Review: Industrious Spirit Company Ostreida Oyster Vodka

Review: Industrious Spirit Company Ostreida Oyster Vodka

I’ve long known how well oysters and vodka go together, but I’ve always had them served separately.

Until now…

The Industrious Spirit Company’s (ISCO) Ostreida is vodka made in Rhode Island, with oysters used as part of the distillation process. Officially “a spirit made with oysters,” it’s made from scratch with a 100% corn distillate plus fresh, local oysters sourced from regional farms. (A neck tag indicates the specific farm from which that batch of vodka’s oysters came from, as well as the date of harvest. We didn’t get a tag on our sample bottle, however.) ISCO donates a portion of sales of each bottle to, an organization that trains and supports ocean farmers about climate change.

What does oyster-infused vodka — “flavored” does not seem appropriate here — taste like? Well, it’s certainly unique, though it takes some time to find its footing.

The vodka’s nose is initially decidedly western — quite sweet rather than offering the briny quality I was expecting. Aromas run closer to cotton candy for the first five minutes in glass, maintaining a sweet quality to the point where I thought ISCO just might be putting us on. Patience is rewarded however, as the aromas coalesce and the sugary notes blow off. Before long, a distinctly maritime note reveals itself, all seaweed and sea spray, with a lightly fishy quality that does indeed evoke shellfish, if not oysters specifically.

The palate is less clearly influenced by the oyster infusion, offering a mix of generalized sweetness and coastal brine. It’s the former that tends to win out here, with notes of almonds and pastry dough, later fading toward sugar cookie dough, dominating the experience. A spritz of expressed lemon peel brightens up the finish, along with a reprise of salt — but it lacks the heavier raw bar quality that makes the nose so unique. For better or for worse.

80 proof.

B+ / $35 /

Industrious Spirit Company Ostreida Vodka




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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