This post is a review of a unsolicited product provided by Quantum Spirits Australia.
If you read my recent review of the Kangaroo Island Spirits Vodka you will know I come to vodka a little reluctantly.
Not because I’m a Gin snob, but its just that I’ve rarely had a vodka that has the finesse and complexity I look for in a spirit.
So I was curious to experience this new premium product that has only just been released in Australia to compare.
Before I delve into the spirit itself, a few remarks about the way Gin and Vodka is marketed. It seems to be that they take different approaches.
Generalising a lot, the gin marketing story is about the spirit of the source, craft, place, history, cultural references, and of course the botanicals and resulting complexity.
The modern Vodka marketing narrative seems to be a lot about purity, rare sourced waters, the packaging and the promise of sophistication with a contemporary edge.
I also wonder if Gin makers are aiming for a distinct individuality and complexity in their spirit, whilst Vodka makers are striving for a Zen-like purity of expression.
It’s named to honour the WWII Norwegian resistance heroes who sabotaged the Nazi efforts to make the atomic bomb, made famous in the 1965 move featuring Kirk Douglas, “The Heroes of Telemark”.
The bottle has been crafted in France by Saver, one of the finest glassmakers, and it feels solid (designed by Swedish artist Christian Beijer ) and you’ll notice its hi-tech rod is created of high-tech composites in Italy.
Water from Sweden, conceived in Norway, so all very European.
The Rod is a singular point of difference.
To quote the website:
“Heavy Water is the only vodka – only beverage, in fact – that benefits from this built-in aeration rod which infuses oxygen into every pour, achieving the same result as decanting and swirling a fine wine in a glass. Aerated aromatics and flavours make Heavy Water vodka smell and taste better than any other vodka produced.”
Well, we’ll see about that in a minute.
It is made with Scandinavian winter wheat – which is wheat, harvested 6 months later than regular wheat, thus contains a higher level of starch, which in turn produces a higher level and quality vodka.
Wheat vodkas generally create a spirit with a slightly sweeter taste, sometimes containing hints of fennel, liquorice and powdered sugar notes on the nose and palate.
Apparently this produces a much lighter and smoother style than vodkas produced from potatoes and rye – which traditionally contains more vegetal and peppery characters.
The water is sourced from an underground lake in Sweden which undergoes an advanced mechanical osmosis process that forces the water through micro-fibers, filtering out 60% of the original water.
This impure 60%, called “dross”, is discarded. The remaining 40% is the rarest, purest part of the purest glacier water available.
The spirit used to produce the vodka is distilled more than 5 times.
OK, so much for the background. The vodka was tasted chilled neat after a day in the freezer and also as a dry Martini.
- On pouring I noted a super fine bead for a moment (the Rod Effect?) but the spirit wasn’t spritzer-like in anyway.
- Nose: Really clean and neutral, a deep inhale will reveal the classic Vodka smell, but its a clean as well, the air on a Nordic vale.
- Taste: I found it quite peppery in a pleasant way and forward on the palette with a super clean finish. The alcohol flavour was there but really toned down, and it offered a fairly delicate, for Vodka, drinking experience.
- The mix was a 1:7 Noilly Prat Vermouth to Vodka ratio, over an olive. Stirred.
- Nose: Subtle with a floral note, no alcohol scent.
- Taste: Very pleasant, again mild spice, light on the palate and forward with a very dry finish. As it warmed up the classic Vodka flavours came through but not in a bad way. This was a civilised Martini. I think would be better with a lemon twist, so that was my bad.
- Random Observation: I gave my beloved a sip (who never drinks these things, and she went, ‘yum!’ Not scientific, but there you are.
- I could well be persuaded. This is an excellently produced spirit, with a super clean taste, nice finish and the feeling of quality though out. I was expecting the packaging to be the best thing about the spirit, but in this instance it lived up to the marketing package.
- I think this spirit is best used in a mix that isn’t dominated by something else. On ice, with a good tonic water its a quality drink, as a Martini- if vodka is your style its an excellent spirit to enjoy.
- Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
- Website: www.quantumspirits.com.au
- Twitter: @HeavyWaterOz
- Facebook: Quantum Spirits
- Alcohol by volume: 40%
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