I wrote a while back on the Smirnoff Black event I attended and the efforts that felt a bit like a brand relaunch of the Black bottle here in the Australian market. I didn’t mention much about the product itself so I thought I’d dive in a little deeper and let you know my thoughts.
I remember my first taste of the Black being around the James Bond film, I think I even remember the Martini Briefcase that was rolled out to support the brand and the movies launch.
Smirnoff have saved a bit of money on the bottle, bring costs down so the product can compete more squarely against the others in the mass premium category (namely 42Below and Absolut). Produced in the UK at the Diageo distillery that also knocks out my favourite gin, Tanqueray.
This is not tasteless, odorless spirit. The use of a pot still imparts a sweetness and depth that sets it apart from the others in its class. (42 probably wins on the traditional notions I have for vodka, but this is a vodka that has got me excited in mixing to accentuate the boozy flavour, not its additives or infusions.)
Try it over ice with a dash of orange bitters, or maybe with a teaspoon of orange liqueur for something approximating a vodka Old Fashioned. Garnish with a thick orange peel.