Mixed Grain Vodka: Complex Spirits to Mix or SipBy Stephanie Moreno
While it isn’t unusual to have whiskeys made with more than one type of grain, most vodka brands on the market today are made with just one ingredient. Wheat, rye, and barley are familiar to see in the production of vodka as are corn and potatoes. Often brands chose just the one ingredient to highlight its unique attributes. For example, wheat vodkas offer a crisp, light experience while a rye vodka is going to show more spice and pepperiness. But there are some great mixed grain vodkas on the market that allow the vodka maker to create a one-of-a-kind spirit.
These mixed grain vodka picks below of course can be utilized in any vodka cocktail, but don’t forget to try them chilled or on the rocks. The use of more than one ingredient makes a difference in not only the taste, but the body of the vodka.
Established in 1938, Stolichnaya, or Stoli as it is most often called, was first introduced to the US in 1972. This mixed grain vodka is made from wheat and rye that is distilled in Russia and bottled and brought to proof in Latvia. It is filtered through Russian birch charcoal and quartz sand. If you’re looking for an ultra premium vodka that is perhaps a little too easy to drink, consider Stoli Elit which is made using freeze filtration.
Purity has three unflavored expressions, and each one is a mixed grain vodka made from organic barley and winter wheat. The heart of the vodka is made at the distillery in Sweden. The mash of winter wheat and barley is distilled through twice creating a spirit that doesn’t need filtration. This is blended with an organic column-distilled wheat distillate and two types of water: deionized water and mineral-rich water. Bottled at 40% ABV, this vodka is certified organic in the US and the EU.
Reyka’s distillery is located in the town of Bogarnes on the west coast of Iceland. Barley grain spirit (barley and some wheat) is brought to the distillery from Scotland. Once there, it is redistilled in a single distillation in a copper-lined Carter-Head still. Each batch produces about 255 cases and takes six hours to complete. Reyka is filtered through lava rock and the water used to bring the vodka to proof is arctic spring water. The Icelandic distillery is powered by geothermal energy from underground volcanoes and as a result, produces zero emissions.
This mixed grain vodka from Nikka uses a base of corn and barley malt distillate which are distilled in a Coffey Still, as the name suggests. The corn and barley malt are individually distilled and blended, diluted and filtered with white birch charcoal. It’s bottled at 40% ABV.
Blaum Bros is a craft distillery housed in Galena, Illinois. A true artisanal affair, the brothers use only local grains that are milled and fermented on location. The mixed grain vodka is made of wheat and rye in a return to a historic grain-focused style.
This mixed grain vodka is made using the brand’s bourbon mash bill as its base: 73% yellow corn, 17% malted barley and 10% rye. It’s bottled at 80 proof. Note that this vodka is the same as the brand’s Restoration Vodka, but with an updated package and name.
One Eight Distilling which makes District Made Vodka is based in Washington D.C. The brand sources from three different locations for the grain to make its vodka. Rye is sourced from Virginia, malted rye from North Carolina, and corn from Maryland. “Russian filtering technology” is used to achieve a smoother consistency.
This American vodka is blended by co-founder Chris Montana who is also the owner of Du Nord Craft Spirits in Minneapolis. Four types of vodka distillates made by Midwest craft distillers are blended and bottled. The wheat vodka comes from Middle West Spirits (OH) and Stumpy Spirits (IL); rye vodka comes from Grand Traverse Distillery (MI) & Valentine Distilling (MI); corn vodka comes from Yahara Bay (WI); and potato vodka comes from Proof Artisan Distillers (ND).
Timberline Vodka is made by Hood River Distillers in Oregon. Unusually, It is made with both grain and 14 different varietals of non-GMO Pacific Northwest apples. After distillation it is cut to 80 proof with glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood. There are three different labels for the vodka featuring The Hiker, The Snow Goose and The Skier.
Another American vodka made with both fruit and grains is this offering from St. George Spirits in Alameda, California. Bartlett pears, the same the distillery uses in its pear brandy, are distilled to 95.1% ABV. They then blend this with a non-GMO grain base spirit. It’s bottled at 40% ABV after filtering for impurities.
Ready to try these one-of-a-kind spirits?
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