When The A.V. Club heard about Pinnacle’s new Cinnabon vodka, we knew it was something we had to try. We like desserts, and we like drinks, and we’d sort of liked some of Pinnacle’s other offerings, so it felt like a natural fit. While we were gearing up to chug some sweet, sweet alcohol, we were offered a guest appearance by Lawrence Arms frontman and noted alcohol connoisseur Brendan Kelly. And so a heavenly, frosting-coated match was made.
Kelly showed up the morning after his workplace’s belated holiday party eager to both drink away his hangover and talk just a little bit about Metropole, The Lawrence Arms’ new record. With a bit of coaxing, Kelly and A.V. Club web producer David Anthony sat down for a lunchtime feast of three different Pinnacle vodkas: the aforementioned Cinnabon, a sweet-smelling strawberry shortcake flavor, and cookie dough, which we bought just because it felt like we absolutely had to. All that was chased with cans of Coors Light that had been thoughtfully delivered, ice cold and early in the workday, by Coors after a particularly funny Coors-related story in The Onion.
While Anthony and Kelly came away pretty united on which vodkas were the best and which were the worst, as seen below, other staffers felt differently. Their reactions are below the video, in hypersensitive and hyper-drunken blurbs.
The Lawrence Arms’ Metropole is in stores now. Brendan Kelly and crew will also be on tour in February, and will probably happily do shots of anything fans bring them—excluding Cinnabon vodka.
• For something with such a strong, sugary scent, I couldn’t believe how flavorless the Cinnabon stuff was.
• Smells like a butt, but a nicely lotioned butt.
• Whoa. The chemical aftertaste was intense. God did not intend for this flavor to exist. Man defied God. Now we have Cinnabon vodka.
• Let’s be real: A Cinnabon can be delicious. This vodka is just a lot of spices (cinnamon is totally making its presence felt here) but doesn’t really taste like anything. It’s a bunch of competing notes, and if/when you ever hit rock bottom, this will be the flavor synonymous with that moment.
Strawberry Shortcake vodka:
• I heard complaints that the strawberry shortcake vodka tasted too medicinal, but it was my favorite of the bunch. Though I don’t know what you would mix it with—probably use it for a sweet martini that would lead to a headache.
• I was expecting the absolute worst and was pleasantly surprised that it just tasted like vodka with tons of sugar in it.
• Another entry in the line of flavored alcohols that is more reminiscent of cough medicine. There are far worse beverages that could be mistaken for a medicinal product, but is that really a compliment?
Cookie Dough vodka:
• I’m in the minority here, but the cookie dough stuff was just foul. Chocolate is a weirdly difficult flavor to fabricate, and this came out tasting like the cocoa-scented Mr. Sketch markers smell. But hey: It masks the booze taste, so Pinnacle is achieving at least one of its goals there.
• Best of the bunch. Has a weird smell, but don’t be fooled. Cookie dough is the right choice.
• It’s like melted cookie dough ice cream mixed with nail polish remover. Which, given its competition, somehow still places it at the top of the pack.
The trio in general:
• The smells were much worse and much more memorable than the tastes. Strawberry Shortcake smelled like cough syrup. Cookie Dough smelled like stale, poison ass. Cinnabon smelled like lotioned ass. No preference for any of them based on taste.
• As evidenced by people harassing me for liking Rumchata, I clearly have terrible taste in liquor. So take it with a grain of salt when I say that I thought the cookie dough vodka was pretty tasty, and that the Cinnabon wasn’t terribly offensive to my palate. I would drink these again, though not straight. And I’d rather have an actual Cinnabon than any of these drinks.