American Liquor Co. Vodka, $23.99
The back story
Most of us are familiar with blended Scotch — that is, whiskey made by blending a few different whiskeys together with the goal of producing a balanced, tasty mix.
But are you ready for blended vodka?
That’s the idea behind American Liquor Co. Vodka, a brand created last year by entrepreneurs William Brumder and Michael Slapp in collaboration with veteran sprits professional Chris Montana, who serves as the master blender. Part of the idea was to make a vodka that stood out in a saturated category. (Been to your local liquor store lately? There are about a gazillion vodkas on the shelf.)
But another part was to create a spirit that reflected America — or, more specifically, the American Midwest. This new vodka is a blend of distinctly different vodkas from several Midwest distillers: wheat-based vodkas from Middle West Spirits in Ohio and Stumpy Spirits in Illinois; rye-based vodkas from Grand Traverse Distillery and Valentine Distilling in Michigan; corn-based vodka from Yahara Bay Distillery in Wisconsin; and potato-based vodka from Proof Artisan Distillers in North Dakota.
In other words, there’s a whole lot of blending going on.
What we think about it
American Liquor Co. Vodka wins points for the cleverness of its concept, but it’s also an affordable vodka that delivers on the taste front. (And please, don’t say vodka is flavorless — rather, we prefer saying its flavors are more subtle.) It’s got hints of buttery creaminess and sweetness (that could be the corn talking), but it also has just enough of a peppery bite (perhaps from the rye) to give it a fuller profile. In all, a vodka worth trying.
How to enjoy it
This one is perfect on its own, served slightly chilled. But it will work well in vodka-based cocktails. The American Liquor Co. team says their go-to sip is a vodka martini.