Absolut Elyx
Sweet Elyxer
by PETER SALTSMAN




The problem with vodka is that it’s easily dumbed down. Cheap vodka is great for mixing with orange juice or soda water or Red Bull because it’s so readily ignored -- and so efficiently potent. But good vodka, like good whiskey or good tequila, is meant to be sipped, savored, appreciated on its own. Absolut Elyx deserves that respect more than most others.




CONTINUES BELOW 




Until its international release in 1979, Absolut had been a delicious Swedish secret, made in relatively small quantities in a relatively small Nordic riverside town. The company was known for continuous distillation, a process that filters and purifies the vodka 10 times over before it’s finished. With Elyx, the company builds on this 100-year-old process by manually distilling the stuff in copper rectifiers from 1921 (most mass-produced vodkas are catalyzed in other metals, none of which make the resulting spirit quite as clean). But Elyx's kicker is the wheat it uses; it’s sourced from a single estate at Rabelof Castle in southern Sweden, which means all the grain is uniform (unlike the blends that make up most other vodka production) and can be rigidly controlled and purpose-grown with exactly the right water and starch contents.


So Absolut nailed it on the content front. But the marketing is just as interesting. They’ve installed Johan Lindeburg, fashion designer and all-around stylish Scandinavian, as Global Creative Director. He’s giving the vodka a look and feel that’s unmatched anywhere else in the industry, from the distinctive copper-accented bottle to the sultry ad campaign featuring Chloe Sevigny. In contrast to that glamorous image, $50 for a bottle is an appealing price point, especially for one of the few vodkas we've been really excited about in a long while.


$50, klwines.com


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THE GP100 SPIRITS INDUCTEES

STATEMENT

Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope. 


The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.



METHODOLOGY


The GP100 is not a contest influenced by marketers or brands, nor is it a ranking by specifications as determined by uniform tests. Instead, it starts with a comprehensive list of nominees released in the calendar year, researched and compiled by our editorial team of obsessed experts across all of Gear Patrol's major areas of interest including Motoring, Technology, Style, Home, Spirits, Outdoor and Watches. Brands are not part of the selection process. Nominees are then debated in context of the past, present and future of their respective fields. Which selections stand as significant innovations, category busters or faithful monuments to the icons of history? Do they adhere to Gear Patrol's core tenets of excellence, design, utility and the spirit of adventure? Distilled to the following 100 items, the GP100 represents the best products on earth released in 2013 -- easily inspiring consumers and creators alike during their search for guideposts of excellence in a vast world of products.


THE CATEGORIES


Motoring   Watches   Style   Technology   Sports   Outdoors   Home   Spirits

WRITERS


Jeremy Berger

Ben Bowers
Alex Bracetti
Nick Caruso
Ed Estlow
Jon Gaffney
Jonathan Gallegos
K.B. Gould
Bradley Hasemeyer
Jason Heaton
Mike Henson
Amos Kwon
Matt Neundorf
Scott Packard
Austin Parker
Henry Phillips
Peter Saltsman
Chris Wright
Eric Yang


CREDITS

Produced by Ben Bowers, Chris Wright, Eric Yang
Designed by Eric Yang
Edited by Chris Wright
Photography by Henry Phillips, Eric Yang
Special Thanks to Braun, Scroll Kit and Say Media

RESOURCES

Inquiries, Corrections  support@gearpatrol.com
2014 Submissions  100@gearpatrol.com