While odorless, colorless and tasteless by definition, consumers have debated the unique characteristics of their particular vodka brand for many years. In creating HDW CLIX, we strove to capture the essence of perfect vodka - smooth; subtle; soft; elegant; structured; clean on the nose and palate. Extensive organoleptic testing and sophisticated chromatography confirm the results – we achieved the perfect vodka.
OR Leave a Comment
"For most vodka makers, ten distillations would be excessive. For Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley, he didn't stop until he reached 159 distillations when he created his namesake vodka, HDW CLIX. Named for Harlen Davis Wheatley, (HDW), and the Roman numerals denoting the number of times it was distilled, (159), the HDW CLIX project idea started ten years ago at Buffalo Trace Distillery. "The Buffalo Trace Distillery name has long been associated with superior quality. It has made no secret about trying to create the "holy grail" of bourbon. Now, that drive for quality has been extended to its vodka line with the creation of HDW CLIX, in what the company is calling "perfect vodka." "Using only the finest specimens of soft red winter wheat, plump rye, yellow dent distiller's grade corn and distiller's malted barley, combined with a limestone rich supply of water, the distilling team at Buffalo Trace began a painstaking process of cooking, fermenting and distilling from an original 28,400 gallons of mash, dividing them down and re-distilling over a period of twelve months, resulting in 159 distillations, 332 gallons and 2,000 bottles of vodka. But, before the final bottling took place, the final product rested in a cool and dark stainless steel tank for 12 more months to ensure the smoothest finish before bottling. "But what does the perfect vodka taste like? The Buffalo Trace team describes it as this: HDW Clix vodka is polished and smooth upon entry. It is pleasing on the nose, reminiscent of the essence of fresh nectar. Elegant in style, the exclusive character is a combination of exquisite smoothness and interesting nuance. CLIX finishes quickly and clean making for a delicate, refined and stylish drinking experience. "And of course, the perfect vodka must come in a perfect vessel. Working with Nouvel Studio, the Distillery is offering HDW CLIX in a custom, hand-formed lead free crystal decanter. Taking great pains to truly make this vodka a special keepsake, it arrives in a hand-crafted burl wood case with both a travel stopper and a beautiful crystal stopper for display. Each custom-made decanter is numbered to show its authenticity and purchasers are encouraged to go online at www.hdwclix.com to register their decanter and even write their own review of the highly anticipated vodka. " This project has been a long time in the making and we're pleased to see it finally come to fruition," said Harlen Wheatley, master distiller, and creator of the brand. "With four different grains, multiple recipes and 159 separate distillations, the complexity is balanced and markedly pure." HDW CLIX will be available in limited quantities nationwide starting in mid-November. It is a one-time limited edition.
Wine maker notes
HDW CLIX is named for two vital components of the project. ”HDW” represents Harlen Davis Wheatley, Master Distiller at Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Harlen led a small team of specialists throughout the decade-long process of producing HDW CLIX – from seven years of design, planning and installation of a specially-constructed series of copper and stainless steel stills, cookers and fermenters, to the final distillation which resulted in only 2,000 bottles of this unique craft vodka. ”CLIX” or ”159” in Roman numerals, represents the 159 separate distillations that were required to produce HDW CLIX.
Producing high quality spirits is a passion for our distillery, so when our team set out to craft the world’s finest vodka, we knew we couldn’t stop until we created something truly special. We began with hand selecting only the highest quality grains of rye, wheat, corn and barley and then distilled them to produce precise characteristics desirable in vodka. It was a diligent process that resulted in 159 separate distillations. We are proud of what we achieved and we are excited to share this unique vodka experience, with a fortunate few, that is unlike any other.
— Quote from Harlen Wheatley, Master Distiller
We would like for your purchase of HDW CLIX to be memorable from the first drop to the last and also for the attention to detail in the packaging.
HDW CLIX is contained within a custom, hand-formed decanter from Nouvel Studio, a company dedicated to the artistic production of glass. We have taken great care not to brand or otherwise permanently mark the decanter so that you may enjoy its beauty for years to come. The spotlessness of the decanter is achieved through an elaborate methodology developed over decades of glass production. This exclusive glass is often called ”lead free crystal” which superbly characterizes its excellent transparency.
The decanter for HDW CLIX has been closed with a cork travel stopper to ensure the quality and integrity of the product is retained during its journey to you. Once the travel stopper is removed, the crystal stopper may take its place to complete the beauty of the decanter.
Similarly, great pains have been taken to design and build the handcrafted, elegant burl wood case in a manner that is free of markings and that will allow you many years of enjoyment.
Hundreds of years ago, the mighty buffalo thundered across the land and carved paths known as traces. One such trace, the Great Buffalo Trace, led to the rugged banks of what is now known as the Kentucky River. Early adventurers followed the buffalo, and discovered some of Kentucky’s treasures, rich fertile land excellent for growing grain and abundant limestone waters. Distillation soon followed and in 1787 a working distillery started on the grounds, located in Frankfort, Ky. The first modern distillery was built on the site in 1857 and incorporated the use of steam power, a major advance in producing high quality bourbon. The distillery was later purchased by E.H. Taylor, Jr. one of Kentucky’s original Bourbon aristocrats. Astute and innovative, Taylor brought advancements to the facility as well as to the entire whiskey industry. By 1886, the distillery had introduced the nation’s first climate-controlled warehousing for aging whiskey and had earned a worldwide reputation for producing America’s finest bourbons. During Prohibition, the distillery existence was spared by the allowance of a permit - one of only a few issued in the country to continue distillation for medicinal purposes, therefore making it the oldest continuously operating bourbon distillery in the United States.
The Distillery Today
In 1992 the Sazerac company purchased the distillery and renamed it Buffalo Trace Distillery, paying homage to the mighty buffalo that once roamed the area. The Distillery has won numerous awards both for the fine bourbons it produces as well as the distillery itself. In 2010, Whisky Magazine named Buffalo Trace Distillery “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.”