Saturday, 11 June 2016

Flavoured Much of a Muchness: Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka

This was £16 at Asda, advertised on Bringabottle as £9 off, but it wasn’t £25 at any of the other retailers… except Majestic Wine, and I wouldn’t be buying spirits there.
Let me start by saying, I love the bottle – slightly oval shaped but flat at the front and back, and tapering downwards, with a smooth, tall cap, tasteful label and a single blade of bison grass – which I could frankly take or leave, but I appreciate the effort - loitering inside the faintly coloured spirit.
It’s packed full of flavour, but can you really class this alongside other vodkas? It just doesn’t have that vodka taste that all the others do – even Stolichnaya, which has that taste, just better than all the others. This is almost something different entirely and it makes we think that perhaps I don’t know enough about all the different varieties of vodka. I was thinking that gives me a new direction to go in, but when I looked for other varieties online, it turns out there really aren’t that many distinct ones.
It probably should be classed as a flavoured vodka, and as such it is the best excuse for a flavoured vodka I can think of. All the others you don’t really need. If you want your vodka to taste a bit limey, put some lime juice in it – same with all the other fruit flavours – there’s just no need to buy an entire bottle in any particular flavour. Except with bison grass, you can’t just buy bison grass juice can you? Or fresh bison grass, as a rule.
Interestingly (but in no way casting any aspersions on the quality of Zubrowka), on one occasion I followed a glass with a Paganini grappa, and despite that spirit’s known poor quality, I enjoyed it more than I had done in the past.
I had read in numerous online reviews that this is exceptional with apple juice – like apple pie, apparently. I don’t really mix drinks all that much anymore, but I did think this was worth a go, and yes, it was quite nice. Not amazing – maybe the apple juice I used wasn’t quite quality enough – but good. I went on to try with a more premium brand of apple juice – still from Aldi, but more expensive – and it wasn’t much more impressive than before.
From beginning to end, the Zubrowka didn’t last me very long at all. It was a novel and pleasurable way to start an evening of light to medium drinking, a flavoured vodka with more of an appeal to a near spirit drinker like me than your standard fare. It comes recommended.

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