Sunday, 9 February 2014

A bit o' blue fo' t'dads: Stolichnaya 100 Proof

Exciting times: I finally got around to ordering that extra strong Stolichnaya vodka that I had been coveting for some time, like God’s neighbour’s very fine arse – 50% ABV, it is. It was delivered quickly… but sadly to a neighbour’s house. I read the card as no 3, and went there twice (thankfully no one was in) before realising the card said no 13. I didn’t even know there were 13 houses on our road. There are, and it’s the one occupied by the Australian guy who, when we met him, told us he was about to play cricket for the first time ever. That’s like meeting an adult Indian who’s never had a curry. What next; a Manc who doesn’t think he’s funny?

He’s been doing the house up for however many months it’s been since he and his partner moved in there, and that’s what he was doing the three times I went and knocked on – receiving no answer. As I found out the next day when I returned from an incredibly early round of golf to find the bottle had been delivered to Mrs Cake in my absence, he had been working in the loft and unable to get to the door in time. No matter, the prize was now in my possession, and ready to begin its obligatory anticipation-building period, or ABP* as I’m calling it until I can think of something better.

It isn’t absolutely necessary, but it is a universal truth that it is best to open a new bottle when you have company – not too much company, mind. You want to make sure there’s plenty left for you to enjoy on your own afterwards.
And so it was that I decided the 100 Proof Stoli was ripe for opening one Friday evening when my friend Phil came round. It had been a while, and there was booze to be shown off so out came the blue.

A-a-a-a-a-nd… it’s fricking delicious – way better than I ever even imagined it could be. I thought the Stoli red was good (it is), but this is just another level of greatness. The increased strength adds layer upon layer to that flavour – which still tastes like Stoli red but… more. It’s full bodied, oily, mouth coating… all those good things, and it just got better and better with every sip. This was at room temperature too – no need to freeze.

This is quite simply the best vodka I’ve ever known, and at around £25 a bottle, well worth it. No, don’t waste your time if you want to mix it with something but, if mixing is all you use vodka for, this could expand your consciousness and give you something you didn’t think was possible: vodka you want to drink straight (if Stoli red hadn’t already done that).

Phil agreed that it was tasty, and I was enjoying it so much that my next thought was, Paul needs to try this. I made sure to pour some in a sample jar and take it out to the next day’s pub crawl.
“You know what I think of vodka, don’t you?” Paul said as I handed it over.

He took a sip, and even he was impressed. I told him to keep the sample, and keep dipping into it.

In conclusion then, I have a new favourite vodka. It’s the same as the old favourite, but stronger and better. I’ve been pretty much tearing this bottle up on Friday nights before settling in with the mellower stuff.

I doubt I’m ever going to improve on it but… I have learned there is also a Stolichnaya Gold vodka at around the same price, that no doubt will be on my shopping list now – despite being only 40% ABV. After that I suppose I’ll have to try some different brands. I better find some good ones quick though, or I’m just going to order the 100 proof Stoli in bulk and let everyone else take care of the others.

*the practice of leaving a new bottle unopened for an unspecified period to further build the anticipation/excitement, making the actual opening (or, moment of fulfilment) a special occasion. You don’t need a special occasion to open special booze –opening the booze is special occasion enough.

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