Review – Three Olives Root Beer Vodka

root_beer_vodka_three_oliveCitrus. Vanilla. Raspberry.  What do these have in common?  They are all flavors of vodka that most are familiar with and that large distillery’s typically don’t venture away from producing.  But what about root beer vodka?  Now that’s another story.  I’d never heard of root beer vodka before being sent a press sample from Three Olives, who claim to “be the first to put the alcohol back into this classic flavor” since it was originally made as a drink with alcohol in it. I’ll admit, I was leery at first.  To me it sounded like a spirit 20 somethings might drink just for the sake of drinking.  But after allowing it to chill in the freezer I gave it a taste and to my surprise it was quite good.  The root beer aroma is very apparent on the nose, almost tricking your mind into thinking you are about to take a sip of root beer itself.  However, on the palate you experience a smooth taste of vodka with just hints of root beer in the background.

If you are a fan of root beer and martini’s, separately, you may want to give this a try shaken with ice and poured into a martini glass.  However, you could give your inner mixologist a chance to come out and be quite creative using this for mixed drinks.  Adult root beer float anyone?

Full Disclosure: This was a press sample.

Spirit: 3 Olives Root Beer Flavored Vodka
Price: $20 USD
Notes: Sweet aroma of root beer, caramel and toasted marshmallow that coats the palate and envelopes your tongue.  Ethanol apparent on the palate but still a somewhat smooth finish. Close your eyes and pretend you just stepped up to the bar at the soda shop. Very nice on the rocks.
Score: 86 pts (B)
Website: www.threeolives.com

Here are a few of the mixing ideas for this Vodka from the companies Bartender’s booklet.

Rock Star Root Beer

1 ounce Three Olives Root Beer Vodka

1 ounce Three Olives Vanilla Vodka

4 ounces Ginger Ale

Mix in a glass filled with ice and garnish with a cherry.

Root Beer Floatini

1-1/2 ounce Three Olives Root Beer Vodka

1/2 ounce Amaretto Liqueur

Shake hard over ice and strain into glass. Float a melon-ball size scoop of vanilla ice cream in center.

British Car Bomb

1 ounce Three Olives Root Beer Vodka

1/2 Pint Ale

Drop shot glass of Three Olives Root Beer Vodka carefully into 1/2 pint of ale.

Brotherly Love

2 ounces Three Olives Root Beer Vodka

4 ounces Lemon-Lime Soda

Mix in a glass filled with ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

About Proximo Spirits:

The company is currently pushing a campaign to raise brand awareness of it’s Three Olives label and the flavored Vodka’s they currently offer including Regular, Cherry, Grape, Passion Fruit, Pomegranate, Green Apple, Chocolate, Orange, Berry, Vanilla, Citrus, Raspberry, Watermelon, Mango, and Triple Espresso. The campaign is the “What’s Your O-Face” contest and here are a few details:

… an interactive contest that invites users to upload a photo of their best “O-face” – the look of surprise one has after tasting a shockingly delicious Three-O Vodka drink. At the conclusion of the campaign on May 31, 2009, 5 finalists will be chosen, flown to NYC, given the VIP treatment and given a photo shoot. Of the 5 finalists, 1 grand prize winner will be Three-O’s next “O-Face”, awarded $10,000 and be featured in a national ad campaign.

You can visit the website for more details.

Review: Four – The Premium Wine Tube

four_wine_tube_full1You’ve heard it all of your life, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” And most likely, as you’ve applied that principal throughout your life, you’ve realized it really is good advice. That Pad Kee Mao you wouldn’t have touched a few years ago? It’s now become something you crave ever since you tried the Thai place on the corner and took the suggestion of the waiter.

But that principal can’t possibly apply to wine, especially not the boxed wine variety, can it? After all, we’ve all been to those BBQ’s that feature “wine spritzers.” You know how it goes, fill your glass with ice, pour in some 7-Up and top with boxed wines finest white Zinfandel. With that image etched into one’s memory, how can a person possibly not judge a wine by it’s container?

Puring from Four Wine TubeWell, times are changing and so is the world of wine. Twist-offs are increasingly gaining popularity, albiet with resistance from some, so why can’t a good wine be packaged in something other than a glass bottle? Perhaps changing our preception of what a “good wine” should be bottled in might change the way we purchase wine in the future. That is the hope of at least one company who has decided to think outside the box, and package their wine in a tube.

The brainchild of parent company Creative International, Four provides a 3 liter container of red wine for $39 USD. We were able to get our hands on one since it’s official launch in October of 2008, and here is what we thought.

Full disclosure: This tube was sent as a press sample.

Four Wine Tube Package NozzleWine: Four – Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: California
Vintage: 2006
Varietal(s): 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Sirah
ABV: 14.8%
Price: $39
Production: 4,000 Cases (they did the math)
Notes: This inky purple wine has a lovely aroma of blackberry, cassis, anise, and a touch of mocha, with a medium bodied mouth feel with chewy tannins that linger and coat the palate. You won’t find this type of complexity in most competing wines under $10 a bottle. A very good effort that is drinking good now, and will for the next 3 to 5 years.
Score: 88 pts (B+)

Website: www.fourwinetube.com