I first met Ben and Shiobhan Reilley last year when they were just getting started with their new distilling company located in Nelson, NY, about 30 minutes from the GSN offices. Down to earth, family oriented and enthusiastic about their products, both husband and wife regularly set up at local farmer’s markets on the weekend handing out samples of their vodkas and cocktail in a can, Disco Lemonade. This year, they took their products to the New York State Fair. Ben recently tweeted that he thinks they just might sell out of their Disco Lemonade over the 12 day event.
The name is memorable and the drink fits the casual Central New York lifestyle. Packaged in an aluminum can, it’s ready-to-go and goes down easy. Blended from their raspberry vodka and lemon flavoring, it is already making its way onto local grocery store shelves.
Life of Reilley uses New York State corn for their vodkas, and the distillery is a part of what is called the Cazenovia Beverage Trail. You can easily spend a day driving around and visiting all of the facilities that are located within a few minutes of each other. Other stops include Critz Farms’ Harvest Moon Cidery, Empire Farmstead Brewery, Heidelberg Brewing Co. and Owera Vineyards. As Ben Reilly said, “It’s an exciting time to be in this business.”
Premium Vodka (80 proof)
Nose: Fresh, lively, and clean. Some minerality, with a tight and defined nose.
Taste: Remarkably smooth and creamy. Slightly powdered sugar sweet, but with a lot of peppery body. Rich, full and self-assured.
Finish: Medium long with more slate and chalk notes lending a dry finish.
Overall: If you gave me a glass of this and I didn’t know better, I’d say this is a winter wheat vodka. An amazing transformation and a top-notch vodka right out of the gate.
GSN Rating: A-
Raspberry Vodka (70 proof)
Nose: Sprightly raspberry and again a decent amount of minerality. Quite fresh.
Taste: Light and semi-dry fruit flavor with no overtly sugary character. The vodka itself shines through the raspberry flavor and this adds to its appeal.
Finish: Medium short with lingering berry essence.
Overall: A really good raspberry vodka, especially when compared to many others on the market. This is fantastic in a punch or with ginger ale.
GSN Rating: A-
Vanilla Vodka (70 proof)
Visual: Ultra pale gold.
Nose: Reminiscent of vanilla tobacco. Sweet, inviting and redolent with vanilla bean.
Taste: Subtle, not obtrusive or artificial tasting. In fact, the vanilla here acts as more of a patina to the vodka. You definitely notice it, but it doesn’t smack you in the face.
Finish: Short and with a slight lingering vanillin note.
Overall: Again, a fine vodka that doesn’t seek to overwhelm with the flavoring. This is nice with cola, or sipped neat with a berry dessert pairing.
GSN Rating: B+
Disco Lemonade (6.5% abv) – This is a ready-made cocktail-in-a-can made with LOR’s raspberry vodka and natural flavors. On the nose, it’s slightly herbal and funky like a traditional vinegar-based shrub. But, the flavor is more akin to a traditional lemonade with raspberry flavoring added. It’s sweet, but not overly so. Straight out of the can, it is a little intensely flavored. I’d suggest pouring this over ice and enjoying. Definitely a summer beverage for the party goer! GSN Rating: B
For more information go to: Life of Reilley