Bottling Green Bargains

360 Vodka Tasting - photo copyright Cheri Loughlin

A bottle of liquor caught my eye recently.  That happens quite frequently, but usually due to bottle design or rarity of brand rather than money bargain.  Let’s face it, there is a lot of liquor on the market vying for our attention, but sometimes it is relatively pricy.  In this case 360 Vodka sat on the shelf priced a little under $17 with a $10 rebate tag hanging around its neck.  Not only that, if I participate in the “Close the Loop” program once I am finished with the bottle and send in the wire swing top, 360 Vodka will donate $1.00 to an environmental program.  Not a bad deal all around, so I swiped up a bottle.

The 360 Vodka site is out of the ordinary for a liquor site since it appears to promote more about “green” living than the liquor.  If you care to know what the vodka tastes like before you buy it, read the age verification page.  That is the only place you will get much of anything about taste.  At the risk of sounding critical, it reads quite creatively.  From the narrative I thought I was about to pour into my tasting glass one of those buttery sugar cookies covered in soft powdered sugar that melt in my mouth before crumbling into nothingness.

“Soft, silky entry leads to a round, delicate, dryish light-to-medium body with whipped cream and mineral flavors.  Finishes in a smooth, sweet, and lightly warming powdered sugar, mild citrus zest, and talc fade with nice length.  A very smooth, clean, and gently style vodka for martins or neat.  Impressive.  The sweet frosting and mineral aroma and flavor profile is exceptionally smooth with a nice, spicy, tingling fade and very little warmth.  Overall, this is a clean, smooth, and balanced vodka.” – Beverage Tasting Institute

That being said, 360 Vodka does make it clear that its product is four times distilled and five times filtered for supreme character.  The quality of the vodka is clean, gentle, with a little powdery feel that sticks around in the back of the throat, but not sugar cookie.  There is sweetness in the long finish and a vague sense of grassiness.  It slightly burns in the aroma.  I would characterize the body as roughly medium.  My thought is it will make a great mixer for cocktails and depending on your preference; it could make a good martini although I have not sampled it in one.

360 Vodka - photo copyright Cheri Loughlin360 Vodka’s main focus outside of creating vodka is “saving the planet one glass at a time” according to the mini video on the first page of their site.  Eco-Factoids run in a constant banner giving bits of information such as 36 recycled newspapers save one tree or the average person generates 4.5 pounds of trash per day.  The site is complete with recipes, downloads and multiple links to encourage you to go “green.”

360 Vodka believes in the 3-P’s:

Philosophy – 360 is eco aware and displays corporate responsibility.  This is manifested through their greener process and greener products.  Some reviewers have pointed out they are not also organic.

Product – The 360 Vodka is quadruple distilled to achieve perfect balance of clarity and character.  Their distilling equipment reduces the use of fossil fuel energy by 21% compared to “pot distilling” which uses 200% more energy.  Every bushel of grain is fully utilized so nothing is wasted.  360 Vodka is five times filtered through a granulated charcoaled coconut shell filtration system.  This acts as a mellowing agent to give 360 its long smooth finish.

Packaging – The “green” packaging saves trees, water and cuts down on waste by using recycled goods for their bottle and labeling.

With this current $10 rebate in place, 360 Vodka is a great bargain whether you are interested in saving the green in your wallet or saving the “green” in the planet.

Cheri Loughlin is a leading cocktail and photography resource for beverage companies, event planners, businesses and individuals. High resolution cocktail and beverage stock photography images are available in downloadable digital format in the newly redesigned Stock Photography Gallery at www.cheriloughlin.com.

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