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bdrinker

Sipping vodkas - any suggestions?

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bdrinker

Had a glass of grey goose last night, neat. Not too impressed, mouthfeel was a bit watery, and not much flavor. What flavorful vodkas would be good for sipping, if any?

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starhopper
1 hour ago, bdrinker said:

Had a glass of grey goose last night, neat. Not too impressed, mouthfeel was a bit watery, and not much flavor. What flavorful vodkas would be good for sipping, if any?

I was always under the impression that the whole point of Vodka was to be flavorless.  They distill the heck out of them to get the "impurities" out. These impurities are what impart flavors.  Unless, of course, you buy a vodka to which a flavoring agent has been added.

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Special Reserve

My suggestion:  Sip bourbon instead!

Along with Starhopper, I thought the attraction of vodka was its tastelessness.

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ratcheer

I like Tito's, regardless of any controversy over whether it's actually "handmade".

Other than that, you could try some of the expensive Russian aged vodkas (but, I never have).

Tim

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tanstaafl2

If you are going to do something as foolish as sip vodka for "flavor" might as well go all out! I believe Three Olives makes a lovely line of flavored crap including a lovely pink offering called "bubble". That's probably a flavor of some sort! There is also "Loopy" which I think must be flavored with Fruit Loops cereal...

My brother, who I think has perhaps been hit in the head a few too many times over the years, prefers to "sip vodka" despite the many overwhelmingly superior whiskey, rum, tequila, brandy, jenever and yes, even gin options I have available and swears by Kettle One even though it is quite reasonable priced.

Take that for what it is worth. Which ain't much!

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Kpiz

The only vodka I've ever enjoyed was the Woodinville vodka out of Washington state. It had an incredible butterscotch thing going on despite no flavors being added. Of course this may not be much help to you now that I see you're international.

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smokinjoe

If you seriously are looking to sip an unadulterated clear spirit, I would forego the pulverized distillation required of grain neutral spirits (vodka) that basically makes it nothing but drinking a blend of pure alcohol and water, and search out a bourbon white dog.  Or, rye or corn white dog.  Much more flavor present to contemplate while sipping.  Not sure of your availability where you are, but there are several of these available from producers large (BT, HH, JD, GD, MM) and small (pick any one).

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Darwin

Kettle One, Idol, Froggy B,  Chopin and Belvedere all work for me.  ;)

Froggy B is a good value @ $14 and very well rated.  If I don't like it neat, it goes to the mixer shelf with no hard feelings.

A good vodka should taste of fresh cream or toast bread and or white pepper.  Purity vodka has been distilled something like 35 times, a very clean taste but not worth the $38.

Edited by Darwin

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Harry in WashDC

Well, I took a 100 proof good old American-made bargain vodka and, following a Jeff Morganthaler recipe circa 2007, added some stuff to it and let it sit for a week in the dark (shaking it daily in the dark, boss).

A few runs through a Brita filter gave me a really nice "flavored vodka".  Sipping neat was not so good, but mixing with a little lime juice and simple syrup and ice and tonic was WONderful.

 

Edited by Harry in WashDC
A thought - call it "gin"

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Darwin

Homemade raspberry and cranberry vodka is very good. Naturally flavored and no artificial ingredients.  The BlackBerry vodka did not come out so good, I may have left them in too long.  

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squire
On 1/22/2016, 7:46:16, Special Reserve said:

My suggestion:  Sip bourbon instead!

 

My first thought when I saw the thread title.  In their defense I do have some vodka drinking friends who can discern differences in the marques and are knowledgeable on the subject.   They chide me over my fondness for whisky by saying if that stuff was any good why does it have to be aged.  My retort of course is Russian potato juice has destroyed their palate.

I did learn the secret to sipping vodka though, keep the bottle in the freezer.

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Special Reserve
1 hour ago, squire said:

My first thought when I saw the thread title.  In their defense I do have some vodka drinking friends who can discern differences in the marques and are knowledgeable on the subject.   They chide me over my fondness for whisky by saying if that stuff was any good why does it have to be aged.  My retort of course is Russian potato juice has destroyed their palate.

I did learn the secret to sipping vodka though, keep the bottle in the freezer.

There was a time when I drank vodka with some regularity both mixed and neat.  I always kept it in the freezer as I thought it "tasted" better when stored at household freezer temperatures.

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tanstaafl2
On ‎1‎/‎26‎/‎2016‎ ‎5‎:‎29‎:‎02‎, squire said:

I did learn the secret to sipping vodka though, keep the bottle in the freezer.

Vodka is better in the freezer. Especially if you leave it in there and never take it out!

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Harry in WashDC
On 1/27/2016, 9:58:11, tanstaafl2 said:

Vodka is better in the freezer. Especially if you leave it in there and never take it out!

This.  My wife does like vodka with mashed fresh pineapple plus a little simple syrup over ice even though the vodka is from the freezer.  Whenever she's in the mood for one, I make hers then go find a bourbon at room temperature and pour a comparable amount in a glass with no ice.  For me.  As a reward for working so hard mashing that pineapple.

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SebastianLloyd

Don't people just shoot vodka?

If I were ever to buy vodka again it would probably be Kettle One, it was very "clean" tasting.

I bought bacon vodka once, only use was for caesars (aka bloody mary but better :p)

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BigRich

I just don't understand the question.  Isn't this categorically against the basic idea of vodka?

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Harry in WashDC
2 hours ago, BigRich said:

I just don't understand the question.  Isn't this categorically against the basic idea of vodka?

Well, when I was in Russia a few years ago, I noted that "they" liked to do lots of toasts with just vodka - no mixers, nothing.

BUT, being a closet lush, I caught on pretty quick to their trick that, after each toast, while the rest of us were looking around at the next toaster, our hosts topped off their partly filled vodka shot glasses with mineral water.  So, when the waiters circled the table to refill glasses for the next toast, only the newbies (i.e., the foreigners) had room for water.  So, I switched to cognac, which is brown and 80 proof (mostly) to avoid drinking the water.

So, the suggestion I'd make is: Switch to cognac OR add water.

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The Black Tot

I will sip vodkas, but only to test them for my preference and to pick which ones I'll then use in cocktails.

Yes, there are subtle differences. For starters, some of them are horrible to sip. Smirnoff Red, I'm typing to you.

A friend and I did a shootout of Belvedere, Grey Goose, and Chase recently. My preference went Chase, Belvedere, and then Grey Goose came last actually, which was a surprise to me.

They certainly don't have to be expensive to be sippable. Even BT's Rain is far easier drinking than a Smirnoff.

However, I reiterate - there is a difference between sipping them to evaluate them as an ingredient vs. sipping them recreationally. If you're going to enjoy vodka recreationally, fer Chrissakes make a nice cocktail with fresh ingredients!

I've also got a lot of time for a good White Russian now and then.

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smokinjoe
1 hour ago, The Black Tot said:

I will sip vodkas, but only to test them for my preference and to pick which ones I'll then use in cocktails.

Yes, there are subtle differences. For starters, some of them are horrible to sip. Smirnoff Red, I'm typing to you.

 

Paul, when you speak of subtle differences, are these differences in taste of what organic ingredient went into making the vodka (e.g. wheat, potatoes, grapes, rye, etc.) and manages to come through distillation and into the end product?  I went through a short phase where a neighbor of mine tried to convince me that there were such subtle differences between vodkas.  He would talk about shaking it in such a way to "crack" open the flavor, or something like that.  I just never got it.  I tried to.  Some drank smoother, I'll admit.  But, in the end the subtle differences to me were not in any discernible flavor, per se.  The only thing I could perceive were differences in the industrial alcohol quality of each, as in which were more like isopropyl alcohol that we have in the bathroom, and which were less so.  Never could get anything beyond just the raw alcohol-iness...

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The Black Tot

I agree Joe. I'm not discussing flavor, and no, I don't think the end product has anything perceptible left from the source grain/grape/potato/whatever. I'm discussing primarily smoothness (or, shall we rather say, lack of harshness/edge) and mouthfeel. You know how it is with all spirits, they tend to warm the palate somewhat uniquely. Not taste, but other characteristics like warmth, length, and distribution of that warmth.

While I'm not sure of vodka regulations (if there are any) I wouldn't be surprised if some of the premiums were adding a dash of sugar or other flavoring even to their "unflavored" product. Sugar, we know all to well from the doctored rum world, can enhance the perception of smoothness, even in small quantities. Since I'm only using them for cocktails in which I'll be adding the vodka to other juices and sweeteners anyway, I'm not worried or even interested about this :)

I think anyone here could tell the difference between Smirnoff Red and Grey Goose blindfolded. But that's just because SR is ROUGH, for reasons I again have little to no interest in :). But it's important to know that, because SR's roughness will cut through whatever efforts you make to put it in a well-crafted cocktail, and ruin it.

I think the trick for vodka is to find the best value brand that drinks smoothly with no ugly characteristics, then stick with that, until someone finds one that's even better value with the same characteristics.

I remember thinking BT's Rain was easy drinking when I tasted it at the distillery, to be a good sport. That stuff's a fraction of the price of the Goose, and you're supporting BT into the bargain.

It's still worth a shootout now and then. But once you have done your testing, no, there isn't any good reason to be sipping vodka neat for pleasure, unless you just want to get as drunk as possible while trying to fall the least far from the wagon on a diet (at LEAST put a squeeze of lemon in there) - but geez, do a few pushups, get some oak sap back into your glass, and live a little - it's all natural!

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Kane

Alright, this old dead thread fits the bill. I don't expect to find any JonTron fans here, but I promise this is 20mins well spent:

 

 

Edited by Kane

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smokinjoe

I only keep Absolut in my house.  It is by far the best vodka in the world.  There is not a vodka produced anywhere that is better.  

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BigRich
I only keep Absolut in my house.  It is by far the best vodka in the world.  There is not a vodka produced anywhere that is better.  

Except all the others that taste the same?

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smokinjoe
29 minutes ago, BigRich said:


Except all the others that taste the same?

I stand by my statement.  There is not a vodka produced anywhere that is better.  

 

Absolute te is the best vodka in THE WORLD.  That’s why it is my vodka of choice.  

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GaryT

I wouldn't say "I enjoy sipping", but I did enjoy Rain vodka - mainly because it had some character (which I guess makes it a shitty vodka).

 

Just curious - does anyone else hear an eastern European accent as they read Joe's post (but expect it to be followed by 'You will never have this vodka')?  

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