Review: Leaf Rocky Mountain Water Organic Vodka/Happy National Vodka Day!
Hold everything. Today is National Vodka Day. And while normally I don’t gather much enthusiasm for these manufactured holidays (Did you hear a peep from me about Bourbon Heritage month? You did not. Every month is Bourbon Heritage Month to me.), this one gives me an excuse to talk quickly about a particular vodka that’s […]
Hold everything. Today is National Vodka Day. And while normally I don't gather much enthusiasm for these manufactured holidays (Did you hear a peep from me about Bourbon Heritage month? You did not. Every month is Bourbon Heritage Month to me.), this one gives me an excuse to talk quickly about a particular vodka that's really impressed me: Leaf Organic Vodka made from Rocky Mountain Mineral Water.
There are, as you probably know, a zillion vodkas. It's the most popular spirit category in the US, although a majority of the drinkers, I would hazard, have only paid attention to 2-4 brands ever. That's a shame because, while several of the leading brands are popular with good reason, there are also many interesting craft brands that have an impossible time getting shelf space in spite of their quality. Tony Abou-Ganim made a great argument for this in his recent book Vodka Distilled, but the knowledge doesn't seem to have trickled down into mixology world as quickly as it should.
Most vodka drinkers either enjoy it in mixed drinks or chilled shots, but Tony makes the compelling case that very good vodkas reveal characteristics that can be enjoyed by sipping, as is done in Russia and Eastern Europe.
Leaf Vodka--specifically the expression make from Rocky Mountain Spring Water (there is another that uses Alaskan Glacial Water), is definitely sippable, even at ambient temperature. Made by Temperance Distilling in Michigan from organic wheat, Leaf Rocky Mountain (80 proof) is a great expression of everything a vodka can be, in its pure state. While the nose is of pine, esthers, peppercorn, the mouth is impressively round, with notes of vanillin, sweetness and very soft white pepper/licorice on the finish. This is a vodka that can easily play savory or sweet in cocktails, and does both over ice.
The fact that its suggested retail price is well below $20 makes it a remarkable value.
It's won over 20 awards in the last two years, so my praise means little by comparison--but if you haven't yet heard about or tried it, you should. Even the bottle design is surprisingly ergonomic for bartenders, the flat front slightly concave to make a comfortable grip.
I've sampled dozens of vodkas in my time, and this is one of my favorites, hands down. I wish I could find something to critique about it but honestly... I can't. Try it.