The Vodka Question

The Vodka Question Vodka-Taste-Patio (1)The Vodka Question

Great Eight Friends means Great Food, Great Friends and Great Fun. So for National Vodka Day our Great Friends decided I should be the one to do a vodka review. To make it Great Fun we invited some neighbors to walk over and participate in our tasting.

The first thing most people say when talking about a vodka tasting is, “I don’t think there is much difference in taste between vodkas.” We set out to see if that is true.

After doing loose research at various bars and restaurants I chose 5 of the most popular vodkas for the tasting.

The Vodka Question Vodka-Tasting-Vodka (1)The test was blind with 5 brand new, unopened bottles of the liquor frozen for a couple of hours ahead of time. And we prepared a checklist to make this as easy as possible for everyone. Here is a great article on How to Taste Vodka, where we got the tasting points. We took a few minutes between each tasting to record our impressions and munch on some snacks to ready our palates for the next vodka.

The Vodka Question Vodka-Taste-Cheeseboard2SMELL was the first point we considered. Was it creamy, sweet, or grain smelling? If so, too strong, too weak, or just right? Or was it medicinal or aggressive smelling?

The second part of the analysis was SIGHT, the clarity, texture and luminescence. We used disposable frosted shot glasses, which made this part challenging (it’s what we had in the house). With the great sunlight on our patio we were still able to make our assessments; but for future tastings I would use real glass shot glasses.

The Vodka Question Vodka-Taste-Scorecard2TASTE was the final characteristic evaluated and, I think, the most important. We noted taste in 3 categories as follows:

  • Hard (1) to Soft (5)
  • Watery (1) to Creamy (5)
  • Rough (1) to Smooth (5)

And the final point for TASTE was if there was any bitterness, burn, or causticity.

I have to say that I was not expecting the differences between the vodkas to be as discernible as they were.

General comments were solicited for each point. After all 5 vodkas had been tested, each taster rated them on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the best. Here are the scores averaged between the 5 tasters:

  • 1 – Grey Goose – Avg. Score = 1.8
  • 2 – Tito’s – Avg. Score = 2
  • 3 – Absolut¬†– Avg. Score = 3.4
  • 4 – Belvedere – Avg. Score = 3.8
  • 4 – Ketel One – Avg. Score = 3.8

A Gr8 time was had by all and 2 of our neighbors even stayed for a “real” cocktail afterwards. Having Gr8 neighbors is terrific because there is no driving after imbibing. I love Corona del Mar and vodka; my drink of choice these days is Tito’s vodka with soda and 2 lime wedges squeezed; it’s low calorie and refreshing.

This was a last minute endeavor, we decided to invite participants when we were at the store buying the bottles. Within 3 hours we had printed the checklists, put together a cheese and fruit board and found several neighbors who were available. Anna, as always, did an amazing job of putting the entire tasting, food and company together. I got very lucky 26 years ago when she said, “I do.”

ABSOLUT-ely, Mr. BELVEDERE, TITO is cooking a GOOSE in the KETEL.

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