At the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition, judges are asked to assess multiple flights of neutral vodkas at the beginning of each day's proceedings in order to best assure our palates are fresh and not fatigued. It's the lucky judge indeed who gets to taste test the impeccable purity and character of the likes of Humboldt Vodka.
Founded in 2012, Humboldt Distillery is the first legal micro-distillery on the North Coast of California since the dark days of Prohibition. The limited release vodka is made in small batches from USDA certified organic sugar cane. It contains no glycerin, artificial flavors or additives, and is gluten free. The vodka undergoes four passes through the distillery's pot still prior to being lightly filtered and bottled at 40% alcohol (80 proof).
Humboldt Vodka is absolutely flawless and has double gold medal written all over it. The vodka has pristine clarity, a silky textured, lightweight body and a clean, subtle set of aromas. On the palate, it has a dry, crisp palate and a medium length finish. It possesses everything one would want from an artisanal vodka, including a reasonable SRP.
In addition to making a damn fine Martini. Humboldt Vodka serves as the foundation for Humboldt's Finest, a thoroughly enticing, 80-proof, flavored vodka that's infused with locally sourced hemp seeds (Cannabis Sativa). The hemp used was grown legally by a company in Oregon. Naturally the psychoactive substance in the pot—THC—is removed beforehand.
Regardless of whether or not you inhaled in college, you're going to be seriously impressed with this vodka. For one thing its color is perfect. The greenish hue is spot-on and it appears exactly how a cannabis infusion should look. The seamless, medium-weight body has a velvety texture and a wafting aromatic signature not dissimilar to Dry Gin. Its bouquet is brimming with fresh herbs and light floral scents. The palate is a delectable blend of black pepper, thyme, citrus and conifer notes. The finish is thankfully long and flavorful.
Equally impressive is the Humboldt Distillery Spiced Rum, the foundation of which is the same organic, domestically grown sugar cane used to make these other spirits. The distillery crushes the cane and ferments the extracted juice. After the fermented wash is distilled, certified organic spices are added. It, too, is gluten-free and contains no artificial flavors or colors.
Many spiced rums like to overstate their case and overwhelm the palate with spice. Humboldt prefers to use a more balanced approach. While the recipe remains a proprietary secret, the vanilla, fruit, and cinnamon spice are evident.
The creative genius behind the distillery's sensational spirits' portfolio is Abe Stevens. All of our futures should be so bright.