In the tasting notes for Alaska Glacier Vodka, the marketers whipped up a little blurb under the heading "23,000 years in the making": "In a world where the next thing is the big thing, time is often replaced with speed and efficiency. Alaska Glacier Vodka takes a different approach."
Specifically, the approach is to source water from the 23,000-year-old Eklutna Glacier east of Anchorage, Alaska and ship it to Koenig Distillery in Caldwell, where it's finished into vodka.
A lot of spirits—especially vodkas—are purported to possess extraordinary properties derived from various ingredients. Some are more dubious than others. In this case, however, the distillers definitely have something special.
Rare is the vodka that doesn't carry an acetone-ish odor. Alaska Glacier emits no such whiff of nail polisher remover. On the contrary, it's slightly citrusy on the nose with a faint hint of crisp minerality. If a smell can be "clean," then this vodka is nearly spotless. Likewise on the palate, where the delicacy of this spirit is much appreciated.
At 40 percent alcohol by volume, it would be reasonable to expect a certain amount of heat, but, again, this gluten-free, twice-charcoal filtered vodka surprises, with a smooth, cool—dare we say "glacial"—mouthfeel.
As far as mixing, we recommend a less-is-more approach. A splash of soda and wedge of lemon or lime is sublime, as is a berry or mint garnish. Even better, when shaken to a frigid temperature and served up sans vermouth, Alaska Glacier is a stellar martini vodka.
While the water source for Alaska Glacier may be ancient, the product itself is a newcomer. Brought to market by Meridian-based NorthStar Spirits and set for a free 5 p.m. public tasting at Flatbread on First Thursday, April 6, AGV only recently hit Gem State liquor store shelves—and at $24.95 for a 750-milliliter bottle, it probably won't stay on them long. It probably won't linger in your liquor cabinet, either. The promotional material makes a point of taking things slow, but our bottle didn't make it through a whole weekend.