Hangar One recently launched two new flavors to its extremely well-regarded infused vodka line (Kaffir Lime is widely thought of — by myself included — as the best flavored vodka on the market), with pears and blueberries their respective inspirations. Both are naturally infused, colorless, and bottled at 80 proof, uncommon for flavored vodkas. Thoughts on each follow.
Hangar One Spiced Pear Vodka – The “spices” in this mix aren’t revealed, but let’s take a stab at what they might be based on nosing and tasting: Cinnamon, cloves, perhaps some ginger. The pear flavor — pears are sourced from Colorado — is authentic and has that subtle earthiness that apples lack. The vodka component has plenty of bite, but it’s neither harsh nor unpleasant, making this spirit a good choice as a mixer in many scenarios. That said, pears have never really been my bag. If you’re into that kind of mulled pear cider character, you’ll likely be a fan of this seasonal concoction. B+
Hangar One Maine Wild Blueberry Vodka – Did you know over half of all wild blueberries in the U.S. come from Maine? Who knows how many of those end up in this vodka, but it’s surely a lot: This spirit is pungent with blueberry character from the moment it is poured, blueberry hanging heavy in the air. The body is about the same, not quite as rich as I was expecting, but still deep and quite delicious, blueberries all the way and just a touch of vodka bite on the back end. I like it a touch better than the also very good Stoli Blueberi. Overall it’s a really worthy candidate as one of the best fruit-flavored vodkas on the market. A
each $30 / hangarone.com