Is Belvedere Vodka worth all the hoopla? I’ve been hearing about how great this Polish Vodka is for the last 4-5 years, then it dawned on me: The only thing I knew about Belevedere Vodka was from the radio advertisements which of course, insist that this is a premium vodka worth a hefty price tag that puts it in the range of Grey Goose. Make no mistake about it, Belvedere is considered a top shelf vodka and has the price tag to back it up. Belvedere was made to compete with expensive Russian vodkas – this one is distilled from Dankowskie Gold Rye and bills itself as an uncompromising alternative choice to those expensive Russian brands. Well, if you’ve seen my review on Ruskova, Russian vodka brands aren’t all that expensive. Belvedere better have something going for it in order to back up its asking price: $30.00 for a 1 Liter and about $45.00 for a 1.75 Liter. How does Belvedere do in our vodka ratings and how does it compare to grey goose vodka?
The first shot of Belvedere will give you plenty of vanilla and crystal smooth sweetness. The first bite is smooth and creamy; which gives you the great anticipation of wanting more. Unfortunately, that’s about where the excitement ends. The bitterness of the vodka sticks in the middle and back of your throat like an unwelcome house guest. It is certainly not the best vodka I’ve ever tried. Furthermore, I didn’t get some of the pepper and additional complexities one would expect from a Russian or Polish vodka in this price range. About the best I can say about Belvedere vodka is that it’s priced a tad under the much over-rated Grey Goose and is at least as good.
For less than half the price of one, 1.75L bottle of Belvedere Vodka, you can pick up a 1.75L bottle of Russian Shot vodka. Having run low on my last bottle of Ruskova, I decided to pay about $5.00 more for the Russian Shot vodka which was given a 93 rating by the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago. At $18.99, the Russian Shot Vodka is about $37.00 cheaper than the 1.75L of Belvedere…and it’s about twice as good. No kidding…the Russian Shot Vodka has the vanilla-cream sweetness of the Belvedere, but without the long-burn and aftertaste that sticks to the middle and back of the throat. Russian Shot Vodka is instantly likeable -and proves that you don’t have to pay a premium to enjoy a good vodka martini. But wait…there is one thing missing with the Russian Shot Vodka…the bottle isn’t nearly as fancy. If you good tasting vodka at a cheap price, go with Svedka, Ruskova or Russian Shot Vodka. If you want a fancy bottle; have lots of money and don’t mind the bitter aftertaste, then by all means go for the Grey Goose or Belvedere.