Ty-Ku is a name that I’ve often seen in the sake section of stores, and I was surprised to see its distinct triangular bottle near the vodka. Decked out in blue and chrome with English on one side and Kanji on the other two, Ty-Ku soju compares its self to vodka directly, touting that it has half the calories of a typical vodka.
I expected the unique cap on the bottle to be a screw off, but it is connected to a synthetic cork. Opening it up, it smells fruity and slightly sweet, and reminds me less of vodka and more of wine. This is one of the few spirits that tastes almost exactly like it smells; it has the same delicate fruitiness and is just barely sweet. In taste as well I’m reminded more of wine than vodka, but it’s certainly not either of those. It’s more similar to sake than anything else, thought it is also no that.
In the mouth it feels soft and is very smooth. It’s pleasant to drink and would be good to sip over the course of a night. If you mixed it with anything you probably wouldn’t taste it at all, so it would make a good base for cocktails that emphasize other flavors. Its alcohol content is low though, so if you wanted a strong drink you’d have to enrich it with something else.
On the rock, its scent goes missing and its flavor all but disappears. With ice it does actually taste a quite a bit like vodka, but with with a bit more flavor than many. As an added bonus, it has none of the rubbing alcohol taste you get from lesser vodkas. Its still very smooth, and still causes that pleasing soft sensation.