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Best Vodka 2015

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.



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

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

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


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
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
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

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

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)
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
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

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
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

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

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

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

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
"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
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


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


Blue Label
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)
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
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

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

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



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Fifty Best > Spirits Archive > Best Vodka 2015
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