We’ve been sitting on this one for a few months now. Mostly because we quickly stashed our bottles of Ivanabitch Tobacco-Flavored Vodka behind a radiator and tried to forget that such a product (two, actually) was released to the public. But after some deliberation and lots of morbid curiosity, we finally broke them out for a formal tasting panel. Here’s what ensued.
Ivanabitch Tobacco-Flavored Vodka
Kevin: It smells sweet, more like shisha than cigarettes.
Nico: It’s like sickly sweet candy, if tobacco leaves were candy.
Mark: The smell gives me a headache.
Kevin: The tastes gives me a headache. It’s confusing. I’m not sure if I’m smoking or drinking right now.
Mark: There’s some cherry in here, plus some caramel, I think. And maybe something spicy… cinnamon? It’s difficult to discern much beyond the overwhelming taste of tobacco leaves.
Nico: This reminds me of that time I tried Beechnut chewing tobacco in the 7th grade.
Kevin: It burns my throat, but not in the typical cheap vodka/ethanol way. This is more like actual burning. Cancer burning.
Mark: Oh, great, it’s got a lingering finish.
Ivanabitch Menthol Tobacco-Flavored Vodka
Mark: This… doesn’t smell terrible. It’s mild and minty.
Kevin: Lots of spearmint plus the same cheap tobacco notes from the first one.
Nico: I taste something here besides menthol, but it’s hard to say what. Maybe pepper and some citrus. But holy hell, this is like a shot of fake minty sugar.
Mark: Nothing about this says vodka. This could be a mint-spiked bottle of rubbing alcohol. Has anyone actually checked the label?
Kevin: What would people do with this? Would they shoot it? You clearly can’t mix it. People expect mint to be refreshing, but this stuff makes me want to chug a glass of water after each sip.
Nico: I guess it’s sort of palatable when you pour it over ice. Maybe. I don’t know. Is my left eye twitching?
Mark: Jesus. I just… Jesus. It’s starting to coat my teeth.
Nico: We’ll be tasting this for days.
Kevin: This was a mistake.
Both bottles clock in at 35% ABV and cost about $13. This is clearly a novelty product aimed at the flavored vodka crowd which has already embraced such flavors as whipped cream, fruit loops and PB&J vodka. This is yet another salvo in the war to one-up the competition. And in this war, everyone loses.
Try at your own risk.