Vodka is the purest spirit. Colourless and transparent, vodka taste nuances are very subtle, but they make all the difference when having a fine drink.
Refining your palate and being able to discern between different aromas, tasting notes, and textures will develop your appreciation of the spirit and will expand your vodka knowledge.
Understanding the origins of vodka will help you develop a good testing technique that can build into a memory bank of flavours and vodka styles. Some vodkas are very neutral in character, and others have a distinctive mouthfeel and flavour. Take your time and discover your favourites. Vodka is a beautiful spirit as a stand-alone beverage or as the base for creative cocktails.
What To Look For When Testing Vodka?
Did you know that the shape of the glass can have a dramatic effect on the aroma of the spirits? A tulip-shaped glass with sides turning inwards towards the top helps concentrate the bouquet. We recommend that our vodka should be tested at room temperature.
Appearance: Evaluate the transparency of the vodka by placing the glass against a white surface and determine if there is cloudiness or any deposits at the bottom of the glass. At this first glance, try not to swirl the glass too much; this tends to release ethanol notes rather than the subtle notes of the spirit.
Nose: The aroma is a crucial part of vodka testing; it reveals the delicate notes and nuances, even more than the taste itself. Start by bringing the glass slowly towards your nose and smell gradually, instead of taking a big sniff. In the first whiff, you will get the most notes; memorise them, and make the most of them.
X MUSE is complex both in taste and nose. Our heritage barleys are distilled separately, drawing out their finest qualities, then we blend them to create a carefully crafted dialogue between them. We embrace the unpredictability of nature to produce a vodka that carries stories of seasonal variety. Sun, wind and rain provide each batch with a distinct balance of flavours and tones while sharing consistent quality.
Palate: Hold the sample in your mouth before you swallow it. . Focus on flavour profiles like citrus notes, spices or even flowers. Expand on each flavour and try to describe them, specifying if the taste is sweet, sour, bitter, salt, umami, or a mix of them.
Finish: Consider the aftertaste of the vodka; if it lingers in your mouth or if it is bitter or sweet. Swirl the glass and observe the drops falling off the walls of the glass; the 'tears' falling fast is an indicator of added sugar.
The Importance Of Water In Vodka Tasting Notes
The best vodka producers are established in locations with a plentiful water supply. Artisanal wells or natural springs bring a unique taste to the final product. Over 60% of the spirit is water, so having the highest quality will influence the flavour. Sourcing water from a unique origin will provide the vodka with distinctive notes that enhance the careful work put into the fabrication of fine vodka.
The ancient aquifer at Scotland's Bonnington Estate, at the heart of Jupiter Artland, carries history within it. Rocks and rich soils have filtered its water for centuries forming pristine lakes that are a delight to contemplate and even more pleasing to taste. Water carries history, and this aquifer is a celebration of water.
X MUSE (pronounced Tenth Muse) draws water from this aquifer as one of the essential components of the best vodka. X MUSE honours Scottish history and forages from the energetic fingerprint of the region by using the pure energised water of Bonnington Estate.
The idea that vodka is tasteless is a misconception based on the definition of vodka as a neutral spirit, treated after distillation to remove its distinctive character, taste, aroma and colour. No two vodkas are precisely alike, especially when using unique water.
The Distinctive Flavour Of Barley Vodka
Unlike other spirits, vodka can be distilled from any raw material containing fermentable sugars. Traditionally, it is made from fermented cereal grains such as sorghum, wheat, corn, rice, or rye. It can also be made from potatoes, sugar beet, molasses or fruit. As you suspect, the outcome taste of each finished vodka is very distinct.
X MUSE has a unique approach. It is the first blended vodka to be produced using barley, a crop rich in tradition and significance in Scotland. Using two heritage prized varieties for their flavour, Plumage Archer and Marris Otter, X MUSE connects with Scotland's spirit-making tradition.
X MUSE is a Scottish vodka that encapsulates a smooth and complex flavour, perfect for straight-up sipping or as part of cocktails and martinis.