A good friend of mine, Mr. Pasha, comes from Moscow and on his periodic trips to the UK he usually brings me a bottle of something he has picked up in the Motherland. In fact when Mrs. B and I got married our wedding present consisted of several bottle of vodka and some caviar (much better than a toaster, I'm sure you'd agree!).
That said the first of these articles will actually focus on a British Vodka that I've been meaning to write about for a long time. But rest assured there will be more Russian Vodka to come.
Chase English Oak Smoked Vodka
The run of Smoked Vodka was very limited and although it is currently discontinued there are still bottles about. Mine was about £30 for 70cl.
On its own
Nose: neutral grain and a little smoke
Taste: Wow! There is the smokiness, moving from Bavarian smoked cheese to smoked fish to a great smoked meat. To my mind this beats any peated whisky. Despite the smokiness it is still remarkably smooth with a pleasant sweet pick-up on the finish.
Moscow Mule using Chase Smoked, quite a pleasant way to enjoy the vodka; Chase holds its own in this drink and the fieriness of the ginger beer is followed by the smoke of the vodka. (No pyro-puns intended)
Martini (5:1) - SHAKEN
Strong flavours of smoked cheese and Palma Ham, the vermouth (Dolin) added a little green herb element, not unlike olives. These flavours combine to create a sort of antipasto misto in a glass. Cool, crisp and delightful. I've never had anything like this.
An easy one to make this, it's just smoked vodka straight from the freezer. A very strong smokey flavour, unusual as freezing usually curbs the flavour of the vodka. The vodka is delightfully smokey and almost textureless. it is as if cold smoke vapour is passing down my throat after leaving a warm tingle on my tongue.
Chase Smoked is the best smoked spirit I've ever had and with its flavour of smoked cheese and meats we at the Institute think that this is what a good bacon vodka should taste like. With that thought comes a plethora of cocktail ideas…
Sadly this has currently been discontinued by Chase but I, along with the dozen people who have sampled some of my bottle sincerely hope that it is brought back.
*Maybe it's just because I move and shake in the gin-set