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pick of the week

Where Dan Aykroyd is concerned, two skulls are better than one. So it seems with the launch of the Canadian actor's new line extension to his successful Crystal Head vodka brand. Like the flagship, Aurora comes in a striking decanter-style bottle shaped like a human skull. Only in this case the glass is not entirely clear; it's coated in an opaque, metalized finish. The idea was to evoke the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, the shimmering celestial display. This is a Canadian product, after all – or, more precisely, mostly Canadian. The peaches-and-cream corn from which standard Crystal Head is distilled has been pushed aside in favour of English wheat, though it still relies on Newfoundland water.

There's no sugar in either vodka, but the wheat of Aurora lends a drier, spicier profile, which is refreshing. At the same time, it comes across more delicately, with less weight in the mouth than most luxury-priced vodkas chasing rounded fullness. Available in Ontario at the above price, various prices in Alberta, $69.98 in Nova Scotia.