Who is Brandon? Brandon is Phil Brandon, the founder of Rock Town Distillery, the first legal distillery in the state of Arkansas since Prohibition. Both are distilled from Arkansas red winter wheat and are bottled in hand-numbered bottles. Here’s how both — available regionally in limited markets — shake out.
Brandon’s Vodka – Incredible nut and butterscotch character on the nose. Almost dessert-like on the tongue, it’s hard to believe this isn’t a flavored spirit. The overwhelming notes of creme brulee, almonds, and dark chocolate are impossible to ignore, making this a love-it-or-hate-it spirit. What else to say? It has no medicinal character and no real bite to speak of, and I scarcely know whether to even categorize it as a vodka at all. 80 proof. (Batch 7, Bottle 32) B+ / $30
Brandon’s Gin -As odd as Brandon’s Vodka is, Brandon’s Gin plays it by the book: A straightforward infusion “vapor infused” with seven (unnamed but natural) botanicals. Juniper and citrus peel, plus a little pepper, start you off, and eventually those herbal characteristics fade and leave you with hints of Brandon’s sweet vodka, the obvious base for its gin. An exercise in contrasts, but one that works for the most part. 92 proof. (Batch 6, Bottle 221) B+ / $30