By The Gentleman
The Lady and I are very excited to return with another week long engagement with a local Australian craft distiller. This time we are getting to know Sydney based vodka maker Alaskan Rock Vodka. Today we’re going to tell you a little more about Alaskan Rock before shaking up a few cocktails later in the week. We have to admit, we are starting to like this whole blogger thing right about now.
Alaskan Rock Vodka is made with the help of another local distiller, the award winning Lark Distillery from Tasmania. The vodka is made with malted barley and is distilled twice in copper pot stills. I can’t say I’d ever had vodka made with malted barley before so this alone was reason enough to want to give what Alaskan Rock are making a try. They believe that using malted barley gives their vodka the expected crisp neutral spirit flavour while also imparting a hint of malt to the flavour. The double distillation process is utilised to ensure the purest, cleanest flavour possible which is definitely what you want in a good quality vodka.
Alaskan Rock’s vodka comes in a super stylish package. The liquor comes packaged in a box which they like to call “the Ned Kelly” due to the slot revealing the bottle’s raised lettering. I love the way the slot reveals the name of the vodka and just teases what is inside. More spirits need embrace the box as it can be a really useful extension of their branding, like Alaskan Rock have done here. The bottle itself is rather stunning. It was designed by industrial design team Vert and the bottles are made by glass-makers in Mexico. At first you notice the deep black of the bottle. I like the fact that you can’t see the vodka and instead the whole bottle is this black glass. It again adds to this image of Alaskan Rock as being something different and a little bit mysterious. Obviously, the use of white lettering is just classic, it really pops on the black. Having the lettering wrap around the bottle is an interesting touch. It makes you want to have the bottle constantly on an angle so you can see all the lettering at once. The second thing you notice is the weight of the bottle. Good god it’s heavy. If someone ever breaks into Cocktail Challenge HQ I know what I’m reaching for! Alternatively, you could get two bottles and you could do weights! Picking the bottle up was also the first time I noticed the extra detail on the bottle, what Alaskan Rock call the pronounced punt, where the bottom of the bottle has a mountain range cut into it. A mountain range cut into it. Wow. Touches like this are just so cool and show Alaskan Rock Vodka’s attention to detail and design. It is certainly a package that stands out from the crowd and makes sure Alaskan Rock can’t be described as just another vodka.
To sample the Alaskan Rock Vodka I took a few sips on its own (still developing the hang of sipping vodka neat but I’ll get there) and then mixed up a Vodka Tonic with some Fentiman’s Tonic Water and a wedge of lemon. Yes it’s supposed to be a lime but hey, rules were made to be broken. On its own there was definitely something different about the flavour. You can pick up a slight caramel flavour mingling with the expected vodka taste. You can also pick it up on the nose as well, which is relatively clean without the overly pungent smell of alcohol that would normally put you off sipping some vodka. It gives Alaskan Rock something extra. The Vodka Tonic was very refreshing. I’m really starting to enjoy Fentiman’s Tonic Water as a mixer and combined with the Alaskan Rock it was a very flavourful drink. The Alaskan Rock becomes the base to elevate all the potent herbal elements of the Fentimans Tonic yet the alcohol and the malt of the vodka cut through that bitterness of the tonic. It doesn’t make it sweet, oh no, but it just makes it even more drinkable.
Alaskan Rock is a stylish entry to the growing range of locally made vodkas. How can it not be with that super impressive bottle? But the bottle isn’t everything and luckily the contents provide that smooth, crisp, pure flavour that a high quality vodka should have. We’re really looking forward to seeing how we can use this premium vodka to elevate some cocktails throughout the week. So sit back, relax and welcome to Alaskan Rock Vodka Week.
Disclaimer: The Cocktail Challenge was provided a free sample bottle of Alaskan Rock Vodka for this article. Although this post is sponsored all opinions are our own.