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White Tiger Vodka

White Tiger Vodka


By Robert Plotkin

If you're looking for a new vodka experience, an engaging spirit handcrafted in a far off land, well my friend, your search is over. White Tiger Vodka from Siberia is just the ticket. Talk about a spirit having an impressive terroir. A vodka would have to be produced on top of the Himalayas to possess a more dramatic "sense of place." Fortunately for us, White Tiger Vodka is every bit as great as its advance billing.

The brand is made at JSC Ussuriyskiy Balsam, which at more than a century old ranks it among the oldest distilleries in the Russian Far East. The distillery is located in the Amur River basin by the Sikhote-Alin Mountain range, one of the most ecologically pristine areas in the world, this according to the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is an ideal place to produce world-class vodka.

White Tiger Vodka is made from premium rye and winter wheat. The grain is milled, mixed with water and allowed to slowly ferment. Afterwards, the fermented mash is twice distilled, a technique that best ensures the natural flavor of the rye and wheat remain intact. The vodka is then rigorously filtered to essential purity using quartz sand and 40 feet of Birchwood charcoal. Pure spring water from the nearby Sikhote-Alin Mountains is used to render the vodka to 40% alcohol (80 proof).

The result is an exquisite vodka brimming with charm and nuance. White Tiger has crystalline clarity, a medium-weight, satiny smooth body and a remarkably clean nose imbued with subtle grain, cacao and anise aromas. It has a gentle entry that quickly expands filling the mouth with the flavors of chocolate, licorice, citrus zest, espresso coffee and dash of pepper. The finish—the all-important finish—is crisp, dry and spicy warm.

While White Tiger is an inspired choice to feature in craft cocktails, do yourself a favor and take a moment to taste the vodka neat or with a slight chill. You'll be amazed at the absence of alcohol vapors or burn on the palate, both testaments to skillful craftsmanship.

There's something quite romantic about sipping a vodka made in Siberia. The fact that it's an unqualified masterpiece makes the experience all the more memorable.