Okay, so unless you are Russian and or buying very cheap vodka, we all know, as much as we might hate to admit it, that it is very difficult to distinguish one vodka from another. I should probably make it clear at this point that we of course are not discussing flavoured or macerated vodkas, ie vodkas which have been infused with the flavour of a herb of fruit etc, simply Vodka, in its most neutral of forms.
The vast majority of people, when drinking at home, will drink vodka as a mixed drink. But why? As we all know, vodka is a neutrally tasting spirit; I could mix some with coke or cranberry juice and it would taste more of the mixer than it would of the spirit. This leads me to ask the question, why bother spending lots of time and money choosing a bottle of vodka if you can hardly taste the difference between it and its rivals? As I mentioned before, this theory doesn’t work for the extremely cheap brands, like Glen’s, which tend to taste like battery acid however it is drunk.
Dalmore 15 hovers around the mid-range of the highland producer’s collection and is great whisky to choose for someone who perhaps enjoyed an entry level highland malt, such as a Glemorangie 10, and is now looking for the next level up. Like the majority of highland malts, Dalmore 15 is an oily and predominantly sweet whisky which is very drinkable. The deep Christmassy notes of; dried fruits, dark chocolate, citrus etc, which run through the nose, palate and finish, make Dalmore 15 a great whisky to buy as we enter what is inevitably going to be a cold winter. It is also impossible to not admire the way in which the 15 year expression is presented; the silver stag which adorns the front of the strange bottle shape gleams when caught in the light and offers a welcome change from the standard whisky bottle shape to which we have all become accustomed.
Flavoured vodka has been a staple on the market, and drinks cabinet, for awhile now. The flavours are probably aimed at the younger drinker, who wants to escape the somewhat neutral or somewhat chemical waste taste of cheaper vodkas. The flavours range from the sublime to the ridiculous, is there a sugar laden fruit concoction that hasn't been pillaged yet ?
Don't get me wrong, I like a good flavoured vodka as much as the next bon vivant and I have indeed whittled away many an hour infusing my own concoctions, indeed you could argue the point that gin is in fact flavoured vodka. The keyword in that sentence is of course GOOD (and not bon vivant - how many of you are already typing that in google?) Every once in a while you get a vodka that stands out from the crowd, I like to label these as gourmet vodkas.
My reviews are always conducted with the upmost impartiality and therefore, before I can embark on this specific review, there is something I must get off my chest. I am a Cornish boy. Having spent most of my young life in the best county in the southwest of England, I have adopted, perhaps through osmosis after spending too much time in the sea, the Cornish way of vehemently defending anything from our sacred land. Pasties? Obviously Cornish, anyone who even suggests they might originally be from Devon and should be crimped on the top can, for want of a better term, “do one”. The whole point of the crimped side crust was so that miners could hold onto their lunch without getting the main body of their pasty covered in coal dust; the Devonshire top crimp makes absolutely no sense.