22 June 2011

Twenty 2 Vodka

After the recent review of Tito's Handmade Vodka from Texas, a friend gave me a chance to try another small batch vodka from another part of the country you don't readily associate with that spirit: Maine. Twenty 2 Vodka is distilled from grain in northern Maine (where the rain falls mainly on the plain). It's part of the microdistillery movement, a new interest in making small batches of high quality spirits. It grew out of the microbrewing explosion of the 80s and 90s, though stricter laws on producing high alcohol beverages mean that you won't see this in every state.

If you enjoyed chemistry class or are interested in the specific details of distillation (and why certain choices like 50 gallon pot stills were made), I would encourage you to read about the process of making this vodka. I was familiar with the broad idea, but found a lot of interesting information in their description.

Twenty 2 Vodka
$28/750mL bottle, 40% abv.

Smooth and clear with a clean finish and no aftertaste. Perfectly dry without a hint of sweetness or other flavors. It is, in other words, a well-filtered neutral spirit. Although I certainly prefer martinis made with gin (as was written on stone tablets handed down from the mountain), this would certainly make a pleasant vodka martini if you're serving someone who prefers those. But I think a high quality vodka should be enjoyed just on its own without anything else in it.

Big thanks to Dave Rickert for sending the vodka down with Paul.


Joe said...

Was James Bond always a Vodka martini guy? Or was that a Stoli marketing move that started with Pierce Brosnan.

Thinking the latter, but I don't recall what he ordered in the early days.

Benito said...


It gets a little complicated. The first cocktail mentioned in the books was the Vesper, which contains gin and vodka. Later in the books he was drinking vodka martinis, which was easier for the movies. It also tied into the lucrative advertising and product placement that's always been a big deal with Bond.

One other thing: early on he cares a lot about Champagne and specific vintages, but that's pretty much gone by the mid-80s.