The vodka category is not always getting the spotlight it deserves, even if there are many premium quality vodkas out there. Below, I have listed eight vodka brands from various countries that are all worth a try. Some are silky, creamy and sweet, others are earthy and rustic. All ideal for sipping neat or used in various cocktails.
This vodka is made using Hakumai, Japanese white rice. The spirit is distilled twice using both pot and column stills. It is then filtered through bamboo charcoal. The aroma of this vodka reminds me of rice porridge (a popular Finnish breakfast on Christmas morning). It also has a soft, pleasant mouthfeel and surprisingly sweet taste.
I’ve been a fan of this English vodka for years now due to its creamy texture and lovely flavours.
Black Cow Vodka is made using pure whole milk, but it is suitable for those who are dairy and lactose intolerant as the whey is fermented into a beer using yeast that converts the milk sugar into alcohol. The milk beer is distilled and treated using a specific blending process. The outcome is silky and slightly creamy with notes of white chocolate, vanilla and gentle peppery spiciness.
This is one of my new discoveries and an absolute gem!
Puffing Billy Steam Vodka is the only vodka ever to be steamed through charcoal inside a still. It is never filtered as a liquid. This method allows the delicious character of the locally grown barley to shine.
The malted barley creates a creamy and silky vodka. The flavours that come through are mind-blowingly tasty. This vodka has a whole lot of flavour, such as coconut, roasted pineapple, over-ripe banana, chocolate and caramel. And a touch of spice at the finish.
This is made from roasted farro (a type of hulled wheat, also known as emmer) from the Italian mountains. Farro is an ancient grain. It grows naturally on the mountains and needs very little help from people. La Valdotaine is a small Alpine distillery where all the spirits are made using local botanicals and distilled using traditional alembic stills. The water used at the distillery comes from the Acqueverdi Spring, where the water seems turquoise due to rare minerals that colour the stones beneath.
Rustic is the best word to describe the flavour profile of this vodka. It is soft and mellow with a subtle spiciness on the finish. Also, there’s a little saltiness to it, making me think of salted liquorice and fennel seeds. Very pleasant to sip but also makes a wonderful Martini.
Konik’s Tail is a Polish vodka made using spelt, rye and wheat and filtered through silver birch charcoal. It has a soft mouthfeel but not quite as gentle as Eyva. The palate is dryer. It has a subtle white pepper bite to it. This is the ideal vodka for a range of Martinis as the flavour profile already reminds me of vermouth.
Reyka is an Icelandic vodka, and the world’s first ‘green’ vodka as it is made from glacial water and distilled using sustainable energy from geothermal heat. However, the barley is not from the island.
The spirit is distilled once, and no filtration is used afterwards. The water used to make Reyka comes from a spring which runs through lava rocks. The lava rocks work as a natural filtration system, therefore no more than one distillation is needed to guarantee the best flavour.
This is a more earthy vodka compared to some of the others in this list. The mouthfeel is still clean and slightly sweet. Ideal for a dirty Martini.
This one is made using Zulu wheat, which is a winter wheat and better known as biscuit wheat, a wheat that is used for desserts rather than bread-making. It is finer, softer and ideal for distilling.
Haar has delicious notes of vanilla, caramel and subtle spiciness that contributes to a warming finish. The mouthfeel is soft and slightly creamy. This is an ideal sipping vodka. To allow the vodka to shine, avoid mixing it with strong flavours. Simple vodka & soda or a Martini with some buttery olives works perfectly.
This is a wheat vodka from the Crossbill Distillery. It is made using Scottish mountain water and infused with wild elderflower and milk thistle. The outcome is both floral and herbal with a slight sweetness to it. The mouthfeel is nice and creamy. You can enjoy Pincer neat or in many cocktails. The distillery also recommends mixing with Fever-Tree Mexican soda water for an elevated vodka, lime & soda.
Have you tried any of these vodka brands? What would you add to this list?
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