Andrew Rall, founder, owner and master distiller at Distillery 031 in Durban has recently launched their Vodka.
I am a big fan of Andrew and his craft spirits. This is a man who is passionate about his home town of Durban and about his hobby that has now become his business.
Anybody who loves what they do is bound to succeed and Distillery 031 is living proof of this proverb. This distillery was crowned “South African Distillery of the Year” at the 2018 New York International Spirits Competition.
I have already had the pleasure of sampling Distillery 031’s Durban Dry Gin, Barrel Aged Gin and Agua Zulu Cachaca. Read more about these here.
Distillery 031 Vodka
I had asked Andrew to send us a bottle of his Vodka for the 2019 Thirsty Travel Annual Winter Spirt Tasting and I am very pleased that he obliged.
Vodka is one of the most pure spirits and has very few impurities. Gin, on the other hand, often has many flavourants and impurities. Because of its pure nature Vodka has a very clean and rather stark taste.
According to law, Vodka must have over 37.5% alcohol (EU) or 40% alcohol (USA) and may be distilled from any vegetable product with potatoes, cereal grains and, more recently, from fruits and sugar cane.
As one would expect 031 Vodka (43% ABV) is made from molasses produced from sugar cane grown in the many sugar cane fields that surround Durban. This Vodka is also ten times distilled, first using a custom built copper stripping still and then in their eight plate column still.
Andrew says, “We produce our vodka in small batches so that we can deliver the purest spirit without losing the subtle flavours that make Distillery 031 Vodka unique.”
“At Distillery 031, we believe that vodka should not be completely devoid of flavour. We do not chill filter our 031 Vodka because we wish to retain the subtle flavours which make it unique and speak of its provenance.
“By carefully crafting each batch of Distillery 031 Vodka, we are able to achieve a Vodka that is at home sipped neat as it is in a cocktail. Initial hints of citrus give way to flavours of caramel, butterscotch and cupcakes. Its smooth finish has a satisfyingly warm, spicy note. The Art Deco architectural heritage of Durban inspired the Distillery 031 Vodka label,” add Andrew.
Our tasting team found this Vodka to be excellent and believe the Silver medal it was awarded at The Michelangelo International Spirits Awards was well deserved.
Comments from our tasters included: “Neat, this is one of the smoothest Vodka’s I have tasted”; “A wonderfully powerful spirit with a strong, warm after taste”; “Mixed with a little Fitch and Leads Spicy Ginger Ale, lots of ice and a hint of mint, this was my favourite cocktail of the evening.”