ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — As a beer drinker, I knew I was out of my league when I tried to open up the bottle of Purgatory.
I didn't expect a wax sheath over the stopper on the bottle.
But when your bosses tell you to write about what it tastes like, you figure out a way to get the bottle open.
Purgatory is the new hemp seed vodka from the Wasilla-based Alaska distillery. The vodka is hitting shelves this week in time for Friday 4/20 celebrations. 4/20 is the connotation for marijuana use, and the new vodka hit shelves in 18 states this week in time for the day.
I drank vodka years ago, but the cheap stuff. So I didn't know what to expect when I drank Purgatory straight, over ice, with no mixer, as one of the company officials recommended.
The first reaction was surprise and shock since my taste buds weren't taken to the ground and assaulted. Instead, the hemp seed vodka had a rich, creamy and smooth taste. I kept waiting for the bite from the hard liquor. No, instead, there was only a little pinch, much like what an overexcited aunt happy to see you would do to your cheek.
And as for the taste, it's difficult to describe. I don't know what hemp tastes like.
But this vodka is sort of sweet, but has a toasted seed-of-some-type aftertaste to it, like maybe a caraway seed. But at other times, the taste was a little more exotic, with hints of possibly Asian or herbal extraction.
I thought I should also try mixing it with something, but the problem for beer drinkers is that there's only more beer around.
I found some old cranberry-raspberry juice in the refrigerator. It tasted old and I wound up dumping it in favor of a little more straight vodka — possibly the first step in reforming this beer drinker.
Mark Thiessen is the news editor in Alaska for The Associated Press.