Crystal Head Aurora North Yorkshire Wheat 70cl
Want to know more? Watch the video review!
Crystal Head was conceived by actor Dan Aykroyd - yes, the star of Ghostbusters - in 2007 alongside artist and good friend John Alexander. Aykroyd already had an investment in Patron Tequila and wanted to use his experience with drinks brands to produce a vodka that didn’t have any additives at all – glycerol, citrus oils and sugars are often used to sweeten mainstream vodkas slightly to make them more palatable to a wider audience.
Aykroyd and Alexander were fascinated with the legends of 13 Crystal Skulls that are said to originate from Mayan/MesoAmerican cultures. However evidence increasingly points to them actually being made in Germany around the 1850s.
The vodka launched in 2008 – the same year Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull was released. Aykroyd met Steven Spielberg during filming as he was concerned there would be a conflict of interest, but Spielberg loved the bottles and they were served at the film’s premiere.
The vodka is produced in Newfoundland by Globefill Inc, who use ‘Peaches and Cream’ corn, which has two colour kernels and a sweeter than normal flavour. It is filtered 7 times, the last 3 times through ‘Herkimer diamonds’ (which are not diamonds but crystal quartz), before diluting with glacial Newfoundland water. It’s bottled in Toronto, Ontario – ironically the Liquor Control Board of Ontario banned the sale of Crystal Head in stores from 2010 to 2012 due to concerns over people being offended with its connotations of death.
In 2014 Scottish forensic artist Nigel Cockerton performed a facial reconstruction of the bottle, resulting in a smiling man. Aykroyd always thought the bottle was the skull of a woman he named Joy, but was he was also relieved to find out it didn’t look like him!
Crystal Head Aurora uses a base spirit made from wheat sourced from North Yorkshire. The region is one of the biggest growers of wheat and a large proportion of Scotch whisky is made using wheat from this area. It has a slightly drier flavour profile than the 'standard' Crystal Head in the clear bottle - the mouthfeel is lighter, and there's a touch of white pepper on the finish. It's excellent in cocktails but arguably the standard release is a more enjoyable neat drinker - although this still works well as a shot from the freezer.
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