Jul 212014
 


deep eddy vodkaMy purchase of a 1.75 Liter of Deep Eddy Vodka at my favorite local liquor store was more of an informed decision than an impulsive one. Lately, I've been experimenting with a gluten-free diet. Since some vodkas are made from wheat and other glutenous grains, they are likely to contain some small level of gluten. The dietary advice for those who suffer from Celiac disease is that distilled liquors like Vodka, even though they are made from grains, are probably okay to drink. How is this possible? Apparently, grain-based vodkas lose most of their gluten in the distillation process. There is such small amounts of vodka in grain-based alcohols that most celiac health experts believe it is harmless for persons who suffer from Celiac disease. Unfortunately, not all sufferers of celiac disease are the same. Even a microscopic amount of gluten for my niece could have catastrophic consequences. For me, just about any type of alcohol probably doesn't pose much of a threat, but I decided to go as gluten-free as possible. Deep Eddy Vodka is 100% certified gluten-free. The box boasts the claim that Deep Eddy is distilled 10 times and 100% natural. But, the absence of gluten was only one reason to buy Deep Eddy. How about the taste of the vodka?

Deep Eddy is a Bargain

The price I paid for a 1.75 Liter of Deep Eddy was $19.99. Granted, my local liquor store is full of great deals, but Deep Eddy would still be a bargain at any store. Like many other American vodkas, Deep Eddy is made in Austin, Texas and is 80% / 40-Proof alcohol and distilled from potatoes. The bottle I bought came came with one other perk: It was packaged in a nicely boxed gift-set which included two logo'd glass jars with the Deep Eddy logo. Those big jars, suggest, that one might use their vodka to make those big fruity  foo-foo drinks with lime and/or lemonade.  If you've read my numerous other vodka reviews, you realize that I would have preferred a couple of martini glasses since that is the way I normally drink vodka. That's okay, I have plenty of martini glasses and the Deep Eddy jars make a nice addition to our assortment of bar glasses.  Deep Eddy was mainly purchased to replace my empty favorite bottle of Blue Ice Vodka which was also made from potatoes and certified gluten-free. Blue Ice has been the standard by which I judge all other vodkas. This one, however, was a few bucks cheaper. Could Deep Eddy be as good?

Taste Test

Deep Eddy proves once again that you don't have to pay good money for good vodka. I've paid more for other brands that aren't as good. Belvedere and Grey Goose immediately come to mind. I poured the first taste into my glass and tried it at room temperature. The initial taste was so smooth and light that I thought I had accidentally mixed water into my vodka. The finish went down like vanilla sugar water. I dried out the glass and tried it again and got the exact same outstanding result.  Deep Eddy is very clean, sterile, and somewhat of a sweet vodka. It might be a little too sweet for me to say it is my favorite over Blue Ice, but I would certainly buy it again at the great price of $20.00.  If you're a vodka enthusiast that likes ethanol taste that is so prevalent in many other vodkas like say, Sobieski, Deep Eddy might not be the best choice for you. I think the ethanol gives it an illusion of air, lightness and carbonation that some people like. To me, it tastes like the inside of a rubber balloon. I never did care for that flavor. I can overlook the sweetness especially when olives are added.  I mixed my first martini with Deep Eddy by vigorously shaking it inside a stainless steel shaker of ice and adding  two Mezzetta olives to the glass.  When my wife saw the interesting box on the counter, she too, decided she wanted to try a vodka drink rather than her usual Rob Roy. I made her a martini with ice and lime juice, which is very appropriate for a hot summer evening. The power of suggestion is just one of the strengths of this brand. The main strength is its taste and Deep Eddy Vodka makes one of the best martinis I've had since, well, the last drop of the Blue Ice left my house.

 

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 10:39 am
Jun 022013
 



Kru82 VodkaAs I write this review, I have no idea if Kru82 vodka is from France or Holland - or both. My bottle clearly says that Kru 8s is distilled in France. Other reviews mention that it comes from Holland. Either way, this was an impulse purchase for me. I was leaving my Costco liquor store and spotted this 1.75 Liter bottle of vodka the very first time. The bottle even comes with a 200ML metal flash which the cashier told me was completely filled with vodka. Also, there was a tag attached the Kru bottle, giving it a 92 rating. Sadly, I cannot remember which publication gave Kru-82 this lofty rating and I have lost the tag. How could I be so careless? 

Like every other new vodka I try, it is solely for the purpose of making martinis and proving to myself whether or not I can ever be convinced that it is worth paying more for something other than Taaka. Believe me, I've tried plenty of vodkas that are under $25 for a 1.75 and much better than Taaka. Ruskova, Svedka, Superia and Fris are a few that come to mind. It's not that I don't appreciate the smoothness and other flavors of these vodkas, I just don't see the value in paying more for what I consider to be a very plain-tasting liquor. I like sipping on Martinis with two olives, shaken vigorously and served up in a vermouth coated glass. After the first few sips, the Taaka goes down just fine and never gives me a headache unless I drink too much (that is true with any liquor). It is also worth noting that I don't always agree with the tastes of other vodka review sites. Sobieski and Tito's are two vodkas that are loved by many that I don't find very good. Kru-82 is one of those rare occasions where I agree with the author of, VodkaBuzz.

My Impression of Kru-82 Vodka

How Does it Taste?

I poured my first sip of Kru-82 into my martini glass; swirled it and thought it had a crisp, clean aroma with very little burn to the nose. The first, warm sip was light, airy, with hints of ethanol similar to Tito's and Sobieski. The difference, however, is that the Kru-82 has a more pleasing, sugary finish to me than these other two vodkas. When shaken with ice and turned into a martini, the Kru-82 vodka was noticeably better than a Taaka martini, as it should be.
Though I prefer it to Sobieski and Tito's, I still wouldn't rank it among my favorites, or would I pay extra for it. If I had to put a number on it from 1-100, I'd give Kru-82 it's name: Kru-82 gets an 82 Score. Now, back to the mystery of where this vodka is made.

Is Kru-82 from Holland or France?

My bottle says, distilled in France, but everything I looked up online says Kru-82 is from Holland. Isn't that weird? I'm sure there is a logical answer to this mystery. Here is what is interesting: Most of the online reviews I've read show that the product is sold in a .750 liter metal flask, the same as my 200ml sample that came with my 1.75 liter glass bottle. It is also interesting to me how the opinions of this vodka range anywhere from horrible to delicious. Perhaps the difference in opinion either have to do with where the vodka is distilled or how it is bottled. At any rate, who do you believe? The mystery is as intriguing as a freshly, shaken martini.

Mar 092013
 



Monopolowa Vodka Made With PotatoesVodka made with potatoes tend to be my favorites.  There are two reasons I prefer them:

One: Since potatoes are a gluten-free starch, vodkas made from potatoes are healthier for those who have an intolerance or experience adverse reactions to gluten-based foods. If you like having a couple of martinis every day, this is an important consideration to make when choosing a brand of vodka.

Two: I've tried enough different brands to become convinced that I prefer the taste of vodka made from potatoes. Monopolowa vodka is no exception. It might not be quite as smooth as the Blue Ice, but it has other characteristics that have quickly endeared me to this brand.

Monopowola Vodka Described

Monopolowa is a popular imported potato vodka from Austria. I've noticed over the years, that Monopolowa is often the recommended vodka choice for customers at my local, Apple Jacks liquor store. At $26.00 for a 1.75 Liter bottle, it is a reasonable alternative to those pricier, over-rated tier-1 brands like Grey Goose. For me, even $26.00 represents a rather, high-priced vodka, so I've held off trying it up until now. The sale for $19.99 made Monopolowa too good to resist trying so I picked up a bottle. I loved the last couple of vodka brands I've had that were made from potatoes, so I looked forward to taking it home and using it in martinis.

Monopolowa Vodka Taste Rating

- 3.7 Stars
Once again, it has been proven to me that vodka made from potatoes are my favorites and make especially good martinis. I poured the first sip, neat and at room temperature into my glass and took a quick shot. The Monopolowa is not quite as smooth as the Blue Ice, but has a little more character. I noted white pepper, vanilla, caramel; another spice that I couldn't quite identify, and even a hint of potato peel. Shaken and poured into a glass with a couple of olives, and lightly coated with trubuno vermouth, the Monopolowa vodka makes an excellent martini.

Feb 032013
 



Three Olives VodkaIf you haven't heard of Three Olives Vodka it's not due to a shortage of advertising. You may have seen the advertisement of a popular male actor in your newspaper or one of your magazines recently. Vodka companies are known for advertising sexy female models with their products, but Three Olives Vodka seems to be going after sophistication and class. Three Olives seems to be marketed as a high-end vodka with an affordable price tag. I purchased a 1.75 Liter bottle of  Three Olives from Costco for a price of $20.00. Since this particular liquor store has extremely competitive priced, I would imagine the typical street price is around $23-$25.00 per 1.75 Liter.

Reviewing Method of Three Olives Vodka

I've come to the conclusion that vodka has three taste ranges: High, Medium and Low. The high is that first taste at the tip of the mouth and usually an indicator of sweetness. The mid-range is the where the body and intricate flavors come into play. The low end is how smooth the vodka goes down and what kind of after tones or tastes are left in your palate.  To make the perfect martini, a vodka must excel in all three ranges. It was the distinctive first sip of Three Olives that gave me this idea as a method for reviewing vodka for the first time ever. As you're about to see, this is not necessarily a ringing endorsement of Three Olives.

Three Olives Vodka Taste Test

Don't be fooled by it's inconspicuous, nearly-invisible aroma. Three Olives has one of the most bitter, front-end tastes I've ever experienced from any vodka. The burn is reminiscent of pure, 90% rubbing alcohol. The taste is similar to what you get when your tongue touches the inside of those rubber balloons that you are blowing up for your kid's birthday party. Those that criticize Taaka vodka must not have much of a sense for the bitter, stringent and offensive flavor of a truly bitter vodka. Taaka has a far better top-end flavor.

Once you get past the first, bitter sensation at the tip of the tongue, the Three Olives continues to offend even in the middle range. It does mellow out somewhat, but just doesn't have the quality of a really smooth vodka.

This unfortunate vodka finally begins to mellow out a bit after you've swallowed it. It is relatively smooth going down and after a few swigs or so, it is not impossible to enjoy an entire martini. The problem is that there is no real benefits to tolerating the stinging bitterness that it leaves in your mouth in the first place. Three Olives has so no redeeming character or qualities to it that would compel me to use it in place of some of the other vodkas I tried in the same price range. That list includes Superia, Blue Ice or even, Ruskova which is far cheaper. If there is any redeeming qualities to this particular vodka it's the pretty bottle; reasonable price tag and the fact it didn't cause me to have a headache the next day due to it's relatively smooth finish. But for the money, there are plenty of other vodkas that taste much better all the way around.

Truth be told, we've reviewed a lot of cheaper, vodkas on this site that are far superior to Three Olives Vodka: See our Vodka Ratings category.

Jan 232013
 



Blue Ice Vodka
Blue Ice Vodka is exceptionally smooth, crisp, light, sugary, lively, delicious, affordable liquor ... and I might add - the best vodka I've ever had. I'm not joking, this one is a winner. Blue Ice Handcrafted American Potato Vodka as it's full title suggests, is made in America. As the full title also suggests, Blue Ice Vodka is made from potatoes which is rare these days and very appealing to those on a gluten-free diet. I completely appreciate food products made without wheat and glutens. I believe it reduces the head-ache the next day and is also healthier for you..But what good is that if you don't enjoy the taste of the product you are consuming? Don't worry - Blue Ice Vodka won't let you down.  

Blue Ice Vodka Described

I went to my local liquor store to pick-up my usual martini, staple item - Taaka Vodka ($9.99 for a 1.75 Liter Bottle) - the attractive, brickish, rectangular shape of the Blue Ice Vodka bottle caught my eye - it was the first time I had ever seen this brand. The full title on the bottle explains that Blue Ice is not only made in America, but with russet potatoes which is rather rare these days. As my standards go, Blue Ice is not cheap - it sells for $22.99 per 1.75 Liter at my very competitive, local liquor store which is more than twice the price of my old, stand-by, Taaka. Life is too short - and variety is its spice, so I decided to pay more than double the price to try this very interesting looking Blue Ice vodka. On the shelf where it resided, there was a review sticker from some organization (I can't remember it's name, but it was something like the wine and spirits institute) that gave it a lofty numerical rating of 94 points. Of course, I had to try it.

Blue Ice Vodka Taste Rating

From the first sip, I fell in love with this vodka. Normally it takes me some time to get used to a new vodka or reach a final verdict on whether or not I think it is worth its price tag. Blue Ice Vodka is noticeably smoother than any vodka I've ever tried from the very first sip. From the very tip of its nose, to the middle and all the way down the gullet, this vodka never disappoints. The taste is extremely, light and crisp with just a hint of potato and sugary sweetness that seems to dissolve slowly in the palate without ever leaving an undesirable side-effect. Sobieski Vodka is a favorite bargain liquor of some vodka drinkers, but to me there is no comparison. Blue Ice is better than any vodka I've ever tried. After a quick internet search, I found that Blue Ice also makes a wheat vodka. I'll save that for another day. Gluten-free consumers and all other vodka drinkers will truly appreciate Blue Ice Vodka
.

 Posted by at 9:52 pm
Nov 252012
 



Superia Makes Best Vodka Martini

Best Vodka Martini using Superia

Supereria Vodka makes the best vodka martini I've ever had. I found this jewel of a vodka on my Thanksgiving trip to Arkansas. I stopped in a very nice liquor store in Ashdown, AR (just outside of Texarkana). I didn't bring any vodka with me on this particular, 1,000 mile road-trip and so I was craving a good martini for Thanksgiving cheer.  I always look forward to finding, good value-priced vodkas. After learning that the ultra-smooth, Titos Handmade Vodka is like drinking pure ethanol I've decided sometimes the cheaper vodkas are more to my liking, anyway. The Superia vodka is imported from Russia so I figured it couldn't be too bad. The price for a 1.75 Liter was just $17.00. Part of the reason for the competitive price could reflect the Arkansas liquor market which I'm not as familiar with as Colorado's vodka prices. On the other hand, the Svedka vodka, at $23.00, is considerably higher-priced than what I can get it for in Colorado. The truth is, however, I could pay $23.00 for Superia and still think it's a good vodka for the money. It wasn't until I finally took the Superia home, though, and made it right, with the olive that I came to the final conclusion: Superia makes the best vodka martini I've ever had.

When I brought the vodka with me to our Thanksgiving party, I was too bashful to ask for a martini glass, so I drank it on the rocks in a plastic cup. Of course, I tasted the vodka neat, at room temperature first, just to get that first note of flavor, character and smoothness. Instantly, I found the Superia to not only be as smooth as Tito's, but without the undesirable ethanol flavor. Superia is good enough to sip straight-up. I would say, Superia compares slightly to Ruskova, another Russian, bargain-priced vodka. However, I like the Superia even better.  I didn't fully appreciate the Superia, however, until I made my first martini with it back at the hotel later that evening. Using a coffee cup for my martini shaker, I shook up a glass full of the Superia and strained it into my plastic, clear hotel water glass. It was chilled - and straight, without even so much as olive for a garnish.

Superia Vodka Rating

I give this one a 95 Rating