The Iconic Spirits Blog

Purity Vodka

September 26, 2012

Tags: purity vodka, thomas kuuttanen

I recently received an invitation to meet with Thomas Kuuttanen, creator and master blender of Purity Vodka. I wasn’t familiar with Purity, but was told that it was a revolutionary brand of vodka that was distilled 34 times before release. My reactions were predictable:

1. Who needs another vodka?

2. 34 distillations? Why not 187 or 642? Either way, wouldn’t you end up with a spirit that was tasteless and totally without character? (more…)

Your Alcohol Dollar

September 19, 2012

Several months ago, NPR published the results of a study revealing where and how Americans spent money on booze. Using figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, they examined the ways in which our alcohol spending habits have changed since 1982. The conclusions were interesting, and some were unexpected.

As a nation, we spend 1% of our disposable income on alcohol. That amount hasn’t changed over the past three decades. We drink roughly the same proportion of beer (47.7% today vs. 48.9% in 1982). However, wine purchases have increased from 16.2% to 39.7% of the total, while consumption of hard liquor has declined from 34.6% to 12.6%---despite the current explosion in the cocktail culture. (more…)

The Glenrothes

September 12, 2012

Tags: the glenrothes, glenrothes select reserve, glenrothes 1978, glenrothes 1988

In the universe of Scotch, the conventional wisdom is that single malts and blends appeal to totally different audiences. Since there is little similarity between the two products, this makes perfect sense. Another cliché is that single malts resonate primarily with wine drinkers, which also seems logical. There are many parallels between the two worlds.

Single malts subscribe to the notion of terroir: The flavors of the spirit vary from region to region and even from distillery to distillery, depending on factors such as soil, climate and the quality of local water. They present a complex range of styles for the consumer to master, and offer a sense of connoisseurship on various levels. (more…)

Cruzan Rum

September 5, 2012

Tags: Cruzan rum. Cruzan Single Barrel

Cruzan Rum (pronounced “kru-shun”) is made on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The island was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus in 1493---which implies that it didn’t actually exist until white people from Europe found it. What was waiting for Columbus when he landed was an abundant agricultural economy based on the production of sugar. That sugar, and the molasses derived from it, was already being turned into rum. Over the centuries the island belonged to Spain, England, Holland, France and the Knights of Malta, before being sold to the U.S. by Denmark in 1916. (more…)