The next in our limited PILOT SERIES, Mushroom, Butter, Lovage - 45.3%
Our newest pilot release is the result of a competition we initiated at the end of last year. We wanted to put it to our customers to help inspire us with an extra original and special idea.
The winner of the competition was Pam from @Sipping_and_styling with her entry;
"...fat washed vodka with a twist, so using salted butter with mushrooms for that savoury kick, with lovage for pepperiness. I'm loving people's food-to-drink crossovers currently, so that idea appeals.
We loved the idea of going down a more savoury route as we've had great results, in former Pilots and limited releases, using olive oil, tomato leaf, green coffee, acorns, etc.
Development and Tasting notes- Max Chater Head Distiller
"I loved this comp, it was really great to see everyone's ideas. Pam's idea piqued my interest mainly for the opportunity to play with fat in a spirit. I've made a few cocktail base ingredients in the past using fat washing. The premise being, you flavour a spirit with a highly flavoured fat, think bacon, then after melting the two together you freeze the mixture to solidify the fats and remove them. You're left, in theory, with a flavoured clear spirit.
For this pilot, we set about testing different types of dried mushrooms. We settled on Suillus Gray, Xerocomus, Penny Bun, Leccinum to be cooked into a rich salted butter. These mushrooms were cooked at 50C sous vide with butter for a couple of hours. This melted, aromatic mix was then blended with pure alcohol and stored for 48 hours in a freezer. We then removed the frozen butter and mushrooms leaving a super-rich, mushroom flavoured spirit. We then distilled this at 45C under vacuum. Next, we made a Porcini distillate, just to add a familiar mushroom aroma. Its nostalgic to me and I love it. Next was the fresh lovage, blitzed with alcohol. We put this straight into the rotavap and distilled cold at 40C.
These distillates were married and rested then combined with a touch of Victory Vodka and diluted to a sipping strength of 45.3%.
On the nose, each of the mushrooms pop-out individually and there is a creaminess. It's strange how an aroma can give a perception of a mouthfeel, but that's what this does. Melted butter on toast. Lovage presents as celery or pepper.
To taste neat, this Pilot drinks soft and round. The ethanol is kept at bay by the residual oil of butter and mushroom. The lovage is spicey and fresh. Elevating the whole thing. Mushroom, Butter, Lovage lingers on the tongue. Unctuous in a word.
Drink this neat on ice or stirred and lightly diluted as a Churchill with a dash of celery bitters. Also, I feel this would be fantastic in a bloody mary."
VERB /ˈPaɪlət/ - Test (a scheme, project, etc.) before introducing it more widely. We never rest when it comes to flavour.
We love to experiment and have the pleasure of working with some fantastic people, making collaborative products in every category. We have named these experiments and collaborations, Victory Pilot Limited distillery releases under this label may, one day, become Victory products.