We’re quite enjoying the trend of vodkas that have unique, distinct taste. These vodkas often can get looped under the category of ‘culinary vodka’, but we just think they’re simply good vodka. The era of vodka being something that’s nearly odorless and tasteless seems to be in decline as more and more people discover the delight of great vodka with superb natural flavors that come from the source grain or material.
For one reason or another, potatoes seem to be an excellent base for vodka. Potatoes can have a nice natural sweetness to them while still managing to maintain a crisp edge. Potatoes also do some pretty magical things when you distill them right, and the flavors that come from them can be amazing.
Karlsson’s Gold Vodka (80 proof $39.99) is distilled from virgin new potatoes. These are young potatoes that haven’t developed the thick skin of a more mature potato. The nose on the Karlsson is creamy cocoa. It’s delightfully inviting and the kind of nose you’ll want to linger on before taking a sip. There are absolutely no fumes in the nose, with a rich creaminess that’s surprising for a vodka that has only been distilled once. The entry is soft and chocolatey with a cocoa flavor that matches the nose. Things get really interesting in the mid palate where the creamy cocoa notes get a roasted bittersweet chocolate undertone. This is joined with a subtle black pepper spice that carries the vodka on to the finish. The finish is long and flavorful but still somehow manages to be clean and classic. The nice spice picked up in the mid palate is the real centerpiece of the finish, and the roasted bittersweet chocolate notes are nice and subtle as they lightly linger on the palate.
Karlsson’s Gold Vodka is distilled in Sweden by “Master Blender” Börje Karlsson who is known as the “Father of Absolut”. We’re huge fans of Absolut Vodka, and Börje Karlsson has taken things to the next level here with a potato vodka that delivers flavor with finesse. Karlsson’s Gold isn’t the most inexpensive vodka out there, but it delivers a taste experience well in line with its asking price. Karlsson’s gold is simply delightful, with a wonderful taste that we’ve found ourselves craving, delivered in an exceptionally well-crafted way.
Karlsson’s recommends adding some ground black pepper to the vodka, which certainly changes the balance, bringing out the black pepper notes already there in the mid palate. It’s a nice way to experience it.Karlsson's Gold Vodka Review by Geoff Kleinman