Before I turned it into banana-infused deliciousness, I tried Treaty Oak Platinum Rum for the first time recently. I now have a grand master plan to surreptitiously replace all the vodka in the world with this rum. The world will thank me for it.
With all its talk of "double filtered" this and "smoother and more predictable palate" that, Treaty Oak is clearly targeting the vodka consumer, positioning itself as an easy alternative to that flavorless-leg-spreader of a spirit. The difference with Treaty Oak, though, is that it actually tastes good. Really good.
It's subtle, to be sure, but that's expected of a spirit whose production process is fine-tuned for the removal of flavors. The key here is that Treaty Oak knows how to do this properly. While Treaty Oak is certainly a smooth, easy-drinking spirit, it also boasts an aroma and flavor profile no vodka can touch, all while remaining supremely light.
The nose opens with vanilla, leading into caramelized fudge and a subtle coffee roastiness. There's some dark fruit in there, too - a subtle reminder of the spirit's molasses origins. It's robust and beguiling, without being overwhelming. It gives you something to smell, but doesn't force full audience participation.
In the glass, Treaty Oak produces long, thick legs, slowly forming viscous stalactites as the liquid seeks its level. That luscious languor extends to the mouthfeel, offering a satiny, tongue-coating sip. It's slippery and - though I generally despise the use of the term in food writing - sexy. If vodka is the Rohypnol of liquors, this is the Giacomo Casanova.
The first sip of Treaty Oak brings back that wonderful vanilla flavor. It's like huffing vanilla beans, with amazing depth and clarity. Coffee comes back in as a buttery, slightly nutty, toffee-tinged cortado - a dark and roasted shadow hiding behind the overall light character. As you swallow, the vanilla morphs into the faintest whisper of cherries, leaving you grasping after it as it passes.
Of course, if you drink it quickly and without much thought, as I have no doubt die-hard vodka drinkers are prone to doing, you might miss most of these nuances. The vanilla elements are unavoidable and give the spirit enough individual character to make it a worthwhile shift, but the very fact that it can slip by undetected makes this the perfect vodka bait-and-switch.
Before long, people will be wondering why their Vodka-Red-Bull tastes so much better. Then, they'll be asking for their "vodka" neat. From there, it's only a hop-skip-and-a-jump before the whole world is bellying up to the bar for a nice snifter of Cynar, or perhaps a lovely single-village Mezcal. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Treaty Oak Platinum Rum is the gateway spirit.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.