When I first went to the Sipsmith Distillery (October 2010), they had released two products: a gin and a vodka. Their gin has gone from strength-to-strength and is now available in the USA. Back then, the vodka was barley-based, like their gin, and had an indulgent flavour of cream and vanilla.
Fast forward to 2014, and Sipsmith have just released a wheat-based “Sipping Vodka”. This comes at a time when more spirits are being marketed, at least in part, as being just as tasty on their own as when mixed.
As such, I tried the vodka neat at a variety of temperatures.
On its own
At room temperature
Nose: Light and clean, with some light spice and a hint of vanilla, as well as toasted cereal.
Taste: A rich and viscous texture, this is a clean spirit with notable character from the base. There are also notes of spice, including anise and fennel, before a little warmth on the finish.
From the fridge
At a lower temperature, the spirit changes flavour with richer, slightly jammy, fruity notes, as well as an increase in warmth and spice, too.
From the freezer
Drinking straight from the freezer produces a very pure and clean flavour, as if it were from a crystal-clear shard of ice. This is a pleasant way to enjoy the spirit, with a great texture and a light character.
Thick in texture and pure in taste, although, as a result, some of the flavour is slightly curbed, replated with a little more creaminess comes through. Very, very clean – almost water-like.
Superb – truly textbook: clean, crisp, and smooth with residual character. This is equally good with a lemon twist or an olive, although my preference would be for the former.
Vodka & Tonic
This is a great drink with a lovely crispness and power from the alcohol, whilst still being easy to sip for simple refreshment.
Whilst, as I mentioned I was a fan of old Sipsmith’s Barley Vodka, I think the Sipping Vodka is a great addition to the range and it more complex and sippable (funny that) than many other vodkas. Sipsmith Sipping Vodka reaches the pleasant balance between smoothness and drinkability and character. I liked it chilled and neat but was also very impressed with the vodka tonic.
Sipsmith Sipping Vodka (40.0%ABV) is available for around £29 for 70cl from The Whisky Exchange.