Sheryl and I do a lot of beer trading, but last year I did a trade for vodka. Not just any vodka, but for a bottle of Harlen D. Wheatley CLIX Vodka. I didn’t know much about it, but the bottle showed up, and I was immediately impressed. The vodka was good, too, and I am glad I got the chance to sample this rare spirit.
Inside was a pamphlet that explained more about the vodka, this distillery and more. In an effort to archive what it read, I wanted to add it to my blog. Enjoy!
Perfection in Vodka
Buffalo Trace Distillery has a long and stories history as a bourbon distiller. This truly special place enjoys a legacy that spans all the way back to 1773. Some years ago, our master distiller decided to embark on a project to craft the perfect vodka, one that would create an unparalleled and memorable vodka drinking experience. As one could imagine, this pursuit turned out to be quite an undertaking. Then years after that initial decision, and through the commitment and meticulous craftsmanship of a dedicated team, HDW CLIX is now ready for its debut and your enjoyment. We trust you will share our view that HDW CLIX is the finest vodka ever distilled.
What’s in a Name?
HDW CLIX is named for two vital components of the project. “HDW” represents Harlen Dais Wheatley, Master Distiller at Buffalo Trace Distiller. Harlen led a small team of specialists throughout the decade-long process of producing HDW CLIX – from seven years of design, planning and installation of a specially-constructed series of copper and stainless steel stills, cookers and fermenters, to the final distillation which results in only 2,000 bottles of this unique craft vodka. “CLIX” or “159” in Roman numerals, represents the 159 separate distillations that were required to produce HDW CLIX.
While odorless, colorless and tasteless by definition, consumers have debated the unique characteristics of their particular vodka brand for many years. In creating HDW CLIX, we strove to capture the essence of perfect vodka – smooth; subtle; soft; elegant; structured; clean on the nose and palate. Extensive organoleptic testing and sophisticated chromatography confirm the results – we achieved the perfect vodka.
This release of only 2,000 HDW CLIX bottles (or 332 gallons) started our as 28,400 gallons of mash that were divided into 143 very small 200-gallon batches. These small batches were made form many different mash bills, each containing – corn, wheat, rye and barley malt. Each batch was carefully cooked, fermented and distilled over a period of six months, resulting in only 20 gallons of vodka for each of the 143 distillations.
These were then carefully matched and blended into 14 small batches, each of which was distilled once again, resulting in a mere 400 gallons of vodka. Finally, the 14 batches were combined into a single tiny batch which was distilled an additional two times. From 28,400 gallons through 159 distillations to 332 gallons for 2,000 bottles over a 12 month time span! The final result was rested in a cool and dark stainless tank for 12 months to ensure the smoothest finish before bottling.
We would like for your purchase of HDW CLIX to be memorable from the first drop to the last and also for the attention to detail in the packaging.
HDW CLIX is contained with a custom, hand-formed decanter from Nouvel Studio, a company dedicated to artistic production of glass. We have taken great care not to brand or otherwise permanently mark the decanter so that you enjoy its beauty for years to come. The spotlessness of the decanter is achieved through an elaborate methodology developed over decades of glass production. This exclusive glass is often called “lead free crystal” which superbly characterizes its excellent transparency.
The decanter for HDW CLIX has been closed with a cork travel stopper to ensure the quality and integrity of the product is retained during its journey to you One the travel stopper is removed, the crystal stopper may take its place to complete the beauty of the decanter.
Similarly, great pains have been taken to design and build the hand-crafted, elegant burl wood case in a manner that is free of marketing and that will allow you many years of enjoyment.
Each Limited Edition HDW CLIX bottle is numbered. We invite you to use this number to join a registry of consumers who appreciate the highest stands in quality distilled spirits.
We will also personal answer any questions you have with respect to HDW CLIX. To learn more, please visit www.hdwclix.com.
For more information, please visit our website: www.hdwclix.com.
Harlen D. Wheatley CLIX Vodka
40% Alcohol by Volume (80 proof) 750ml
Produced by Buffalo Trace Distiller, Frankfort, KY
As you can see, this is not your average bottle of vodka. I hope whatever bottles of beer I sent were enough, because this bottle of vodka will forever be remembered on the page of this blog and in my memories of sharing pours with friends. The bottle is gone, though.. Might need to find another bottle. Cheers!
Please drink responsibly.