Sin Ultra Premium Vodka : "What goes into the formulation and taste testing of a new Vodka?"
Sin Ultra Premium Vodka is launching in Q4 2014 and some of you might be wondering what it takes to Launch a New Brand like Sin Vodka... well first you have to have a Vodka. For us no Ordinary Vodka would do, we wanted something crystal clear without any heat or burn... just a light, smooth taste.
What goes into the formulation "taste test" of a new Vodka?
The Vodka formulation process is both interesting and suprisingly fun. The Formulation lab is where it all begins. In beakers sit different base products such as Corn, Potato, Rye, and Grape Vodkas which are ready to be cut down with water (in our case mountain spring water) to the desired Alcohol content which can be 37.5 to 50%ABV. In addition to these there are ingredients such as Dextrose and Glycerin plus other smoothers which you add in tiny amounts as the process evolves. This is a slow and precise process of adding a gram of an ingredient at a time. Each change counts and if its not perfect, we wouldnt call it SIN.
You have to be ready to drink because every change to the formula requires a taste test of straight vodka. And yes you do need to swallow each taste to check how smooth the Vodka is and how much "heat" it has. We obviously took one for the SIN team and a few of us "volunteered" for this duty.
Well this might sound easy (and fun) but you might end up with thirty different formulas, different products, different smoothers and different alcohol volumes. Well as you can imagine you have to keep going back to old formulas to compare to the new ones. After a few hours this can get to be an interesting process. A Couple breaks for food and no problem we were back to taste testing. Nothing like a little bit of "Sinning" with some Pizza on the side to make the day go by.
The best part of this process is seeing the base ingredients refining themselves into what will be the final product. As you get closer to the final product you will find your "volunteers" begin to disagree on what is the best vodka. Well luckily after a few more breaks in the festivities we were able to find the perfect ... four?
Well four Vodka formulas is better than one I guess. But the fun didnt end here as we obviously needed a winner to call our own so from these four formulas multiple test bottles are made so that you can test them against the most popular brands in the business.
Taste testing the final formulas is pretty much the best part of formulation. The testing moves from a lab to a testing site so you can test each and every formulation. This testing requires a party (or a few parties) in which you try your formulas in different ways including with all manner of modifiers like Cranberry, Orange Juice, Energy Drinks, and Sodas. The goal is to make sure that your Vodka does not come through the drink but only adds to the quality of whatever you add it to. Different formulas create different effects when mixed with the usual suspects and you want to make sure everything is perfect.
Luckily after a while the true winner will stand out in a Vodka. A Vodka which tastes great straight and adds a little Sin to each drink without being noticable. Our goal was to make an high quality vodka that was on par with the finest vodkas sold including vodkas that sell at three times the price and I think we did a great job achieving this. Our plan was simple, use the purest possible base products and the finest possible ingredients to make a Vodka that is out of this world.
Did we succeed in making Sin Vodka a Sinful out of this world experience? We will let you be the judge.
(Spoiler alert... maybe we will launch a few special additions with the other formulas we loved one day.)