Nothing sinister about the name, I assure you. Double Cross refers two, well, two crosses, as seen on the label and on the coat of arms of Slovakia, the country from which this vodka hails. There are certainly other Slovak vodkas out there, but this is the only one I’ve tried to date.
Distilled seven times from organic winter wheat, and filtered seven times through diamond dust, charcoal, and limestone filters, you can’t argue with Double Cross’s top-tier pedigree.
The nose: Very much like a traditional vodka, with a moderate medicinal/antiseptic character and more distant notes of sugar and fresh bread. The body is quite similar – up-front with its medicinal notes, then fading away to a sweeter finish. There are highlights in the mid-palate of orange peel and exotic spice — cinnamon, cardamom, cloves — but these are subtle compared to the antiseptic character, which is always tough to knock down. Vodka purists will likely enjoy this one, as its complexities emerge with extended drinking. Unusually, I find it better on the rocks than straight from the freezer. Though it’s just 80 proof, a little water tends to help even things out.
By the way, the monolith of a bottle is both striking (in or out of the wooden case it comes with) and totally unwieldy. Never mind difficulty pouring from it — just holding the bottle is difficult. Amazing to look at, though.
Currently available only in New York and New Jersey.