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Absolut 'Level'


thebartrainer
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Has anyone heard of Absolut 'Level'

Claiming to be the cleanest, purest vodka ever created it is (according to the UK trade press) "much softer in style than its robust weaty cousin"

Has anyone else had enough of super premium Vodka?

Has anyone else spotted more than different marketing spin around a pretty bottle, in the last bunch of new releases?

Pardon me for being cynical but they are all starting to look remarkably similar

Cheers

Vist Barbore to see the Scottish scene.

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Has anyone heard of Absolut 'Level'

Claiming to be the cleanest, purest vodka ever created it is (according to the UK trade press) "much softer in style than its robust weaty cousin"

Has anyone else had enough of super premium Vodka?

Has anyone else spotted more than different marketing spin around a pretty bottle, in the last bunch of new releases?

Pardon me for being cynical but they are all starting to look remarkably similar

Cheers

Actually the Level is pretty good. I was skeptical until I tasted it and it is at least as smooth as Belvedere or Grey Goose. Still not as good as the Zyr though. I stock the Level at my bar and it sells reasonably well. As the brand recognition grows I expect sales will increase accordingly. In fact, I'm banking on it. :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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IMO, Level is overpriced and overhyped. Yes it's alot better than Absolut. But, it's not something I'd ever buy at the price. I wouldn't say it's quite as smooth as Grey Goose (never had Belvedere), although it's not a harsh vodka by any means. Actually, I think Luksusowa is a smoother, better vodka (although I may even pick Luksusowa over Goose), and look at the price difference.

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IMO, Level is overpriced and overhyped.  Yes it's alot better than Absolut.  But, it's not something I'd ever buy at the price.  I wouldn't say it's quite as smooth as Grey Goose (never had Belvedere), although it's not a harsh vodka by any means.  Actually, I think Luksusowa is a smoother, better vodka (although I may even pick Luksusowa over Goose), and look at the price difference.

I agree with you, and for the price and for "recreational use" in my home, I'd certainly be buying Luksossowa or Denaka in the teens rather than the mid to high twenty dollar price range. But for my day job, I have to stock a bar for the "see and be seen sipping a martini" crowd, and that which is trendy does enter the equation. If customers are asking for it, then I need to have it and charge accordingly for it.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I agree with you, and for the price and for "recreational use" in my home, I'd certainly be buying Luksossowa or Denaka in the teens rather than the mid to high twenty dollar price range.  But for my day job, I have to stock a bar for the "see and be seen sipping a martini" crowd, and that which is trendy does enter the equation.  If customers are asking for it, then I need to have it and charge accordingly for it.

Understandable. With most people it's all about brand name appeal.

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Understandable.  With most people it's all about brand name appeal.

If there were a new trendy vodka called "Eau du Merde" that claimed to be distilled from the water runoff from French pastures, the customers would ask for it and my bar would be declared tragically unhip for not carrying it. It's a burden, but my attitude is if they'll pay for it, they may have it, within reason. I refuse to carry Red Bull because I think it's too trendy/trashy for my bar and the people that drink it tend to projectile vomit in technicolor shades of red. Our decor is far too expensive for that and the projectile vomiting isn't something I'd like to promote. :biggrin:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I do think it's interesting that one of the major steps in developing a new brand of vodka is the design of the bottle. Bottle design has become important for many alcoholic beverages (viz. Bombay Sapphire's blue bottle), but it's much more important for vodka because there is so much less to differentiate beween brands. It's widely accepted that Absolut's bottle design had more to do with the success of that brand than anything else. This seems to be the major step towards becoming a trend leader like Katie suggests, so people will order fifteen dollar vodka tonics.

--

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I do think it's interesting that one of the major steps in developing a new brand of vodka is the design of the bottle.  Bottle design has become important for many alcoholic beverages (viz. Bombay Sapphire's blue bottle), but it's much more important for vodka because there is so much less to differentiate beween brands.  It's widely accepted that Absolut's bottle design had more to do with the success of that brand than anything else.  This seems to be the major step towards becoming a trend leader like Katie suggests, so people will order fifteen dollar vodka tonics.

A good point but do bartenders have a professional obligation to be filters for marketing jargon?

Or do the suckers get what they deserve?

I'd be much happier selling someone a drink in the knowledge that they may well want another rather than seeing them painfully sip a poorer quality drink for twice as long.

Spirit companies look to bartenders as opinion formers. So by stocking brands that people have been duped into buying in the name of image, have we not lost some of the power to change trends for the better? Plus when Absolut Level arrives in Scotland, I'd be mortified if it was the only reason people came to the bar.

Vist Barbore to see the Scottish scene.

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It's widely accepted that Absolut's bottle design had more to do with the success of that brand than anything else.

Actaully Sam, I think it's more the brilliant advertising campaign that focused on that bottle and it's distinctive shape than anything else.

I'd be much happier selling someone a drink in the knowledge that they may well want another rather than seeing them painfully sip a poorer quality drink for twice as long.

Spirit companies look to bartenders as opinion formers. So by stocking brands that people have been duped into buying in the name of image, have we not lost some of the power to change trends for the better? Plus when Absolut Level arrives in Scotland, I'd be mortified if it was the only reason people came to the bar.

This is where good purchasing comes in. Even if something is trendy for a short while, if it's really trash it'll eventually collapse under it's own weight, or when the "next big thing" comes around, which usually doesn't take too long. If my staff (my eyes and ears out on the floor) tell me that lots of customers are asking for Eau du Merde, then dammit, I'll buy it and stock it for at least a short while. The minute sales drop off it's never reordered. Granted this might be because my restaurant has a particularly small dining room and bar area and extremely limited storage space, both under the bar (our bar is a 16 seat oval in the middle of the room with no shelves behind it) and in the liquor room (which coincidentally doubles as my OFFICE, believe it or not), but I think that's good policy for any Beverage Manager to follow.

As for having a particular spirit being the sole reason any customer would come to your bar, I find that unlikely. People go to bars to drink. If you don't have the spirit du jour they're after, they'll order something else. The only time I think that's valid is if someone is on a mission to drink a particular rare cognac, anejo rum or single malt scotch and know that you have it. Or as occasionally happens to me, I'll be jonesing for a Calvados Sidecar and will go to a bar that I know stocks Calvados, since not all of them do, at least in my neck of the woods.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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