Ciroc, the folks who brought you ‘ultra premium vodka’ (and a whole load of ads featuring P Diddy) have a new trick up their sleeve – a mango vodka. This drink is both strong (in terms of alcohol content…) and very tropical. Our Jack decided to sit down with it for a more thorough evaluation of the tropical sensation…
In a Nutshell
A spicy Gallic vodka mango mouth tango…
What is an ‘ultra premium vodka’ anyway?
Ciroc may call itself a vodka, but it’s actually made from grapes. This, I think, makes it closer to an eau-de-vie (or what the Italians would call a grappa). Whatever you want to call it, they’ve expanded their offering into a few different flavoured vodkas over the last few years – including (but not limited to) coconut, apple and pineapple. They also have a real fancy one just called ’10’.
The vodka was launched in 2003 by a guy called Jean-Sebastien Robicquet, the distillery in which he makes this stuff has been in his family for over 500 years. How’s that for heritage?
We Drink It, Stuff Happens
Clear liquid – it certainly looks like a vodka, not a liqueur – though it turns out to be a little stickier than most vodka I’ve tried. It’s thin, which indicates some restraint in Ciroc’s formulation. It clearly has legs (which indicates some sugar) but is not quite so sticky as some of the competition. Promising…
Yup, definitely smells like mango – but what were you expecting?
It takes a while to ‘get’ the alcohol note and then suddenly it’s right there in your face. In fact, it had been there all along, disguised by mango.
About that mango – there’s a kinda ‘swampy’ thing going on here. You know when you leave a mango out in the heat and it gets a bit soft? Yeah that – as oppose to a firm mango :3
I think this amalgam comes from the combination of mango and alcoholic notes – I’d imagine the sugars in mango could ferment into alcohol eventually, so it seems plausible feat of autosuggestion ^_^
‘Sweet and heat’, wow – it’s hotter than I thought too! I don’t think you’d be able to drink a big volume of this in one go – at 37.5% ABV you’d…notice.
Swallow and you get…
Spicy mango, some bitterness, dried apricot. The tropical fruits have a clean herbaceous note to them. ‘Fragrant’ is the word i’d go with, I suppose. The alcohol creates a spicy kind of sensation when contrasted with the more easygoing tropical notes.
Once it hits the tongue my first impression is of a somewhat one dimensional drink (i.e it just tastes like mango) – that is what they’re going for here, I suppose. It is sweet and a little ‘brown sugary’ whilst avoiding being saccharine – which is good. Vodka can be pretty undetectable so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, nor a surprise.
Vodka: the silent hunter. The alco-chemical-alchemical-chameleon…
Breathing out, you intensify the mango sensations – yielding more tropical fruit flavours – papaya particularly.
All the while the kinda dry spicy alcohol note contrasts quite a lot with the mango. Neither really takes the edge off of the other.
They’ve certainly managed to nail that ‘super ripe mango’ lingering on the tongue feeling. This is quite pleasant. The heat from the booze is gone pretty fast, but the mango lingers at the back of your throat, which means you may quickly find yourself wanting another. This mango taste will be the last thing you feel and it will stick around for quite some time. if you like mango this is surely an excellent proposition!
Ciroc’s Mango Vodka makes me think ‘party drink’. It is more a flavoured vodka than a liqueur (at least in texture and ABV) – very strongly flavoured but it is not ‘thick’ like some of these things can be.
Though not hugely sweet, one too many glasses of this would cloy up your shit good and proper. And at near 40% ABV it’d get you pretty merry too.
How to serve it? My humble suggestion would be to drink it neat or with bitter things to bring it down a little – as in all situations like this, i’d like to mix this one with dry vermouth, soda, something acidic or bitter to cut down a little on that ‘boozed up fruit juice’ feeling. It doesn’t feel like it needs anything to sweeten it further.
That said, most folks have sweeter tooth than I do, so this is likely to go down pretty well with the popular British palate. Not bad, Ciroc.