Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tag No. 5 is No. 1

A picture of Tag's label, appearing on their website.  Maverick Distilleries does not endorse this blog, and I sincerely hope they don't sue me.

Yesterday I found myself wandering the shelves of the LCBO, and wondering if I should pick up some delicious spirit.  I looked through the vodka section and found myself wishing there was Tag on the shelves.  I took it upon myself to go out into the fresh air and walk to a much bigger LCBO nearby.  It would surely have Tag on the shelves.

I was correct in my assumption, and I soon left said establishment $25 poorer, but one bottle of Tag richer (a fair exchange, in my mind).  I then stopped by the apartment of a friend to toast his health on his birthday.  While sipping the spirit I realised I had forgotten the smoothness, the clarity and cleanliness of this fine vodka.  I wondered, could it test better than the ($47.95) Belvedere I still had on hand in my apartment?

That evening I decided that I would find out.  My room mate served me two shots blind.  I followed my now standard tasting methods.  Smell, sip from the top, shoot.  I took the following notes (edited for clarity to the reader):

Glass 1:
Smell: Fragrant, hint of a medicinal smell
Sip: Sweet and clean with a slight warmth to the finish.
Shot: A clean start gives way to a slightly rough warmth which continues to the finish.  Aside from the warmth, very clean in terms of flavour.

Glass 2:
Smell: Clean, very little.
Sip: Very clean, slight sweetness
Shot: Perfectly clear, slight bitterness to finish.

I selected Glass 2 as my preference, which turned out to be Tag vodka.  This preference over Belvedere makes Tag my new favourite.  It is exceptionally clear, and according to the website, routinely bests Belvedere and Grey Goose by third party tasting.  The "third party" bit is important, most companies have funded their own taste tests in which (surprise) their own vodka has tested best.  It is also made from sweet corn, which is a comparative oddity in the vodka world.  It is quadruple distilled and then "polished" (filtered through a custom charcoal) five times.  It all makes for a wonderful experience, and apparently a gold medal from the 2011 San Francisco Spirits Competition.  I am truly glad that I may enjoy it.

It also seems that Maverick distilleries (the makers of Tag from Oakville), are committed to offering this vodka for a fair price.  It appears from the available literature that rather than spending money on celebrity endorsements (which would drive up the price of the product), they would rather you save your $20 and spread the word.  So to you, my monocled, non-spambot followers, I say this: I have never tasted a vodka so clean as Tag.  In fact, I recall becoming inebriated by accident the first time I bought it.  It was so smooth, and went down so easily that I was not at all concerned with how much I had consumed.  Truly a wonderful beverage.

If you have not yet tried Tag, I would highly recommend doing so.  Further, please do not spend money on the swill that is Grey Goose.  Leave it for the unenlightened, those celebrities paid to endorse it, and those who are dazzled by bottle-based artwork.


1 comment:

  1. As the man behind TAG (aka the Chief Vodka Officer), I thank you for this well structured taste test, and for posting the results. You've done your homework and have an appreciation for my job ;-) Comes with a a few perks. Thanks NM.

    Craig Peters, CVO, Maverick Distillery.