In 1997, the former geophysicist, Tito Beveridge, opened the first legal distillery in Texas outside of Austin and began producing Tito's Handmade Vodka in pot stills he builds himself from his own design. Beveridge is one of a growing cadre of American distillers handcrafting world-class vodkas using artisan techniques and micro-distilling technology. While distilling in small batches requires that he invest considerably more time and effort, it affords Beveridge greater control over the process.
There are scores of variables that directly affect the character and taste of a vodka. For example, Tito's Handmade Vodka is made entirely from high-grade corn. But like other commodities used in distillation—grapes and barley malt to sugar cane and blue agave—the quality of corn is subject to such factors as soil composition, the balance between sunny and cloudy days, and the amount of rainfall at the beginning versus the end of the growing season. Change necessitates that Beveridge remain intimately involved in every step of production. He personally examines the grain, tests the water and assesses each batch as it ferments. Beveridge builds his own stills so they can't be replicated by others.
When you get a bottle of Tito's Homemade Vodka, trust that it couldn't be made by anyone else on the planet. Fortunately for mankind, Beveridge has a firm grasp of the tiller. His luxurious, character-laden vodka has a medium-weight, satiny-textured body and a crisp refreshing aroma. Its initial entry is pleasantly warm without a trace of harshness or excess heat before it gradually fades into a slightly sweet finish.
Tozai 'Living Jewel' Sake is produced in Kyoto's ancient brewing town of Fushimi, known for its abundant supply of pure, pristine, and soft water from many of the nearby mountains. The label image represents a Japanese "koi" whose vibrant colors and shimmering scales have earned them the moniker "living jewels." Aromas of white grape, anise, and a hint of sweet rice are quite complex in this Sake. The same flavors come rushing through the medium-bodied palate which has a slightly creamy texture followed by a hint of white pepper and fresh herbal notes. The long, clean finish makes this a great sipping sake as well as a companion to baked herbed salmon, grilled lobster, and light poultry dishes. -Distiller's Notes