In this business, you learn something every day. Today I have learned that you can make vodka out of anything. Vermont Spirits makes its two vodkas, Vermont White and Vermont Gold, out of truly unique base ingredients: milk vodka and maple syrup, respectively.
Vodka out of sugar? I’d have thought that distilling sugar would net you rum, not vodka, but they’re not really rummy at all. Both are 80 proof. We tried a bottle of each.
Vermont White is the milk vodka, a New England take on a traditional Tuvan spirit, triple distilled from pure milk sugar (sort of like powdered milk, but sweeter) and blended with local spring water. Rest assured, despite the cow on the bottle there is no milk-like character here. It’s a traditional vodka with a bracing yet moderately light medicinal approach, then a finish that fades into a nice and lingering sweetness. Creamy, with just a hint of bittersweet chocolate, this is a steal at $27 a bottle. A- / $27
Vermont Gold is the company’s top-shelf vodka, triple distilled from maple sap boiled over a wood fire, then charcoal filtered. It’s far closer to rum territory than Vermont White, with which it shares very little DNA. There’s no mystery that syrup is the base here; it’s big on the nose, and the body includes a strong caramel character, with light wood and charcoal notes. Not as sweet as Vermont White, it’s still got plenty of sugar in it, but it’s not cloying. With all those other characteristics at play, this is a really unique drinking experience that should be a go-to vodka for any dessert drinks… or for drinking on its own. For some reason, drinking it reminds me of jelly beans. Though unaffiliated with this spirit, I blame the Tuvans. A / $38