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I am not a big Vodka fan but this online feature about blind tasting Vodka made from different "materials" might be of interest to someone.
This article is a riot.
<We secretly replaced Mr. Kemppinen's tasteless distilate of wheat with a cheaper tasteless distilate of sugar beet. Let's see if he notices....>
My next suggestion for these folks is to take some cheap wood pulp paper and some nice cotton stationery, wad it up, and see if they can taste the difference.
To each his own... I liked the story in the article about the Russian novel mentioning making vodka from a wooden stool.
Interesting article. I thought Cracovia was rye-based but I must be wrong.
Some of what was said struck me as a bit odd though, e.g., how could a distillation process, which simply strips or not elements of a ferment, result in a taste different from flavors in the ferment? Maybe what was meant was the part of distillation which has to do with filtering (although even then...).
It makes sense more of the tasters got the Ciroc vodka because it does have a very light grapey taste. Some of that is probably from congener because grapes, and potatos, produce higher levels of some congeners than grain-based distillates. This is stated in the vodka chapter of the book Alcohol I mentioned on the board recently. Grape ferments would produce their own characteristics which may in a word be fruity or grapey.
But again it is not a surprise so many could not identify the base materials. The purpose of vodka production is precisely to erase them as much as possible, so it is in fact difficult to tell what a product is made from.
Sounds like a fun thing to do though, soon some of us will do it with bourbon and here the products do show their components more clearly than vodka so we should be doing (we'll see!) a lot better in our test.
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