Crystal Head Aurora Vodka

(TORONTO, ON) – Aromas of slate and gravel predominate. There is also a whiff of fresh rain hitting warm pavement. As well, there’s a strong note of grain with a hint of banana.

Crystal-Head-VodkaFor a vodka purist, you’ll know its vodka when you take a sniff. It is not elegant, but in your face. It’s as gruff and raunchy as its skeleton head suggests.

Is this a biker vodka?

Crystal Head comes on smooth and quickly transforms into a mellow and clean burn. A dash of pepper-like successive stings numbs the gums. After visiting the periodontist yesterday, where I was graced with a rigorous cleaning, I do appreciate the gums being sanitized by the vodka.

I suppose this really is true to its roots.

Multi-distilled and made with the finest English wheat and Newfoundland water, it is unmistakably good and authentic vodka. Although the bottle is delightfully flashy, to the point of gaudiness, it is so over the top it is a sublime and just about a work of art.

I think the bottle is a work of art which may attract non-Boomers, but unnecessarily frighten off Boomers. However, let us remind ourselves, it is what’s in the bottle that counts and this vodka counts.

Serve it out of the freezer, but if you’re up in the air in your private jet and there is no freezer, on the rocks will do.

What can we expect if we add some Vermouth and shake it up for a Martini?

The vodka is transformed into a smooth and tamed beast, but with power lurking on the edge. Vermouth and lime slices power down the vodka and smooths it out. However, experienced Martini drinkers will need to heed the old adage; One Martini, you are talking to your host. Two Martinis, you are talking about your host. Three Martinis, and you are under your host.

My recommendation here is to skip the Vermouth and simply add a whisper. Anything more than an ounce of Vermouth robs Crystal Head Aurora of its individuality and subtle power. Put another way, a temperamental vodka.

Vermouth can add wonderfulness to a Martini or rob it of its character. In this case, if you insist upon Vermouth, just a dash, please.

Perhaps this is a biker’s vodka after all. I can certainly live with that.

A piece of advice I rarely give, but totally in synch with Mr G’s Martini legacy. A fascinating Russian man in New York few would ever have the opportunity to meet, but this man knows his Martinis.

We have done a few Martini crawls in Manhattan and at Yale in New Haven, CT, with the Yale Russian Chorus, and have hit the worst at Hudson Hotel and the best at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park South. Mr G advises me the best Martinis in the world are at the Yale Club in New York City.

The skeleton head bottle was created in celebration of the Aurora Borealis. The vodka has been distilled five times and filtered seven times. Three of the filtrations pass through layers of Herkimer diamonds.

Is this a tribute to Newfoundland as the Rock?

(Crystal Head Aurora Vodka, bottled in Newfoundland for Globefill Inc, 750mL, $79.95, LCBO #463539, 40%, Square Media Group Rating 93/100)

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About the Author

Robert Stephen (CSW)
Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he loves The Square. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write." Email Robert Stephen