First off, let me say that Vincent Van Gogh is my favorite artist. I love his paintings and even traveled to Los Angeles one summer to take in a once-in-a-lifetime show of his paintings that were on loan from several other museums and private collections. I was so moved by his work that I ended up spending the entire day there. I also found him to be one of the most interesting people to have ever lived, right up there with the gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson. I even aspired to emulate these crazy wunderkinds in my youth but couldn’t quite compete at their level of craziness and brilliance. After all, what’s not to like about these two: artistic genius powering unstable minds to the brink of insanity, dangerous flirtations with mind altering substances, heavy drinking, self mutilation (off with his ear!), syphilis, gonorrhea (those must have been wild Absinthe fueled Parisian nights), and of course they both committed suicide. Lives apparently lived fully and well spent!! OK enough of that, on to the business at hand.

Secondly, let me state that Vincent Van Gogh Vodka, just the plain old unflavored variety, is absolutely one of my all time favorite super premium vodkas and one of just a few in that rarified and stratified category that really belong there. It is distilled in Holland at the Royal Dirkzwager Distillery that has been family owned and passed down from fathers to sons since 1879.

Thirdly, let me state that, just for the life of me, I can’t figure out why in the world those wonderful people in Holland would start screwing around with a superb solid gold product. Unfortunately, I have had horrible encounters with flavored hooch of all sorts over the decades that have left me jaded and possessing indelible toxic scars not only on my palate but in my brain as well. However, I know that as a professional alcoholic, I have my duties to fulfill and must muster on if only for the sake of all those amateur alcoholics out there who depend on my palate to protect theirs.

I opened the bottle of Vincent Van Gogh Cool Peach Vodka and thrust my nose into its neck and was immediately transported to a peach orchard. It was also very reminiscent of peaches that have been sitting in a basket in the sun. They get warm and slightly over ripe and give off a very sensuous and earthy peach musk that just compels you to sink your teeth into their soft flesh. There is absolutely no alcohol forward or anywhere in the nose. There is just that essence of peach, and it is very natural and well rounded and precisely balanced. On the palate, it continues to please. It is, needless to say very, very smooth and full bodied with true peach flavor in the front accented by the vodka at the back, which tempers the fruit perfectly. There is no spice note nor pepper in the finish, just and only that delicate peach taste that lingers in the mouth to deliver a long and fruity finish. On the rocks and even in a martini the peach flavor becomes nuanced and remains balanced and yet manages to open up a bit and present another delightful dimension. Magnificent!

The Vincent Van Gogh Rich Dark Chocolate Vodka was next. I don’t know if you prefer dark European chocolate over American milk chocolate or vice versa but I can tell you the difference is quite discernible. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk and consists of up to 20% total dry cocoa solids. Dark chocolate contains less milk and more cocoa with a minimum of 25%. This vodka is definitely dark chocolate. As I inhale the aroma, I can almost taste the cocoa and sugar. The scent seems to somehow be granular in nature almost as if I was already eating a chocolate bar even though I was only inhaling the aroma. What a wonderful trick to play on the senses. I am not getting any ethanol or alcohol or vodka or anything other than chocolate in the nose. The palate follows the nose into dark chocolate heaven. Honestly, it feels like I have just bitten into a piece of dark chocolate that had a molten middle of dark chocolate. Now I can really taste the cocoa, sugar and the granularity is almost palpable on my tongue. I finally get a bit of vodka in the finish but it is short and leaves a long sweet chocolate finish. On the rocks and in a martini (my favorite), it’s a dessert drink that is smooth and chocolaty and would be perfect with an assorted cheese plate. Magnificent again!

These are both 70 proof and about $31.00 per bottle and some of the best super premium flavored vodkas you can get a hold of, and I recommend you get a hold of some and try them for yourself. YUMMMMMM!!

By George Brozowski

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