Flavored Vodka
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The flavored vodka trend is still coming on strong. Due in part because of the rise in imaginative multi-ingredient cocktails, and also from the sybaritic searching for new taste sensations. Many imported and domestic vodka brands have responded by pushing the envelope with a virtual rainbow of flavors and infusions.

 

Best Flavored Vodka

The Fifty Best Imported Vodka Tasting

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting with 15 members of the spirits judging panel and 51 flavored vodkas in five separate categories: Citrus, Fruits, Tea/Espresso, Candy, and Herb, Spice & Miscellaneous. The judges were informed of the categories and flavors, but not the brands. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the flavored vodkas were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water and unsalted chips and crackers were available to cleanse the palate.

The Flavored Vodkas were tasted in groups, according to flavor category – with medals awarded on the basis of the judging panels’ rating of all flavored vodkas from that group. The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals were awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no Bronze medals awarded in this tasting.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The states/countries of origin are identified for each brand.

 



Flavor Category: CITRUS

DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

DSP 162 Citrus Reticulata var. Sunshine (Tangerine)
(California, U.S.)

Palate: Real tangerine, tangerine sorbet, orange zest, fields of fruit, natural taste, great flavor, lemon, mint, not too sweet, well balanced, real nice, special.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



   DSP 162 Citrus Reticulata var. Sunshine Vodka



Sobieski Cytron
(Poland)

Palate: Lemon, lemon peel, lemon zest, lime, subtle apple, honey, confectioners sugar, well balanced, silky, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Sobieski Cytron Vodka



Ménage à Trois Citrus
(California, U.S.)

Palate: Lemon-lime, lemon, lemon zest, lime notes, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, red grapefruit, citrus, cinnamon, robust, wonderfully blended.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Ménage à Trois Citrus Vodka



360 Sorrento Lemon
(U.S.)

Palate: Lemon peel, lemon drop candy, limoncello, lemon oil, very lemony, lemonade, sweet lemongrass, citrus, zesty.


Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



360 Sorrento Lemon Vodka



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

DSP 162 Citrus Medica var Sarcodactylis
(California)

Palate: Lemon peel, lemon, lemon oil, lime, zesty, creamy, pepper, minerality, fresh, smooth, rich, clean, approachable, pleasant.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



DSP 162 Citrus Medica var Sarcodactylis Vodka



Finlandia Grapefruit
(Finland)

Palate: Grapefruit, mango notes, fruity, 7up, tart, zesty, creamy, rose petals, nice blend, balanced sweetness, enjoyable.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka



Heritage Distilling Ruby Red Grapefruit
(Washington, U.S.)

Palate: Ruby red, grapefruit, touch of peach, caramel, nice, balanced.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Heritage Distilling Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka



Ozone Blood Orange
(Lithuania)

Palate: Blood orange, orange, tangerine, touch of peel oil, Florida midsummer, light zest, tart, flavorful, good balance.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Ozone Blood Orange Vodka



OOLA Citrus
(Washington, U.S.)

Palate: Lime, lemon, grapefruit, citrus, citrus blend, traces of tropical fruit, creamy, chocolate, not too sweet, well balanced, very refreshing.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



OOLA Citrus Vodka



Indio Blood Orange
(Oregon, U.S.)

Palate: Orange, sweet orange, blood orange, orange peel oil, lemon-lime, lemon pie, citrus, natural flavor, minerals, soft, smooth.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Indio Blood Orange Vodka



Danzka Grapefruit
(Denmark)

Palate: Grapefruit, original grapefruit notes, lemon, tart, well balanced, spot on.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Danzka Grapefruit Vodka



Belvedere Pink Grapefruit
(Poland)

Palate: Subtle grapefruit, grapefruit peel, lemon, citron, tropical, banana, creamy, cocoa, light sweetness, dry notes.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Belvedere Pink Grapefruit Vodka



Heritage Distilling Blood Orange
(Washington, U.S.)

Palate: Exactly blood orange, slightly tart, very soft, one-of-a-kind intensity, well balanced, exceptional.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Heritage Distilling Blood Orange Vodka



Belvedere Citrus
(Poland)

Palate: Lemon peel, key lime, grape, must, pepper, spice, dusty.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Belvedere Citrus Vodka



Flavor Category: FRUITS

DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Ozone White Peach
(Lithuania)

Palate: Peach, nice peach flavor, peachy indeed, fruity, juicy, vanilla, full flavored, fresh, balanced, spot on, phenomenal, nice summery notes, breezy, beautiful.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



   Ozone White Peach Vodka



Finlandia Coconut
(Finland)

Palate: True coconut, good coconut flavor, coconut candy, dried coconut, Coco Lopez, creamy, fresh, clean, smooth, perfectly balanced, amazing.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Finlandia Coconut Vodka



Sobieski Black Cherry
(Poland)

Palate: Black cherry, baked cherry, cherry soda, black cherry candy, true to form, tropical fruit, almond, nutty, tobacco, strong flavor, medium sweetness.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Sobieski Black Cherry Vodka



New Amsterdam Pineapple
(California, U.S.)

Palate: Fresh pineapple, citrus, piña colada, hint of coconut, toast, good flavor, balanced. clean, enjoyable, very nice.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



New Amsterdam Pineapple Vodka



Zodiac Black Cherry
(Texas, U.S.)

Palate: True cherry, tart cherry, black cherry candy, juicy, full flavor, dry, crisp.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Zodiac Black Cherry Vodka



Moses Date
(Estonia/Finland)

Palate: Sweet dates, grape, currants, dessert wine, woody, integrated, balanced, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Moses Date Vodka



Belvedere Wild Berry
(Poland)

Palate: Blueberry, blackberry, currant, fruity, flavorful, toast, bright, well balanced, very refreshing.


Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Belvedere Wild Berry Vodka



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

360 Huckleberry
(U.S.)

Palate: Good huckleberry flavor, berry, tangerine, robust, complex, nice.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



360 Huckleberry Vodka



New Amsterdam Mango
(California, U.S.)

Palate: Mango, peach, banana notes, coconut, grapefruit, fruity, anise, mint, very balanced, smooth.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



New Amsterdam Mango Vodka



Montana Cold Spring Huckleberry
(Montana, U.S.)

Palate: Bright berry, good huckleberry flavor, plum notes, raisin, lemon, vanilla, nutty, tart, not too sweet, full flavor, enjoyable.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Montana Cold Spring Huckleberry Vodka



Sobieski Orange
(Poland)

Palate: Orange popsicle, orange peel, zesty, bittersweet, creamy, spicy, peppery, balanced, nice.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Sobieski Orange Vodka



Sobieski Raspberry
(Poland)

Palate: True raspberry, red raspberry, sweet berries, cherry, melon, caramel, creamy, clean, smooth.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Sobieski Raspberry Vodka



360 Mandarin Orange
(U.S.)

Palate: Real mandarin orange flavor, tangerine, tangerine zest, orange, refreshing, delicious.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



360 Mandarin Orange Vodka



Danzka Apple
(Denmark)

Palate: Red apple peel, red delicious, green apple, tart, slight spice, not too sweet, balanced, robust.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Danzka Apple Vodka



Heritage Distilling Peach
(Washington, U.S.)

Palate: Peach, schnapps, sweet, tannic, balanced, enjoyable.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Heritage Distilling Peach Vodka



New Amsterdam Orange
(California, U.S.)

Palate: Orange, fresh orange juice, creamsicle, marmalade, melon, toast, spicy, robust, smooth.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



New Amsterdam Orange Vodka



Spirits of the Tsars
Grape Wine Infusion

(Ukraine)

Palate: Grape profile, red grapes, grape Jolly Rancher, brandy, intense chocolate, black tea, peppery, wood barrel, complex, layered, smooth, enjoyable.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Spirits of the Tsars Grape Wine Infusion Vodka



Maple River Rhubarb
(North Dakota, U.S.)

Palate: Rhubarb, grapes, honey, sweet, spicy, tannic, balanced, rich, excellent.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Maple River Rhubarb Vodka



360 Georgia Peach
(U.S.)

Palate: Good peach flavor, peach, real ripe peaches, peach cobbler, tangerine.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



360 Georgia Peach Vodka



Ménage à Trois Berry
(California, U.S.)

Palate: Black berry, strawberry, mixed berry preserves, peach, lemon, bright citrus, fruity, juicy, fresh tones, tangy, full flavored, clean, very nice.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Ménage à Trois Berry Vodka



Belvedere Mango Passion
(Poland)

Palate: Orange, tropical fruit, spicy, pepper, pleasantly dry, smooth.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Belvedere Mango Passion Vodka



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Heritage Distilling Huckleberry
(Washington, U.S.)

Palate: Berry, cherry, fruity, prune, mint, spearmint, peppery, full flavored, smooth, mild.


Silver Medal
 Silver medal



Heritage Distilling Huckleberry Vodka



Heritage Distilling Mango
(Washington, U.S.)

Palate: Mango, passion fruit, hint of guava, fruity, perfume, sugar tones, flavorful, wood barrel notes, for mango lovers.


Silver Medal
 Silver medal



Heritage Distilling Mango Vodka



Flavor Category: COFFEE & TEA

DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNER

Heritage Distilling Coffee
(Washington, U.S.)

Palate: Light coffee, sweet coffee, macchiato, cold brew, cream, vanilla, honey, fresh, bright, full flavor, enjoyable.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



   Heritage Distilling Coffee Vodka



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Painted Stave's Time Warp Espresso
(Delaware, U.S.)

Palate: Espresso, cappuccino, rich coffee, fresh ground coffee beans, chocolatey, smoky, totally dry, clean.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Painted Stave's Time Warp Espresso Vodka



Devotion Tiki Tea Sugar-Free
(California, U.S.)

Palate: Black tea, Earl Grey, excellent tea flavor, fresh brewed tea, tea leaves, unsweetened tea, violets, herbal, spicy, very nice.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Devotion Tiki Tea Sugar-Free Vodka



Flavor Category: CANDY

GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Top Brass White Chocolate Almond
(U.S.)

Palate: Chocolate, almonds, toffee, coffee, Mexican coffee, hints of cinnamon, well represented flavors, spot on.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



   Top Brass White Chocolate Almond Vodka



Sobieski Vanilla
(Delaware, U.S.)

Palate: Caramel, light vanilla, apple butter, notes of almond, macadamia, bread, subtle, mild, not too sweet, well balanced, smooth, very delicious.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Sobieski Vanilla Vodka



Flavor Category: HERB, SPICE & MISC.

DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

SPUD Ginger Lemongrass
(Poland)

Palate: Lemongrass, lemony, ginger, exactly ginger & lemongrass, red pepper, spicy, well represented flavors, interesting.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



   SPUD Ginger Lemongrass Vodka



Zu Bison Grass Vodka
(Poland)

Palate: Grassy, rosemary, herbal, mild notes of lemon, vanilla, honey, nuts, tobacco, great balance, wonderful, a beauty.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



Zu Bison Grass Vodka



OOLA Chili Pepper
(Washington, U.S.)

Palate: Red chili, jalapeño, pepper, on point, spicy, charcoal, smooth, refreshing.

Double Gold Medal
 Double Gold medal



OOLA Chili Pepper Vodka



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Heritage Distilling Lavender
(California, U.S.)

Palate: Lavender, cotton candy, fruity, light, very nice, delicious.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Heritage Distilling Lavender Vodka



Rogue Voodoo Maple Bacon Vodka
(Oregon, U.S.)

Palate: Maple, maple syrup, Canadian waffle house breakfast, coffee, toast, bacon, smoky.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Rogue Voodoo Maple Bacon Vodka



SPUD Pumpkin Spice
(Poland)

Palate: Pumpkin, fruit, nutty, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, coriander, cardamom, allspice.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



SPUD Pumpkin Spice Vodka



Elation Hemp Vodka
(Switzerland)

Palate: Hash, hemp, herbal, vegetal, butter, rich layers, distinctive, impressive, excellent.

Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Elation Hemp Vodka



Heritage Distilling Hibiscus
(Washington, U.S.)

Palate: Hibiscus, rose petals, rosewater, cherry, herbal, honey, spicy, pleasant, elegant.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



Heritage Distilling Hibiscus Vodka



OOLA Rosemary
(Washington, U.S.)

Palate: Rose petals, herbs, minty, grassy, basil, pepper, earthy, smooth, soft, light, perfect.


Gold Medal
 Gold medal



OOLA Rosemary Vodka

 

 

 

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Comments or questions welcome, please e-mail to: editor@thefiftybest.com

 

Comments and Suggestions:

 
Wed. August 31, 2016 2:31 PM - by: Stan Grazis
Looking for a lemongrass infused vodka.
 
 
Tue. May 24, 2016 5:11 AM - by: Mike
Lisa- OR-G is technically a liqueur, but you should be able to find it in most decently stocked stores, and even if your local store doesn't carry it, they can order it from their distributor. I manage a store in Pikesville, and while we don't have it in stock any more it's not hard to get. In re: the article, I'm not sure how this can qualify as a "Fifty Best" list when you only tasted 51 spirits. Wouldn't this really just be a "Fifty-One Things We Tried, Organized Into Categories, And Rated" article? Fifty Best implies you tried hundreds and whittled down an enormous field of contenders to find the actual best fifty. Not this.
 
 
Sun. February 21, 2016 1:57 PM - by: Lora
GREY GOOSE CLASSIC ROCK! IT'S THAT SIMPLE!
 
 
Fri. November 27, 2015 2:27 PM - by: Lisa winiarski
I am looking for this vodka with a orange flavor and the name is o R G. It was recommended to me and said to be one of the best flavored vodkas that this person ever tasted and vodkas not even their choice of liquors. I cannot find it and I am in Baltimore Maryland. Can you help?
 
 


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Fifty Best > Spirits > Flavored Vodka
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