Nemiroff Honey Pepper Vodka, 90 Points

Distilled by Nemiroff Distillery, Nemyriv, Ukraine.

Flavored with red chili peppers, honey, and herbs.

Grain: Wheat

ABV: 40%

Appearance: Decidedly honey hued and long legged.

Nose: Extraordinarily gentle, with notes of banana, honey (of course), and piquant herbs.

Flavor: A surprisingly oily mouth feel supports chili peppers on the front end and a rather rich butterscotch on the back end.

Finish: Long and decidedly piquant, with a slowly diminishing—and comforting—burn.

Conclusions: Flavored spirits are always a challenge, in large part because one of the reviewer’s tasks is to suggest a prospective place in the cocktailian’s toolkit. That said, while not an extraordinary sipper, I think this Nemiroff entry has a place in that toolkit.

Cocktail Recommendation: A classically-rendered Sherry Cobbler, but with the Nemiroff Honey Pepper Vodka subbing for sherry, resulting in a comparatively high-proof refresher served over pebbled ice.

Score: 90/100

Philip Dobard
Philip Dobard

Philip Dobard is Vice President of the National Food & Beverage Foundation (NatFAB) and plays an integral role in all its programs. He serves as Director of The Museum of the American Cocktail and President of Pacific Food & Beverage, NatFAB’s Los Angeles-based West Coast operations. He leads Nitty Grits Media and produces NatFAB's Pacific Taste, The Thoughtful Feast, and Touring the Cocktail events. Under the Nitty Grits Media banner, he’s executive producing several web series, among them Drinking Heads, Eating Heads, Touring the Cocktail, and World Eats. Philip produced the series Deadtime Stories for Nickelodeon, and his film Grave Secrets enjoyed its world premiere at the San Diego Film Festival. He served as General Director of Opera Columbus and Professor of Arts Policy and Administration at The Ohio State University. At the University of New Orleans, Philip directed the Graduate Program in Arts Administration and conducted research sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and Pew Charitable Trusts. He completed graduate studies at UCLA, is an advisor to the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles, contributes to several publications, among them Bonfort's Wine and Spirits Journal, Drink Me Magazine, Nitty Grits, and The Tasting Panel Magazine, and regularly serves as a judge at cocktail, spirits, and cooking competitions.

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