The big vodka brands (Grey Goose and Absolut, for example) are typically made from wheat. According to Kalak’s founder, Patrick Shelley, it’s all about the character of the finished product. Malted barley delivers that in spades, wheat doesn’t. Kalak is made solely from malted barley and water, and is distilled in pot stills. The same jumping off point as single malt whiskey, as it happens.The similarity with whiskey is apparent on the nose and on the tongue. If you have tried newly made whiskey, straight from the still, you will recognise Kalak.
It does not have the rawness of newly made whiskey, however, having been distilled to a purity of 96%. It takes three passes through a pot still to reach that point. A further distillation reduces impurities and improves the flavour. Finally, it is filtered through charcoal and cut with spring water to a bottling strength of 40%.
Official tasting notes:
- Freshly baked brioche, vanilla and fresh fruit.
- A deliciously elegant texture with hints of dark chocolate, cream and candied fruit.
- A soft and glowing lingering complexity.
Kalak is 100% Irish in every respect. It’s an Irish brand, made by the fully Irish-owned West Cork Distillers, from 100% Irish malted barley. The name, too, is Irish in disguise, derived from a mythological figure, An Cailleach, whose legendary qualities and accoutrements suffuse the branding. This excellent vodka is now available at Number 21 off licence. Until next week, enjoy!