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Sydney Frank Dept: The Penultimate Vodka Taste Test
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NCyankee
Admiral


Joined: 30 Sep 2010
Posts: 230

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't tried many plain vodkas, but I do have bottles of Smirnoff and Sobieski. I have compared them side by side and though the Sobieski tastes quite neutral on its own, next to it Smirnoff tastes like water. The Sobieski has a mild but not unpleasant flavor. It's made from rye so it might be residual flavor from that, not sure.
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bearmark
Beermeister


Joined: 02 Jun 2012
Posts: 266
Location: Near Dallas Texas

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:22 am    Post subject: Tasteless Test in Texas Reply with quote

I finally got around to conducting a blind taste test on vodka. First, I diluted a bottle of 95% Everclear to 40% using Great Value (Wal-Mart) distilled water and let it "marry" for a few days before the tasting. I call it Evercloudy, since it turned cloudy immediately after mixing the diluted Everclear.

When my 22-year old son and I were ready, we gathered up the Evercloudy ($12 for 1.75l) along with his Sobieski Vodka ($18 for 1.75l) and my Prairie Organic Vodka ($30 for 1.75l) and had another of my sons pour them up into Glencairn whisky glasses labeled #1, #2 and #3. When he was ready, we entered the room for the big event.

In an orderly fashion, we began with #1 and set the first reference point. We proceeded to #2 and both of us immediately noticed a difference in taste in this tasteless distillate. We then proceeded to #3 and noted a similarity to #1. From there, he re-tasted samples while I went back to #1 for comparison and to get another taste after the astringent cleansing of my palate due to the vodka. I sampled #1 and #3 a few more times so that I could settle on a choice between them, then returned to #2. I tasted it thoroughly in order to determine if the difference was pleasant or not. In the end, it tasted more botanical than the others and I prefer that to the less tasteful characteristics of #1 and #3.

With the tasting complete, both my son and I declared the order of preference to be #2, then #3, followed closely by #1. The identities, in order of preference, were:

  1. Evercloudy (#2)
  2. Sobieski Vodka (#3)
  3. Prairie Organic Vodka (#1)

We were surprised, to say the least, especially since we had conducted previous taste tests identifying Prairie Organic as our favorite among at least a dozen different vodka offerings, including Grey Goose. The only tainting to the testing that we could determine was the fact that my sample of Prairie Organic had been sitting with less than 2 ounces remaining in a 1.75l bottle for several months. I had been saving it for this event and was avoiding another purchase until it was either confirmed or replaced with another selection. It's probable that the oxidation subdued the flavor, but based on the price (almost 2.5x) it doesn't really matter to me. Evercloudy is now my go to vodka, which I only use for mixing anyway.

My humble and sincere thanks to Cap'n Jimbo! You just saved me some money that I can now spend on rum. Very Happy




*******
Capn's Log: Mark, thanks for the thanks. You are now the latest in a relatively long line of tests that to me, prove that just as Sydney Frank said, it's all marketing. It is truly amazing that we can get so attached to a label that we lose perspective and simply deceive ourselves.
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Mark Hébert
Rum References: Flor de Caña 18 (Demeraran), The Scarlet Ibis (Trinidadian), R.L. Seale 10 (Barbadian), Appleton Extra (Jamaican), Ron Abuelo 12 (Cuban), Barbancourt 5-Star (Agricole)
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bearmark
Beermeister


Joined: 02 Jun 2012
Posts: 266
Location: Near Dallas Texas

PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:24 am    Post subject: Tasteless Taste Test from Texas 2.0 Reply with quote

Last week, I described this experiment to a friend and his first reaction was, "I've never liked the taste of distilled water." Well, the new batches are poured and the testing commences in a couple of weeks. The samples are of vodka made with Everclear and the following types of water:
  • Distilled Water
  • Spring Water
  • RO Purified Water Enhanced with Minerals (Nestle Pure Life)
  • RO Purified Water


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Mark Hébert
Rum References: Flor de Caña 18 (Demeraran), The Scarlet Ibis (Trinidadian), R.L. Seale 10 (Barbadian), Appleton Extra (Jamaican), Ron Abuelo 12 (Cuban), Barbancourt 5-Star (Agricole)
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3441
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bear Roars...


...what an absolutely fascinating experiment. Wouldn't it be something if the water had more to do with the taste than the "vodka" itself. While there are a literal handful of tasters (think F. Paul Pacult) who can distinguish vodkas reliably, any number of blind tastings with ordinary people - all of whom were chosen to participate because each had a favorite go-to vodka - showed that most couldn't identify their own must-have brand, and in many cases preferred a blindly tasted lower shelf product.

Can't wait to see your continuing results...
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bearmark
Beermeister


Joined: 02 Jun 2012
Posts: 266
Location: Near Dallas Texas

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:41 am    Post subject: Vodka Tasting Results #2 Reply with quote

Well, it's done and here are the results. The tasting was done blind so that there was no bias... identical glasses with the same amounts taken from the same size samples in identical bottles. My son and I immediately identified one that was noticeably harsher, which turned out to be the distilled water sample. The others were much harder to distinguish, but we finally singled out another that was ever so slightly bitter and this turned out to be the spring water sample. We were not able to distinguish between the other two, which were the purified water samples with one of them being enhanced with minerals. So the final rankings were:
  1. RO Purified Water or Enhanced RO Purified Water
  2. Spring Water
  3. (significant difference here)
  4. Distilled Water

The basic conclusion was that the worst choice would be distilled water. Any of the others were much more pleasant with the slight nod going to the RO purified water. Given the indistinguishable difference, I would not pay the extra money for the mineral enhancement. For me, from here on out I'll be using Great Value (Wal-Mart) Drinking Water, which is RO filtered.
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Mark Hébert
Rum References: Flor de Caña 18 (Demeraran), The Scarlet Ibis (Trinidadian), R.L. Seale 10 (Barbadian), Appleton Extra (Jamaican), Ron Abuelo 12 (Cuban), Barbancourt 5-Star (Agricole)
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araprado613
Oscar


Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a good list of vodkas
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araprado613
Oscar


Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But I have to enter a candidate of my own here, Archie Rose is the bomb here in NSW. This has to be in the next taste test.
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3441
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome....

...and we look forward to yet another taste test which will likely confirm the fact that there is no such thing as "premium" vodka, and further that the I-will-drink-no-other boyz have yet to be able to identify their "must have" in a blind test.

It is simply amazing that Everclear plus distilled water consistently scores so well....
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