Infused Vodka - Other

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Absolut Amber Oak Aged Vodka

From: Sweden Liquor Review Category: Other Infused Vodka

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San Francisco World Spirits Competition

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Beverage Testing Institute

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Proof66 Notes

In another edition of interesting expressions, they launched Absolut Amber vodka in 2013, which is a vodka literally aged in European oak. The vodka is aged for a mere six months--the same as "resting" or "reposado" tequilas--and it gives the normally clear spirit a light cast and flavor (hence, "amber"). In January 2016, Pernod-Ricard announced it was discontinuing this particular expression.

As with other examples, this is a difficult vodka to classify--it's not flavored or infused with anything but it's not exactly neutral vodka either since the aging gives it a light color and flavor. Under the theory that flavoring vodka with wood is really no different than flavoring it with lemon zest or any other infusing agent, we've opted to list this as a flavored vodka under a catch-all "other" category that we use for unclassifiable flavors. We suppose this could be considered "wood-flavored vodka."

In an interesting and informative review from Drink Spirits, they mention that "Absolut Amber suffers from many of the same issues that we’ve seen with small craft spirits that are pushed to age too quickly. There simply is no replacement for time, and Absolut Amber’s time with oak is too short and too strong to develop the complexity of flavors and flavor integration that is clearly possible here." While we didn't see it in the press release, their review also notes a wide variety of wood and even wood chips used in the aging process.

Absolut claims "all natural ingredients" with "no added sugar." It officially began production in 1979 and, to this day, they take great pride in their production facilities in Ahus, Sweden where "every drop of water" comes from a single "deep well." The vodka uses a soft winter wheat for its base.The brand is owned by French-based Pernod-Ricard.

Absolut vodka is one of the top-selling brands of vodka in the world and is one of the great visionaries in the marketing of vodka. Their aggressive and occasionally scandalous ads in the nineties helped launch the cocktail culture.

Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 1 rating and 1 review.
Allan Allan (160) (2014-11-29)
??????? What????? Uhhuuummmm ? Doesn't this mean it's just a very young whiskey of some sort? Haven't been able to find it to try, but couldn't help asking a question.( Thanks for the correction guys)
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Review Comments
Proof66 Staff (2014-11-28):
This is similar in concept to aged gin, "spirit whiskey" (which is a blend of aged whiskey and vodka), and one could argue even aged rum. The problem is that all of those spirits have a base ingredient that adds flavor. For whiskey it's grain, for rum it's sugar cane or molasses, with tequila it's the floral essence of agave, and with gin it's the heavy botanicals spearheaded by juniper. Vodka is nothing: by definition, it's distilled so high (at least 190 proof) that all of those flavors are stripped out. So aging it gives you nothing but wood. We haven't tried it either but we wouldn't classify it as a whiskey... we've got it down as a kind of "flavored vodka" where the wood is the flavoring agent.

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