Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Mebutter

Premium & Superpremium Vodka: The Topic

Recommended Posts

The Absolut Vanilia smells more like Creme Brulee than like "fake" vanilla, like the Stoli Vanilla does. I like it quite a bit more than the Stolichnaya Vanil vodka. However, the Absolut Mandarin smells and has an aftertaste of baby aspirin! Yech!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
However, the Absolut Mandarin smells and has an aftertaste of baby aspirin!  Yech!

I love Stoli Vanil, but have found that I like the Absolut Vanilla better too. Which is odd because I always felt Absolut's flavourings were a tad overkill. I couldn't STAND to pour Absolut Kurant after a wild Saturday night/Sunday morn nearly watching the sunrise with a bunch of tired coworkers and then dutifully reporting to work my favourite Sunday afternoon shift of regulars, one of which drinks the stuff.

Katie you and I have a similar palate! Stoli Ohranj over Absolut Mandarin (yes, VERY baby aspirin) !

What are views on Grey Goose? Belvedere? Ketel One?

edit to add:

swingers: Welcome to eGullet. I LOVE meeting fellow mixologists here. You're in Paris? I have a really good friend that worked at The Hideout (11, rue du Pot de Fer). I always meant to get there to visit....


Edited by beans (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For my part, I'm a Ketel One lovers and in fact I had the chance to met Bob Nolet, one of the two son of Carl Nolet,sr the owner of Ketel One.

He is a really great guy and it was so interesting to speak to him.

I think Ketel One is like a Rolls Royce at the price of a Mercedes.

Grey Goose is a really good vodka but there is too much marketing behind it.

And to finish Belvedere is not anymore available here in Paris but in fact I don't really like it, I think Polish vodka is I don't know how to say but too flavored.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For my part, I'm a Ketel One lovers and in fact I had the chance to met Bob Nolet, one of the two son of Carl Nolet,sr the owner of Ketel One.

He is a really great guy and it was so interesting to speak to him.

I think Ketel One is like a Rolls Royce at the price of a Mercedes.

Grey Goose is a really good vodka but there is too much marketing behind it.

And to finish Belvedere is not anymore available here in Paris but in fact I don't really like it, I think Polish vodka is I don't know how to say but too flavored.

Very cool on meeting members of the Noblet family! :smile:

I remember Grey Goose introduced all of those multi-unnaturally-coloured and flavoured cherries one Summer. All of those little jars! I'm not sure (I work with a large staff of bartenders) if those cherries made it for one customer to have with their Grey Goose cocktail. (A similar problem with our gibson onions -- a bartender's lunch!) :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend of mine bring me a new vodka from Italy, the name is Dué.

They make one straight vodka and two others with Chardonnay and Merlot flavored.

I don't really like the straight one but the two others is just great.

You can make an amazing “Bellini Martini“ with the Chardonay flavored vodka and I'm actually working on for the Merlot flavored one.

Could you tell me what you think about Dué if know it ?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Supposedly, this is imported into the US, though I haven't seen it yet. I would love to get my hands on some! Try Hangar One as well, which is distilled from wheat and Viogner grapes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like only Hangar one mandarin blossom for the other I'm not crazy about it.

Did you try Ciroc vodka ? I'm actually waiting for a bottle next week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"chardonnay flavored"? does that mean it's treated with oak chips?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"chardonnay flavored"?  does that mean it's treated with oak chips?

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For my money (canadian) Chopin vodka, from Poland, is the best of all I've tasted. Grey Goose and Belvedere are excellent but deperately need to drunk from the freezer. Unfortunately, they are very expensive here in Canada. Ketel one is a favourite of mine for every day drinking as well as Canadian Iceberg Vodka. Both are cheaper than the others. Absolut tastes like rubbing alcohol and I cannot figure out how people drink it. Skyy is gross as well. Stoli and Finlandia are passable if nothing else is available. Smirnoff should be avoided at all costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with thezim. I absolutely love the Chopin. I think that potato vodkas have a more neutral taste than grain based vodkas. This of course only matters when I'm drinking them as a martini, vurtually unsullied with anything else. Chopin and Belvedere are both made by the same company except the Chopin is potato based and the Belvedere is grain based. A friend of mine once gave me a bottle of Chopin from Poland. Tasted the same but the label was in Polish :cool: I recently got into Christiania vodka from Norway. VERY smooth stuff! And all vodkas should be drunk from the freezer! :biggrin:

For just mixing in a cocktail I like Finlandia , Skyy or even the Absolut since it will be "covered" by whatever juice or mixer is with it. Doesn't matter too much at that point as long as it doesn't have a nasty taste of its own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I have been using Skyy for mixing, on the rare occasions when I want a hit of the straight stuff from the freezer, I like Brilliant. It comes as close as any vodka I have ever tasted to being completely odorless and tasteless. It is all texture, mouthfeel and finish.

vodka.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drinkboy I will send you a message with a site to help you out.

As far as good vodka goes, there are lots: Belvedere, Chopin, Mor, Kremylovskaya, Krolewska, Stolichnaya (#1 selling in the world), Stoli Gold, Cristall, Hangar One (Best Flavoreds, IMHO), Zubrowka, Jewel of Russia, Tanqueray Sterling, Rain, Vox, Ultimat, etc., etc.

There are about 200 importers of vodka into the U.S. with 600+ brands.

Some of the cheaper, but very good brands include: Svedka, Volganaya, Tito's, Luksusowa, Denaka, Finlandia, etc, etc.

The problem with some top shelf brands like Absolut is the method of manufacture. Absolut distills to the maximum of 98.6% abv (highest you can go without the addition of organic acids) and then adds rectified spirits (poorly distilled) for so that the spirit has flavor. Contrarily, Stoli is double distilled wheat, which allows for the presence of a great deal of pleasant congeners like acetyl aldehydes, diacetyl and esters (head of distillation), which add pleasant flavor and a robust body while eliminating fusel oils (tail end of distillation) which contribute the nasty taste.

Good vodka takes advantage of the delicate balance between purity of spirit and flavor, whereas great vodka maximizes the balance. I challenge anyone who doesn't think much of vodka to take a fresh hit of "white dog" off of a pot-still and then tell me it has no flavor. Master distillers of bourbon and scotch do taste some whisky from the barrels as it ages, but they taste EVERY batch that comes off the still. That's how they determine quality and flavor. The taste of vodka comes from the grains and you can find every mashbill in the world in vodka. It ranges from 100% beets to 100% malted barley and beyond. They use corn, beets, wheat, rye, potato, barley, grapes and every mixture of those to create each vodka's unique taste. Some are better than others.

But individuals who haven't acquired a taste for vodka are like people who have had Maker's and Jack Daniel's and say they don't like bourbon. Or those who drink Dewars and Johnny Walker and say they don't like Scotch. If all you have tasted is a few of the big brands, you don't know what you are missing. I deal with this phenomenon every day in the liquor business. People are generally uneducated when it comes to liquor and often think they know what they are talking about. I can't tell you how many times I have heard that Crown is the best Canadian whisky, or that Jack is the best Bourbon, or that Hennessey is the best Cognac. People truly don't know.

Creating good vodka is much more difficult than creating good bourbon or scotch because you can taste mistakes. Wood has the uncanny ability to cover up some mistakes (not all), but with vodka, you are tasting naked spirit, unaltered with spirit caramel, wood, or any flavoring agents. This is a whisky nerd's dream (i.e. my dream :biggrin: ). So give vodka another try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Yes!

I must agree. Vodka is more then a drink to be mixed.

I tasted a jigger of vodka from a mason jar my Ukrainian friend had smuggled into the country. It was distilled beetroot. What a great flavour. It would stand up to any scotch for complexity (with the exception of my personal favorite - Lagavulin)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drinkboy, I don't know how we missed this in our discussions, but we are both numbskulls!

The law which you are in reference to regards the production of vodka in the US, not the importation. So, this certainly would apply to every vodka I have seen made in the US, which attests to the poor quality of US made vodka (with few exceptions, most notably, Tito's). This is also the reason to purchase imported vodka, which doesn't fall under these regulations. Distillation at that proof causes a loss of all the good flavor along with the bad, which is why industrial, column-distilled vodkas taste. . . industrial. Examples of mediocre to horrid US vodkas include Tvarski, Skyy, some Smirnoff, Burnetts, Barton, Popov, Kamchatka, Gilbey's, Gordon's, and a few others. Clearly, these are industrial alcohol that water has been added to.

One final note to add to the list of sub-par US vodkas: Teton Glacier. Though touted by beans on another thread to be a fine American product, this product is a disgrace. First, the brand makes the outlandish claim that 99% of vodkas are grain distillates and that only 2 other potato vodkas are distributed in the US--two outright lies. The true numbers are probably closer to 85-90% grain distillates and there are many potato vodkas distributed in the US: Zubrowka, Chopin, Luksusowa, Mor and many others.

Glacier claims its vodka is distilled greater than 50 times on a column still. This is bragging??? That is like bragging to a guy driving a Ferrari that you drive a Pinto. In fact, on Silver Creek distilling's webpage, they sell industrial ethanols!! Anyone who buys Teton Glacier has fallen victim to a great ploy and the greatest myth: that the quality of a vodka depends on how tasteless or odorless it can be. Teton is a watery, flavorless sad reflection of US vodka producers, just like all the other industrial vodkas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhhhh.... Production. That probably explains a lot.

I can't get Tito's vodka here in WA... I'll have to see if I can find a internet store I can order from. I've heard good things about it.

-Robert Hess

www.DrinkBoy.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link and info about Brilliant vodka. Stuff looks really cool! Has anyone tried the more unusually flavored vodkas in that product line? Specifically, I'm curious about the Almond and Tarragon flavored vodkas. My mind reels with possiblilites for interesting savory cocktails...

I'd love to find somewhere to order the flavored "gift set" of Brilliant either for my own - ahem - "research" purposes, or perhaps as a gift for my Beverage Director whose birthday is fast approaching. Anyone have any ideas on that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the link and info about Brilliant vodka.  Stuff looks really cool!  Has anyone tried the more unusually flavored vodkas in that product line?  Specifically, I'm curious about the Almond and Tarragon flavored vodkas.  My mind reels with possiblilites for interesting savory cocktails...

I have never seen any of the flavored versions avaliable at retail here in NYC. In fact, I was only turned on to it by a guy at Columbus Circle Liquors who offered me a taste from their freezer. The vodka itself is almost comically underpriced. Something like $19 a bottle compared to $25 or so for many other brands that I don't think are as good.

The flavored ones do sound interesting, though, don't they? OTOH, I wonder how hard it would be to make this sort of thing for myself. I'm not sure how I'd do almond, but tarragon sounds easy. I made some lemon verbena vodka last summer that was really interesting. And, for some reason, I have been thinking lately of what fresh bay leaf infused vodka would taste like...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am, by no means, a vodka expert or aficianado, but my experience as a part-timer in a wine/liquor store leads me to agree -- simply by the volume of purchases I see by customers who do drink vodka regularly -- that imported quality far outstrips domestic.

An exception might be Rain, which is made -- probably not coincidentally -- by bourbon folks, at the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, KY. It's my understanding that about 70% of the rest of the raw domestic vodka product comes from the same distillery in the Midwest. The only difference is in the after-distillation handling by the bottlers.

And, since the 'neutral grain spirits' in non-bourbon whiskeys (e.g., Early Times, Kesslers) is essentially vodka, I guess you could (technically, at least) include them with the flavored vodkas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. I was googling to find out ideas/manufactuers of figs and liquor/liqueur. I stumbled upon this and have had no luck on getting to their website for several days now.

Kleinier Feigling Vodka

Anyone try this or have some additional info?

Upon a first reading of this review made me re-evaluate my desire to track this stuff down (forget the Penthouse vodka tasting I found! :eek: ).

But then, curiosity killed the cat? For the sake of professional development and in the name of research, I'm usually willing to try 99.9% liquors, heck I even tried Tatto Schnapps! (bleh)

Thanks! Cheers y'all! bullet.gif

edit: Oooooh, sorry, I forgot to spell check my title (see that's how often I start threads) :wacko:

Is there any way a lovely moderator to fix it for me? Pretty please with sugar on top? If not, well, then I'll live with egg on my face....! Thanx!


Edited by beans (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

I was on the Grey Goose vodka web site and actualy when the first page open up you have a note information about the origin of Grey Goose.

It explain that Grey Goose is a vodka who come from France but owned by an american company.

I’m o.k. with that.

The point who is really interesting is how they change her “marketing“. (I think)

I explain myself, here in France they sell Grey Goose as a french product since the first time and it don’t change.

When I was in NYC a few years ago I talked to a bartender who told that the Grey Goose marketing in the US comunicate about the french origin and the top quality of the product.

And now with this note information I see that Grey Goose marketing change her mind, now they comunicate more about the top quality and the american company who owned Grey Goose.

So I just want to know if I’m true ? and if yes, is it because Grey goose vodka sell are down with the problem with France and US ?

I don't know if You understand what I try to say but I hope.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vodkas are a funny liquor. We are told by regulations that they should have no taste but each one I have tasted ranges from rubbing alcohol to smooth, velvet. I don't like Grey Goose but I do like Ketel One or Russian Standard. My favourite for now is Ikon Vodka which seems to me to be a premium but is rather inexpensive in the United States, when you can find it. There website is ok too www.ikonvodka.net. Brilliant vodka I am not too sure about and Ice Berg for the money is good too! As for flavored vodkas I would rather stay away from them. Ukrainian Horilkas are very interesting as well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Ketel for everyday drinking and for special occasions I try to vary my choice. I often find myself coming back to Chopin, though.

As for the person who asked about Charbay upthread...I'm not huge on most of their flavored vodkas, but I love the grapefruit with a pasion. It takes like the perfect greyhound. I could (well, I have) just drink it neat all day long. I highly recommend it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

I heard about a new vodka call Zygo wich is a energy vodka (70° proof).

This product is not available in France, so I would like to know if someone ever taste it.

www.morningvodka.com

Also, what do you think about the Rose's cocktail infusion ? Is there alcohol on it ?

www.rosesinfusions.com

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all:

I had a charming and predictably oily tongued liquor salesperson schedule an appontment with me earlier this week. He was hawking a new high end vodka called Zyr ( pronounced Zeer). This is the first super premium vodka imported from Russia. It's got the Grey Goose and Belvedere drinkers right in its crosshairs. All grain - 75% winter wheat/25% rye. Virtually no noticeable aroma over ice (at least initially), and a faint taste of rye bread on the finish. Water drawn from underground springs 140 meters beneath the Russian soil. Filtered 9 times and distilled 5 times. :shock: . I was skeptical but I have to admit:

DANG! This shit is tasty!

Oh. My. God. I couldn't believe how smooth this was. Makes Grey Goose taste like Philly tap water! (Hommage to Tommy! :biggrin:) Distilled to virtually complete neutrality. Perfect on the rocks with a twist of your favorite citrus, up in a martini or with a light splash of Rose's Lime for the best gimlet ever. Apparently it's been getting quite a bit of press. Wine Enthusiast gave it the highest rating it has ever given to a vodka. Costs a few dollars more per bottle (low thirties) than it's targets, but worth it, I think. I immediately purchased 6 bottles for two of the restaurants to split. Of course it wasn't at my local warehouse today when I wanted to pick it up... :angry: Which is really a bummer because an ice cold shot of it's been paired with a new salmon appetizer that has a vodka-caviar vinaigrette dressing on it. Thought it would be interesting to see if the customers respond well to that suggestion. We'll probably be out of the sample bottle that was left with us by tomorrow! :rolleyes:

I'd never heard of this before this dude showed up to sell it to me. Anyone else know about this or tried it before? Obviously, I'm hooked now. My new favorite vodka, without question. Supposedly it's in all the swanky places in New York like Jean-Georges, Nobu, etc.

Further info is available Here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×