Just when you thought you’d encountered every vodka twist known to man — from marijuana to bacon — comes a definite first: vodka distilled from black-eyed peas from Muleshoe, Texas. It may reek of gimmickry, as does the very name, BLK EYE, all in uppercase. However, the striking black, white, and gold bottle, with artwork etched on the inside, makes you stop and think twice. There will be different artworks included with each limited-edition bottling, all from Texas artists.
Still, you can’t judge a vodka by the bottle, so what’s inside? On the nose, BLK EYE immediately feels classy. There’s no hint of that medicinal aroma that many cheap vodkas have, and this one has been distilled 22 times. The number of distillations is also often used as an attention-seeker, but it’s the results that counts. Here we find aromas of cream, vanilla, molasses, and a balancing earthiness from its vegetal origins.
The palate confirms what the nose suspects. There’s a lush and rounded mouthfeel, more cream and vanilla, and the earthiness has been joined by a nuttiness, giving a complexity which belies the belief that all vodkas taste the same. The finish feels as supple as swallowing a spoon of double-cream, but with an alcoholic kick. Black-eyed peas or not, there are definitely no gimmicks here. It’s just one exceptionally good vodka.
A- / $40