On the Rocks: Penn 1681 Vodka
In the year 1681 King Charles II granted William Penn an astounding 45,000 square miles of land in the New World in the hope that he when he went to live there he would more-or-less take all of his Quaker friends with him (Quakers were kind of a problem in England at the time). This made Penn the largest landowner in the world who wasn’t royalty. The result was Pennsylvania.
Ok, history lesson over, we are here to talk about vodka.
Penn 1681 Vodka, distilled by Philadelphia Distilling, is a premium artisan vodka distilled from organic Pennsylvania rye in a four column copper still. What that translates into is a very special tasting profile for a spirit and a distilling process that produces a very smooth sipping vodka without a lot of congeners. Congeners are the things that give spirits their taste, smell and color, three things you don’t want in a vodka. They also might have something to do with your headache the next morning, something you don’t want anyway. I also like the idea of organic grain produced in close proximity to the distillery. Just like with grapes, the less you chemically mess with a crop, the less those chemicals are potentially going to carry over into the finished product.
I found the Penn 1681 to be very, very clean and ultra smooth with a kind of creamy mouthfeel. There is a burn on the finish with a spicy overtone that I would attribute to the rye grain used in the distillation process. Don’t be confused, the heat on the finish is something that I would consider to be a strength of this vodka and that rye-like tingle on the tongue is something that makes it a unique tasting experience. Besides, if it wasn’t there this stuff is otherwise so smooth on the palate that you might confuse it for water or something. Penn 1681 would be an ideal choice for vodka drinkers that prefer their vodka straight or in a martini.