Monday, July 9, 2012
Vodka, Thy Name is Whiskey: Kansas Clean Distilled Spirit Whiskey
That's the tag line for Kansas Clean Distilled Spirit Whiskey. According to the website, "You won't find rednecks in overalls or middle-aged men in tweed flat caps anywhere near a bottle of Kansas Clean Distilled Whiskey." The pictures on the site show that this is a whiskey for hip, young people who need something to drink on the way to the club, the rave or wherever it is hip young people go these days.
But what is this colorless "whiskey"? Well, according to the federal regulations, "spirit whiskey" is a mixture of neutral spirits and not less than 5% whiskey. That's right, it's called whiskey but it can be up to 95% vodka. Yum!
It would be easy to prejudge this brand based on its website full of stereotypes and transparent demographic targeting or just the fact that it's vodka with a whiskey label on it, but that wouldn't be fair. So in the spirit of taking one for the team, I sampled some.
Kansas Clean Distilled Spirit Whiskey, 40% abv ($30)
There is no nose on this, none. It tastes mostly like water with a vaguely sweet note underneath, there is also some rice and artificial vanilla. There is no finish, none.
True to the vodka character, this has almost no discernible flavor. It tastes like slightly flavored water. I wouldn't say it's the worst thing I've tasted. After all, I like water, and I actually like this stuff better than most vodka, which I find tastes like rubbing alcohol smells. But it isn't whiskey by any stretch of the imagination, and I can't imagine why anyone would buy or drink such a thing unless their only goal was getting drunk in the most flavorless way possible, or perhaps if one had a palate disorder of some sort which made them averse to flavor of any sort.
The problem with Kansas Clean Distilled Spirit Whiskey...is that it isn't whiskey.