Cain and Ansley Coale seem to never rest, as they
have created and continue to create an ever widening range
of distilled spirits up in Mendocino County in Northern California.
These guys have been at this now since 1982 and have actually
gotten pretty good at it since they first started. Now, on
top of brandy, gin and whiskey, they are bottling straight
and flavored vodkas. Of course, with their track record, this
vodka won't be your normal run of the mill vodka.
The name DSP CA 162 comes from the registration
number of the original federal license obtained by Germain-Robin
for its first distillery just west of Ukiah, California. At
this point, you would expect the unexpected from these guys
and they don't disappoint. This vodka is made from a combination
of wheat and aromatic wines: riesling, muscat and viognier.
It is initially distilled in the Germain-Robin cognac still
and then brought to high proof in a Holstein potstill. I'm
willing to bet you that this vodka won't live up to the standard
definition of vodka, which is a pure, odorless, tasteless
spirit; let's find out.
DSP CA 162 Straight Vodka comes in a plain
and simple transparent bottle and even the label is straightforward
with some colored lettering but otherwise no designs, fancy
logos nor artwork. The nose is sweet with traces of wheat
and grapes and a citrusy orange like background yet with virtually
no ethanol vapors. On the palate, the grapes come forward
followed by citrus and a slight hint of pepper with an undercurrent
of vanilla. The finish is smooth, yet offers a touch of spiciness,
and again features the grapes up front, followed by a sugary
orange peel feel and that vanilla. The finish is long and
tasty, leaving a delightful mouth feel that is soft and dry.
This is a very nice vodka to drink straight up or over just
a few rocks; however at $38.00 per bottle I don't believe
I would be using this for mixed drinks. At $38.00 per bottle,
this is a very nice super-premium vodka that doesn't disappoint
and brings a good deal of pleasant yet subtle flavors to the
The DSP CA 162 Citrus Hystrix flavored Vodka
comes in exactly the same unadorned bottle as the straight
vodka. The color of this vodka is a slightly off transparent,
slightly greenish color that signals there's something afoot
here. The DSP CA 162 Citrus Hystrix is infused
with Malaysian limau purut (limes and their leaves) grown
in Central California. The nose starts with a burst of lime
that smells very natural and earthy and features the distinct
aromas of the lime's flesh, rind and peel, followed by orange
and vanilla notes. On the palate, those complex lime flavors
shine on and are followed by a sweet orange like candy taste
and then a tart lime pie taste with just barely a hint of
the alcohol. The finish is sweet and smooth with a slight
edge provided by a peppery spiciness giving way to lime and
citrus notes. The finish is medium in length and overall has
a key lime pie kind of sweetness along with a fruity tartness.
a stickler when it comes to flavored spirits, and so far my
favorite flavored vodka has been buffalo grass flavored vodka,
but this 162 citrus vodka just might come in a very close
second to that one if not tie it for 1st place. It is a delight
to drink straight up or on a few rocks but again I wouldn't
go mixing it up with anything since it too comes in at $38.00
per bottle. If it were $10.00, cheaper I just might throw
it into most of my favorite vodka mixed drinks, but if it
were $10.00 cheaper it might not be as good, so I wouldn't
go messing with a formula that works quite nicely.
the straight DSP CA 162 and the Citrus
Hystrix sell for around $38.00 per 750 ML bottle
and both weigh in at 40% ABV. They are both highly recommended
and definitely worth trying.
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