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Free Range Vodka? As if there weren’t already enough confusion with health food terms like organic, natural, cage-free, and free-range, we’ve found a product that extends the health craze to alcoholic beverages. Meet Zubrowka, bottled with “neutralized” buffalo grass. What exactly is neutralized buffalo grass? Well, your guess is as good as ours. But if one were to assume that by neutralizing it, it is rendered somewhat inactive or less potent, that begs the question, why bother adding the ingredient in the first place? So, the purpose of adding a neutralized ingredient is definitely curious, but the label’s image may give us some clues. The image of a large, muscular, and almost fearsome bison dominates the label. One could assume the message here is that by ingesting the very essence of what these imposing creatures thrive on, the drinker would too be infused with virility and strength.
Here is dué. It claims to be “The World’s First Chardonnay Flavored Vodka.” It is made in Italy and imported by Francoli of California. Francoli also has a Merlot Flavored Vodka. Emily Haile found this approval from way back in 2001 and brought it to our attention. The dué grape flavored vodkas are not to be confused with Ciroc. The latter is distilled directly from “Fine French Grapes,” as opposed to adding grape flavor to a grain vodka.Continue Reading Leave a Comment
Camper English wrote a great post about Cachaca, at Alcademics a while back. But he showed only small pieces of the label, leaving some room for us to come in with the labels and approvals. Alcademics said:
Of all the competitions between all the spirits brands, there is no more heated battle than the one for dominance of the cachaca market. Cachaca, Brazilian rum made from sugar cane (instead of molasses) is the ingredient in the Caipirinha … there are thousands of cachacas in Brazil, and most Americans don’t know what cachaca is.
He points out the leading brands, at this point, are Sagatiba, Cabana and Leblon. The Cabana label and its racy ad is above. We hesitate to categorize these products as rum, because the cachaca producers tend to insist it is not rum. But for now, TTB classifies it as rum, and requires “rum” on the label, as on each label here.Continue Reading Leave a Comment
Poteen has been around so long it was banned in 1661. But still, it has not been around long enough to have its own class/type. TTB has hundreds of categories (including the obscure such as diluted rum and dried brandy) but classified Knockeen Hills with “other specialties & proprietaries” rather than in its own category. Poteen is also known as Potcheen and is traditionally made in Ireland, at a high alcohol content. The name is short for the pot (“pota” in Irish) in which it is distilled. Poteen is usually made from barley or potatoes and this one is Grain Neutral Spirits with Natural Flavors, at 110 proof. The Irish Government has frowned on Poteen for many centuries (branding it as “moonshine,” as described on the back label here). But Ireland began allowing Poteen exports in 1989, domestic sale in 1997, and sought appellation status for Poteen in 2008. The back label says:
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Poteen … has been brewed as Irish strong moonshine for several centuries … Butler’s Irish book published in 1660 claimed that “It enlighteneth ye heart, casts off melancholy, keeps back old age and breaketh ye wind.”