Hailing from New Richmond, Wisconsin, 45th Parallel takes its name from the line that passes through the state, halfway from the Equator to the North Pole.
Distilled from locally-grown grains (unspecified varieties), 45th Parallel is distilled three times and then charcoal filtered before being bottled at 80 proof. The company takes great pains to note that it does not buy bulk spirits and repackage or blend them into its own products. Everything in the bottle is produced in New Richmond.
Looks good on paper, but 45th Parallel is surprisingly sedate as far as vodkas go. For those looking for a dead neutral spirit, 45th Parallel is about as close as they come. The sweet and citrus of many other vodkas produced these days is wholly lacking in 45th Parallel. Strain and you can come up with some bread-like characteristics and an almost herbal, medicinal character late in the game, but that’s about it. The only sour note is the finish, which ends on a bitter, vegetal note instead of the clean touch that vodka is so well-known for.
45th Parallel is a solid vodka for use in cocktails (where the vague, off finish doesn’t come through), but I recommend other brands for sipping straight.
Very hard to find.
B / $30