Best Vodka 2015
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Best Premium Imported Vodka - 2015

The Fifty Best Imported Vodka Tasting

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 27 imported vodkas with 15 pre-qualified judges. The vodkas were judged and scored separately. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the vodkas were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate. The judges tasted through four flights of 7 vodkas.

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 are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting. The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The countries of origin are given, with a few tidbits added for each brand.

 



DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Purity
(Sweden)
Winter wheat & barley, distilled 34x. Certified organic.

Nose: Floral, grain, rye, mineral, vibrant zest, subtle fruit.
Palate: Milk chocolate, butter cream, whipped cream, grain, herbs, melon, grass, slight mint, black pepper.
Finish: Hazelnuts, floral, creamy, smooth, clean, crisp.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



   Purity Vodka



Belvedere
(Poland)
Gold rye, artesian well water, 4 distillations.

Nose: Vanilla cream, grain, grassy, slight lime, slightly zesty.
Palate: Pastry dough, grain, subtle fruit, summer meadow, slight herbal, mineral, white peppercorn, pepper, pleasant, elegant.
Finish: Marshmallow, creamy, spicy, peppery, peppercorn.


Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal



Belvedere Vodka



Ozone
(Lithuania)
Grain, crystal clear water, multi-stage filtration.

Nose: Mineral, lime, light floral.
Palate: Grain, citrus notes, vanilla, creamy, caramel, peppery, well balanced, smooth, elegant.
Finish: Cane sugar, nutmeg, pepper, smooth, mellow.


Double Gold Medal
   Double Gold medal



Ozone Vodka



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Punzoné
(Italy)
Italian organic winter wheat, water from the Italian Alps, 5x column distilled.

Nose: Light citrus, anise, approachable.
Palate: Anise, mint, mineral, rye, dusty, orange peel, some fruit, butter, honey, cannoli cream, cashews, nuts, cinnamon, anise, spicy, silky.
Finish: Anise, licorice, spicy, dry, silky.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Punzoné Vodka



Silver Lake
(Canada)
Rice, aquifer water, quadruple distilled. Gluten free.

Nose: Sweet cherry, honeydew, fruity, citrus, sugar, powder, mist.
Palate: Plum, melon, fruity, vanilla, herbal, grain, dough, rye, pepper, big, round.
Finish: Melon, fruity notes, creamy, nutty, light pepper, smooth, easy, clean.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Silver Lake Vodka



North Sea
(Holland)
Grain, 15x distilled.

Nose: Vanilla notes, potato chip, pepper, zesty.
Palate: Almond, herbal, orange, honey, cannoli cream, cream, bread, rye, grain, marine notes, smooth, dry, well rounded, exceptional.
Finish: Creamy, floral, pepper, light spice, smooth, easy.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



North Sea Vodka



Spud
(Poland)
Potatoes, 5x distilled. Gluten free.

Nose: Light grain, floral, vanilla, pepper, clean, crisp.
Palate: Rye, mineral, powdered sugar, caramel, vanilla, almond, silky, good balance, elegant.
Finish: Pepper, orange, creamy, easy, smooth.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Spud Vodka



Slovenia
(Slovenia)
Winter wheat (99.9%) & buckwheat (.1%), water from the foot of the Julian Alps.

Nose: Lightly floral, vanilla bean, mineral, approachable.
Palate: Pastry dough, vanilla, butter, grain, almond, banana, melon, citrus, grassy, spicy, pepper.
Finish: Creamy, powdered sugar, light grain, mineral, spicy, peppery, crisp.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Slovenia Vodka



Kozuba & Sons (Kozuba I Synowie)
(Poland)
Wheat, 6x distilled.

Nose: Melon, subtle grain, mineral, delicate.
Palate: Rich honey, powdered sugar, cream, rye, grain, fruity, herbal, light mint, grassy, mineral, white pepper.
Finish: Floral, grain, creamy, vanilla notes, sweet, spicy, soft, smooth, silky.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Kozuba & Sons Vodka



Russian Standard
(Russia)
Winter wheat, glacial water.

Nose: Mineral, nutty notes.
Palate: Blend of fruit & herbs, grapefruit, light citrus, butter cream, whipped cream, pastry dough, hint of nuts, mineral notes, white pepper, black pepper, extra smooth.
Finish: Hint of coconut, nuts, pepper, spicy, clean, smooth, intense.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Russian Standard Vodka



Monopolowa
(Austria)
Potatoes, triple distilled.

Nose: Floral, honey, light grain, lime, delicate.
Palate: Melon, citrus, raspberry, fruit, sweet cane, honey, vanilla, grain, pepper, dusty.
Finish: Mineral, crisp, sweet, smooth, mellow, gentle, very nice.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Monopolowa Vodka



Belvedere Unfiltered
(Poland)
100% "Single Estate" Dankowskie Diamond Rye, artesian well water, 4 distillations, left unfiltered.

Nose: Peppery, melon, delicate.
Palate: Vanilla, clotted cream, grain, laurel, anise, mint, rye, nutty, white pepper, smooth.
Finish: Buttery, creamy, soft, pepper, spicy, clean.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Belvedere Unfiltered Vodka



Wyborowa
(Poland)
Rye, double distilled in pot stills.

Nose: Subtle mint, woody, oak, intense.
Palate: Citrus, fruit, vanilla, powdered sugar, nuts, grain, basil, allspice, spicy, peppery, well balanced.
Finish: Slight pepper, smooth.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Wyborowa Vodka



VDKA 6100
(New Zealand)
Whey, triple distilled.

Nose: Citrus, grain.
Palate: Melon, tropical fruit notes, citrus, dried almonds, creamy, toffee, vanilla bean, herbal, grass, mint, fresh linen, potato skin,, pepper, smooth, well rounded.
Finish: Powdered sugar, soft, smooth, easy, crisp, pleasant, elegant.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



VDKA 6100



Monte Carlo
(Cognac, France)
Locally-grown winter wheat, mountain spring aquifer water, 9x distilled, 7x filtered.

Nose: Cream, port wine, mineral.
Palate: Pastry dough, honey, coconut, cream, grain, grass, light citrus, apricot, well balanced, exceptional.
Finish: Pepper, soft, smooth, mellow.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Monte Carlo Vodka





Moses
(Estonia/Finland)
Sugarcane-based, well water. Naturally organic. Certified kosher.

Nose: White pepper, delicate.
Palate: Vanilla, cane sugar, powdered sugar, fruity, light citrus, grain, creamy, silky, very well balanced.
Finish: Flavorful, spicy, very fresh, crisp, clean.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Moses Vodka





Iceberg
(Canada)
100% Grain, pure iceberg water.

Nose: Sweet cane, banana candy, light citrus, mineral.
Palate: Almond, grain, cream, caramel, light melon, slight fruit, minty, grassy.
Finish: Sweet, moss, peppery, spicy, smooth.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Iceberg Vodka





Siku
(Greenland)
Grain, through a proprietary process the ice harvested from a Greenlandic glacier is never melted to water and with alcohol goes directly to vodka, 5x distilled. Gluten-free.

Nose: Toffee notes, herbal, grain, rye, pepper.
Palate: Cherry, fruity, citrus, sweet grain, powdered sugar, creamy, whipped cream, herbal, mint, coffee beans, dry leaves, floral, potato skin, pepper, pleasant, well balanced.
Finish: Creamy, pepper, spicy, flavorful.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Siku Vodka



Belvedere Intense
(Poland)
"Single Estate" Dankowskie Diamond Rye, artesian well water, double filtered through charcoal, 4 distillations. 100 proof.

Nose: Pepper, subtle grain, intense.
Palate: Grain, lemon, spicy, pepper, cloves, slightly sweet, powdery, dusty, mineral, approachable.
Finish: Slightly spicy, pepper.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Belvedere Intense Vodka





Blue Duck Rare
(New Zealand)
Whey based, 7x distilled.

Nose: Honeydew melon, corn, cream, licorice, anise, potato skin, moss, grain.
Palate: Very creamy, pastry dough, sea salt, mineral.
Finish: Creamy, peppery, zesty, smooth.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Blue Duck Rare Vodka





Cruz Vintage Black
(New Zealand)
American winter wheat, 5x distilled, charcoal filtered 3x.

Nose: Citrus, almond, bread.
Palate: Grain, bread, clotted cream, creamy, powdered sugar, melon, floral, moss, mineral, smoky, silky, rich, balanced.
Finish: Sweet cream, lightly spicy, peppery, smoky, earth, clean, crisp, smooth.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Cruz Vintage Black Vodka





66 Gilead Rye
(Canada)
Canadian rye, custom copper still.

Nose: Grains, floral, mint, jasmine, apple juice, banana, vibrant.
Palate: Pastry dough, creamy, powdered sugar, grapes, fruity, hint of cocoa, nuts, potato skin, dusty, white pepper, clean, crisp, rich, lively.
Finish: Cognac notes, spicy, black pepper, light, nice.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



66 Gilead Rye Vodka





Vampyre
(U.K.)
Grain.

Nose: Clean, mild moss.
Palate: Creamy, cocoa, rich almond notes, anise, grain, potato skin, dusty, peppery, wet stone.
Finish: Soft, nice, easy, vibrant, lovely minerality.


Gold Medal
   Gold medal



Vampyre Vodka



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Blue Label
(Poland)
Rye, pure spring water, 7x distilled.

Nose: Moss, earth, lemon.
Palate: Sweet corn, vanilla, vanilla cream, butter cream, tart raspberry, floral, rye, potato skin, dusty, wet stone.
Finish: Toast, potato, stone, slate, spicy, grassy, light pepper, soft, smooth.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Blue Label Vodka





Zubrowka Biala (Zu)
(Poland)
Grain, 7x distilled, filtered through platinum.

Nose: Lightly grassy, subtle, approachable.
Palate: Slightly sweet grain, vanilla, almond, almond oil, nougat, cream, floral, white pepper, potato notes, earth, smooth, well balanced.
Finish: Creamy, peppery.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Zubrowka Biala Vodka





50 Bleu
(Poland)
Dankowskie golden winter rye, artesian well water.

Nose: Slightly grassy, moss, grain, potato skin, rye, white pepper.
Palate: Honeydew melon, slight citrus, sweet grain, powdered sugar, bitter chocolate, cream, raw potato, balsa wood, mineral, white pepper.
Finish: Buttery, mineral, dry, smooth, silky, mellow.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



50 Bleu Ultra Premium Vodka





London
(U.K.)
Wheat, English water.

Nose: Grain, floral, black pepper.
Palate: Creamy, honey, light fruit, grain, dough, rye, potato skin, pepper, oregano, silky, smooth.
Finish: Creamy, pepper, spice, nice, smooth, mellow.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



London Vodka



Stiletto
(Kazakhstan)
Russian winter wheat, distilled 6x, filtered through 5 natural elements.

Nose: Vanilla, sweet cream, floral, moss.
Palate: Fruity, citrus, hint of cocoa, rye, grain, eucalyptus, mineral, spicy, black pepper, silky.
Finish: Spicy, pepper, soft, sweet.


Silver Medal
   Silver medal



Stiletto Vodka

 

 


 

The history of vodka
The primitive production and consumption of vodka began roughly in the 13th and 14th centuries, when the method of distillation was invented by medieval alchemists. There is much debate about which country invented vodka. Some say Poland, some Russia. There are even those that believe vodka was first brought to Russia by Genoese merchants, who swung by Moscow on their way to Lithuania in the late 14th Century.


By the 19th Century, distilleries producing vodka were found in many parts of Eastern and Northern Europe. But only the wealthy could afford it, so illegal homemade vodka production began to boom in the country towns and villages throughout Eastern Europe, and was consumed as a way to weather the cold and help folks to forget about life's hardships. Russians also love vodka for the same reason that the French love wine: it is a social drink that goes extremely well with food.

Prior to the 1950’s, vodka was rarely consumed outside of the USSR. American soldiers returning from Europe after WWII brought back vodka, and its popularity exploded.

Today's vodka
Vodka is a clear spirit, typically distilled from wheat, rye and barley malt, but can also be made from potatoes, corn or grapes, and sometimes blended. The fermented grain mash is distilled to a high proof, filtered and diluted with water. Vodka is never aged because aging does not improve the flavor, so distillation is limited to only a day or so. Since the aging process is eliminated, modern vodka producers have captured our imaginations through multiple distillations and exotic filtering processes such as volcanic rock, diamonds, precious metals, etc.

Vodka dominates the white spirits category accounting for 25% of worldwide spirits sales with over 53 million cases sold each year. Vodka is currently produced all over the world with over 300 imported brands available to consumers. The new vodkas have complex personalities, with a little mystery and a lot of sexy star power. Anyone who still believes that vodka is an odorless, tasteless, non-distinctive clear spirit, isn’t into ultra-premium vodkas. Serious drinkers are now interested in the vodka’s legacy (that is, its country origin and distillery history), and also its pedigree (such as water source, principal ingredients and filtration methods). While most vodka drinkers still prefer the spirit mixed in cocktails, true aficionados appreciate the virtues that set premium vodkas apart when consumed straight up at room temperature.

 

 

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

 

Comments and Suggestions:

 
Sun. August 16, 2015 6:25 AM - by: Bradley Mitton
A brand is born . Vitamin Vodka . Produced at the Vitamin Alcohol Distillery, located in Australia’s picturesque Hunter Valley region; using fresh, crisp, natural spring water, local organic sugar cane and distilled in traditional copper pots . http://www.mittonwines.com/products/vitaminvodka
 
 
Thu. June 18, 2015 12:45 AM - by: Cavalry Bourbon
Thanks for sharing this article this is increase our drinks knowledge. These all vodka bottle are really very good. if anyone check how to create whiskey cocktail then visit cavalrybourbon.com
 
 
Fri. June 12, 2015 7:01 PM - by: Carlos Ribeiro
Congratulations Silver Lake Premium Vodka!! For more information on Canada's Best Premium Vodka please email Carlos Ribeiro at crsilverlake@gmail.com Cheers!
 
 


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