Tag Archives: Alcohol

Crystal Head Vodka: Creative skull shaped bottle becomes hard to resist!

DSC_119111

Photograph of Crystal Head Vodka by Charlotte Pridding 

The Crystal Head Vodka features a very creative bottle design / creation that is almost impossible to resist! I first discovered the clear, skull shaped bottles within various liquor stores throughout the city and I couldn’t resist the temptation, I decided to buy one for myself. Of course there are pros and cons, So I thought I would list my thoughts or recommendations.

The vodka itself features a smooth, yet subtle flavour that tastes delicious as a cocktail or a mixed drink. If you have a sweet tooth, the Crystal Head Vodka definitely compliments the ingredients for an Espresso Martini or a White Russian. I wouldn’t necessarily drink it straight and I prefer mixing the vodka with other alcoholic beverages; the additional flavours compliment or elevate the overall taste. The Crystal Head Vodka is expensive and I suspect that the consumer is paying for the overall design of the bottle as well as the alcohol.1

DSC_113611 copy

Photograph of Vodka Bottle by Charlotte Pridding

I actually prefer the taste of the Vodka when it is mixed with something else and I didn’t enjoy drinking it straight, the flavours were very delicate and subtle, this is just my personal preference anyway. I must admit, the Crystal Head Vodka compliments certain events or party occasions and the skull shaped bottle looks great on top of the bar! I’ve developed a fascination for the story or the history behind this particular brand and I’ve decided to undertake some further research.

According to the Crystal Head Vodka Website and Dan Aykroyd, this unique brand is produced in ‘Newfoundland, Canada’ and the Vodka features a very distinctive filtration process involving “precious crystals, known as Herkimer Diamonds.”2  The product also features an elaborate distillation process that includes “peaches and creamed corn” that are combined with the “waters from Newfoundland,” as referenced by the Crystal Head Vodka Website.3

Nick Curtis from The London Evening Standard explains that Dan Aykroyd collaborated with artist, John Alexander in order to create a ‘high-quality, premium product’ with a unique bottle design that is inspired by the “Mesoamerican crystal skulls.”4

dan-a-crystal-head-image

Photograph of Actor / Comedian, Dan Aykroyd with Crystal Head Vodka. Photographer Unknown

In a commercial featuring Crystal Head Vodka, Aykroyd explains the cultural, historical and spiritual connotations that are related to overall product design as well as the shape of the bottle.5 According to Arkroyd, the product is inspired by the “13 Crystal Skulls” and the Mexican Day of the Dead Celebration, the bottle features such an interesting, yet captivating background that successfully adds a level of meaning / significance to the overall product.6

I have often wondered whether I purchased the actual product for the bottle or the Vodka? At first, I was fascinated with overall product design and the bottle is such a fantastic novelty, although I was intrigued by the actual flavour of the Vodka. Obtaining the skull shaped bottle is a rewarding experience that provides an element of retainability and consumers have used the bottle both creatively and imaginatively.

19fzago7dfgu4jpg

Facial Reconstruction with Crystal Head Vodka by Nigel Cockerton

I have recently discovered a range of online consumers that have used their bottles as lamps, plant pots, ornaments, decorations, storage containers and even fish tanks! There’s even a forensic artist known as Nigel Cockerton from Scotland who has used the skull vodka bottle as the base in order to ‘recreate’ a very impressive, yet realistic human face, as referenced by Skullspiration.7 It’s amazing to see what these bottles are used for and I do enjoy viewing all of these creative ideas or transformations.

Nick Curtis quotes Aykroyd who explains his recent project known as ‘Use Your Head’ that encourages a range of artists from around the globe to use the skull vodka bottle within a creative or artist manner.8 This is such an interesting campaign that has generated interest from followers or fans from around the world and the Crystal Skull Vodka Facebook Page encourages their online followers to submit photographs of their Skull Vodka bottle within an artist context.9

content_dan_use_your_head

Photograph by Startraks. Photo of Crystal Head Vodka & Dan Aykroyd

I have often wondered what I would do with my empty skull bottle? I suppose I’ll have to think of some ideas in the next few days. I’ve decided to take some photographs of the bottle that has provided an opportunity to experiment with the lighting and the composition.

Overall the marketing and the advertising for the Crystal Head Vodka is phenomenal and I do admire the level of creativity and craftsmanship in terms of the actual bottle design. The product features a very subtle flavour and I do prefer drinking the Vodka as a delicious cocktail, rather than drinking it straight. Retaining a skull shaped bottle at the end is an advantage and something that is worth keeping for artistic or practical purposes, although the price is slightly higher compared to the other brands. If you prefer drinking sweet cocktails or mixed drinks, I would highly recommend the Crystal Head Vodka!

References

1. Dan Murphey’s, “Crystal Head Crystal Head Vodka 700ml,” Ratings & Reviews (Accessed 28/1/15) http://reviews.danmurphys.com.au/0592-en_au/DM_710148/crystal-head-crystal-head-vodka-700ml-reviews/reviews.htm
2. Crystal Head Vodka, “Our Story,” https://crystalheadvodka.com/en/ourstory (Accessed 28/1/15)
3. Crystal Head Vodka, “Our Story”
4. Nick Curtis, “Dan Aykroyd talks Ghostbusters, alien life, and new Crystal head vodka,” 19th September 2014, The London Evening Standard (Accessed 28/1/15) http://www.standard.co.uk/showbiz/celebrity-news/dan-aykroyd-talks-ghostbusters-alien-life-and-new-crystal-head-vodka-9744065.html
5. “Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka,” YouTube Video, (Accessed 28/1/15) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKqjIv91Zx8
6.”Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka,” YouTube Video
7.Skullspiration, “Forensic reconstruction of a Crystal Head Vodka skull,” (Accessed 28/1/15)  http://www.skullspiration.com/forensic-reconstruction-of-a-crystal-head-vodka-skull/
8. Curtis, “Dan Aykroyd talks Ghostbusters, alien life, and new Crystal head vodka.”
9. Crystal Head Vodka, Official Facebook Page (Accessed 28/1/15) https://www.facebook.com/crystalheadvodka

Image References

http://blog.totalwine.com/2012/02/02/pt-2-dan-aykroyd-talks-vodka-with-total-wine-more/
http://io9.com/forensic-artist-reconstructs-the-face-of-crystal-skul-1524391326
http://www.startraksphoto.com/home.aspx
http://www.crystalheadvodka.com/news/dan-aykroyd-blows-full-steam-a-head-into-london-england
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151824863486326.1073741845.91373316325


Tarot Grenache, 2009 by Alpha Box & Dice

tarot_alpha-box_dice_grenache_2008

So yesterday I decided to go out for lunch in Geelong and right opposite the cafe was a unique liquor store named Randal’s, which is located at the very end of Packington Street. What I do like about Randal’s is the fact that you can find a range of good quality wine, cinder and beer that isn’t available at the local liquor store or the supermarket. You know it’s always nice to have a change from time to time!

While I was browsing through the selection, I eventually discovered a very interesting bottle of wine. Tarot Grenache, 2009 is produced by Alpha Box & Dice in South Australia; I was very impressed with the label on the very front of the bottle. The label features a unique design and the multicoloured skulls immediately captured my attention, I picked up the bottle just to examine the detail.

The label also features a snake wrapped around a Giant Capital T that features a range of different colours, patterns and designs. In fact, the label does feature similarities to a tarot card, which does add a creative and artistic edge to the design. Ok so you’re properly thinking, what does the wine even taste like? well the first couple of sips was quite strong, overpowering, even bitter, although I’ve never really tried Grenache until this particular moment in time.

Tarot

I wasn’t overly keen on the taste of the wine, which was rather surprising as I was expecting something smooth and palatable. While the label is rather inspiring and imaginative, the wine itself does take a while to get used to.  I absolutely love anything related to skulls so there was no way I could have walked out of Randal’s without buying this bottle of wine. It’s not everyday you see skulls printed onto a wine bottle, this is what makes the label so extraordinary!

So the next question, you will properly ask is….would you really rely on the label or the design of the bottle to determine whether you were actually buying decent quality wine? I remember walking into a supermarket and buying a bottle of wine with four sheep jumping a fence, while the wine was absolutely dreadful, at least the Tarot Grenache wasn’t quite as bad as this experience.

I’ve always assumed that the design would indicate that the wine was high quality, I suppose this is the time where you actually read the bottle before you make the final purchase. What fascinates me about the Tarot Grenache is the reference to death and the human skull, especially in the label, I actually discovered a short statement on the bottle that captured my interest.

The label by Alpha Box & Dice states, “The card that has the face of death – fear? No! Let the changes sweep over you, like the blade cuts away dead wood to allow fresh fruit to spring forth”. This wasn’t the best wine I have ever had, although the advertising and the graphic design is very clever! It’s actually interesting to see the way the skull is used in alcohol packaging, what else can I say really? The skull still appears to be one of the most popular symbols in advertising and product design!

http://www.alphaboxdice.com.au/abnd_tarot.html

URL Links

http://www.frugalmacdoogal.com/wine_features/wine_selection.php?wine_id_selected=677

http://www.vsimports.com/wine.php?id=427


Ska Brewing Company

6/10/12 – Skull Beer

So yesterday, I had found a photograph of a bottle of beer with a skeleton in the middle. I did not know what the beer was called, although I had received a comment from another blogger who had said that the beer is made from the Ska Brewing Company. I have realised that the skull is used for some of their advertising and product design, including the range of t-shirts that are for sale online. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for, awesome skull t-shirt designs. If you are looking for some skull t-shirts I would recommend clicking on the link below.

http://skaswag.myshopify.com/

I haven’t tried this particular kind of beer although it is definitely on my to do list! It’s strange to think that the skull is now used for alcohol packaging, when it is also used for poison bottles aswell. I suppose the skull is reproduced to the stage, where the meaning has become completely ambiguous, does the skull even have a meaning anymore?

Anyway, I decided to have a look at Ska’s website and I must admit, the website was visually entertaining. The entire site is very well designed, I was able to navigate through each page without any hassle or issues. The website is displayed like an interactive comic book and the illustrations are visually appealing.

http://www.skabrewing.com/main.html


Tequila Bottles

24/4/12 – Mammacitas Restaurant, Melbourne

Went to Mammacitas on Collins Street for lunch and recognised these skulls on the top shelf within the bar. Mammacitas is a Mexican restaurant and the bottles do appear similar to the Mexican sugar skulls. I had asked the waiter about the skulls and he had explained that they were bottles of Tequila. There were smaller bottles, which were offered to patrons who ordered tequila within the restaurant. The bottles within the restaurant appear similar to the image at the top of the page.

The bottles within the image belong to a brand also known as Kah Tequila and each skull features a different representation or meaning. The website also explains that the Day of the Day inspired the design of each bottle, which are used to celebrate death and the deceased.

KahTequila, http://www.kahtequila.com/#!the-brand (accessed 24/4/12)

Image, http://msnyder.typepad.com/the_labyrinth/2011/10/skulls-knitted-filigreed-and-filled.html