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Steve Strong doesn’t distill his spirits the same way most spirits are distilled. Or more correctly, his distillery doesn’t share the same locality as many distilleries. The S.D. Strong distillery is located in a cave 42 feet beneath Parksville, Missouri. It’s in this 72 degree cave that Steve handcrafts small batches of vodka and gin.
Steve traveled to Omaha last holiday season. I had the pleasure of meeting him then. He told me about the distillery, their future plans to grow their portfolio of spirits and he gifted me a bottle of S.D. Strong vodka.
S.D. Strong Vodka Tasting Notes
The aroma is clean with hardly any trace scent and no burn at all. Tasted neat there is a little burn, but that’s to be expected with alcohol.
This vodka has great viscosity with medium to heavy body. It feels slightly thick and very smooth as it rolls over the tongue. There is an element of chewiness as it is savored on the tongue for a moment. I detect buttery notes with hints of corn flavor. The same kind of corn flavor one might taste in White Dog. There is definite warming as it trickles down the throat.
S.D. Strong vodka is good neat, but is much better well chilled. This would be excellent chilled in the freezer to pour later as traditional Russian vodka shots. That isn’t my preferred way of drinking vodka, but the taste and thickness of this vodka brought chilled shots instantly to mind.
Something this vodka lacks is crispness. It’s clean and well-rounded, but doesn’t have that crisp bite other vodkas have. For this reason, I don’t think a martini is the best choice for this particular vodka. Oh, I’ve made a couple of martinis with it and enjoyed them to say the least. But I think this vodka benefits by including citrus to give it certain sharpness. Something like the super simple Big Daddy drink which uses fresh lime peel for intensity and hint of flavor.
This vodka adds exceptional weight to mixed cocktails.
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Cheri Loughlin is the Omaha writer and photographer behind www.intoxicologist.net and author of Cocktails with a Tryst: An Affair with Mixology and Seduction. You can email Cheri with comments and questions at email@example.com.