Sunday, April 18, 2010
The Russian Standard Vodka: Octane Rated?
From their website: "Recognized in its homeland as a benchmark for excellence, Russian Standard Original owes its name and quality to Dmitri Mendeleev's classic formula, commissioned by Tsar Alexander III for optimum balance and purity."
Putting Russian lettering on a bottle of vodka and calling it The Russian Standard ensures some sales, so as far as marketing goes...well done. But I'm here to report on the taste.
As a non-Russian I like my vodka to be smooth. After all, vodka means "little water" in Russian. Hmmm, note to self: when in Russia, don't drink the water. I'm not saying that vodka shouldn't have a bite, I'm saying it shouldn't make me want to run and stick my tongue under the faucet after I taste it...
I removed the Russian Standard Vodka bottle from the freezer and poured it over ice. I brought the glass to my nose and breathed in deeply, the aroma is telling but not terribly overpowering. I put the rim of the glass to my lips and tipped it gently, the cold clear beverage burned everything that it touched. The alcoholic flavor was so strong I made an involuntary Howard Dean-type screech. I added more ice a touch of water and two lemon wedges, cutting the bite. The aftertaste remains.
Bottom line: After I tasted the Russian Standard Vodka, I reread the bottle for an octane rating. At $27 a bottle, there are many other choices that don't taste like acetone. If someone buys a bottle for you, file it in the regift cabinet.