Well, everyone, the salted caramel trend has officially reached its boiling point. Here's why: Stoli Salted Karamel Vodka is a real thing. Yes, Karamel with a K. That was Stoli's decision, not ours.
Apparently, we weren't the only ones getting a chuckle out of their chosen spelling on the day this product was announced:
Because this is just how we are, we got our hands on some to let you know how it is, first hand. The official press release gave us some idea of what to expect, "On the mouth, consumers will enjoy sweet caramelized sugar and soft English toffee, balanced with a light saltiness that draws out the caramel for a creamy-silky textured mouth-feel."
This spirit has all the makings of your traditional flavored vodka: sleek, frosted bottle, unique flavoring and cheeky name -- but then we noticed the salt crystals smattering the illustration of the oozy caramel and started to get worried. Don't get us wrong, we love salted caramel and think it's probably one of the best examples of how good salty and sweet flavors can sometimes be together. But... do we want to drink it?
Not really. Thankfully, this vodka is not actually salty, although we did notice some buttery notes in the aroma (you know, underneath the vodka smell). As one taster said, "It smells innocent enough (though way too sweet), but it tastes like a pot of burned butter." More than one of us noticed a rather unpleasant burnt after-taste, which we think is probably attributable to those "soft English toffee" flavors noted above.
In addition to tasting this neat (as suggested by the bottle), we also added some ice and seltzer. The vodka became a bit more palatable this way, sort of like an adult cream soda with less sugar. If you love toffee, caramel and brown butter so much that you can't get enough of those flavors in their regular forms, this vodka was probably made for you.
Can't get enough weird vodka flavors? Check out our least favorite flavors of all time below.
Van Gogh Peanut Butter & Jelly Vodka
We're not sure what to make of the alcohol industry's fascination with flavors from childhood, but here's another for the trend: Peanut butter and jelly-flavored vodka from Van Gogh. HuffPost Food recently did <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/10/peanut-butter-jelly-vodka_n_1415795.html" target="_hplink">a taste test of the product that yielded mixed reactions</a>.
Alaska Distillery Smoked Salmon Vodka
Sure, you like smoked salmon on bagels, but on vodka? <a href="http://www.alaskadistillery.com/" target="_hplink">Alaska Distillery</a> is banking on your curiosity winning out.
Naked Jay Big Dill Pickle-Flavored Vodka
Ah, a vodka to make Snooki proud. Naked Jay's pickle-flavored vodka sort of takes the joy out of the <a href="http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/case-study-got-your-pickleback/" target="_hplink">pickleback shot</a>.
Three Olives Bubble Gum Vodka
Too bad you can't blow any bubbles with <a href="http://www.threeolives.com/new/" target="_hplink">Three Olives</a>' bubble gum vodka.
Purgatory Hemp Seed Spirits
It might not get you lifted, but Purgatory from <a href="http://www.alaskadistillery.com/" target="_hplink">Alaska Distillery</a> is the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/hemp-vodka_n_1439979.html" target="_hplink">first spirit in the U.S. to be made with hemp seeds</a>.
Bakon Vodka (Bacon Flavored)
Care for some bacon with your vodka? <a href="http://bakonvodka.com/" target="_hplink">Bakon Vodka</a> has you covered.
Pinnacle Vodka Cake Vodka
Why eat cake when you can drink it? At least that's the question the creator of <a href="http://www.pinnaclevodka.com/flavors" target="_hplink">Pinnacle Vodka</a>'s cake flavor must have asked at one point.
Skorppio Vodka (Scorpion Flavored)
Don't worry, the creepy crawler lounging at the bottom of your bottle of <a href="http://www.skorppio-vodka.com/" target="_hplink">Skorppio</a> vodka won't hurt you. The poison has been taken out, but the shock value remains.
Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow Vodka
<a href="http://www.smirnoff.com/en-us/" target="_hplink">Smirnoff</a> likes dessert-flavored vodkas, too. Marshmallow-flavored vodka, anyone?
Pinnacle Vodka Cotton Candy Vodka
While we're on the subject of Pinnacle's sweet-themed bottles, here's another flavor: <a href="http://www.pinnaclevodka.com/flavors" target="_hplink">Cotton candy.</a>
Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka
<a href="http://www.smirnoff.com/en-us/" target="_hplink">Smirnoff</a> also offers this whipped cream-flavored variety. Where's the cherry on top?
Three Olives Root Beer Vodka
OK, so root beer isn't a totally-off-the-wall flavor, but do we really need it in vodka-form? Three Olives <a href="http://www.threeolives.com/flavor/root-beer&nav=0" target="_hplink">thinks so</a>.
Green Geisha Wasabi-Flavored Vodka
Looking for a way to clear your sinuses? Try <a href="http://hardtimesdistillery.com/" target="_hplink">Hard Times Distillery</a>'s Green Geisha wasabi-flavored vodka.
Underdog Wine & Spirits Cupcake Frosting Vodka
Why eat a cupcake when you can drink it? At least that's what Underdog Wine & Spirits is wondering. Its <a href="http://www.cupcakevodka.com/delicious-flavors/frosting#" target="_hplink">website</a> describes the product as having "frothy vanillin aromas and flavors that perfectly capture the enticing character of white frosting."