EspreXXO 19/90 Van Gogh Ultimo Coffee Vodka
Seeing as so many liquor companies are now killing off the more caffeinated versions of their drinks, I am able to finally get hold of one of the more elusive caffeinated vodkas, reputed to be she strongest and most caffeinated Espresso Vodka out there. This is the strongest Van Gogh Espresso Vodka they make, at 90 proof and 19 milligrams per liter. Fortunately, the local liquor store had them on clearance closeout – which finally made them affordable.
I have tried the Van Gogh line of espresso vodka before, and find myself unimpressed with the line from both a buzz category, as well as a premium vodka category. Now this 19/90 eXXpresso coffee vodka is not bad by any means – and light years better than Seagrams or other low shelf vodkas, but it is also nowhere near as good as the hype and merchandising make it out to be.
My wife and I are settled down for the evening with a big bottle of this fun, and a bunch of stuff for making traditional coffee and vodka mixers. We are trying three or four different alcoholic coffee drinks, (my memory of this night is getting a little hazy, so I can’t quite remember how many drinks we are on). I can tell you that we tried this with hot chocolate, as a Black Russian, a White Russian, and as some drink that has such an offensive name that I feel dirty for even mentioning it here. The name invokes loud noises and funny faces – I can say that much.
The bottle itself led to such gravitas, we were even a little scared to open it up. There was the gold embossed stopper, which on closer inspection was just a crappy bit of plastic- but still. The cool glass bottle was in the shape of a horseshoe, and was decorated with Charioted Gladiators in some kind of frenzied ancient drag race. What this has to do with coffee, espresso, caffeine or vodka is anyone’s guess. Maybe that is how the Romans ruled for so long – with a hidden trove of ancient Keurig machines and grain stills. I was pretty surprised that it was not adorned with Van Gogh anywhere on it, and that they managed to list their caffeine content on there as well! Really, this is not a Van Gogh drink at all, even though EspreXXO 19/90 is distilled and bottled by the Royal Dirkzwager Distillery in Schiedam, Holland, the same ones who make the Van Gogh line. A bigger Kudos for stating that they have as much caffeine and alcohol in combination as the law allows – which might not be true any more, but was probably spot on pre-Loko.
As you can quite imagine, sampling all these different drinks is one night is a great way to pass the night, as well as get, as the charioteers the he front of the bottle would say, Fershnockered! FERSHONEKERED! The 90 proof coffee vodka is sending us all the way past normal light discussion drunk and deep in to Serious Important Talking Shit Mode – you know, the kind where arguments about star wars characters or Anne Rice versus True Blood Vampires and other meaningless garbage takes on an unearthly Promethean quest for knowledge. I tell you, for a good couple hours, I felt like a philosopher, delving into subjects I knew nothing about. Now I see why all the worlds great philosophers were notorious drunks.
The drink did get me feeling a bit like a Trojan too (wink wink nudge nudge), but as Shakespeare says, “Drink makes you stand to , yet not stand to. It provokes the desire, yet takes away the performance…”. Without giving much away (hey – my mom reads these articles occasionally) whatever desire this might be provoking is dispelled by 90 proof’s worth of cheap vodka running though my loins. After downing at least four cocktail glasses of this stuff, I will be lucky enough to find myself sleeping in my own bed in the morning.
I certainly felt impressed and even a little cowed by this drink at first, but in retrospect, this drink is not for the high and mighty. Unless the Gladiator drinking this was whooping like John Belushi , riding the chariot on one wheel and showing his moobs to the crowd, I would think most Elite soldiers would prefer something a bit more distilled or thick, but this straddled the line between being a decent if not mediocre vodka and a decent but not noteworthy coffee liqueur, it is not thick enough to mix or thin enough to enjoy in anything but a coffee drink. Frat Boys, underage High Schoolers, cheap coffee geeks and fast food workers should all enjoy this drink for it’s wonderful effect of getting you to the point of coffee flavored vomit so quickly and efficiently. I would keep this drink far way from Gladiators I mean, It is hard to find off the dragons and lions Russel Crowe style when you keep bumping into walls and slow motion tripping over our own feet. I do find myself yelling ” This. Is. Scrumptious!” over and over through the night though.
As for teh faffeine, FEH! there was not enoug caffiene for all the hype to feel anything but slightly annoyed at the caffeine flavor in the aftertasdte of the drink. I meen, after managing to drink all these drinks,, I would say I am anything but having my drunkenness maskeded. Even while I am trying finish this posty thing, I still am feeling seconds within passing out, even while finishing the entire 750mg bottle with my lov…