Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vodka Taste Test: The Results

After many weeks and many Advil I have come to the determination that vodka is not unlike toilet paper. There are many different kinds, some are smoother than others and there are some you'd wish you never tried. But, they all have one thing in common. . .they get the job done.

I've tried close to 70 different vodkas. I set out to try 100, but I think I'm done. I refuse to taste any of those Jolly Rancher-esque, artificially flavored bullshit varieties.

Of the nearly 70 that I sampled, most of them were palatable, few were like drinking fire water and even fewer were so crisp and clean that they mimicked something as pure as rainwater. Albeit, rainwater is free; vodka that tastes like rainwater is quite the opposite.

With a few exceptions, you really can't go wrong with vodka as a libation. Here's what you need to know:

1. Absolut wins the award for best marketing with the worst product. This wasn't news to me and should not be news to you. If you ask for Absolut by name, you are a fool and deserve the headache.

2. Russian vodkas are not created equal. For example Jewel of Russia Ultra made me purr while Russian Standard vodka could have fueled my lawnmower. Russian Standard's higher end sister Imperia was less offensive, but not as delicate and enticing as the Jewel. I am still on the lookout for a watering hole that offers Kauffman Luxury Vintage Vodka. At $225 a bottle, I'm intrigued.

3. Just because a celebrity is peddling it, don't be a sucker and buy it. In a blind taste test, I couldn't tell the difference between Ciroc, Crystal Head and Smirnoff Red Label. Also if you even consider purchasing Ed Hardy Vodka, please do me a favor and don't vote...ever.

Favorites (in no particular order):

Jewel of Russia Ultra
Grey Goose
Ketel One
Jean Marc XO
Stoli Elite
42 Below


  1. Well done, Natalja. I'll make it a priority to try Jewel of Russia. Think you ranked Tito's right on the money, at 3, but my top 2 would be different (since I've yet to try Jewel and don't share your infatuation with Vox).

    Not only do I agree that Ciroc is overrated, I hate it. I blame it's grape origin (and George Bush). Thanks for the heads up on Russian Standard, it was next on my list.

    -Not Justin

  2. Thank you for drinking them over there so we don't have to drink them here. Are you going to post the list of the worst of the lot soon?

  3. I drank Russian Standard when I was in Russia a few years ago. It could strip the paint off of a car! Brutal!