An array of vodkas had been introduced to our panel of judges final month, from a pear-flavoured showstopper to plenty of rye-based bottlings. We’ve uncovered the manufacturers that stole the present in our newest blind tasting of the class.
The Spirits Enterprise held its annual Vodka Masters in September, a class thought-about to be blossoming as distillers look to experiment with native elements.
In line with The Brand Champions 2021 report, the vodka’s million‐case‐promoting manufacturers had been among the many most resilient of all spirits sectors. A number of manufacturers, particularly those from Eastern European countries, had been in a position to maintain or considerably develop volumes final yr within the face of by no means‐earlier than‐seen adversity led to by the pandemic.
The massive variety of entries required three judging panels to finish the blind tasting.
David T Smith, founding father of the Craft Distilling Expo, chaired the primary panel, which included: Sarah Miller, founding father of the Gin A Ding Ding weblog; and Bernadette Pamplin, founding father of the Below the Ginfluence weblog.
The second set of tasters comprised chair Bryan Rodriguez, wine and spirits purchaser for Harvey Nichols. He was joined by Evan Prousaefs, bar supervisor at The Leaf and Cane in London; and Julia Nourney, unbiased spirits marketing consultant.
Melita Kiely, editor of The Spirits Enterprise, chaired the third and remaining workforce, which comprised: Ivan Dixon, unbiased spirits marketing consultant; and Dimple Athavia, founding father of All Issues Drinks.
Scroll beneath for the ten standout award-winning vodkas from the competitors, overlaying a spread of tasting notes and value factors.
JJ Whitley Artisanal Russian Vodka
Value: RRP £15.75 (US$21.74)
Halewood Artisanal Spirits introduced a vodka with a “citrus nostril, oily texture” to our panel of judges, as JJ Whitley Artisanal Russian Vodka was recommended for its means to be drunk as a neat spirit. The bottling was introduced within the Premium warmth and sits at 38% ABV.
The JJ Whitley vary additionally consists of variants resembling Gold and Blood Orange, in addition to a Raspberry Vodka, all of which claimed a Gold medal within the blind tasting.
The model not too long ago unveiled its Blue Raspberry Russian Vodka.
Value: £29.15 (US$40.24)
Subsequent on our record of award-winning vodkas is Penderyn Distillery’s 5 Vodka was the primary to be awarded a Grasp within the Tremendous Premium warmth.
High quality and value was mentioned to rise concurrently on this flight, and 5 vodka was applauded for its “easy and clear” nostril, resulting in tastes of “vanilla, lemon drop and almond” on the palate.
The Welsh bottling is five-times distilled and charcoal-filtered, made with pure glacier water and a touch of barley spirit.
Value: £29.99 (US$41.40)
Kamo Authentic acquired the fourth and remaining Grasp medal of the Tremendous Premium flight, praised for its slight “floral” high quality, with a “contact of vanilla and pepper warmth in the direction of the end” of the vodka.
The model is co-owned by BBC 1Xtra presenter Woman Leshurr, and in addition received awards for its blueberry and raspberry-flavoured expressions.
Value: £40 (US$55.25)
Pur Vodka acquired the Grasp accolade within the Extremely Premium flight for having a “contact of chocolate malt” on the palate. Rodriguez famous the spirit can be “sensible in a Martini or Negroni”.
The Pur Vodka model considerably stood out to the judges, because it was awarded six medals throughout the blind tasting for varied bottlings.
Pur Vodka was observed for its clean qualities, bagging a Gold medal within the Microdistillery flight, whereas Pur Sang Choose, Pur Sang Customary and Pur Vodka all received Silver awards.
Value: AU$22.00 (US$16.50)
Craft distillery FNQ Spirits’ Croc Vodka delighted judges with its “fascinating, Aussie gin‐like nostril” and “clear and crisp” flavour.
The model’s mission is to showcase native produce, mixed with creating of high-quality merchandise from North Queensland.
Introduced within the Remainder of the World flight, Croc Vodka was one of many two manufacturers to bag a Grasp medal.
Value: £34.95 (US$48.24)
Belvedere cleaned up within the Vodka – Rye flight, securing a complete of seven medals altogether. One Grasp award was granted to its Heritage 176, a vodka spirit drink with “daring, robust rye notes”, and “chocolatey, chewy” flavours.
Craft Distilling Expo’s Smith mentioned it was a “good instance of a flavoursome rye”.
One other expression from Belvedere’s portfolio to obtain a Grasp medal was its Single Property Rye Smogóry Forest. Delivering a a “good texture and mouthfeel”, the liquid was additionally praised for its “character and fascinating end” within the Vodka – Rye flight.
Royal Mash Classic Vodka 2020
Value: RRP £36.50 (US$50.38)
Within the Vodka – Potato class, a Grasp medal was introduced to Royal Mash for its Classic Vodka.
The judges had been excited by its advanced profile, and located the palate to be “creamy, clean with a slight chilli warmth” ending with some “citrusy notes”.
The bottling acquired a new label design earlier this yr, designed by Kirsty Holton at Manchester-based Sip Studio.
Value: £21.95 (US$30.30) per bottle in vary
Ukrainian model Nemiroff acquired two Masters within the Flavoured/Infused Vodka flight, the primary for Nemiroff The Inked Collection Wild Cranberry.
Grabbing the judges’ consideration for its “engaging color”, Gin A Ding Ding‘s Miller discovered this to be “candy, sharp”, and added that it “would work effectively in cocktails”.
The Inked Assortment additionally bagged one other Grasp medal for Burning Pear. This vodka notably dazzled the judges, incomes the very best award of the competitors – The Vodka Style Grasp 2021.
The vodka is made by combining Nemiroff Vodka with honey, pepper and contemporary pear, delivering “pear drops” on the nostril and “genuine pear flavour” on the palate.
“It delivered as promised,” commented Below the Ginfluence‘s Pamplin.
Finishing the collection is the Blood Orange expression, and all of the vodkas are bottled at 40% ABV.