Top of the Hill Distillery is a new North Carolina outfit that’s producing small batches of vodka and white whiskey, plus a gin that’s currently in the works. Based in Chapel Hill, they’re distilling their products from local organic wheat sourced from within 100 miles of the distillery. A bottle of Top of the Hill Vodka recently crossed our desks, so let’s start there.
Top of the Hill Vodka (colloquially referred to as Topo Vodka) is crystal clear in the glass and presents a beguiling nose. It’s sweet — really sweet — with lots of buttery vanilla rather than your typical vodka neutrality. We know it’s made from soft red wheat, but tasting blind it’s easy to imagine sugarcane’s at play here. Drink up and you’ll find more of that sweetness. It’s very smooth and shows almost none of that rubbing alcohol quality often associated with vodkas. Toward the finish, the sweetness fades and it becomes much drier, a welcome close to the sweet start.
This is an interesting vodka. It’s easy to drink, naturally sweet and presents a good amount of flavor. So we’d recommend drinkers sample it straight before masking it with mixers. And speaking of mixing, that flavor profile may complement cocktails rather than simply provide an alcohol base.
We’ll crack open our bottle of white whiskey soon, and we certainly look forward to seeing what these Top of the Hill guys do with their gin. In the meantime, if you’d like to score a bottle of Topo Vodka for yourself, you’ll have to look in North Carolina until it expands outside state borders.
– 40% Alcohol by Volume
CE Rating: ★★★