I have to admit that when it comes to Vodka I don’t often get all that excited. The notion of brands competing against each other to see which one can make a neutral grain spirit so tasteless and undetectable that it’s nearly invisible really isn’t all that appealing to me.
That’s why I was so excited to give Bakon a try, a breath of fresh air in a marketplace that seems to take its self far too seriously. Bakon Vodka is a bacon-flavored vodka from Black Rock Spirits in Washington. It’s something different and unique in the world of spirits, and honestly something that sounded like fun.
From a marketing perspective, Black Rock Spirits has hit an absolute home run. Piggy backing on the bacon craze, Bakon is the kind of spirit that gets attention simply for the fact that it exists. Cleverly branded and in an eye-catching bottle, Bakon is sure to do swift business with their spirit.
Bakon Vodka is an Idaho potato-based vodka, column distilled, brought down to 80 proof and flavored. Black Rock Spirits seems to want to push the benefits of a column distillation over pot distillation, which is honestly odd to me. They claim:
“Our vodka is column-distilled using a single heating process that doesn’t “bruise” the alcohol like the multiple heating cycles needed to make a typical pot-still vodka.”
It’s an odd claim and one which shows the acute marketing acumen behind the spirit (who would have thought someone would try to exalt the column still?!). I tasted Bakon straight up and indeed it does taste like bacon, but for me the taste is artificial and chemically. The nose is smokey, sweet, fatty bacon, but there is an artificialness to it. It’s like a strawberry candy smells in relation to a strawberry – sure, you can identify it as strawberry, but it’s just not the same.
The taste of Bakon is smokey and bacon-like, but again, there’s a fairly strong artificial feeling to the taste. The vodka finishes with some edges that are not all that pleasant. I also noticed some debris in the bottle, not sure what the origin of it is, but it was unwelcome.
I made two drinks with Bakon, a bacon martini and bacon bloody mary. Both were interesting with the bacon tones in them especially the bloody mary, but I still couldn’t get past the chemical feel of the flavoring. That wasn’t a problem with some of my fellow tasters who really enjoyed both drinks.
From my perspective, I’d rate this vodka as a not recommend / skip it. I found it to be too rough, too chemically and unenjoyable. However, all that didn’t seem to matter for some of the people on our tasting team who proclaimed, “It’s BACON!”. It’s hard to argue with that and honestly for most people seeking out bacon vodka, they’ll be happy to get something in their glass that does indeed resemble bacon.
So I’m splitting the difference with out rating:
Bakon Vodka Rating :
Mildly Rcommended – this is a love it or hate it spirit. It’s not all that well crafted, but yeah, it’s bacon.
Bakon vodka is currently in 750 ml sells for $35.99 and can be found at DrinkUpNY.com. It’s manufactured in Forest Grove, Oregon of all places.