pressed more in the sto­ry and sourc­ing than the fla­vor, though we did taste notes of pep­per and ca­cao here, fin­ished with a nice, min­er­al­ly, back-of-the-throat burn. The bot­tle it­self is quite at­trac­tive and mod­ern, and at $30 a bot­tle, would look great on your shelf (or that of a choosy friend).

Chase’s En­glish Pota­to Vod­ka is a bit more clas­sic- we tried it frozen as well as light­ly chilled on the rocks. And we should note that this one al­so re­ceived the same award in the same year at the same com­pe­ti­tion (yes, they do that). This bot­tle is a bit more classy, with a love­ly snowy branch theme, but al­so a bit taller and thus more awk­ward for some shelves. This one is al­so some­what hard to find in the US, though we did see it on­line for about $35 a bot­tle. Tast­ing was more but­tery, with a thick­er tex­ture and creami­er notes. Gen­er­al­ly, peo­ple were split on pref­er­ence be­tween to­day’s pair of vod­kas, and both were de­scribed as “uni­form­ly ex­cel­lent”. You can’t go wrong with ei­ther one- it large­ly de­pends on whether your tastes run old-school or a bit more mod­ern.

Fi­nal­ly, we got a chance to try the Chase El­der­flow­er Liqueur, based on their vod­ka, but in­fused with the flow­ers and with on­ly some sug­ar added. Our bot­tle was a nice tie-in to the vod­ka, show­ing off the love­ly dark­er gold­en col­or. Much like the clas­sic St. Ger­main, this one is love­ly when paired with oth­er drinks, like cham­pagne or oth­er sweet wines like Mosca­to. But we al­so read about, and tried, El­der­flow­er Mar­gar­i­tas, which are sim­ply sour mix, tequi­la, and this liqueur. Sweet, flo­ral, this spir­it feels clean and spright­ly, al­most healthy, and adds a fair­ly sub­tle note to most any­thing. Def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend, es­pe­cial­ly at the $25 or so we’ve seen it for.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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