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Premium & Superpremium Vodka: The Topic

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I love grey goose and will have to check this one out as soon as I can find some....Damn, its only 8 am and now I want a drink!...

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Hi Chris:

Not sure if it's available in your neck of the woods yet. It's filtering down from New York to Philly just this week. Apparently it's only been in the country for about two months. It's imported by Symphony Importers but is being distributed by Southern Wine & Spirits. We're on their "target list" of restaurants in Philadelphia because they're only going after the top five or six restaurants/martini bars in each city and we fit that profile at two of our properties, :blush: so they kind of came after us.

I'm sure if you can't find a local distribution channel through Southern, one of the NY area retailers listed on the Zyr website would be happy to ship you a bottle.

Vodka - it's not just for breakfast anymore... :biggrin:

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Well, I can't actualy answer your question but I know that Ive stopped drinking Grey Goose for the reason you mentioned. I've turned my vodka tastes to Ultimat......OUTSTANDING VODKA!!!

Scott

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ok all, I'm sure something similar to this has been posted but I didn't come accross it going back a few pages.

What is thee best vodka on the market right now and what is it going for?

Personaly, I'm in love with Ultimat. Super smooth and no taste at all. It goes for about $60. I'm not much of a vodkaphile so what do you guys drink from the top shelf?

Scott


Edited by Cowboy From Hell (log)

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Never tried Ultimat. My top shelf Vodka at home right now is the Chopin potato vodka from Poland (which is reviewed earlier in this merged thread) which goes for about $25-30 at discount liquor stores. I cant imagine being able to improve on that product.

Second to that would be Belvedere which is a grain vodka.

I have also heard the super premium potato vodka from the US in Rigby, Idaho, Teton Glacier, is supposed to be outstanding.

All the eGullet Vodka Threads

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As I have posted elsewhere, I am partial to Brilliant which goes for around 20 bucks a bottle.

I should add, although I imagine most everyone agrees with me, that it is only worth the money for "top shelf" vodka if it is going to be consumed by itself. If used for mixing, while I wouldn't recommend using Popov, using expensive vodka is a huge waste of money. As to whether or not any vodka is worth the kind of money one spends on single malt scotch (60 dollars?!)... that just seems crazy to me for a beverage that is supposed to taste as much as possible like nothing.

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It's actualy a sad thing that politics has to play a role in something as simplisticaly sinful as enjoying a good drink. Thankfully I've found other libations to fill the void.

Scott

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I like the Chopin for potato vodka, but recently came across Zyr, which I sang the praises of HERE I've never tried anything smoother or more basically distilled to neutrality. Almost tasteless but delicious!

A friend brought me back a bottle of Russian Standard from Moscow a few years ago. It was pretty good stuff! He said it was what all the Muscovite yuppies were drinking :rolleyes:

The Hangar vodkas are interesting because they are distilled from Viognier grapes, not grain or potatoes. There's a slight hint of that lovely viognier floral bouquet in the nose of it. The fruit flavors are also distilled with whole fruits, so the fruit flavors are very clean and pure. The Hangar Kaffir Lime is delicious and the Mandarin Blossom is just gorgeous.

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I could have sworn I read a post on this forum concerning this subject. I tried looking for it but couldn't find it. Someone mentioned that Grey Goose had American ownership that decided to make the vodka in France because of some kind of restriction with distilling regulations in the US.

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And on this note...

An article from today's Philadelphia Inquirer speaks of a premium vodka made from MAPLE sugar :shock:

Rick Nichols on Maple Vodka

This sounds interesting. Unfortunately, until whichever Pennsylvania distributor decides to add it to his portfolio, I won't be able to get it in this Prohibitionary state. :angry:

Those of you in New England, consider yourselves fortunate.

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The Hangar vodkas are interesting because they are distilled from Viognier grapes, not grain or potatoes.  There's a slight hint of that lovely viognier floral bouquet in the nose of it.  The fruit flavors are also distilled with whole fruits, so the fruit flavors are very clean and pure.  The Hangar Kaffir Lime is delicious and the Mandarin Blossom is just gorgeous.

I'm not ordinarily a vodka fan, but I also really like Hangar One, especially the Mandarin Blossom (with a splash of Lillet, it's sublime).

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The Hangar vodkas are interesting because they are distilled from Viognier grapes, not grain or potatoes.  There's a slight hint of that lovely viognier floral bouquet in the nose of it.  The fruit flavors are also distilled with whole fruits, so the fruit flavors are very clean and pure.  The Hangar Kaffir Lime is delicious and the Mandarin Blossom is just gorgeous.
I'm not ordinarily a vodka fan, but I also really like Hangar One, especially the Mandarin Blossom (with a splash of Lillet, it's sublime).

Ooooohhh Janet! There's no doubt this combo will be tried when my next bottle of Hangar Mandarin comes in... :wink:

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And on this note...

An article from today's Philadelphia Inquirer speaks of a premium vodka made from MAPLE sugar :shock:

Rick Nichols on Maple Vodka

This sounds interesting. Unfortunately, until whichever Pennsylvania distributor decides to add it to his portfolio, I won't be able to get it in this Prohibitionary state. :angry:

Those of you in New England, consider yourselves fortunate.

yea, i was getting ready to post that.

that, to me is the most interesting vodka i've heard of thus far.

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What's the best DOMESTIC super premium?

The best one, is the one that you like the best.

Once you get into the premium area, all of the spirits are essentially of very good quality, the main difference will be in the types of things that one person will like, while another won't. Sometimes, what you call the "super' premium brands are exactly the same as the premium brands... except for the price. Some fancy marketing person realizes that if they charge more for it, people will "think" it is better, and therefore not only sell more, but make more on everything they sell... Vodka is one of the worst offenders of this. But after all, they invented, or at least perfected, the whole science of liquor marketing.

I realize that not everybody will agree with me, but vodka is the most over-rated of all of the spirits. People flock around it like moths to a flame. They listen to the "buzz" as to what is "currently" the in-vogue brand, and stores can't keep it on the shelves. Absolute, Grey Goose, Kettle One, Hanger One, Pearl, etc... each had their "15 minutes" of fame. Only to be eclipsed a little later by somebody else coming out onto the scene and stealing the stage.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... the most important ingredient in (US, domestic or imported) vodkas is the water that they use to bring it down to bottle strength. Yes, different vodkas -do- taste different. One might have a hint of sweetness, another a hint of flowers, or spice, or minerals, or just a clean brightness. Pick up different brands of bottled water at the store and do a tasting between them... you will notice exactly the same differences between each one.

True, the "rot gut" vodkas will be nasty things, that will turn even a vodka tonic into a vile drink. This is due to poor distillation. But once you get into the premium brands, the raw distillate that they are all using is essentially the same, with virtually no contaminates... or characteristics... just clean and (virtually) pure alcohol. What you have is about 97% pure alcohol, with the remainder made up of water, and very, very, minute contaminates, with perhaps only one half of one percent being a direct/characteristic by-product of the original fermented mash used to produce it. To this, they add water, to bring it down to 40 to 50% alcohol... which means vodka consists of almost 60% added water. Thus the choice of which water to add, and how to pureify this water, is the most important choice of all that the distiller faces (most vodka producers don't even make their own raw distillate... they buy it in bulk... from the same distiller that is making raw distillate for their competition).

...but, back to the original question... :->

What I highly recommend people to do who are interested in finding that great vodka, is to go to the liquor store and buy the little airplane bottles of vodka that most stores sell. You can usually find many of the premium vodkas being sold this way, and once in a while the really expensive vodkas will come out like this as well. If there is another vodka or two that you want to try, but don't see them as a airplane bottle, then pick up a reglar bottle of those. Hopefully, this little shopping trip won't cost too much, but leave you with a fairly good selection.

Now, once you get home, attempt to do a double-blind tasting of the vodkas you selected. Don't worry about chilling them, because at room temperature you will be able to pick out more of the undesireable traits then you could if they were chilled.

Use identical glasses, label each glass with A, B, C, ... Now leave the room and have somebody else go in and pour the vodkas into the glasses, they need to record which vodka they poured into A, B, C, ... Now -they- leave the room, taking the bottles of vodka -and- their notes with them. You (or a third person) go back in and -randomly- re-label the glasses 1, 2, 3, ... being careful to record which number "A" gets, etc.

Now, everybody can taste the vodkas, comments on them, and discusses which ones they like the best, worst. Nobody knows which vodka is which yet, and so there is no pressure to prefer one over another. You should be "hoping" that the vodka you like the best isn't the most expensive one :->

Once you've all made your individual decisions as to what you think of each one (many of them will be so similar that you won't be able to form an individual opinion), you can bring out the notes and determine which vodka was in which glass.

This is the best way to find out what -you- think the best vodka is. And now, instead of simply "following the pack", you can actually order your premium vodka -knowing- that this is the one you like the best.

This is the same process that I recommend for Brandy, Whiskey, or any other spirit. Give it a try and let us know the results!

-Robert

www.DrinkBoy.com

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Welcome to eG rascalrg. :smile:

Consider:

Enjoy.

edited to correct boo boos :hmmm:


Edited by beans (log)

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A customer came in tonight asking about a"new" vodka, made entirely from grapes...Am I out of the loop? Has anyone tried it, and if so, I would appreciate any information on it (i.e...should we have it in stock?)

I generally don't jump on the lasted trends in Vodka, but, my interest IS peaked.

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A customer came in tonight asking about a"new" vodka, made entirely from grapes...Am I out of the loop?  Has anyone tried it, and if so, I would appreciate any information on it (i.e...should we have it in stock?)

I generally don't jump on the lasted trends in Vodka, but, my interest IS peaked.

Hangar One vodkas are distilled from Viognier grapes. Very delicious - particularly the Kaffir Lime and Mandarin Blossom flavored ones.

More info available Here

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Thank you, Katie!!...

Buddha's hand Vodka....It sounds fantastic! I would love to know if this stuff is as as amazing as it sounds/looks....I am also interested in the distillation process.....Any takers?

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I think that one is called Cirac? I was at an event sponsored by this brand several months ago. They had "brand ambassadors" to introduce the guest to it.

I thought it was all right, but not really vodka. First of all it had a slight flavor and sweetness to it, and secondly isn't a spirit distilled from grape juice really grappa, marc etc.?

I asked the "ambassador" this question but since he was really some unemployed actor trying to act like a vodka expert he was unable to give me an educated response. He said, "no, it's vodka; that’s what they told us anyway".

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From what I understand it is not acutally whole grapes, rather some part left over from winemaking. I think it might be the seed.

Hangar One Vodka is a really great product, I highly reccommend it.

Ben

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