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(BBC)   Confirming what we always knew, all US vodka is equally devoid of taste, with different brands being indistinguishable from others by taste   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 203
    More: Obvious, Advance Publications, blind taste test, Mintel  
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8924 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Jun 2012 at 8:44 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-11 09:24:12 AM  
Best value for your money vodak that I have ever seen

www.thepourpro.com

/Vodka doesn't taste of anything by definition - the government is actually right in this case
//it's more of a burn
///the more expensive = less burn and turpentine flavor
 
2012-06-11 09:26:58 AM  

Aar1012: Of course American vodka is devoid of flavor and whatnot! Americans make a fine alcohol of their own that is far superior to ANY Vodka. It's made in Kentucky and taste great on the rocks.


You had me until "rocks".

/neat rye FTW
 
2012-06-11 09:27:14 AM  
All vodka tastes the same to me, same with gin, so Aristocrat is always is.
 
2012-06-11 09:27:51 AM  
Do yourself a favor...Tito's is excellent.
 
2012-06-11 09:28:05 AM  

czetie: I realize this may come as a shock to some of you, but America is not the home of vodka nor the arbiter of how vodka should taste. Flaunting your opinion of vodka


It all tastes like crap. All of it. Anywhere. Made by anyone. It's awful stuff I can only imagine people "acquire" a taste for by beating their own skulls in and lighting their own crotch on fire.

I don't discriminate. I'm no vodka snob. I hate it all equally.

I don't know who is the "rightful" arbiter of how vodka tastes, but they should be chop-punched in the babymaker repeatedly.
 
2012-06-11 09:28:06 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers:
That's the point. Who the hell does vodak shots? It's for mixing.


And degreasing engines.

www.filmsite.org
 
2012-06-11 09:29:22 AM  

TravisBickle62: dmax: Not raging the issue of taste, but of headache: I bought the Costco brand once, to escape the price tyranny of the major labels. the resultant, predictable headaches with just one martini made me swear off the cheaper brands.

/After I'd finished off the entire 5-gallon Costco bottle, of course.

Costco's Kirkland brand is Grey Goose in a different bottle


That's the rumor, but - citation needed.
 
2012-06-11 09:30:28 AM  
That doesn't mean all vodka's are exactly the same.

(food scientist who works in R&D for a large alcoholic beverages company)

By US regulation all vodkas must be flavor neutral, which usually involves distilling at a certain temperature. But impurities from non-ethyl alcohols can sneak over and make it burn more - since these other alcohols are also usually toxic at lower levels than ethanol, they also can contribute to bad hangovers.

The real goal of vodka makers is to get rid of burn, which is not a taste, but a mouthfeel. Get a vodka that is 40% abv to taste like it is 20% abv and you are golden. (I would say a vodka that tastes like water but in taste tests, most people like their spirits to be somewhat burny)

There is some debate about it but from the distillers that I have talked to they generally agree that distilling a product 2-3 times is will yield the most 'pure' vodka while still being cost effective. Filtration of the product also goes a long way in helping reduce burn, which is the essence behind whiskies, which take ethanol and put it through a form of carbon filtration in a barrel.

As for the differences between vodkas, they are all mostly similar (~99.9% ethanol/water mixture) but there will always be a slight chemical variance (and even the 0.01% level, some of the more volatile alcohols are noticeable) depending on how many times it was distilled, what temperature it was distilled at, what it was fermented from, how it was filtered.

These variances can be picked up when you are drinking it straight, on the rocks, or even in a martini - a person with very good tastebuds may be able to sense this in tonic or soda water. Almost nobody can sense it in any sort of juice base because the burn is too watered down and the taste of the juice is too distracting.

So the next time you see a person mix a high quality vodka with cranberry juice, smack 'em over the head.

Just as in any industry, packaging and marketing plays a huge role in price point, but that doesnt mean they are all exactly the same. If you enjoy vodka straight or on the rocks, I would still very much encourage you to experiment with different types of vodka's until you find one that you like.
 
2012-06-11 09:31:31 AM  
The point of this story isn't that some Vodkas are better or not than others. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. I never liked Vodka and I only drink about 1 glass of a wine a week these days anyway.

This story is about a regulator in Idaho who probably is on the take from big producers to keep out start ups and minimize competition.

Who is this guy, Jeff Anderson of the Idaho state liquor authority, and why does he get to decide - not based on quality or health - what I buy, but rather on the name or the level of competition?

What a joke.

This, in my opinion, is why we can't have nice things.
 
2012-06-11 09:32:20 AM  
People get very emotional about alcohol. Maybe they need a drink.
 
2012-06-11 09:33:28 AM  

Abox: People get very emotional about alcohol. Maybe they need a drink.


Well if you're buying.
/vodka martini please
//2 olives
 
2012-06-11 09:35:00 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: cptjeff: Color me shocked:

"Many American vodkas contribute little to the actual manufacturing - they merely purchase 95% ethyl alcohol from industrial giants like Archer Daniels Midland or Midwest Grain Processors, add water, and filter the product to varying degrees.

With little noticeable distinction in taste, vodka makers rely on sophisticated marketing and branding campaigns to win customers, analysts say"


Congrats, vodka drinkers. You're drinking something utterly generic, produced on an industrial scale, differentiated only by what's on the bottle.

That's the point. Who the hell does vodak shots? It's for mixing.


As I've heard Russians do I keep it in the freezer and drink it with salty or pickled food. (Pickled herring is my favorite.) But I also drink it in shots at room temperate or sip it slightly chilled.

At room temperature Polish potato vodka has a slightly thicker mouth-feel and is slightly sweeter; I'm not sure how many times they distill or filter it. Of the US-made grain vodkas, re-distilling and filtering it a couple or three times makes it taste, smell and feel less like an industrial solvent. And there are very very subtle differences between them, perhaps from the grains in the mash or the water they're cut with, if you sip and savor it warm as I've done.

So the cheapest vodkas (like $6 a bottle or $11 for a 1.75L jug) are for mixing, the vodkas around $10-12 a bottle (Smirnoff, New Amsterdam, and a couple Polish potato vodkas) are for shots or sipping, and the expensive ($15 or more) stuff is for suckers.

And I've often thought of making my own local vodka (just for myself) by mixing Everclear or Golden Grain (whichever's cheaper) with our Kentucky American German tap water, or going for purity with distilled water from the supermarket. The problem is the cheapest brands still cost less than home-diluted grain alcohol, and our local water usually tastes okay and is safe enough but it's not the stuff of tap water connoisseurs.
 
2012-06-11 09:36:13 AM  
My favorite bartender loves experimenting with designer vodkas. A few weeks back, she made me a white Russian with whipped cream vodka and it was farking delicious. Vanilla vodka works well too but it's not as good as the whipped cream.
 
2012-06-11 09:37:26 AM  
i174.photobucket.com
 
2012-06-11 09:40:00 AM  

TenJed_77: Abox: People get very emotional about alcohol. Maybe they need a drink.

Well if you're buying.
/vodka martini please
//2 olives


What are you? A girl?

/A martini needs gin not Vodka
 
2012-06-11 09:41:47 AM  

SpiffyandRedhot: Didn't Mythbusters do a show on this? Old news is old.


Their taster consistently determined how many times the cheap vodka had been filtered (I think it was scale of 1-10) and which was the premium brand IIRC. I was surprised, it all tastes kinda like kerosene to me. But the well brands give me a nasty hangover, the better grades do not. But that's pretty much the case with all well brands, regardless of type.
 
2012-06-11 09:42:08 AM  
I will say though, I have found one good use for flavored vodkas:

Core some strawberries, then fill the resulting hole in the berry with Pinnacle's 'Chocolate Whipped Cream' vodka. Then pop the entire thing in your mouth.

/good stuff
 
2012-06-11 09:43:13 AM  

ZER0T0THEC0RE: That doesn't mean all vodka's are exactly the same.

(food scientist who works in R&D for a large alcoholic beverages company)

By US regulation all vodkas must be flavor neutral, which usually involves distilling at a certain temperature. But impurities from non-ethyl alcohols can sneak over and make it burn more - since these other alcohols are also usually toxic at lower levels than ethanol, they also can contribute to bad hangovers.

The real goal of vodka makers is to get rid of burn, which is not a taste, but a mouthfeel. Get a vodka that is 40% abv to taste like it is 20% abv and you are golden. (I would say a vodka that tastes like water but in taste tests, most people like their spirits to be somewhat burny)

There is some debate about it but from the distillers that I have talked to they generally agree that distilling a product 2-3 times is will yield the most 'pure' vodka while still being cost effective. Filtration of the product also goes a long way in helping reduce burn, which is the essence behind whiskies, which take ethanol and put it through a form of carbon filtration in a barrel.

As for the differences between vodkas, they are all mostly similar (~99.9% ethanol/water mixture) but there will always be a slight chemical variance (and even the 0.01% level, some of the more volatile alcohols are noticeable) depending on how many times it was distilled, what temperature it was distilled at, what it was fermented from, how it was filtered.

These variances can be picked up when you are drinking it straight, on the rocks, or even in a martini - a person with very good tastebuds may be able to sense this in tonic or soda water. Almost nobody can sense it in any sort of juice base because the burn is too watered down and the taste of the juice is too distracting.

So the next time you see a person mix a high quality vodka with cranberry juice, smack 'em over the head.

Just as in any industry, packaging and marketing plays a huge role in price poin ...

------------------------------
F - - - -
"Would not read again. Too many facts, no trolling, no snark, no snootyness, no air of superiority, no duck lips, no orange tan, no hair with product"
/ya feels me?
www.thedrunkpirate.com
 
2012-06-11 09:44:06 AM  

RobertBruce: Good. that's how it should be. if vodka has a real taste you're doing it wrong.


Ah, you might think so but, you'd be wrong (in other parts of the world)

jollyinebriate.com

Agreed that the Vodak it's self has 0 flavor, it's the grass with the Bison Poop on it that imparts the true essence. You know who else hid their essence?

2.bp.blogspot.com

C'mon it's a vodak thread why be sol seooiuwnsl booew;fa 2342 barf gak
 
2012-06-11 09:44:10 AM  
cptjeff:

RobertBruce: Good. that's how it should be. if vodka has a real taste you're doing it wrong.

Yes, but there are a lot of morons who think they're getting something special with "premium" vodka. It's the same goddamn stuff you get for $10 a bottle.

As somebody who cares about how things taste, vodka claiming to be anything other than a tool for getting drunk fast simply pisses me off.


But the absolute cheapest crap does smell ranker and gives me hangovers. And vodka from glass bottles tastes/smell better than that from plastic containers. Other than that, you're right. "Grade A" vodka is for grade A suckers: if you ant to impress dimwits just salvage a fancy empty from somebody's trash, clean it well and refill it with Smirnoff.

When I want liquor that tastes good I'll buy whiskey. 114-proof Old Grand-Dad is great stuff, as it better be for $20.
 
2012-06-11 09:45:42 AM  

dmax: Not raging the issue of taste, but of headache: I bought the Costco brand once, to escape the price tyranny of the major labels. the resultant, predictable headaches with just one martini made me swear off the cheaper brands.

/After I'd finished off the entire 5-gallon Costco bottle, of course.


I'm impressed that Costco sells vodka in 5 gallon... well I guess they'd have to be buckets.
 
2012-06-11 09:47:19 AM  

ZER0T0THEC0RE: That doesn't mean all vodka's are exactly the same.

(food scientist who works in R&D for a large alcoholic beverages company)


Pff, right... If you were really a food scientist, you'd know it was spelled "vodak".
 
2012-06-11 09:48:21 AM  
But you can tell you're drinking mostly unprocessed garbage, but you're drinking it for a reason, mostly price or trying to get the paint off the inside of your stomach walls.

Not only is most of it from Archer Daniels or Western, but then locally, I can tell you that anything not name-brand comes from the same reprocessor. In Eastern Mass, most people get their generic brand from Somerville. Kimnoff, Cossack, and your own liquor store's name brand to name a few all from the same great place with the same great taste. I always got the feeling that you're better off drinking Tolulene or TCE.
 
2012-06-11 09:49:24 AM  
bim1154:

Waiting for the vodka snobs to start posting images of expensive vodka.

Our local product. Guess what it costs?

www.mugspartystore.com
 
2012-06-11 09:51:04 AM  

PYROY: All vodka tastes the same to me, same with gin, so Aristocrat is always is.


I've noticed differences between gins. Different brands use different ratios of botanicals, so even in a gin&tonic, there is a difference between Bombay Sapphire and Brokers.

But vodak is just a means to turn nonalcoholic beverages into alcoholic beverages. Unless it's infused with bison grass or something, just buy the cheapest bucket and drown it in cranberry juice.
 
2012-06-11 09:51:06 AM  
This works out well since I'm pretty sure there is not a single American that drinks Vodka for the taste.
 
2012-06-11 09:53:43 AM  
Also, since people here are all sciency sometimes, I'd like to relate that one of my favorite Myth Busters involved a master taste tester who could distinguish between 10 drinks: a high quality vodka, and a crappy brand that was filtered 9 times - and he correctly placed the quality in correct order - the high quality was #1, the least filtered was #10, and in between.
 
2012-06-11 09:54:59 AM  
Theaetetus:


Pabst Blue Ribbon, the iconic and ironic beverage of moronic hipsters, is actually produced on an industrial scale by Miller.


From urinal drainage of kidney-filtered MGD.
 
2012-06-11 09:55:08 AM  
This stuff is pretty good too.

i174.photobucket.com

/not particularly expensive - $13-15 a fifth or so.
 
2012-06-11 09:57:38 AM  
The Myth Busters busted this in the process of testing if filtering cheap vodka could improve it. Filtering helps, but an expert can still spot the top-shelf vodkas.

But if you can't taste a difference, go cheap.
 
2012-06-11 09:58:37 AM  

The One True TheDavid: Theaetetus:


Pabst Blue Ribbon, the iconic and ironic beverage of moronic hipsters, is actually produced on an industrial scale by Miller.

From urinal drainage of kidney-filtered MGD.


...which is super hipster ironic, since Heineken is actually PBR pumped out of the kidney failure unit at a hospital somewhere in diseased Europe. I heard the bottles are initially clear before they come into contact with the beer.
 
2012-06-11 10:02:08 AM  

Aar1012: you? A girl?

/A martini needs gin not Vodka


I like both, vodka permits a doubling of the dose.
/visit Paris I'll buy the fist round
//we'll see if your liver can keep up
///1/2 shot of Noilly Prat and 2 shots of gin or 4 shots of vodka
 
2012-06-11 10:03:45 AM  

ChipNASA: maxheck: Wait until people find out that 90% of *all* booze out there is made by mixing grain alcohol and congener syrups much like the way a soda machine works.

Gee ya think?
[shop.homebrew.com image 200x150]

/homebrewer


The congeners are what makes a hangover.
 
2012-06-11 10:04:34 AM  
current "vodak" total = 19 and counting
 
2012-06-11 10:05:03 AM  

mytdawg: This stuff is pretty good too.

[i174.photobucket.com image 370x749]

/not particularly expensive - $13-15 a fifth or so.


YES. I was turned onto that stuff in college. VERY good, and very reasonably priced.
 
2012-06-11 10:05:24 AM  
I usually drink a couple of vodka martinis an evening and Smirnoff has always been fine by me. Occasionally someone gives me a bottle of what some call the "higher end" stuff and as for as my martinis are concerned..... no notable difference. I don't get headaches simply because I don't get tanked on the stuff.
 
2012-06-11 10:08:30 AM  
A buddy of mine sent me a bottle of Russian Standard he picked up in Moscow (the original, not Idaho's), and while I can't recall if it's the basic, gold, platinum, etc. flavor, I do recall that I thought it was a gag when I first tasted it. At room temperature it tasted just like water. No flavor at all, no burning in my mouth or throat, nothing. Then a slight warming in my belly. That was it.
 
2012-06-11 10:10:06 AM  

TenJed_77: Aar1012: you? A girl?

/A martini needs gin not Vodka

I like both, vodka permits a doubling of the dose.
/visit Paris I'll buy the fist round
//we'll see if your liver can keep up
///1/2 shot of Noilly Prat and 2 shots of gin or 4 shots of vodka


Even Noilly Prat tastes like hell to me. I prefer my vodka straight and my gin in grapefruit juice.

With vodka in grapefruit juice I have to measure it well or I find myself unintentionally drinking quadruples. Any vodka will give me a hangover if I guzzle a pint in half an hour.
 
2012-06-11 10:13:10 AM  
Vodka is gin for children.
 
2012-06-11 10:14:02 AM  

plong: current "vodak" total = 19 and counting


There will come a day when there aren't enough 'old school' Farkers around to continue that tradition.
 
2012-06-11 10:14:18 AM  
AngryJailhouseFistfark:

A buddy of mine sent me a bottle of Russian Standard he picked up in Moscow (the original, not Idaho's), and while I can't recall if it's the basic, gold, platinum, etc. flavor, I do recall that I thought it was a gag when I first tasted it. At room temperature it tasted just like water. No flavor at all, no burning in my mouth or throat, nothing. Then a slight warming in my belly. That was it.

That would be way too easy to guzzle too much of. I need to be able to get to the toilet and I prefer to stand while I piss. Drowning in my own puke with urine-soggy PJs is not the way I'd choose to die.
 
2012-06-11 10:14:22 AM  

The One True TheDavid: TenJed_77: Aar1012: you? A girl?

/A martini needs gin not Vodka

I like both, vodka permits a doubling of the dose.
/visit Paris I'll buy the fist round
//we'll see if your liver can keep up
///1/2 shot of Noilly Prat and 2 shots of gin or 4 shots of vodka

Even Noilly Prat tastes like hell to me. I prefer my vodka straight and my gin in grapefruit juice.

With vodka in grapefruit juice I have to measure it well or I find myself unintentionally drinking quadruples. Any vodka will give me a hangover if I guzzle a pint in half an hour.


You are using to much only takes little.
Lot friends here in france like the grapefruit and gin. Just ruins the gin for me Can't stand grapefruit or orange juice, never have.
 
2012-06-11 10:14:44 AM  
I dont know why you would drink any alcohol for any reason other than to get drunk. I drink vodka pretty much exclusively and I drink it in whatever way minimizes whatever taste there is as much as possible. Some does seem to go down smoother with less taste than others. I dont find that price is the determining factor though.

How anyone can drink gin is beyond me though. It tastes like a pine tree.
 
2012-06-11 10:16:22 AM  

Cythraul:
I don't think my palate has 'burned out.' Most alcohol tastes the same to me, with a few exceptions. Vodka tastes the same to me as.. whiskey for example. When I imbibe either beverage, all my tongue senses is the overpowering chemical taste of alcohol.


...which is why you're supposed to add some water to it. You add enough to bring it down to a level where the alcohol doesn't dominate.

/Which may be a gallon in your case, I dunno, I'm just telling you the theory.
 
2012-06-11 10:17:29 AM  

bim1154: I don't get headaches simply because I don't get tanked on the stuff.


True. If I go out and only have a couple of drinks (which, as I'm getting older, is more often the case than it is not) ordering a couple of well vodka drinks does nothing either way when it comes to hangovers because I didn't get drunk enough to have one. Now, if I am planning on having a few drinks, I tend to go a bit higher up the bar to avoid the day after headache.

That being said, I'm more of a gin person than a vodka person, and I can definitely tell the differences between varieties, with vodka, not so much. With vodka, I'd be that person probably confusing the cheap stuff with Grey Goose (which I've tried, but don't understand the fascination), but with gin, I could easily tell the difference between say, Seagram's well crap and Death's Door or Hendricks, it is like night and day, or the difference between PBR and Three Floyd's Dark Lord Imperial Stout.
 
2012-06-11 10:20:05 AM  

fonebone77: How anyone can drink gin is beyond me though. It tastes like a pine tree.


Ever had lamb with rosemary?
 
2012-06-11 10:22:35 AM  

plong: current "vodak" total = 19 and counting


freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com

/do it for them.

4.bp.blogspot.com

img13.imageshack.us

api.musweet.com
 
2012-06-11 10:25:06 AM  
www.adpulp.com

I'm sticking with Svedka.
 
2012-06-11 10:31:40 AM  

Ikam: bim1154: I don't get headaches simply because I don't get tanked on the stuff.

True. If I go out and only have a couple of drinks (which, as I'm getting older, is more often the case than it is not) ordering a couple of well vodka drinks does nothing either way when it comes to hangovers because I didn't get drunk enough to have one. Now, if I am planning on having a few drinks, I tend to go a bit higher up the bar to avoid the day after headache.

That being said, I'm more of a gin person than a vodka person, and I can definitely tell the differences between varieties, with vodka, not so much. With vodka, I'd be that person probably confusing the cheap stuff with Grey Goose (which I've tried, but don't understand the fascination), but with gin, I could easily tell the difference between say, Seagram's well crap and Death's Door or Hendricks, it is like night and day, or the difference between PBR and Three Floyd's Dark Lord Imperial Stout.


I never acquired the taste for gin. I have tried it on and off through the years to see if my tastes have changed but just don't care for it.

My two sons have over the years given me bottles of higher end vodka, whiskey and tequila. A few years back I told them they could go the extra mile with the whiskey or tequila but not the vodka. I stopped drinking in excess some 20 years ago so the middle of the road stuff is good enough for me. Having said that, I don't think I could drop down to the really cheap stuff. I think you start tasting weird sh*t in that cheap stuff.

Imperial Stouts.... when I was home brewing that's pretty much all I made. Made some that were pretty good too, but it didn't take many of them to give you a nasty headache.
 
2012-06-11 10:32:11 AM  

TenJed_77: Lot friends here in france like the grapefruit and gin.


I did not know that. I've never been to France, so their drinking habits are not too much on my radar, however, I love a bit of gin, grapefruit juice, soda water and orange bitters. It is a wonderful summer drink.
 
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