Review: Seraphine Chai Tea Vodka

seraphine chai tea vodkaChai tea is one of the “it” flavorings of the ’10s, and Yahara Bay, which produces the V Bourbon we reviewed a few days ago, takes a different tack than the various chai liqueurs on the market.

Instead, the company flavors vodka with chai to create a unique (and more powerful) spirit.

The color of whiskey, Seraphine smells big and chai-like, with that unmistakeable cinnamon/allspice+tea character on the nose. There’s raisins, cardamom, and nutty notes in there. It’s altogether a lot of fun. The body is a different animal, though, and wholly unexpected. Instead of that big, creamy rush, what comes along is a surprisingly thin, and not entirely flavorful animal.

The initial flavor component is chai-like and in keeping with the nose, but it isn’t more than a second until the vodka base takes over. It’s devoid of much character, just a simple, and rather watery undercarriage that wipes away the deliciousness of the chai. It’s a thin and dull direction for such a promising spirit to take, and makes me wonder how exactly you’d use something like this. Liqueurs, with their stronger flavors and smoother bodies, would go further in cocktails, and some of them work well on their own. Seraphine would require a lot of doctoring — one recipe I’ve seen includes non-dairy creamer — to make the magic happen.

C+ / $29 /

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