Stoli Hot Vodka Review

stoli hot

 

In the world of flavored vodkas, there seems to be an arms race between the different vodka companies to see who can take the craziest, sweetest junk food and turn it into a 70 proof mixer for cocktails. Not that there is anything wrong with the novelty of having a donut, fruit loop, or gummy bear flavored drink but I am surprised there haven’t been more vodkas trying to fill the niche in the other direction. Stoli Hot is a jalapeño-flavored vodka that seems to be attempting to do just that. As far as I can tell it is one of only a few non-sweet flavored vodkas out there and the only one with a significant heat.

Stolichnaya is a Russian vodka that has been around since 1948. It is a wheat vodka and has a nice mouth feel with a slightly sweet taste and I think this actually makes the jalapeño flavor work even better. The level of heat is a good one. It is a heat that is present but won’t be overpowering to most people. I found it far less hot than actual  jalapeño and it quickly cools when mixed with something else. If you can take a little tabasco sauce this won’t be challenging at all.

The flavor is basically jalapeño but with a sweet finish. It has Stoli’s thicker mouth feel and is very smooth. The burn comes from the pepper, not the alcohol. I found that a bloody mary works really well with Stoli Hot. For the show we used Mr. and Mrs. T’s Hot Bloody Mary mix and the added Stoli Hot gave it quite a kick. If you like extra heat with your bloody mary this is a great choice for you.

In mixed drinks and cocktails a lot of the flavors that work well with jalapeño will work well here. Fruity drinks work better than I would have thought. I made a “Stoli Red” which is just the Stoli Hot mixed with cranberry juice and it was pretty nice. I think pineapple and lime would be particularly nice. I made a jalapeño martini by just using gin and the Stoli Hot in a 2:1 ratio and it was actually too bland. A dash of bitters helped but I would recommend mixing it at a higher proportion of Stoli and maybe not leaving out the vermouth. I’ve also though that using it in a chocolate drink might be nice. Sort of an Aztec-chocolate flavored drink. I will have to work on that and get back to you.

Overall, I think that this is a good bottle to have in your mixing toolkit. Jalapeño is a great flavor to add to a drink and it has not been over done. Just about every hot shot or cocktail uses a cinnamon-base like Hot Damn or Fireball Whiskey. Bringing the heat without the sweet is a good way to make your cocktail stand out.

You can listen as I try Stoli Hot and see the cocktails I made with it in Episode 9 of Bottoms Up.

 

In case you are wondering, I’ve been playing around with a variety of spirits lately because I am working on making some custom cocktails for Hellapalooza, an ungodly combination of rock n’ roll, burlesque, freakshows, and drinking that is coming to The Southgate House Revival on May 11th. Tonic Tours will have a booth set up so come to the show and say hello.

Beer Review: Rivertown Death

Right, first thing’s first, I’m a little scared and very excited. I’m excited because I love Rivertown and enjoyed both Famine and War, plus I’m all in for high gravity beers. I’m scared because the pepper in this beer, the Jolokia pepper. This thing used to be Guinness World Records hottest pepper in the world, it’s also being used as a weapon by the Indian Army, they’re putting it into grenades. The following table shows various peppers and where they fall in the Scoville unit, the table and all this pepper info is jacked from Wikipedia.

Scoville units Examples
1,500,000–2,000,000 Most law enforcement grade pepper sprayTrinidad Moruga Scorpion
855,000–1,463,700 Bhut Jolokia chili pepper – This is what they used in this beer
100,000–350,000 Habanero chili
50,000–100,000 Bird’s eye chili (aka. Thai Chili Pepper)
30,000–50,000 Cayenne pepper
3,500–8,000 Jalapeño pepper, Chipotle, Tabasco sauce
No significant heat Bell pepper

This is the last of the Brewmaster’s reserve limited release apocalypse series. Here are my previous reviews of Famine and War, unfortunately I missed the boat on Pestilence.

From the label:

Batch No. 4 in The Brewmaster’s Reserve Limited Release Series Death is the fourth of four brews released centered around the Mayan apocalypse of 2012 signifying worlds end on December 21st 2012.

Death is a high gravity Russian imperial stout. Rich malt complexity from a blend of dark malts, paired with Jolokia peppers (Ghost chili peppers) emphasize the finality of the series and the horseman himself. Save one for December 21st 2012.

Time to get drinking!

Continue reading “Beer Review: Rivertown Death”

Beer Review: Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti

So far my excursion into dark beers has been less than stunning especially this week with cans of Guinness Draught and Murphy’s. I expect this beer to radically change all that, at the very least in terms of getting me drunk since this is more than double the ABV of either of those two.

Continue reading “Beer Review: Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti”

Beer Review: Pliny The Elder

One of the legendary beers of our times, Pliny The (Mother Fucking) Elder. Let’s start with this…

Ratebeer: 100
Beer Advocate: 100 from The Brothers and average of 100 from 2,673 readers
Untappd: 4.62% from 7,360 ratings
2004 Great American Beer Festival – Bronze Medal Double IPA – Pliny the Elder
2005 Great American Beer Festival – Gold Medal Double IPA – Pliny the Elder
2006 World Beer Cup – Gold Medal Double IPA – Pliny the Elder
2006 Great American Beer Festival – Gold Medal Double IPA – Pliny the Elder
Zymurgy #1 American beer of 2012

Next up for our Ohio friends you can’t buy this here. Might be able to get some in PA, or travel to CA, or make a trade like I did. So lets find out what I think…

Brewery: Russian River
Beer: Pliny The Elder
Stlye: Double/Imperial IPA
Alcohol By Volume: 8%

Great Golden orange copper color that reminds me of a beautiful sunset. The head comes up a nice bubbly white.

Smells aggressively hoppy, with some hints of pine and raisins. I’m also getting an earthy whiff like fresh cut grass and a small hint of the 8% alcohol. Very enjoyable smell creating lots of anticipation!

This is one of the most complex hop profiles I’ve had, not intense just complex. The taste is actually very very smooth. But it’s not all hops, there are some bready malts, either pear or something like it.

Uhm, starting to feel that 8% a bit.

It’s a creamy medium bodied mouth feel, with… not carbonation, but crispness.

Overall it’s a good beer, a damn good beer. “Best beer in America” I dunno about that, there is a lot of beer out there. Without a doubt this is one of the better beers that I’ve had. I’m trying to work away from my #/5 rating system, if you want that you can go to ratebeer or beer advocate, but if I was to give it a # I might have to rethink my system. Giving this a 5 feels like a disservice, but maximums have to exist for a reason I guess…

Bottom line here is try it if you can. Just so you know what’s out there and what so many people think is so amazing. Also, that 8% seems low to me after finishing the pint I feel like it’s closer to around 9 or 10%. As a small aside I gave the wife a sip and she made a “meh” face with a shoulder shurg. She’s a cider drinker not a fan of beer at all, but she couldn’t pass on trying “the best beer in America.”

I want more…