It’s an old story but I’ll tell it again: Cherry is the toughest flavor in the universe to pull off in a spirit.
People keep trying, though, and the latest out of the gate is Stoli, with a “Wild Cherri” vodka.
This naturally-flavored concoction (actually from Latvia, not Russia) starts off OK. It smells pretty good, like fresh, dark cherries. And on first sip, it even seems like it’s going to taste pleasant. Then you swallow and all hell breaks loose. Your instinct is to cough — because cherry is inextricably sewn up in the mind with cough syrup — but while that can be suppressed, the grimace cannot. The bite is moderately harsh, and the promise of sweet cherries fades away as a medicinal character overwhelms the fruit. That’s a combination of earthy, herbal Old World vodka and the sad reality of nearly all cherry-flavored spirits; the flavors just don’t come together in the right way, through no fault of their own.
Think of it as shrimp and chocolate. I love ’em both, just not at the same time.
C / $26 / stoli.com