Published on November 14th, 2011 | by Greg0
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.