Wednesday 10 August 2011

Pash-ion for Vodka #7 - Absolut Watkins

I've always been intrigued by the various flavours available from Absolut and usually actively seek out a new flavour or variety. Originally the different tasting varieties were based on one flavour but over the last few years they have released a range of US City Inspired versions:

Absolut NEW ORLEANS (Mango and Black Pepper)
Absolut LOS ANGELES (Acai, Acerola, Pomegranate and Blueberry)
Absolut BOSTON (Black tea and Elderflower)
Absolut BROOKLYN (City limited edition; red apple and ginger)
Absolut SAN FRANCISCO (grape, dragon fruit, and papaya)

In a similar travel-related theme Absolut also recently released Absolut Watkins, a variety I have wanted to try for ages: I finally found a bottle yesterday.

Absolut Watkins was designed as treat for the weary traveller and as such is only available in the duty free market, described as a "traveller's exlcusive". This is a trick that is used by other types of spirit, most notably Scotch Whisky.

The bottle was designed by Swedish illustrator Liselotte Watkins* and is full of images of travel and transport. Bottled at 40% ABV, it is flavoured with spiced coffe, almond and a touch of chilli.

Nose: wheaty nose, a bit like sugar puffs, hints of coffee, vanilla and marzipan.
Taste: great mouthfeel, flavours of roasted coffe and french vanilla, reminscent of cappuccino. Hints of almond and marzipan and a little wamrth at the end. Medium finish and delicious.

A slight failure here as, even at 40% ABV, it froze. I had to wait a few minute for it to thaw. It wasn't really worth it, the vodka loses a lot of flavour and actually becomes a bit rough.

The herbal notes of the vermouth don't really go with the vanilla and the coffee. For me, it doesn't really work.

Vodka Tonic:
Chocolate and coffee on the nose. A dry biscuity coffee element is brought out by the tonic water. It's quite pleasant but I like my tonics to be crisp and so a dash of citrus may improves things.

Absolut Watkins and Coke:
Very good, the coffee/vanilla/coke combination reminds me of Kahlua and Cola or my favourite Pepsi variant Pepsiccino (Cappuccino Flavoured Pepsi). When I used Pepsi Max the similarity was even more apparent. It's easy to see why this is the recommendation on the bottle and it's the best drink I've tried with the vodka.

Absolut Watkins & Milk:
Inspired by the White Russian but as the vodka is coffee flavoured I didn't add any Kahlua or similar liqueuer.
Rather thin and very bland. I think it would be much better with cream a perhaps a touch of crème de cacao.

* This makes me think that I'd quite like to see a Quentin Blake Gin.


  1. Have you tried Absolut Raspberri? Astonishingly synthetic-tasting and absolutely ("Absolutly"?) revolting.

  2. Brian T Richards3 March 2012 at 01:42

    I have to say that I disliked Absolut Watkins - I'm a great coffee drinker but this is a step too far for me.

  3. Been using the bottled Starbucks frap blends or when I need a real pick me up the double espressos --- very nice smooth and creamer then say a White Russian version you described. And with the Vanilla Frap is blends beautifully flavor wise


  5. they're Just giving 1 litre bottles out At duty free as gift with purchase

  6. I have a full, sealed bottle of Absolute Watkins, given as a gift years past. Artwork on the bottle deep and perfect, no fading. Can anyone suggest a venue to sell it? eBay says no alcohol allowed. Thanks!

  7. Not sure if Gumtree will let you sell booze? Not sure what the market is, but I see one did sell at auction for £30: