For its fifth city-themed, limited edition vodka, our friends at Absolut have brought us something awfully close to home: Absolut SF (because presumably “San Francisco” was too long for the bottle).
Three fruity infusions are added to this special bottling: grape, papaya, and dragon fruit. No huge explanation for the flavoring agents is offered; however, grape is obvious and the papaya and dragon fruit, I am guessing, are a nod to the city’s heavy Far East, Southeast Asian, and Hispanic population. I’d have gone with a little lychee in there, but that’s just my bias.
As for the spirit itself, the grape is hard to miss, but it’s dialed back quite a bit vs. the over-the-top jelly-like vodkas that dominate the liquor store shelves. Papaya and dragon fruit are elusive but come across more clearly on the nose. The body unfortunately is a bit muddier than that, with the tropical notes at war with the powerful grape essence. Some inharmonious, woodsy flavors, common with all Absolut bottlings, are evident as you sip it.
While the cityscape motif on the front of the bottle is eye-catching, I’m less enamored of the day-glo protest signs that serve as a backdrop (etched on the reverse of the bottle so it’s seen through the glass). I know all too well our activist heritage here, but I don’t want to have to think about it while I’m drinking.
B+ / $20 / absolut.com
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