I will always have a soft spot for Beattie’s Distillers, a small craft distillery based on Alliston, ON, roughly an hour from Toronto. Many years ago when we first started dating, Kole and I went on our first camping trip as a couple – a spontaneous decision on a Friday afternoon to buy a tent and head to Earl Rowe Provincial Park, since they had space available. We got stuck in a series of road closures when we hit Alliston, the closest town to the park. Half the town was shut down for its annual Potato Festival.

We snagged a bottle of the Farm Crafted Potato Vodka on a recent supply run into the Outside World that included a replenishing stop for quarantini drinks. A 750 mL bottle retails for $36.20 at the LCBO and weighs in at 40% ABV, and has fairly wide distribution in the physical stores at this time but it is not available for home delivery through the LCBO website.

I used to believe that all vodka was derived from potatoes, but I’ve since learned that vodka is a neutral spirit that can be distilled from basically any sugary starch – wheat, millet, milk, potatoes, apples, you name it. The potato base imparts a very unique mouthfeel to the finished product – a thicker, glycerin-based feel that is naturally gluten-free. Produced by 5th generation potato farmers, the distillers are passionate about potatoes and spirits made from potatoes – they also have a potato gin and their unique sweet potato vodka.

The distillery has joined the global movement of craft distillers that have temporarily converted their operations into making much-needed sanitizer to help combat the spread of COVID-19. We’re happy to support them by buying their vodka during the pandemic. They’re one of the good guys.

Appearance: Clear liquid.

Aroma: Neutral smell – I only smell alcohol, while Kole picked up strawberry notes and potato skins.

Taste: Lightly sweet on the palate, with a very creamy, almost decadent mouth feel. Kole detected more strawberry and some blueberry notes, whereas I had a more nondescript sweetness. The texture really shines through thanks to the potatoes.

Aftertaste: Mild potato chip aftertaste that reminded me of lightly salted Lays. Fades fast and gives way to the alcohol burn.

Food pairing: A lime wedge and some seltzer. Wait, that’s not food. Serve with freshly baked bread, since that is all the rage right now.

Overall: Serve with a very healthy dose of social isolation, and wash your damn hands. It’s a fine vodka.

Shawna O'Flaherty

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