Score Vodka bills itself as “gourmet vodka.” That’s not a term used often in the American vodka market. This phrase got me interested. The more I researched the methodology behind Score, the more it became clear: applying a centuries-old technique with modern high-technology to food products is the very heart of gourmet.
It’s easy to forget that vodka is a food product, but juxtaposing the centuries-old technique of milk filtering brings more focus to the food aspect of vodka. Milk, as it turns out, binds with fusel oils (that’s German for “bad liquor”) in vodka. The milk and fusel oil particulates are removed and the resulting vodka is made better.
Earlier in the process Score is filtered through strands of gold and silver. I was skeptical but I found both scientific and anecdotal evidence that this high-tech methodology does result in a better tasting vodka.
You can’t put a unique vodka like this in a normal bottle. Score found a unique pouring system that also doubles as a cap. I’ll try to paint a picture. The top is wrapped in a solid red plastic cylinder. As you rotate the plastic cylinder counter clockwise, a clear-white plastic tube emerges as though you are screwing the plastic cylinder down while the white tube is stationary. Inside the plastic tube is a cone shaped system that looks like the front of a jet engine on an airplane. It seems designed to make the vodka pour into a vortex shape. As I used it, I found that it actually made the vodka incredibly easy to pour. I didn’t end up with dripping and it poured at a rate that was easy to control.
With a perfect pouring mechanism and a filtering system, both unique in the current market, Score is a promising package, but the vodka is what’s important.
Score Vodka is very smooth with a slightly sweet taste in the mouth. It has a little kick at the end, and I’m not left wanting a chaser. The vodka, as one might expect from Ukraine, is Eastern European in style, but Score is smoother than any other vodka in that ilk that I have tasted. I can only attribute this to the unique filtration methods. Score is an exemplary vodka.
I tried Score Vodka with my two favorite cocktails: Orange Juice and Pomegranate, and the Ice Pick.
I mixed one part Score with two parts orange juice and two parts pomegranate. This cocktail usually takes a little bit of adjusting to get to a good point where the orange juice doesn’t get bitter, so you may need to play with it to suit you. Score punches up the tartness of the pomegranate without overpowering the sweetness of any of the fruit juices.
The ice pick has become a testing measure for me because, as a Southerner, I’m pretty in tune with my sweet tea. I know my sweet tea well enough that I can pick out how the vodka affects it. I was pleasantly surprised with the smoothness of Score in an ice pick. It’s really easy to drink and doesn’t harsh up the tea. It doesn’t compete with the flavor a of the tea and the inherent sweetness bumps up the tea’s sweet accents a little.
Does Score qualify as a gourmet vodka? Definitely. Old world techniques with modern technology yields a product that’s great in a cocktail and even better straight.