vdka 6100That’s not a typo. It’s really spelled VDKA, and it launched in early 2014. VDKA 6100 hails from New Zealand, and it has the unique distinction of being distilled from whey. You can distill vodka from most anything with fermentable sugar–some popular options being wheat, potatoes and even grapes–but whey is rarely the distiller’s choice.

In this case, VDKA 6100 is comprised of just two ingredients: 1) whey that is produced from grass-fed cows’ milk, and 2) natural spring water. It’s distilled three times and filtered through carbon.

On the nose, VDKA 6100 is soft, with a sweet, creamy vanilla note up front, followed by a hint of citrus. Take a sip, and the mouthfeel is rich and silky, with more of that sweet vanilla, plus some black pepper and a dry, earthy quality akin to concrete or minerals. Toward the finish, things turn astringent. Not overwhelmingly so, and the astringency isn’t particularly harsh or unpleasant, but it’s a notable departure from that rich, creamy character we enjoyed at the start.

VDKA 6100 has a few missteps, but it’s a solid effort overall, and we appreciate brands that take unusual approaches in crafting their products. Oh, and because celebrity-backed vodkas are all the rage these days, you might like to know that VDKA 6100 is backed by Australian casino mogul James Packer and some guy named Robert De Niro.

– 40% ABV
– $34.99

CE Rating: ★★★

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