A Great Bottle Design by Karim Rashid and Fabulous Brand Imagery For One Weird Vodka: AnestasiA Sensational Spirit.
AnestasiA Vodka is touted as the world's first 'tingling' spirit. An ultra-premium five times distilled vodka made from Cascade spring water and organic corn from Oregon. It claims to have a frost-like cooling sensation and it is housed in an award-winning bottle design by Karim Rashid.
Let me begin this post by telling you it was my intention to commend the brand on their bold image conveyed through the unique and bizarre photography on their site. However, as I am writing this post, the AnestasiA Vodka brand has since replaced several of the more interesting photographs I've shown here throughout this post with more mundane and unoriginal ones. More on that later.
Back to the vodka.
First off, I shall explain what they mean by tingling. In this particular case, AnestasiA (I'm guessing this is a deliberate play on anesthesia or anesthetic) means a menthol-like numbing sensation. Something that several reviews have found very distateful. Drink Spirits calls it "the Worst Tasting Vodka They've Ever Had" and Drink Hacker claims that "For someone expecting a more traditional vodka, the attack to the palate is jarring."
Not at all universally disliked, the vodka has received some awards for its unique taste: The Beverage Testing Institute 2013 Platinum Medal and Double Gold Medal and the MicroLiquor Triple Gold Winner for Taste, Packaging and Design. And the Food & Drink Magazine blog says it goes down more smoothly than other vodkas when drunk straight.
“AnestasiA Vodka is made from a formula developed by food scientists that reduces the burn inherent in alcohol, especially vodka, making it more pleasant to consume,” Yuliya Mamontova, co-founder of Numbrands, Inc., says. This gives it a distinct tingling or cooling sensation some drinkers have likened to mint, though it does not contain menthol.
As a traditional Vodka lover, the taste does not appeal to me, but I loved the image the brand initially conveyed through their website and social media with bizarre but beautiful photography by Philipp Matt.
I use the past tense because I visited their site again today and was dismayed to see more 'ordinary-looking' photography. Someone in the marketing department must have gotten nervous and most all the wonderful images I've shown here are no longer on their site but instead have been replaced with the more expected images of a blond woman posing in a chair and on a stairwell (see below):
above: these images have replaced the masked bartender, poodle and unicorn images shown in this post on the AnestasiA website
Youthful, hip and funky, the brand's inital image is (was?) a perfect fit for the award-wining bottle design by Karim Rashid.
The inital prototype:
The final product:
The Case Design:
On their site they claim "AnestasiA is the culmination of a quest to create the world’s most effortless vodka. After years of research, it turned out that the best vodka can be hand crafted right here in Bend, Oregon, USA —born from Cascade Mountain spring water and locally grown organic corn."
"These select ingredients and hand-craftsmanship make AnestasiA VodkaTM a world-class spirit. It is five times filtered through charcoal and crushed volcanic rock as well as five times distilled."
The vodka is also naturally gluten-free (as if that matters).
Description from their site:
At the laboratory one day, a brilliant scientist eyed the tingling agent he was about to use in an experiment. That night, over drinks with his Russian mistress, they imagined combining the tingling sensation with the exuberance of vodka. In that moment, AnestasiA was born—the combination of a once-dream. Bottled in Oregon from organic corn vodka and distilled 5 times, this concoction only needed one finishing touch: world famous designer Karim Rashid. With everything in place, AnestasiA became the astoundingly unique and unrivaled product before you.
all images courtesy of AnestasiA Sensational Spirit
You can purchase it here and try it for yourself.