If someone put a bottle in your hands that read, Tobacco Vodka, what would be your initial impressions? No smell, no taste, just “Tobacco Vodka.” If it’s anything like those we’ve asked (and that’s thousands thanks to social networking), the reactions are quite negative with a few intrigued. But, that can’t be all Ivanabitch Tobacco Vodka boils down too, right? Right.
Pouring a few ounces of Ivanabitch Tobacco Vodka is a slightly life changing experience for a person like myself whom has tasted a wide variety of vodkas from non-flavored to those of tropical fruits, chocolates, donuts, whipped creams, horseradish, jalepeno and even a fruit loop flavored vodka. But, tobacco is completely different because its name doesn’t match the total expectation. When you hear “horseradish” you know what to expect, if you someone says “glazed donut” you know what to expect, but with tobacco, most people assume smoke and stale cigarettes.
Ivanabitch Tobacco Vodka does not taste like cigarettes or smoke. There, I said it. The floral pipe shop aroma reminds me of walking into my local smoke shop where they sell dozens of different flavored tobaccos. While I can’t say I’ve torn open a cigarette and carefully inspected its aroma, I can say that Ivanabitch Tobacco Vodka smells, to me, like that of a pipe tobacco and not a stale cigarette! This is awesome.
Many folks seem to be able to draw great memories from pipe tobacco so a good amount of the aromatic experience of Ivanabitch Tobacco Vodka will fall to sense memory. The flavor, however, comes off slightly sweet with mild pipe tobacco flavor that alone is extremely interesting but, as many folks have told me after trying it, I don’t think I could sit down and drink a whole lot of tobacco flavored vodka. But, as an accent to another drink? Totally.
I think a Tobacco Vodka will extend the nose and flavor of a lot of great cocktails that need just a bit more complexity. That might mean only a half-ounce to build the aroma or flavor or perhaps a bit more depending on the drink. I’m sure there are plenty of cocktails Ivanabitch Tobacco Vodka will not pair with so I’d stay further away from tropical cocktails and get closer into more aged cocktails with aged spirits, coffees and chocolates.
Ivanabitch also has a menthol version, which mingles tobacco flavor along with that of a peppermint schnapps. A bit more sweet than the original tobacco vodka and might make a bit of a surprising flavor to a holiday cocktail. While the menthol version is fun and quite amazing it’s really tough to get by my initial general reaction to a tobacco vodka in the first place.
At a suggested retail price of USD $12 (probably a bit more in many local shops) I think Ivanabitch Tobacco Vodka will make a great tool for your bartender toolbox. It won’t fit in all cocktails or everyday, but when it fits it will make something that was good simply amazing.