The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2012

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Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka / Van Gogh Cool Peach Vodka Don���t let their simplicity fool you. Creating a genuinely remarkable lavored vodka is challenging and requires striking a delicate balance between man���meaning technique, science and passion���and nature���water, grain and lavor. It���s far from a straightforward proposition. An artisanal lavored vodka is especially unforgiving. Any laws or missteps are immediately apparent in the glass. Yet when done well, lavored vodkas are sublime treats for the senses. While increasingly more brands of lavored vodkas continue to line retailer���s shelves and dominate backbars, is there a point where the category will become saturated and overwhelm operators and consumers with choices? Veteran operator Mac Gregory, Director of Food and Beverage for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, doesn���t think so. ���Vodka is the deinitive distillate to infuse with lavors, in essence creating a bigger, better and different liquor than the base product itself,��� Gregory says. ���Neutral vodkas are the backbone of any bar, and because of its ability to take on new lavors, vodka works in harmony with a wide range other liquors, liqueurs and eaux-de-vie. I believe there is plenty of room to grow, so by no means is the category over-saturated.��� Flavored vodkas are not without their detractors, who contend suppliers are illing the marketplace with youthoriented lavors that lack pedigree and sophistication. Have vodka producers gone too far by introducing confectionary lavors? Do these vodkas go contrary It seems inevitable that two of America���s best-loved beverages���coffee and vodka���would one day wind up together in a new ultra-premium treat: Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka. Handcrafted at the Royal Dirkzwager Distillery in Holland, the vodka is twice infused with Colombian coffee beans for a minimum of eight weeks and enriched with more caffeine before being bottled at 70 proof. Van Gogh Double Espresso offers an exhilarating, espresso-laced experience: intriguing burnished, coppery brown appearance, a medium-weight, oily textured body and an enticing, roasted coffee aroma. Baristas are going to love it. ���Van Gogh was the irst to introduce coffee-lavored vodka to the market back in 2005 and our Double Espresso quickly became our signature lavor, states Van Gogh ��� Imports Chairman and CEO Norman Bonchick. ���Coffee is the second-most consumed beverage in the world; only water is more popular. The genius of Van Gogh Double Espresso vodka is that it���s brilliant by itself���simply chilled and served up as a Martini��� nothing could be easier. It is also very popular mixed with Irish cream. ��� Recently released Van Gogh Cool Peach Vodka is a clear, medium-weight gem generously imbued with the delightful aroma of orchardfresh peaches. The warm entry quickly bathes the palate with the luscious lavor of peaches and subtle vanilla and loral notes. Its extended inish is cool and semisweet. It���s hard to imagine two imported vodkas more perfectly in-step with contemporary American mixology. They���re versatile lavors that have been ield-tested and proven irresistible. Van Gogh Imports december 2012 / the tasting panel / 123

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