HOPHEAD Vodka by Anchor Distilling Company
In an effort to bridge the gap between the IPA loving beer consumer and the vodka fanatic, Anchor distilling has created the best of both worlds with their newest release, HOPHEAD Vodka. The fact that it’s in all caps is a testament to the intent of their new brand. Touted as “the world’s first distilled hopped vodka”, HOPHEAD Vodka is a pot-distilled vodka utilizing two distinct varieties of hops cultivated from Washington’s Yakima Valley. According to a recent press release by David King, President of Anchor Distilling Company, “We’ve been looking to add a vodka to our portfolio for quite some time, but couldn’t seem to find the right fit. So we decided to distill our own, blending the history and heritage of our brewery and distillery, creating an amazing liquid that fits perfectly in our portfolio of craft spirits.”
And now, the review. The nose of the HOPHEAD is distinct and potent with its fragrance permeating the room the moment the cap of the bottle was removed. Although not as piney as your typical draft IPA, the hop scent was fresh and shared a distinct familiarity with being dry hopped rather than solely utilized during distillation.
Developed by head distiller, Bruce Joseph and brew master, Mark Carpenter (creators of Old Potrero Whiskey and Junipero Gin) HOPHEAD Vodka certainly has a distinguished pedigree. After sampling the HOPHEAD, one thing is for sure, this is definitely vodka designed for the true hop extremists out there as the hops on the palette are quite assertive. If you could imagine simply taking a handful of freshly grown hops and wringing them out over a highball of vodka, the resulting mixture would be dead on. Thankfully however, the HOPHEAD Vodka’s flavor profile manages to steer clear of the harsh bitterness of many hopped beverages and instead provides a unique and ultimately clean hop taste. In addition, that same cleanliness helps to minimize the burn that would typically be associated with a 45 ABV spirit. Perfect for a number of mixed beverages, which you can find here, the HOPHEAD is fairly versatile and can add a dynamic hopped depth to some of the more classical cocktails. So if you’re a diehard hops fan and you’re looking for something distinct and unique, this is one product that lives up to its fully capitalized name.
HOPHEAD Vodka is currently available in New York City, San Francisco as well as a few other key markets. It retails for around $30.00 a bottle and will be making its way into national markets throughout the year.