Review – Davna Bizon Wodka
Competition is healthy, and so it is good to see that Zubrowka, which had enjoyed the success of being the only bison grass vodka on the UK market for some time, now has a competitor. Davna Bizon Wodka infuses Bison grass (Hierochloe odorata) into Polish-produced grain spirit. The grass is harvested in early summer from the Bialowieza forest and sun-dried before using a ‘washing over’ technique to produce the infused vodka.
Nose: The unmistakable green, vegetal and slightly creamy aroma of bison grass creates a decent first impression. Its clean, fresh, and almost floral character is however countered by a nip on the nose from the spirit base, with its slightly rough edges and peppery notes. By no means unpleasant, it just isn’t as smooth, creamy and refined as the market leader. But perhaps that will stand it in better stead in the mixing department.
Neat: Intensely grassy and cordial-like on the entrance, the unrefined nature of the nose is apparently going to continue on the palate. The intensity does fortunately dissipate quickly, leaving a lingering sweet-savoury grassy finish on the palate. An unfortunate bitterness links the two, and the vodka itself does nothing to instil any great affection for this product. It lacks the creaminess and smoothness of the market leader, with little to offer in return.
Mixing: The disappointing performance on neat tasting shows through all too often in cocktails. Whilst longer drinks such as the Autumn Punch are perfectly palatable and mask some of the rougher edges, any excitement of the palate is largely the result of the rest of the ingredients. Short drinks such as the Polish Martini are best avoided altogether as, although the bison grass flavour itself is appealing, the integration with the vodka is disjointed and too frequently does that peppery bite makes its presence known. Sweeter drinks such as the Amber are the most successful, and in fact the spicier character that this bison grass vodka offers actually works rather well in cocktails needing a bit of a boost such as the Achilles Heel. Regrettably, there are so few situations where this would be considered preferable to the market leader, it cannot come recommended.
Bizon Wodka is a bison grass infused vodka that is unfortunately inferior in almost every respect to the market leader. The exchange of creamy smoothness for peppery bite and an upfront profile that is too heavy on the bison grass makes this a poor choice considering the alternative.
Davna Bizon Wodka are available to buy from Master of Malt.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.