Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Number 19b: Taste the "Top 10" Vodka's in the world


Completed 24 December 2015 - 23 April 2016.
10 Vodkas - 7 Countries.

Vodka has always been one of my "go-to" drinks, from the early days of mixing it with soft drink or orange juice through to nowadays when I'll drink it neat or on the rocks (or in the case of cheap Vodka, with ice and water). So I thought why not go full pretentious and import and taste the top Vodkas in the world.

So this idea actually occurred to me when I was at a local bar and overheard some gentleman proclaiming to the bartender that he only drinks Grey Goose when it comes to Vodka, now while I can understand the feelings behind this as there can be a big difference between cheap and expensive vodka.

However sometimes, when it comes to alcohol, what's good or "top shelf" is determined more by advertising budget than actual taste. This is the point I actually take issue with and decided to try the "best" vodkas in the world.

So the first challenge was tracking down the "Top 10 Vodkas" which turned out, not to be as simple as expected. While there is many "Top 10" lists there isn't really many organised bodies that do annualised testing and awards (*Shock* it's almost like most awards are just arbitrary).

After many hours searching I ended up deciding to just make up my own list based on all the other top lists floating around and merged that with notable award winning vodkas that I could find and excluding vodkas that were unobtainable.

The List

  • Kauffman Luxury Private Collection Vintage Vodka
  • Stolichnaya Elit
  • Chateau Mukhrani Chacha
  • Grey Goose VX
  • Chopin Vodka
  • 42 Below
  • Belvedere Vodka
  • NV New Amsterdam Vodka
  • Xellent
  • U'Luvka Vodka

So with all the different brands picked out it was now time to order and ship them, I managed to find a website (www.masterofmalt.com) that had sample/mini bottles of all the vodkas I'd chosen for the list that ships internationally.



The total price came in at £43.55 (AUD $81.96) with postage on top being an extra £43.74 (AUD $82.31) and then since it was my first time importing alcohol through Australian Customs, I got the nice surprise of additional $129.23 in Duty and GST. Bringing the grand total to $293.50 (for a total of 300ml of alcohol) So without further ado, the details and my thoughts.


Vodka Name: Kauffman Luxury Private Collection Vintage Vodka
Country of Origin: Russia
RRP: $226.32 - $299.00
Local availability: No
Date: 31 December 2015, Midnight.
Rating: 8/10
Brief thoughts: I saved this one until midnight on New Years Eve 2015/6 but I felt it was overrated, don't get me wrong it was a fine Vodka with nothing overly wrong with it. But the price point set expectations far too high for this one.


Vodka Name: Stolichnaya Elit
Country of Origin: Russia
RRP: $62.20 - $89.99
Local availability: Yes
Date: 15 January 2016
Rating: 7/10
Brief thoughts: Fairly average, nothing really noteworthy or memorable. Not in anyway bad, just nothing exciting.


Vodka Name: Grey Goose VX
Country of Origin: France
RRP: $143.80 - $199.00
Local availability: Yes
Date: 8 January 2016
Rating: 7/10
Brief thoughts: Another fairly average one, nothing really of note and I couldn't tell much difference between this and standard Grey Goose.


Vodka Name: 42 Below
Country of Origin: New Zealand
RRP: $34.25 - $44.99
Local availability: Yes
Date: 24 December 2015
Rating: 9/10
Brief thoughts: 42 Below is one I've had before, but comparing it to the others on this list it was one of my favourites. Strong odour, but very mild in flavour (which I like). Certainly not disappointed when this is the basic vodka at a pub.


Vodka Name: Belvedere Pure Vodka
Country of Origin: Poland
RRP: $47.69 - $59.99
Local availability: Yes
Date: 30 December 2015
Rating: 8/10
Brief thoughts: Another vodka I've had before and again a very nice one. Very mild aroma and mild in taste. Fairly smooth.


Vodka Name: NV New Amsterdam Vodka
Country of Origin: United States of America
RRP: $25.64
Local availability: No
Date: 31 December 2015
Rating: 4/10
Brief thoughts: This one wasn't great and I'd rank it close to a Smirnoff level. Quite strong smell and taste, really rough.


Vodka Name: Xellent
Country of Origin: Switzerland
RRP: $57.60 - $99.99
Local availability: Yes
Date: 31 December 2015
Rating: 9/10
Brief thoughts: Xellent was interesting, and most definitely unique. It was a vodka that was oddly sweet and had a undefinable taste that I had not tasted before.


Vodka Name: Chateau Mukhrani Chacha
Country of Origin: Georgia
RRP: $73.49
Local availability: No
Date: 23 April 2016
Rating: 2/10
Brief thoughts: This was the vodka I saved til last as I was intrigued about it as it was marketed as a "Grape Vodka". Unfortunately my plan backfired as this was subsequently the worst vodka I tried off this list and the only one I could not bring myself to finish. I feel this would be more suited for wine drinkers that like the occasional spirit.

Vodka Name: U'Luvka Vodka
Country of Origin: Poland
RRP: $51.35 - $109.90
Local availability: No
Date: 23 April 2016
Rating: 7/10
Brief thoughts: Ignoring the fancy name and pretty bottle, I found this one to be fairly "stock standard", nothing too amazing but certainly not bad.

Vodka Name: Chopin Potato Vodka
Country of Origin: Poland
RRP: $49.88 - $74.95
Local availability: No
Date: 23 April 2016
Rating: 10/10
Brief thoughts: Chopin absolutely (no pun intended) surprised me, I assumed it would be a fairly standard vodka but it was amazing. It was easily my favourite out of the top 10 I ordered. It was almost odourless, was incredibly mild and had this really amazing slow burn effect after drinking. Rather than a lot of vodkas that set your mouth on fire, this was a slow gradual onset.



After ... So after all that, it was well worth it and if I ever over hearing someone being a bit too posh at a bar in regards to vodka, rest assured I will out pretentious them at their own game.

"Oh I only drink Grey Goose as it's a pristine vodka" - Random guy
"Hmmm Grey Goose is a bit common wouldn't you think? I personally prefer a Kauffman Vintage or a U'Luvka over standard Grey Goose. But each to their own." - Me




0 comments:

Post a comment