Nose: astringent & sweet
Finish: sweet, vanilla & warm
Value: plenty of bang for your buck
Words I hoped I’d never have to say:
I just tasted Balls.
Oh Gawd… did I just type that?
Still, someone is a marketing genius. Anyway… As you all know, I think that Vodka should be as neutral as possible (like Green Mark & Tito’s) unless it’s making a statement (like Jewel of Russia). And somehow, Balls manages both.
This American made, Non-GMO corn-based vodka manages to be (mostly) neutral, yet still have its own flavor profile. I know you’re dying to hear my “Let’s Not Mince Words” quote for Balls… so here:
Mildly sweet & smooth, I like the taste & mouth feel of Balls.
As with a few other American Vodkas I could mention, Balls shies away from standard grain choices and heads for Whiskey territory with corn. But not just any corn: Non-GMO corn. That’s a big deal these days as the majority of corn grown in the U.S. of A. is genetically modified. And it’s that corn base that makes me think:
…If they aged Balls for a good 10 years in American Oak, it’d be the best damn Whiskey outside of Kentucky.
I’m gonna ramble on about the corn for just a bit longer. It’s the corn that gives Balls it’s sweet tones, vanilla notes, and smooth finish. I could mention another American Corn Vodka here, but that one has managed to distill & filter away all the corn character to achieve something very neutral. I like the fact that Balls has some taste.
As you’ll note by the picture, I got my hands on some big Balls. Hey, I meant a 1.75 liter bottle. Sheesh. But apparently, size doesn’t matter. Big or small, Balls satisfies.
I like the fact that Balls has some taste.
Now, the vanilla I mentioned really only appears on the finish. The taste is mostly neutral with clean sweet notes. I know, it seems strange saying that Balls is clean and sweet with a vanilla finish, but jokes aside: it is.
Thanks to those very specific characteristics, Balls lends itself well to being sipped straight. Personally, I like my Balls a touch chilled. The chill tames some of the astringency present on the nose, but doesn’t dull the taste. I know it’s odd thinking that the smell of Balls doesn’t match its flavor, but it’s true.
As I did with another Vodka review recently, I’m going to point out some Vodka-based cocktails that Balls would rock:
- The Vesper
- The Kangaroo (Vodka Martini)
- The Burnt Martini
- The Classic Screwdriver
- The White Russian
- The Black Russian
- The Harvey Wallbanger (Harvey Ballbanger?)
The hint of vanilla on the finish lends itself well to all of the above cocktails.
This is one purpose-filled vodka that will be hanging around my home bar for a long while. Got some Balls near you? Grab some. You won’t regret it.
Final Rating: 92 out of 100