Tallarico is the brainchild of Giancarlo Tallarico, a Beverly Hills-based entrepreneur with his eyes on his own vodka (and a $45 price tag). Distilled from common rye and white winter wheat, this vodka (tagline: “Imbibe Elegantly.”) comes in a monolithic and mostly opaque, black decanter that fades to clear at the bottom.
On the nose, it’s a classic blend of Old World and New — lightly medicinal, but with hints of something spicy and sweet beneath.
On the body it’s a whole other animal: Intense and alternately rum- and white whiskey-like, with a big grain character plus a whole host of other things you don’t get with vodka — banana, coconut (both meat and husk), and indistinct fuel notes.
The finish is long and turns rough, with more of that whiskey character than you might expect. Funky and wholly unexpected, like pot-distilled, unaged rum, this is a spirit that will find a few big fans and plenty of detractors. Frankly, it’s just much too far from “neutral” for me. Let the debate begin in the comments below.
B- / $45