Spirit Review – Hangar One Buddha’s Hand Vodka

Forget ALL OTHER VODKAS!  Hangar One made by St. George’s Spirits in Alameda, CA does this vodka just like it does every other craft distilled spirit they’ve put out.  With concise care and precision, using the purest ingredients and seasonal fruits.

I know, this sounds like a commercial, but we at Pure Indulgence do not boast lightly.  When searching for a vodka of quality I look for three things:

  1. Drinkability
  2. Complexity
  3. Finish

The finish being the most important part, honestly.  Vodkas I’ve had in the past that had all three have been rare so far since I really steered away from vodka in the latter half of 2006, but never have I shied away from St. George’s.

Lets break it down:

Drinkability:  First off, this vodka is clean.  The nose of the buddha’s hand vodka smells sweet with tiny hints of dirt/earth ONLY if you’re paying attention, otherwise you get a crisp all the way to the finish we’ll get into momentarily.

Complexity:  Vodka isn’t meant to really stir a myriad of flavors, even flavored vodkas.  In our drinking culture we’re more often dealing with vodka as mixers rather than the main course.  I prefer it neat personally but others may have their preferences.  This is a vodka you can enjoy straight or on the rocks.

Finish:  Ah yes, the finish. Yes I sound pretentious don’t I?  (It’s cause I am!) The best way to really enjoy this vodka is to drink it, then breath in the fumes as you swallow at the end, so they go throughout your entire olfactory senses, giving you more than a mouthful of fruit.  And yes, a clean, fruity finish will leave you satisfied.

On a different note, I did one day decide to replace the bourbon in my Manhattan (I know, should be rye, Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell good rye yet) with the Buddha’s Hand.  That was interesting in itself, but it needed something with a little more kick to combat the sweetness from my vermouth.  Something to give it a little kick. Not bad though.

Oh, one more thing.  If you can get the vodka at the distillery, it’s usually cheaper than at the stores.

Cigar Review – Tatuaje Verocu Red Tubo

Tat-Red Verocu

You’d think I’d come back with this blog and make a bang by reviewing something totally different, right?  I suppose we at Pure Indulgence like to stick with the classics, and this cigar is no exception.

My Tatuaje Red Tubo sat in my humidor for almost three years before I decided it was time to just smoke it and only because I’d just edited all day.  I thought initially the cigar would have lost some flavor the way the SW Reserva had (had one in my humidor for two years and it just…it was good but not great but that might have been my fault) but I was wrong.

Let’s start with the basics of the cigar.  From the get go, construction is top notch.  Pete Johnson knows his craft well.  Upon lighting the cigar, I picked up instant notes suggesting the cigar still had life in it as hints of sweetness wafted over my senses.

Following said excellent construction is the perfect draw which brought notes of spice that mellowed into a sweetness throughout the cigar.  At one point I thought of a sweet bread.  I know, odd for a cigar right?  But I know a guy who swore he tasted Frankincense in the regular Tatuaje Red Label.  Also, I usually pick up notes of cardamom in the Red Label.

Second third of the cigar still burns well, draws well and lets that sweetness dance across the palate until it gives way to subtle notes of pepper and spice followed by a woodsy, almost leathery taste.

The finish ended with the sweetness returning ever so slightly but to be honest, I was more concerned for my fingers as I’d literally smoked the entire cigar down to the last half inch.

If Pete makes more of this blend ever, I’d highly suggest you pick it up and Indulge.