See Also: State of the legal definition of vodka
Fast forward to the craft spirit movement, and you have a whole other beast. These spirits are somehow imagined to be different. They have complex aromas, which make them characteristically more like a gin. Yet that unmistakable vodka taste is still there - another clue that perhaps vodka does have taste, and odour. Several craft microdistilleries have also emulated the flavoured vodkas of the big brands, but producing more obscure flavours such as salmon. Predictably, long established brands even deep in the vodka belt, such as Chopin, have also drawn inspiration from the craft movement. They've produced a broad line of different vodkas using methods such as less distillations and filtering steps. The products they've created are supposed to have a wide range of flavour outcomes. Even products from the same initial distillation batches can be grossly different depending on something as simple as how many times its been filtered.
|(The Liberty Distillery on Granville Island, Vancouver, produces |
Truth vodka with flavour qualities reminiscent of gin.)
In the midst of all this, there is somewhat of a differentiation between the craft and big brands here in North America. Yet, when I look at the wider scope of things, its much different in my mind than what the craft world has done with bourbon. While I myself am not a fan of the 'added flavour' vodkas of the big brands, I can't say that what they're doing is much different than the microdistilleries. On the same token, I find that the craft vodkas are more approachable, creative and classy. My perspective of large brand flavourings is that they're somewhere in the same boat with flavoured jelly beans. They're just supposed to be plain old fun.
That is, they don't seem to be about what the spirit is, but more about the candy coating.