In 2013, Japanese whisky giant Suntory unleashed a rice-distilled vodka upon the U.S., but it was only available for a trial run in New York. The spirit was very well-received (as most Suntory products are) and a few years later the company decided to expand the vodka nationally. Named "Ao," which is a word used in Japanese poetry to describe shades of green in nature, the title is meant as an homage to the green rice fields from which the vodka's base is derived. The vodka itself is as elegant and ethereal as the sterling reputation of Suntory might suggest. Clean, pure and wonderfully smooth on the palate, the Ao finishes with a whisper. It's a vodka drinker's dream come true, and it speaks to the delicacy for which Japanese spirits have become renowned. Try it neat or unmixed in a martini and be amazed!
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