Vodka can be distilled from pretty much anything starchy: wheat, rye, barley, potatoes, even quinoa. Potato vodkas, in particular, are renowned for their viscous, creamy mouth feel. It should come as no surprise that the Potato State crafts some fine vodkas. Here's a look at three silky sips made from spuds in Idaho.
44 North Idaho Potato Vodka, $24.95
Distilled in Rigby with Idaho Burbank and Russet potatoes using a five-column distillation process, 44 North's Idaho Potato Vodka is dreamily smooth. With not much happening on the nose, this vodka blooms on the palate with hints of citrus peel before finishing with a pleasant creaminess. While one taster praised its "dangerous chuggability," another proclaimed, "This is exactly what vodka should be."
Koenig Famous Idaho Potato Vodka, $19.95
Crafted one batch at a time in hand-hammered copper pot stills in Caldwell, Koenig's potato vodka has a more pronounced heat on the nose than 44 North. It also has a notable earthiness on the palate and a thick, creamy texture with lingering burn on the finish. One taster compared it to a "potato brandy," but added that "more complexity isn't necessarily better in vodka."
Grand Teton Potato Vodka, $19.95
Grand Teton's Potato Vodka is "distilled the equivalent of 20 times" then "proofed with pure mountain water and polished with charcoal and garnet crystal." That extra effort didn't win over our panel. With a sweet, slightly chemical nose that reminded one taster of a laundromat, it has a rough burn that fades into notes of lavender and lilac on the mid-palate before the burn returns. As one taster said: "My lips feel drunk."