Best known for its out-there bottle design, Sweden’s Purity has expanded from making a single vodka to a much wider range of products, including four(!) vodkas, three gins, and a bottled spritz. Everything has been rebranded lately, though the core recipes seem not to have changed much, starting with a distillate made of organic winter wheat and malted barley.
Recently we received a passel of products from Purity, giving us a fresh look at products both classic and new. Let’s dive in.
Purity Signature 34 Edition Vodka (2023) – This is a rebranding of Purity’s original vodka, the 34 referring to the number of times the vodka goes through the column still. How it comes out of that with a slight yellow tint is a mystery. Not nearly as neutral as I recall, Purity 34 seems to have been reformulated and now carries notes of almondy marzipan and hints of lemon curd, offering a clear but not overbearing sweetness that is reminiscent of cookie dough. The briskness of an Old World vodka is lacking here, which makes this less fun to sip solo, though I can certainly see it doing wonders in a fruit-driven cocktail like a cosmopolitan. Lingering vanilla wafer notes suggest that this would be a solid addition to the on-trend espresso martini, as well. 80 proof. Reviewed: Batch #125. B+ / $22 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS] [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE] [BUY IT NOW FROM RESERVEBAR]
Purity Connoisseur 51 Reserve Vodka – Reportedly distilled 51 times over 20 hours, resulting in a highly refined product. At the very least, that shade of pale yellow — while still present — is more muted here than in the 34 Edition. There’s still ample flavor in the mix that keeps this from approaching “neutral” — more fruit, slightly floral, with a banana quality now present. The crisp, almost medicinal quality of a classically styled vodka becomes considerably more prominent as this develops on the palate, giving the finish a brighter, green apple crispness. While it remains a bit on the doughy side, there’s simply more life and nuance in the vodka, making for a more elegant and versatile spirit. 80 proof. Reviewed: Batch #28. A- / $26 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE] [BUY IT NOW FROM RESERVEBAR]
Purity Craft Nordic 34 Dry Gin – Also billed as Purity London Dry Gin, this standard gin includes juniper, arctic berries, and botanicals that include basil, thyme, lingonberry, European blueberries, and lavender — so some departure from a traditional London dry recipe. It’s an engaging gin, quite herbaceous on the nose, with lots of juniper and the thyme notes distinctly present. A mix of florals temper any greenness in the aromatics. On the palate, juniper is immediately prominent, balanced by a fruity sweetness which may be driven by some of the berries in the mix or, more likely, the distillate itself. Nougaty vanilla notes build on the finish, though a light saline quality calms that sweetness down eventually. Ultimately more straightforward than it initially feels like it will be, it’s a versatile gin that works just fine in lower-proof cocktails. 86 proof. Reviewed: Batch #3. B+ / $28
Purity Old Tom 34 Gin – Intended to be a sweeter style of gin, this appears to be the same recipe as the Craft Nordic gin, but with some organic cane sugar added. Considering Purity already has a bit of residual sweetness to start with, you’re getting into almost dessert-like territory with this expression. It has a similar nose, but the flavor is dominated by sugar, washing away a lot of the character that makes Purity’s standard expression more interesting and usable. Throughout the experience, it clings heavily to the palate, evoking sugar cookies and some baking spice. There’s almost a milk chocolate note on the finish, even. All of which is a long way of saying it does not much taste like gin. 86 proof. Reviewed: Batch #1. B / $29 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
Purity Navy Strength 34 Gin – Pump that London Dry up to 57.1% abv and we’re getting somewhere interesting, no? This noses with a rumbling earthiness and a pine tree quality — it’s made with the same recipe as the Craft Nordic — and a gently smoky element that feels perfect for wintertime sipping. (Surely that season will happen someday, right?) On the palate, it soon becomes clear that what this gin needs to temper its sugary qualities is simply more alcohol. At navy strength, the sweetness all but vanishes, leaving behind a bracing and warming quality on the palate that keeps the focus on the most core elements of the gin — juniper, angelica, and mixed, dried green herbs. The finish has an outstanding length — though it is admittedly very boozy — with something of a charcoal-driven punch that clings to you, inescapable. 114.2 proof. Reviewed: Batch #3. A- / $35
Purity Spritz 34 Mediterranean Citrus – Officially billed as a citrus-flavored version of its classic vodka, this is designed to mix with sparkling wine for a quick Spritz. Again that sweetness informs the experience on both nose and palate, which gives the orange quality a heavily candied character. Marshmallow and vanilla notes are enduring, though they’re of course tempered by a healthy slug of Champagne or Prosecco. That said, nuance is decidedly lacking here. Most drinkers will be better off sticking with Aperol. 60 proof. Reviewed: Batch #4. B- / $25 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]