Vodka is a fickle category, Marmite so-to-speak. You can speak to some and they will despise all its worth. Speak to others and they will praise to the vodka Gods. Some drink it straight, some only in cocktails and mixers. Creating a premium vodka in this day and age means you need to be eye-catching, you need to stand out, to cause a ripple in the world of prestige. LUX say they are ‘setting the standard’ with this. So lets take a look.
James Whittington is the founder of LUX, embarking on a venture with the aim to redefine Ultra Premium. Using his knowledge of distilling, the vodka category and the tone of the spirit industry, he realised that vodka was mastered centuries ago by King Harold’s canons. Using this, James has set to create Britain’s first Ultra Premium Vodka.
LUX is produced on the Copped Hall Estates in Epping, Essex, then known as the Royal Forest of Waltham, itself founded by King Harold In 1060 by the site of the shrine to the Holy Cross where he sought blessing before the battle of Hastings. The land would later be granted to King Harold’s Canons who grew the grains used by LUX today. Later, the estates were taken by King Henry VIII as his hunting ground, where the hunting lodge still stands to this day.
James found that “contrary to common belief, the distilling and trading of vodka has a long history in England, dating back to Princess Gytha, born in the Royal Forest of Waltham, today’s Waltham Abbey, who later became Queen of the Kievan Rus (modern day Russia) and traded the spirit of life throughout Russia, Europe and as far as China, originally for it’s medicinal purposes.”
LUX creation starts with the grain spirit, which is distilled 7 times and uses water from English deep water wells.Housed within a extra flintglass art deco octagonal bottle, and to emphasise the traditional look, James opted for a personal touch of a luxurious embellished paper label. But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
LUX Black Label – 40%
A clean nose with a soft grain to begin, finishing with a slight sharp kick. Thicker upon the palate, with a bold hit of pepper blended with a softer viscosity than expected. A long finish of subtle earth notes, black pepper and a fresh vegetal experience.
A quintessentially British vodka, and it works. The Savoy in London must love it too, they’ve come up with a great way to enjoy it;
60 ml LUX Black Label
30 ml Apple Brandy
7.5 ml Elderflower Liqueur
2 dash Orange Bitters
1 Lemon Twist
Stir the ingredients over ice and serve within a chilled Coupette.
If you’re into your more premium styles of spirits, this is worth a shout for sure. One for the drinks cabinet at home so you can tell your friends and family that you have Britain’s first Ultra Premium vodka, and it works.
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.