Review: The Street Pumas Vodka, Gin, and Rum
Now here’s something unique in the world of spirits: The Street Pumas line of liquors combines imported spirits with… wait for it… comic strips.
While we’re primarily known for hyper-specific, luxury items like a 22-year-old micro barrique cognac or corn-infused mezcal, Brooklyn-based importer, PM Spirits has just launched The Street Pumas, a line of premium well spirits.
The line includes vodka, London dry gin, and rum, with a blended Scotch whisky that is currently crossing the ocean as we speak. For his first line of custom spirits, founder Nicolas Palazzi collaborated with celebrated comic book artists and writers to create a complementary graphic novel that would double as labels for the bottles. Set in the near future, Nicolas and his team are portrayed as booze-slinging badasses determined to deliver killer juice no matter the obstacle. The one-liter bottles depict a different scene from the comic adventure, highlighting the gang’s battle against the forces of THEY.
Here we look at the first three products from the Pumas — everything but that blended Scotch, still on its way.
The comics have not been reviewed.
The Street Pumas Vodka – Distilled from potatoes in Poland, then shipped to Jerez, Spain, for proofing. The vodka is exceedingly mild, almost to a fault. The nose is barely there — a touch of sugar, some lemongrass, and just a bit of medicinality to spice it up. The palate is similarly mild, not as sweet as you might think — more chocolaty, than sugary — with a brisk, slightly biting finish. While there’s not much to hang on to, it’s nonetheless a solid mixing base thanks to its neutrality. 80 proof. A- / $30 (1 liter)
The Street Pumas London Dry Gin – Italian-born neutral grain spirits are sent to Belgium, where they are infused with juniper berries, coriander, angelica, lemon peel, and sweet & bitter orange peels. Very fruity and somewhat floral on the nose, the sweeter orange notes overwhelm the juniper and other botanicals. The palate is very heavy on the lemon, with orange a strong secondary note. Again, the juniper is largely absent, giving this gin more of a citrus vodka character — though one that’s not at all astringent or pushy. Probably a tough sell for any cocktail where juniper is expected (I wouldn’t describe this as a London Dry by any stretch), but it’s versatile in more modern mixology. 80 proof. B+ / $30 (1 liter)
The Street Pumas Rum – Distilled from molasses in Panama “at a site that shares lineage with the iconic distilleries of Nicaragua” and proofed in Jerez. Definitely the most aromatically strong spirit in this bunch, this is a bold and funky white rum, unaged and rather raw, though with some time emerge notes of ripe banana, coconut, and some walnut oil. The palate has a surprising complexity, offering lots of coconut and banana, some chocolate and a soothing vanilla finish. That raw hogo character, so evident on the nose, is really an afterthought here, showing a slightly vegetal character that lingers just a bit, giving it a little more of a chew than you might expect. 84 proof. B+ / $30 (1 liter)