Karlsson's Gold Vodka (750ml)
*Top 50 Spirits 2013* This is a vodka with character. A distinct counterpoint to ultradistilled vodkas, this potato vodka is distilled only once and left unfiltered, which accounts for its unique earthiness. Initial notes have a funkiness reminiscent of truffles. It finishes with black pepper and ginger, and a buttery mouthfeel. A standout for a bloody mary, dirty martini or any other savory cocktail.
This Swedish vodka is made from seven kinds of "virgin" potatoes--potatoes that haven't yet developed their skin--grown on Cape Bjäre in southern Sweden. Distilled just once to preserve the character of the different potato varieties, making it quite distinctive from other vodkas on the market. Naming it one of the Best Spirits of 2008 in Wine & Spirits Magazine (Winter 2008), David Wondrich said of it: "And yet what else does one call a pot-stilled potato vodka that isn't filtered to nothingness; one in which you can actually taste the potatoes without taste-bud gymnastics? Karlsson's is sweet and buttery, silky and thick, and utterly winning." Try it in a martini or, as suggested by the distiller, with a couple of cranks of fresh cracked black pepper. And while there's plenty of substance to enjoy this on its own, its slightly vegetal, savory character would make for an epic Bloody Mary.