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Vermont Gold Vodka

Vermont Gold Vodka


By Robert Plotkin

What could be more uniquely American than distilling vodka from 100% Vermont maple sugar? Talk about an alluring terroir. The vodka couldn't possibly originate anywhere else here or abroad and still possess the same inherent qualities. Fact is, the craftsmen at Vermont Spirits are not only tremendously skilled at distillation, they're also one with their surroundings. That their flagship product—Vermont Gold Vodka—is as fresh, pure and exhilarating as the view from their front window is no surprise.

The Vermont Spirits distillery is located not far from the Canadian border in Quechee, Vermont. Intent on distilling artisanal spirits made exclusively from the abundant local resources, the founders began handcrafting vodka from the sap from nearby maple trees. To be more precise, they began distilling the complex sugars in the maple sap into world-class small batch vodka.

Harvesting maple sap is a laborious, time-intensive process that takes place over six weeks during early spring. A mature maple tree produces about 40 quarts of sap a year, which is how much is required to make one bottle of Vermont Gold.

The maple sap is later mixed with distilled spring water and allowed to slowly ferment under controlled heat. The resulting alcohol is then triple-distilled in a pot still and lightly filtered through charcoal before being bottled at 80 proof. The vodka contains no additives or preservatives and is gluten-free.

Vermont Gold Vodka is aromatic and palate pleasing, a bona fide treat from start to finish. It has ideal clarity, an oily medium-weight body and a semisweet nose of caramel and vanilla. The vodka quickly fills the mouth with warmth and confection-like flavors before tapering to a dry, crisp and surgically clean finish. Vermont Gold is a delectable, sophisticated spirit deserving of both its critical acclaim and widespread popularity.

Each spring in New England, the cold nights and warm sunny days prompt maple trees to rid themselves of the sugary sap they've stored during their winter dormancy. As the annual "sugaring" season begins, the first few flows of sap are referred to as the "early run." Prized for its light hue and delicate subtle flavor, early run sap makes the highest quality and most sought-after maple syrup.

Ultra-premium Vermont Limited Release Vodka is distilled in small batches entirely from early run maple sap. The Limited Release vodka is ethereal in character and lighter and drier than the Vermont Gold.

Having conquered one domain, the folks at Vermont Spirits turned their attention to distilling milk sugars, more commonly known as whey. Their efforts eventually culminated in Vermont White Vodka, a classy lactose-free spirit distilled from pure milk sugar and local spring water. Small batch distillation allows the master distiller exacting control over what portion of the run is used. As a result, Vermont White Vodka has an elegance rarely seen in light spirits.

Alone in the glass, the crystal clear spirit has an oily medium-weight body and the reluctant aroma of powdered sugar. Its initial approach is warm and flavorful, a creamy mix of vanilla and dark chocolate. Although drier than Vermont Gold, the vodka does have a delightful dose of sweetness on the finish.

The three expressions of Vermont vodka are loaded with appeal. They're sensational served slightly chilled or featured in a cocktail.

America, what a great country!