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Muscle from Brussels

  • Jared Paul Stern


The venerable Van Hoo distillery in the village of Eeklo, Belgium has been churning out premium spirits for over 250 years, but their assault on America's top shelves is just getting off the ground.

They recently gave their single estate, quadruple-distilled, charcoal filtered vodka a much-needed facelift, and it's one of the best-looking and tasting examples we've ever had the pleasure of drinking way too much of. Packaged in a dashing Art Deco-style octagonal cobalt blue bottle, the yeasty, potent, and somewhat thick, syrupy spirit manages to mix mineral and citrus notes without stirring up a *coup d'état*; quite the opposite, in fact, a match made in some souse's heaven. Not bad for a country where half the population refers to themselves as “Walloons."