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Vodka - does it have a taste?

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vodka - is there a point?

yes vodkas have different tastes just like whiskies
8
26%
vodkas are more similar than whisky but there are still differences
14
45%
not much difference really
9
29%
 
Total votes : 31

Vodka - does it have a taste?

Postby Marvin » Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:35 pm

Or is it all just "mouthfeel"? I was reading an article in the current edition of Malt Advocate and it was by a taster who gets asked to sample all sorts of alcoholic drinks. He was asked to do a big Vodka test of about 35 different vodkas and he amassed a panel of vodka people to do the tasting.

He made up a control sample which was 180 proof grain alcohol diluted down to 40% with distilled water. There were two tasting sessions, in the first one his grain alcohol sample came 2nd, and in the second tasting it came 3rd. The results for all the vodkas were completely random! None of the panelists could identify their favourite vodka.

So, is there any point in buying expensive vodkas?
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Postby maverick » Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:44 pm

Makes you wonder doesn't it? I once saw this inteview with the owner of a beer company and he got to test his own brew and he couldn't even tell the difference. I think that it depends on what you drink. Maybe the ones that are really up there in price don't differ too much from one another but if you compare a cheap one and an expensive one I bet you taste the difference. I love Danzka Grapefruite and there is nothing like it, atleast nothing that I have tried
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Postby Marvin » Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:14 pm

But in the test the expensive ones did not outperform the cheap ones - like I said it was completely random.
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Postby sku » Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:44 pm

maverick wrote:Makes you wonder doesn't it? I once saw this inteview with the owner of a beer company and he got to test his own brew and he couldn't even tell the difference. I think that it depends on what you drink. Maybe the ones that are really up there in price don't differ too much from one another but if you compare a cheap one and an expensive one I bet you taste the difference. I love Danzka Grapefruite and there is nothing like it, atleast nothing that I have tried


I don't know. The New York Times recently did a blind tasting comparing a bunch of high-end vodkas. They threw in Smirnoff just for kicks. Smirnoff came in first.

By the way, under US law, vodka is described as a sprirt without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color. Don't know how the EU defines it.
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Postby Wave » Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:04 am

So, is there any point in buying expensive vodkas?


"Expensive" Vodkas go for about the same price as a cheap single malt, like for example I get Grey Goose for $27 and that bottle will last me a good 6 months to a year. If I wanted to go cheap I'd just buy Everclear (190 proof grain alcohol) and mix all my drinks with that. Why don't I? Because it sucks!

But what it really comes down to is buying expensive single malts or vodkas, or any expensive spirits in general.
Why? Because I can afford it!


:P
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Postby Marvin » Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:32 am

That's illogical Wave.
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Postby bamber » Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:54 am

They all taste of very little and all taste pretty bad (neat) to me. Don't mind a vodka and tonic though.
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Postby nchan50 » Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:27 pm

my experience is that the difference isnt so much when it's sitting on your tongue as it is in the finish. a higher end vodka like ciroc has a much sweeter, crisper finish (likely due to the fact it's made from grapes) whereas smirnoff or poland springs plastic bottle vodka is harsh, feels like a kick of alcohol and unenjoyable.

Of course i enjoy my whisky more though...
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Postby Marvin » Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:16 pm

Surely vodka made from grapes isnt really vodka?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:20 pm

Vodka is much nicer if it is kept in the freezer.
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Postby nchan50 » Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:32 pm

Marvin wrote:Surely vodka made from grapes isnt really vodka?


Well vodka can really be made from anyything with starch or sugar although i'd say grain-based vodkas are probably the most common. To a lesser extent you'll see ones made from potatoes, grapes or beets (weird huh?). Vodka is really just an alcohol distilled at a high proof which is then filtered and filtered and filtered then diluted.
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Postby Paul A Jellis » Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:07 pm

No great difference as far as I can remember, not that I've drunk vodka for years.

It's just ''get drunk quick - falling down water''.

Cheers, Paul
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:14 pm

There are some fairly expensive vodkas as well like the Polish Ultimat Vodka. Russia's Stolichnaya has a few top of the range vodkas too. I've even heard of a vodka filtered through crushed diamond !!!!! Hence the elite price tags.

Seemingly the better the vodka the less the taste, figure that our?????

Then there is a Scottish vodka called Diva and an Irish one called Boru
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:16 pm

There are some fairly expensive vodkas as well like the Polish Ultimat Vodka. Russia's Stolichnaya has a few top of the range vodkas too. I've even heard of a vodka filtered through crushed diamond !!!!! Hence the elite price tags.

Seemingly the better the vodka the less the taste, figure that our?????

Then there is a Scottish vodka called Diva and an Irish one called Boru
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Postby Marvin » Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:35 pm

There is one called Skyy90 which is filtered through some weird filter that only allows ethanol through. Which makes me ask - why not just get 100% pure ethanol from a chemistry lab and dilute it down to 40%? This is the reason I do not see the point in vodka.
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Postby EdipisReks » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:32 am

to me the difference is how much it makes me retch after i drink it. i don't drink vodka very often at all, except in white russians.
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Postby Thesh » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:58 am

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:Seemingly the better the vodka the less the taste, figure that our?????


Well, when I drink a richly flavored vodka, I have to eat lutfisk to kill the taste. I think this is the reason Nordic's invented lutfisk. They made a huge trade with someone in eastern europe for a large quantity of Vodka to keep them warm in the winter, but they were unable to consume it and in desperation soaked code in lye, which is slightly more pleasant than vodka.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:25 am

Thesh wrote:
irishwhiskeychaser wrote:Seemingly the better the vodka the less the taste, figure that our?????


Well, when I drink a richly flavored vodka, I have to eat lutfisk to kill the taste. I think this is the reason Nordic's invented lutfisk. They made a huge trade with someone in eastern europe for a large quantity of Vodka to keep them warm in the winter, but they were unable to consume it and in desperation soaked code in lye, which is slightly more pleasant than vodka.

:lol: Good one Thesh!
I believe lutefisk is a strictly norwegian invention, and according to tradition you would drink akevitt/aquavit and beer to this meal. I've never heard of anyone in Norway drinking vodka to this. Myself I won't touch any of it; vodka or lutefisk. I tend not to like fish which moves even after death :shock:
I'm surprised you eat this in California - how come Thesh?
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Postby Thesh » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:08 am

Mr Fjeld wrote:I'm surprised you eat this in California - how come Thesh?


My grandfather's Norwegian; he took me and my brother to a lutefisk dinner a couple of times.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:39 am

Transplants from Minnesota, no doubt....
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:47 am

Thesh wrote:
Mr Fjeld wrote:I'm surprised you eat this in California - how come Thesh?


My grandfather's Norwegian; he took me and my brother to a lutefisk dinner a couple of times.

Ah, that explains it. Some enjoy it and many say they do, I think it's a matter of things one just has to do at least once if you're member of a certain culture; like doing a pilgrimage to Mekka, walk on coal - maybe even water, and visit a distillery.

Sorry for hijacking - you may continue!
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Postby Andrew_Toronto » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:00 pm

while not as complex as Scotch (or any coloured liqour really) , vodkas differ greatly. (even bottled waters differ)

ex.

grey goose: smooth, sweet & clean.

absolut: sharp & bitter; rubbing alcohol with a great ad campaign.
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Postby Cam » Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:49 pm

Personally I don't taste much of a difference but then I don't drink much of it. We have a bottle or two of Absolut on hand for visitors, some flavoured ones. My wife likes Absolut vanilla flavoured mixed with coke.

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Postby Marvin » Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:13 pm

Andrew_Toronto wrote:while not as complex as Scotch (or any coloured liqour really) , vodkas differ greatly. (even bottled waters differ)

ex.

grey goose: smooth, sweet & clean.

absolut: sharp & bitter; rubbing alcohol with a great ad campaign.


But how do you explain the test outlined in the original post?
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Postby Wave » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:33 am

Marvin wrote:
Andrew_Toronto wrote:while not as complex as Scotch (or any coloured liqour really) , vodkas differ greatly. (even bottled waters differ)

ex.

grey goose: smooth, sweet & clean.

absolut: sharp & bitter; rubbing alcohol with a great ad campaign.


But how do you explain the test outlined in the original post?


What you have with the original test outline is a test conducted by an unknown group of people. Unless you were a part of that taste test and know for a personal fact that there is no difference in taste between vodkas don't throw stones and point to this original test outline. Who am I to believe, some unknown group of people or my own tastebuds? Try the taste test yourself, we'll be here when waiting patiently for the results. :lol:


Cheers!
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Postby Marvin » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:54 am

The people in the test were all vodka drinkers I believe. Why would a test I do be any more of less significant?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:32 am

I didn't vote because there isn't a "Who cares?" option. 8)
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Postby Andrew_Toronto » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:15 pm

I can only attest to the the test in my mouth and my martini. Vodkas (to me) differ greatly.

did you see the myth busters show where they filtered low grade vodka and compared them to top shelf vodkas. they did a blind taste test with a drink expert...he picked out the top shelfs from the filtered cheap vodks easily.

good vodkas are sweet and almost fruity....cheap vodkas are stingy and bitter.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:35 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:I didn't vote because there isn't a "Who cares?" option. 8)


Mr Picky insists that I apologize for being snarky. :cry:
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