Because of alleged storm activity last night (people are sure sensitive about a little tropical storm action these days, eh? I wonder why), a scheduled cruise to promote Cape North vodka was moved to the less picturesque but more structurally sound confines of a west village club, where the revelry continued through the ensuing wetness, such as it was. Popa Chubby's Blues Band played, there was hot & cold running seafood, the crowd were fairly knowledgeable drinkers, it was cool.
The North American vodka market is a crowded one already, and with the domestic brands required by law to have no flavor, it falls to the imported brands to try variations on the theme. Usually that results in abominations like the Absolut fruit series or similar Hawaiian-Punchy setups that are most appropriate in drinks that ultimately glow in the dark (good for finding your way home after your friends have wandered off, if nothing else), but there are players in the market who are making an actual attempt to try something a little more upscale without getting wacky. That line is a lot finer with vodka than with pretty much any other spirit.
Enter Cape North. Their pitch involves mixing Swedish spring water and French grains, and the end result is sharp on the attack and decays into nothing, without leaving any residue in the mouth. There are tastes of vanilla, nut and lemon rind in it, but it's just a whiff. Once you mix it with anything (I tried it both neat & with tonic, as well as in a couple of many-ingrediented drinks that frankly weren't great), those notes go away.
It was perfectly fine on its own, and it didn't have to be freezing cold to be palatable, which puts it close to the front of the class as far as vodkas go. I'm not sure where the price point is, but if you have a feel for what constitutes top-shelf vodka, you might want to give this one a shot.
(If you can't find it soon, hang on. Anheuser-Busch is distributing it, so it should wind up in an establishment near you shortly.)