“Inspired by the idea of creating [an] innovative sensory experience”, the L’Orbe First Edition, Vodka x Caviar expression has launched following several years of research and development.
Using patented technology borrowed from the skin-care industry, L’Orbe manages to naturally infuse vodka and caviar, using encapsulation technology. While there’s nothing new about flavoured vodkas, distillers have faced difficulties when using caviar, struggling to effectively combine the tried-and-tested pairing, often resulting in an unappetising, cloudy spirit with an unpleasant aroma thanks to the eggs bursting. L’Orbe’s encapsulation technology, however, allows the brand to blend a combination of ingredients, improving intensity and complexity of clear spirits without impacting the ageing process. Here, a central column of caviar is ensnared in a ‘pearl’ with a natural membrane made “exclusively” from water and algae. Each grain of caviar naturally releases its flavour in contact with the vodka, without need for artificial stabilisers, additives, or flavourings.
Made by Pernod Ricard, L’Orbe Vodka x Caviar favours Royal Baeri caviar from Olsztyn, Poland. The traditional farm’s conditions allow it to produce high-quality caviar year-round, selected for the texture of its grains and fairly mild flavour. This is paired with vodka produced using Dankowski Diamond rye, filtered twice.
Designed by the interior architecture firm Studio Nocc and its associates, Juan Pablo Naranjo, Jean- Christophe Orthlieb, and Andy Géhin, the L’Orbe Vodka x Caviar bottle is designed to evoke buildings and architecture, including the Turning Torso skyscraper in Malmö. On the bottle design, its creators said: “We played with balance and curves to create a new sensuality, using total transparency to display the column of caviar spheres.”
While the saccharine marketing can be difficult to swallow – throwing around words such as ‘exquisite’, ‘exclusive’, and ‘exceptional’ as if they were standard connectives rather than superfluous adjectives – the resulting vodka is quite brilliant. On the nose, some briney aromas are joined by feint woody notes and a whisper of vanilla. On the palate, the caviar is distinct but not overpowering, with some slight nuttiness and a little seawater salinity, with the mineral caviar presence complementing the smooth rye vodka. With a very pure taste and silky texture, the finish is structured and particularly well-balanced.
Priced in excess of £100 for a half-litre bottle, L’Orbe won’t appeal to everybody – though it’s an ideal gift for lovers of good vodka, caviar, or both, and the final product is quite remarkable sipped over ice, or as the base of a very dry martini.
L’Orbe Vodka x Caviar is available from Fortnum & Mason, RRP £115, 50cl.