Guillotine Vodka hails from France (where else?) where it produces two versions of the spirit. The standard vodka is, like many French vodkas, distilled from grapes, while the Heritage Edition is “aged” (their quotation marks) in Cognac and Armagnac barrels “made from very special Limousin oak.”
We tried both. Let’s dig in. Mind the price tags!
Guillotine Vodka – Sharp but fragrant with florals on the nose, slowly fading toward charcoal and earth notes as it develops in the glass. The palate has the light sweetness that many grape-distilled vodkas offer, with a cleansing, ethanol-heavy character building on the tongue. The finish gets sweeter over time, building toward a conclusion that evokes marshmallows and vanilla — more New World than the initial attack would indicate. Solid stuff. 80 proof. A- / $55
Guillotine Vodka Heritage Edition – Lots of wood here, giving the nose a heavily spicy and lightly meaty character, definitely more on the whiskey spectrum than any vodka. The palate’s a surprise, however — aggressively sweet with fruit and various candy notes, buttery with an intense vanilla character that builds on the tongue over time. It’s actually a lot to handle, too much of a sugar rush, making the finish feel a bit like a butterscotch candy. I’m not quite sure how I’d use this, especially at $85. 90 proof. B / $85