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  • Writer's pictureJames Lawrence

New product: Seax Vodka

After a two year hiatus and much anticipation, it's finally back: our signature vodka is back in the English Spirit collection. With Seax Vodka, we have two goals: to prove that neat vodka can be delicious, and to demonstrate our pride for one of the finest food producing counties in England.

Seax Vodka (pronounced 'say-axe') is named after the saxon swords found on the Essex coat of arms. We’ve created this vodka to celebrate the heritage of Essex, the location of our distillery at Great Yeldham Hall, and the provenance of the vodka’s base ingredient: East Anglian sugar beet.

Like the rest of the English Spirit collection, Seax vodka is distilled from scratch at Great Yeldham Hall by Master Distiller Dr John Walters. Our method of vodka production is unique: the vodka is unfiltered, and single distilled in small 200 litre copper pot stills: with rectifying columns designed and constructed specifically for this purpose by the distiller. The aim is to produce smooth vodka without multiple distillations, that retains flavour either when drunk neat or used as a mixer. The sugar beet base provides a creamy mouthfeel and flavour with notes of vanilla and cream soda.

East Anglian sugar beet
East Anglian sugar beet: not hard to come by!

Dr John has been distilling vodka since 2011, from a variety of base ingredients, including grain, potato and sweet potato, as well as sugar beet, for ourselves and our contract clients. Renaissance Vodka won the Master accolade at the Global Spirits Masters 2018 in the Ultra Premium category, and Wild Knight Vodka just won a gold in the Best British Varietal category of The World Vodka Awards 2020. And of course, our English Toffee and Chocolate Chilli Vodka Liqueurs have been extremely popular for a very long time!

Dr John says: “Our aim is to revitalise the vodka category: why drink something with no flavour? The finesse is evident in the mouthfeel and delicacy, which provide a great drinking experience: a difference to the punch of rums and malts. Delicate, but still full of flavour: super smooth and light on the palate.”

And what about the significance of single distillation and no filtering? Dr John has an answer for that too:

The heads of our customised reflux columns

“I think it is fair to say there are a lot of myths surrounding vodka. One of the big two are the more distillations it undergoes the better the product and the more arduous the filtration method applied to it the better. I have to ask myself, if it takes three to five times to distil a vodka to acceptable standards would your time be better spent not cocking up the first two to four times? It’s just a thought. The filtration also follows the same line of thinking: surely if you distil properly then there is no need for filtration? It would then follow that the more filtration you are applying to your finished vodka then the poorer the job of distillation you have done prior to filtration. You can not take a knackered piece of meat and mallet it into the texture and taste profile of a finally matured, well marbled fillet.”

The label was designed in house by our Spirit Ambassador Rosie Barlow. The seax was chosen to represent Essex, and inspired by the Essex coat of arms. We feel that Essex sometimes gets a bad rap from the rest of the country. We’re proud of our Essex heritage, and so we want to demonstrate that it’s one of the finest food producing counties in the UK: as reflected in the locally sourced base ingredient. Essex is widely recognised for its jam making, seafood and vineyards: we may be the county’s only distillery, but we aim to add world class spirits to the list.

You can purchase a bottle of a Seax Vodka via our online shop.


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