View Full Version : Vodka

05-30-2008, 16:07
Recently I tasted a couple of vodkas I keep in the freezer. One was Wyborowa, single estate version made from rye (in a heavy bevelled bottle, quite honestly I find the bottle a nuisance but the vodka is great); a vatting of vodkas I prepared (blending Absolut, Finlandia, Alberta Springs and a grapes vodka from California, Roth); and Roth on its own.

They all tasted different I thought. The vatting had a "hard water"-like edge; the Roth was full-flavored with something distinctive yet hard to place, something "dusty" maybe; and the Polish single estate was the bee's knees.

This was one of the few times I didn't like the result of my vatting and I recalled having tweaked it, too, to little avail.

I drink vodka straight maybe 3 times a year but when I do I enjoy it.

I know we've discussed vodka a lot here but I am interested in peoples' current impressions. For those who knock it back neat, which vodka do you favor, and why (taste, price, bottle, etc.)?


05-30-2008, 16:22
I like Level myself, Ketel isn't bad. Fot some reason Level has just taken a big jump in price around here from around $32/bottle to $39-$40, but I got lucky and found two bottles at one shop marked at $24.99, I'm assuming liters accidentally marked at a 750 price, so of course I snapped thmm both up. When they are gone, I may go back to Ketel, since their price hasn't seemed to go up like the level. I'm only willing to pay so much for vodka, given how cheap it is to produce comparatively. If I'm going to shell out $40 I can get a damned nice bourbon!

05-30-2008, 16:37
I've never tried Level (or Level One is it?); is that a premium version of Smirnoff?


05-30-2008, 17:31
Ketel is actually Ketel One, Level is just Level I think, and is actually a premium version by the makers of Absolut, but while Absolut is a very mediocre vodka with a big advertising budget, Level is actually good :D

05-30-2008, 18:24
I like Ketel One, it has a big round taste.


06-02-2008, 09:04
Sobieski. A Polish vodka, 100% rye. If your sense of smell is keen enough, you can actually smell the rye. Vodka may be distilled at 95% ABV, but that remaining 5% can carry over enough of the mash's character to be detectable to some of us. Among those for whom it isn't, the ones who claim that those of us for whom it is are "fooling ourselves" are committing a classic case of "sour grapes".

The Sobieski is also reasonably priced at $12 (OR price; even less other places). The downside is that no store here stocks it and I have to special order it. Takes about six weeks.

Prior to discovering Sobieski, my favorite was Stoly Gold. Not much in the way of aroma or flavor with this one, but a super smooth, almost creamy texture.

As for Absolut, that stuff represents the most successful marketing campaign in history. The vodka itself is okay but nothing exceptional, but bazillions of people are convinced it's the greatest.

06-02-2008, 13:12
Thanks and I am thinking of laying in more vodkas and doing a comparative tasting again. A semi-blind tasting would be interesting.


07-15-2008, 06:17
My wife is into Vodka and like Chopin and Level cold with a slice iof lime.

We were in Maine this weekend and found a local potato-based Vodka called Cold River. It was very good. Who would have thought of getting a Vodka bottled in Maine.

07-15-2008, 06:49
Who would have thought of getting a Vodka bottled in Maine.

Who would have thought of getting a Gin bottled in Pennsylvania? :bigeyes:
Joe :usflag:

07-15-2008, 08:43
I think what is happening is that as with beer, spirits will start to lose (to a degree) their regional identity. This has already occured in that e.g., gin and vodka are made by large companies in numerous places in the U.S. and all around the world, ditto rum, etc.

But still, certain types of drinks, partly due to legislation, remain national. Of course Scotch whiskey can only be made in Scotland. But Scotch-type drinks can be made anywhere and Japan is the best example in terms of the macro-level industry.

Smaller concerns are simply extending this at their level.

But also, such micro operations are pushing the envelope in that e.g. the McCarthy malt whisky made in Oregon is close to Scotch in character (IMO) and this type of whisky has not been made in America generally since before prohibition. Ditto Peregrine and the other craft malt whiskies.

In Providence I found a fine dark rum, all distilled at the firm's site in Newport, it is a spin-off of a brewery operation. It is called (the rum) Thomas Tew and is redolent of molasses and pot still flavors.


07-15-2008, 15:09
I've never tried Level (or Level One is it?); is that a premium version of Smirnoff?


Nope. Level is a premium offering from Absolut.

07-15-2008, 15:11
Okay thanks. This one is definitely on my try list.


07-26-2008, 17:00
Do yourself a favor and check out Tito's handmade vodka. It runs anywhere from $14.00 to $21.99 for a 750ml. It could go head to head with any vodka out there. I've had some way too serious vodka snobs over the house recently and we got into some pretty intense discussions about how their premium $50.00 bottle of vodka was the only one worth drinking.

They enjoyed Tito's but were still not convinced that it was good enough for their tastes. Actually, they were so reluctant to try it I almost gave up. I'm sure that their minds were made up before a sip was even taken. How could a product one third the cost be just as good and the fancy bottles that are marketed?