With its frosted glass bottle, inset with a drawing of a copse of trees, Grand Traverse Distillery aims for super-premium territory with this True North Vodka, and arguably succeeds.
Distilled from rye and bottled at 80 proof in Michigan, USA, this is perhaps the most unusual non-flavored vodka I’ve ever encountered. The nose and body are thick with rye character, and the first sip inundates the palate with citrus notes.
Anyone looking for a truly neutral, flavorless vodka will have to hunt elsewhere. Lemon peel is huge — not a hint, a big slug of bitter/sour lemon rind — with briny secondary notes of olives and sea spray. That rye character then comes back in the finish, like a big hunk of fresh rye bread. Overwhelming.
True North calls for something — vermouth, maybe a strong one like Vya or a Lillet Blanc — that will balance out some of its hugeness and mellow it out. This is a great vodka for lots-of-olives martini drinkers. Those looking for something to go with their 7-Up might want to look elsewhere.
B / $35 / grandtraversedistillery.com