Way back in 2009, we reviewed the then-new Double Cross Vodka, a Slovakian distillate of winter wheat, bottled in an iconic — but tough to handle — rectangular bottle. Well, Double Cross is still on the market, and in 2021 they finally switched up the bottle, opting for a more traditional (and sustainable) look that uses 1.5 pounds less glass, but keeps the recipe the same. (It’s also about $10 cheaper today, and much more widely available than before.)
Have a dozen years — and my own personal changing tastes — impacted the presentation of the spirit? Let’s give 2021 Double Cross a spin, shall we?
As was the case back in 2009, Double Cross presents itself with a classic character that’s lightly medicinal on the nose, very clean but astringent. Touches of nougat are evident, but they’re fleeting, thanks to the heavy weight of ethanol. On the palate, there’s a creamier character that emerges, offering notes of lemon cream and some baking spice that evokes gingerbread as the palate emerges. Something driven by the wheat base, perhaps? This seems not nearly as pungent on the palate as I remarked 12 years ago, but a gentle sweetness, touched with almond notes, remains evident as the finish arrives.
My 2021 rating is a slight upgrade over my assessment from the aughts: It’s still a solid, fairly traditional vodka, but I’m unsure whether it has enough of a unique character to merit replacing your current favorite white spirit.