Fris Vodka

Fris Vodka
Fris Vodka

In my quest to find the best vodkas of the world, I went to Denmark. Well, okay, I didn’t actually travel that far, but I did have to go 2/3rds of the way down the aisle of my local Sam’s Liquor store in Westminster, CO to discover Fris Vodka which is imported from Denmark. Fris is unique for two reasons:

  • Fris Vodka uses a freeze-distillation process
  • Fris Vodka is made from whole grain wheat as opposed to potato or other grains

These two differences in the making of their vodka give Fris Vodka a cleaner taste and just a hint of distinct grain flavor – so says, the Fris Company.
After reviewing and learning to love Svedka Vodka, I found it difficult to try something new. Normally, Fris Vodka is in the same price range as Svedka Vodka: $19.00 – $23.00. I made the mistake of paying $25.00 for it at Sam’s which normally has very competitive prices. Either the bottle was mismarked or they rang it up wrong at the counter, though my receipt did clearly say that I had purchased, Fris. Even at $25.00, it’s still quite a bit cheaper than Grey Goose, and comes highly ranked by Wine Enthusiast with a rating of 89. The Wine Enthusiast is the outfit that recommended and rated Svedka so highly. As I indicated in my review on Svedka , it had a ranking of 93 just below the much pricier Grey Goose at 94. With a rating of 89; the wine enthusiast obviously believes Fris belongs rated among the Best Vodkas along with Grey Goose, Ketel One and Svedka at 94 and 93. Does it really taste like an 89 compared to these other three Best Vodkas?
The Fris Company website has very little textual information. Instead, their information on the freeze distillation process is in the form of a clever, scientific video. The video essentially explains how the distillation through freezing solids does a better job of removing impurities, which in-turn, results in a cleaner, more refreshing taste. When I opened the unusual-looking, wide-mouth bottle, I decided to take the Fris Company to task on their recommendation for mixing a little vodka with warm water in order to get a better sense of the aroma and subtleties of its grain flavor. I did immediately note that the Fris has a stronger smell than the Svedka, which is not necessarily a good thing. One thing I’ve noticed about the cheaper Vodkas such as Taaka, is they have a pungent smell ever so slightly reminiscent of natural gas. The first sip of Taaka certainly has a bite when you first taste it that reflects its unpleasant aroma. The Fris Vodka had just a very small hint of this aroma, but still, a much, much cleaner taste than Taaka, overall. There is certainly no comparison between Taaka and Fris, but how does Fris compare to Svedla? Having had a couple of martinis with straight Fris these last couple of evenings, I am inclined to agree with the Wine Enthusiast. Fris is a few notches below Svedka. Some might prefer the grainier, somewhat heavier flavor of Fris, but my taste buds indicate that Svedka has a cleaner, lighter, crisper and fresher taste .The Freeze Distillation process sounds impressive, but in reality it doesn’t beat the $20 1.75 Liter bottle of non-freeze distilled Svedka. While I paid a little more for the Fris, my guess is that I can find either of these vodkas in the 1.75 bottles for $19-$24. For a $20 bottle of vodka, the company might have the edge in the marketing department, but not in the taste department. As far my ongoing ratings of the, ‘Best Vodkas’ are concerned, I do think Fris belongs on the list.

One other note: Many people do not digest whole wheat grains well. If you’re among those who prefer a gluten free or whole-wheat free diet, you will certainly want to avoid Fris. However, if you don’t mind wheat in your diet and want something a bit different that still has a clean, fresh flavor at a reasonable price, give Fris a try.

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17 thoughts on “Fris Vodka”

  1. Fris vodka is by far one of the best vodkas I’ve had. It has to be everything advertised, as far as all impurities being filtered out of it because I can get really hammered drinking Fris vodka and wake up the next morning with my head as clear as a bell

    • LOL, Hook:

      That’s one way to test the purity of vodka. How many fluid ounces of it can you consume and still have a clear head the next day?
      I agree, Fris is a pretty clean tasting vodka and I have personally not had any ill affects from it.

  2. So far, I do enjoy this vodka very much. It’s definitely the best I’ve had considering I usually go for the UV (also quite tasty in my opinion). I especially enjoy the wonderful burn after a nice swig of Fris, and the faint grainy note. Overall, at about $12 for a decent sized bottle (don’t remember the size exactly) UV definitely has a strong competition for my preference.

  3. If you like Svedka, try Sobeski, I think it is cleaner yet. I consume alot of it. Tito’s is hands down the best of the best in MHO. But on a tight budget, I always go for the Sobeski. My first bottle of Fris needs to chill for a while before I put it through it’s paces.

    • Hi, Bob.

      Thanks for stopping by and giving me your opinions on Best Vodkas. I agree the Sobieski is pretty good – especially for the price. I just finished my first 1.75 liter and you can see my review here:
      Sobieski Vodka Review

      I find Sobieski to have a bitter front to it that never seems to go away. Though it goes down quite smooth, overall, it leaves a long-lasting bitterness at the front of my mouth. Interesting, heh? I know we all have different opinions on Vodka, but so far Svedka is my favorite for the money.

      Come back and let me know what you think of the Fris.

  4. I got horribly sick from Fris after having a couple of screwdrivers with it. I normally have the same amount but with Skye. Seriously, it was the worse ‘purge’ I have EVER had. What could have caused this? The freeze process? The wheat?

    • Some people have an adverse reaction to wheat. If other wheat products like bread and grains give you problem, I suppose the wheat could be the culprit in the Fris Vodka for making you sick. Sorry to hear about your problem with Fris. Hope it doesn’t ruin your taste for other quality vodkas. I still prefer the Svedka.

  5. I agree with MZar. Had Fris this past weekend (Saturday) for the first time – as Screwdrivers, because it was the only mixer my friend had. Let’s just say yesterday was The Lost Sunday because it took me nearly the entire day to get it together.

  6. Hi, I tried Fris vodka last night for the first time (both neat, and in a martini), and thought it inferior to Svedka. I was somewhat disappointed seeing as it is the same price, and wondered whether we had got a ‘bad batch’. Essentally, the Fris when neat has a more heady smell – thick fuzzy volatiles come off and make you know it has strong alcohol content – in addition the taste is not as crisp and fresh and smooth as Svedka. From your experience, does this sound like Fris? Could it be a bad batch? I was expecting it to be really clear and light given the 6 distillations and this freeze distillation stuff!


    • Laura,

      Your experience with Fris is very consistent with my own tastes. I think Svedka is a smoother, cleaner and tastier Vodka. My new favorite lately has been Ruskova.
      Read about it, here: Ruskova Review.

      Try Ruskova and let me know what you think.

  7. Hi guys. based on your reviews here I tried fris first. I had liked ketal one, and chopin was great but due to the recent changeover from state sales to private sales in washington state, chopin went from $30 to $60. the skull head vodka is now like $75. but for some reason the lesser vodka’s are really cheap. I can get a 1.75 bottle of fris for $23 and the same of svedka for $27

    anyway, the first sip of fris reminded me of something. I went to ukraine back in 99. the mother load of vodka and where they drink it for breakfast. when a guy offered you vodka there, you better be able to knock a shot down, any time of day or you won’t be respected as a man. I passed the test since I was an experienced drinker anyway.I even got used to a shot at 7:30am each morning. but no more than one.

    every mini mart there has 300 different brands for like $2 a bottle. anyway it reminded of me this vodka I had there with a polar bear on it. a very rich taste which I like. but I had to try the svedka and I agree it’s a lighter vodka but as personal taste goes with me I prefer the fris, and it’s cheaper which is a bonus but not that important to me. I want to try sobieski. also have tried the polish potato vodka luksusowa which I liked a lot too. probably more than the svedka but they are all pretty good. one vodka I really want to try is Reyka from iceland but I can’t find it anywhere. and the russian one imperia, can’t find it either both supposed to be really good.

    only vodka that I have tried that I really did not like at all was something called obelisk, from france. the guy was trying to tell me is was the same thing as grey goose which I haven’t tried and it if is then I wouldn’t like grey goose. it had a very, very weird taste. came in the same type bottle as grey goose. also have not tried belevede.

    but for all these so far for the price value and taste I liked the fris. I like that heaviness and tasting the grain.

  8. This vodka give my hands hives, swollen bumps, ouch. For 4 weeks I’ve bought Friis and didn’t know why my hands were broken out. Finally tonight I realized it HAD to be this vodka. Good grief. I eat wheat germ, no problem. I eat whole wheat bread, no problem. So, I bought this because it was $9.99 on sale and seemed a good brand, owned by Absolute. Anyone else having these issues? ouch.

  9. Yes I agree with the 2010 reviews of Fris when it was truly made and even bottled in Demark. But it has gone thru 2 changes since and both are bad news. First it got moved/sold to a company in Canada, which changed the bottle design to a corny blue tinted bottle, AND changed the recipe and less filtration. BAD MOVE on all accounts. Next move was even worse. TO USA where they once again changed to a clear bottle and “chilled distillation” verses FREEZE distillation. ALSO, knock off 2 more filtration steps. So now it’s cheap crap! Fris, you dug your own grave. Oddly this week, I saw this USA company once again changed the wording on the bottle, to say ‘Freeze Distilled” on front but I bet you my house that’s a lie. Some people just have to screw up everything they touch. Sigh! I miss that original Vodka from Denmark. Now I have to find another brand who does at least 6 filtrations and tastes good. ( without breaking the bank ). I saved one glass bottle of the orginal and then the next 2 successor bottles to have proof of the changes and wording.

    • Jon, thank you for your useful feedback. This is just the kind of information that vodka drinkers need. Have you tried Ruskova Vodka? It is not only one of my favorites, but is highly rated by the experts at Give it a try!

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