Can anyone really distill a great bottle (750 ml) of vodka and then sell it for only $17.00? When super-premium vodkas sell well north of $35.00 per 750 ml bottle, how can these guys really make a vodka that can stand up to and maybe even surpass those super-premium vodkas in taste for half the price? We’ll dive into those questions and hopefully provide you with the answers shortly.

There’s a whole lot of distilling going on in Austin, Texas these days, and Deep Eddy is part of that emerging spritely spirits scene. They use a column still to produce their vodka, which essentially creates a spirit that has been effectively distilled 10 times. They use some of Mother Nature’s finest water pulled up from an aquifer deep beneath the earth, and then they charcoal filter the final product 6 times. That’s some pretty neat stuff to do to good old corn, so I guess the proof will be in the tasting.

Of course, just making straight up vodka wasn’t quite enough for these good old boys, so they upped the ante with sweet tea, cranberry, ruby red grapefruit and lemon flavored vodka. I have to admit here that well over half the flavored vodkas I have tasted just weren’t worth drinking, but ever the optimist, I have high hopes for Deep Eddy. Let’s get to it and see where it goes.

These spirits comes in a clear bottle with essentially the same logo but in different colors, depending on the flavor of vodka. So let’s begin with the straight up un-flavored vodka. The nose is sweet and minty with a hint of corn lurking in the background, accompanied by a bit of a mineral aroma. On the palate, I get a little spice up front but really not that much. It is very clean and quite smooth and sweet, surprisingly so for a vodka that only costs $17.00. The finish is also smooth and clean and dry and lasts a medium amount of time. This is a surprisingly pleasant vodka that easily holds its own with vodkas costing two or three times as much and hailing from far more exotic places than Austin, Texas. I highly recommend this vodka; as a matter of fact, I would favorably compare it to a very expensive vodka made from grapes that up until now was my favorite.

© Jenny DeMarco Photography

© Jenny DeMarco Photography

Ok, that being said let’s give the Sweet Tea flavored Deep Eddy Vodka a try. The nose is the very essence of brewed tea with none of the ethanol vapors usually associated with vodka. If I didn’t know better, I would say I was smelling straight up tea. It has an earthy toffee kind of aroma without the sweetness I was expecting. On the palate, I get the tea flavor immediately, followed by an earthy almost molasses like taste. This vodka is sweet but not sweet enough to be distracting. The finish is of earthy and mineral like, followed by the molasses and sweetness and finally a last hint of tea flavor. The finish lasts a short time but coats the mouth with a pleasant and smooth taste. This flavored vodka, just like all their other flavored vodkas, weighs in at 35% ABV versus the straight unflavored vodka that weighs in at 40% ABV.

Next up is the Cranberry flavored Deep Eddy Vodka. The nose is very much cranberry like but a sweet cranberry, not a tart cranberry like your mother would serve at Thanksgiving dinner. Again there are no ethanol vapors to get in the way. Oh WOW, on the palate, the first and foremost flavor is sugar, lots of sugar that almost immediately gives way to some sort of aspartame sweet like tartness that was missing from the nose. The cranberry flavor is faint and struggling to overcome the sweetness and tartness that seem to be fighting each other for control of my taste buds. It’s almost like a hard candy in the flavors that it delivers. The finish is candy sweet with barely a trace of the tartness and lasts a short time but definitely makes you feel like you’ve been sucking on a hard candy for a while.

Deep Eddy’s Lemon Vodka is up next. The nose has some kind of a lemon like aroma to it that reminds me of a lemon infused car wax for some reason, if there was even such a thing to compare it to. It’s not really sweet but just some kind of off tart aroma, like no citrus I have ever smelled. However, on the bright side, it smells smooth and again has almost no alcohol in the nose. On the palate, the immediate rush seems to come from something lemony sweet immediately followed by something very tart. This is very reminiscent of some moonshine’s I’ve tasted without the sweet and tart extremes. My palate just doesn’t know how to react to this vodka. Somewhere between the sweetness and the tartness there’s something very interesting here, but I just can’t figure it out. The finish is medium long and again leaves a hard candy aftertaste rather than a vodka aftertaste.

OK, I have saved the Ruby Red Grapefruit flavored vodka for last because, I have to admit, I don’t really get grapefruit at all. And by that I mean real grapefruit – what’s up with that fruit? It’s tart, acidic, and needs lots of sugar to make it palatable but somehow enough people either like it or put up with it to make it marketable. I simply can’t imagine what these guys were smoking when they came up with this flavored vodka, but giving them the benefit of the doubt, let’s get into it. The nose is muddled unlike the previous flavored Deep Eddy vodkas that seemed to be purpose driven; this one just seems unsure which direction it wants to take. It has some of those earthy tones but they are unclearly defined. I get some kind of nod toward grapefruity aromas, but they just don’t work for me. There’s a citrusy note, no sweetness and of course no alcohol in the nose, but based on the nose, I am ambivalent about putting this in my mouth. It’s sort of like being a five year old that just playfully tortured and murdered his first bug and now doesn’t know if he really wants to put it in his mouth and try it anymore after all that. Unlike that kid, I did put this grapefruit flavored vodka in my mouth. On the palate, there’s an earthy taste of citrus tartness, followed by some sweetness with absolutely no tell tale hints of alcohol. The finish is, of course, smooth but again leaves a hard candy like after taste that reflects that sweet tartness and lasts a good long time. I have to apologize for this review because getting me to like anything about grapefruits would have been nearly impossible and yet this vodka took a reasonable stab at it. If you really must consume grapefruit flavored anything, much less vodka, get yourself a grapefruit, cut it accordingly, and pour some Deep Eddy straight vodka over it. Then, sprinkle a little bit of sugar over that and get your day started. By the way, I might recommend a cup of coffee to go with this breakfast of champions.



By George Brozowski