While most vodka distillers are engaged in an escalating contest to produce ever more outlandish flavors (the inspiration behind Van Gogh Vodka's latest product? "PB&J"), Karlsson's has made it their business to move ever closer to the spirit's humble origin: the potato.Its latest release, Batch 2008, was made with a single variety of rare Gammel Svensk Röd potatoes (originally brought to Sweden from Holland in the 1700s) from one 2008 crop. Only 1,980 bottles were produced. It is said that farmers of Cape Bjäre in southern Sweden, where Karlsson's potatoes are grown, hold their tubers in the same regard that French vintners hold their grapes, detecting subtle differences in flavor profiles from one variety to the next, one year to the next, and one farm to the next. But you don't need to know all the details to appreciate this piquant heirloom vodka: Just stick it in the freezer and pour yourself a shockingly cold shot to pair with appetizers on a warm alfresco evening. And for God's sake, don't dilute it with Coke or cranberry juice—'ll give those dear, fastidious Swedish farmers conniptions. $80; available at Astor Wines & Spirits in New York and at klwines.com.
— Ross, assistant editor at Details