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Xplorer Potato Vodka
About Xplorer Potato Vodka
Xplorer Potato Vodka is produced by Kilimanjaro Distillery, a family-owned craft distillery in Allentown Pensylvania. Founded by a Tanzanian-American father daughter team in 2015, Kilimanjaro produces several spirits including vodka, gin, whiskey, and specialty products.
As a brand, Xplorer is inspired by global travel and the power of bringing people together. The company aims to do good for the community, donating a percentage of their profits to clean water efforts and their local Meals on Wheels.
Kilimanjaro Distillery products are made using a mixture of locally grown and globally sourced ingredients. Their vodkas are distilled 12 times in a stainless steel tank – which aims to create a pure flavor. This bottle of Potato Vodka is made using local potatoes, and is bottled at 80 proof.
❖ ABV: 40%
❖ Distillery: Kilimanjaro Distillery
❖ Aging: none
❖ Price Point: moderate price
❖ Lemon Peel
❖ Dried Licorice
❖ Lemon Peel
My Tasting notes
I began by taking a whiff of this vodka, and found the aroma to be somewhat clean and earthy at the same time. My nose didn’t love or hate the smell, but I was intrigued by the subtle mustiness.
I moved on to taking my first sip, and the alcohol heat was quite prominent. With each sip, the alcohol mellowed slightly, and I was able to pick out earthy potato notes and a custard-like aftertaste. Despite a lot of concentration, I could only pinpoint these two notes out of the numerous advertised flavor notes for this vodka.
Again, I found that I didn’t love nor hate the experience of drinking this vodka straight. The flavor was interesting and stimulating to analyze. At the same time, I found myself wishing the experience was over so I could move on to the cocktail.
❖ 2 oz vodka
❖ 1/2 oz triple sec
❖ 1 oz lemon juice
❖ 1 oz simple syrup
garnish: sugar rim
- Rim a martini glass with simple syrup, and then follow it up with granulated sugar to create a sugar rim.
- Add the ingredients to a shaker with ice, and shake until chilled.
- Strain the mixture into your rimmed martini glass.
Drinking this lemon drop cocktail, I felt that the Xplorer Potato Vodka really got the chance to shine. Against the sweet and sour mixers, the rest of the vodka’s flavor notes came out to play, and created a drink that tasted complex. The spice notes in particular were prominent, though it was hard to identify the specific blend of spices. There was also a sweetness that oscillated between toffee, vanilla, and honey, perhaps blending all three at once in a subtle way. Though there is a bit of alcohol heat, it’s mellow enough to not be bothersome inside a cocktail.
Overall, I was impressed with this unusual take on a potato vodka, though it also has its drawbacks. As a mixing spirit, I think it has a specialness and complexity that I haven’t tasted in a vodka before. It has a lot of character, and seems to really highlight the ingredients in a beautiful way.
That said, I don’t think I would ever take a shot of this vodka by choice, as it really needs mixers to balance it. Xplorer’s marketing materials indicate that they were aiming for a very “pure” flavor, which is surprising to me after tasting it myself.
Although I’m confused by the disconnect between marketing and reality, I’m actually really excited to keep experimenting with this vodka in different cocktails. If you follow the blog, you know that I’m a hardcore vodka skeptic – so this is saying a lot!
At the end of the day, you’ll want to skip this if you’re looking for something pure, clean, and smooth. If you are looking for a more unique vodka experience, it’s worth picking up a bottle of Xplorer Potato Vodka to try for yourself.
As always, drink responsibly.