It has been a while since I have posted any reviews of any liquor or wines, so I thought I would put a small write-up of the latest flavorings of Vodka I have had the pleasure of trying over the last few months, and my top picks for under $20 vodka’s in the 1.5L sizes. I picked the 1.5L sizes, because if you are going to invest in more than a pint, you get much more for your money going with 1.5L sizes rather than 1/5ths as you are literally getting double the amount of product for usually in the order 0f $3-5 dollars more than you would have paid for the 750mL bottle. I also only have a couple of drinks a night tops, so I avoid the gut-rot vodka’s like the plague. If you are going to enjoy a nice drink, don’t buy 2 gallons of Barton’s for $8. These cheap liquors serve their purposes for parties, or large mixes, but for those looking for something that tastes good rather than just gives them a quick buzz and a nasty hangover, check out the offerings listed below.
- Pearl Vodka ($15.99 – $18.99 – 1.5L) – This has been my top pick vodka for some time now, it’s very smooth, mixes well, and has no aftertaste to speak of. It is a wheat distilled vodka from Canada, and sometimes comes with two flavored mini-bar sized pearl bottles of Pomegranate and Plum flavors (I favor neither but to each their own). This is the vodka I have purchased for over 3 months now when I am buying 1.5L sized bottles. Great prices, and an awesome taste make this one of my favorites. Like any good vodka, you could take a mouthful of this and feel absolutely NO burn until you swallow, no matter how long you hold it (Go on try it :).
- Ruskova ($17.99 -$21.99 – 1.5L) – This is an authentic Russian made vodka and isn’t carried by many of the smaller vendors yet, but if you do find it, pick it up, it is a very smooth vodka, and you will be surprised at the quality vs. price. Also, I am not sure if they are still doing it, but most of the bottles I found had a $5.00 off coupon since it apparently is a rather new import. These required mailing in with the proof of purchase which is a rather PITA, and I never actually attempted to collect the $5 (something I believe all companies count on when making these types of offers), but it’s something nonetheless.
- Boru ($18.99 – $21.99 – 1.5L) – This is a vodka made in Ireland, distilled from grain with five times distilled posted on the front. This vodka tends to be just a bit pricier than both of the above, and has just a bit more of an aftertaste as well, which I attribute to the five distillations vs the 7 other vendors do. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not much of one, but is noticeable if you have tried several vodka’s like I have. It did make it into my top five list though, so don’t hesitate to give it a try.
- Pinnacle Vodka – No Flavoring ($18.99 – $21.99 – 1.5L) – As far as I am aware, all of Pinnacle’s products originate in France, and they make several popular liquor types such as Gin and Vodka. They have also recently introduced a line of flavored vodka’s, one of which was “Whipped” flavor (like whipped cream), and several others. I myself have never been a fan of flavored vodka’s, I tend to use schnapps when I need other flavors like peach etc. Their website also boasts that they won the “Gold Medal Exceptional Best Buy of 2010 from the Beverage Tasting Institute”, so they are obviously doing something right. Against the above vodka’s, this one tends to be my lower pick, but mainly just for the extra dollar or so it costs to purchase more than a taste standpoint. It has almost no aftertaste and is another very smooth vodka, so if you haven’t given them a try, maybe today is the day.
Sobieski Vodka ($16.99-$19.99 – 1.5L) – This is one of my all time favorite vodka’s. I haven’t purchased as many 1.5L as 750mL bottles because the pricing seems to be off between the two (not linear like other brands), but if I am purchasing a 750mL bottle, this is my first pick. They have recently started flavored offerings like other brands such as citrus which I personally tried (by accidentally grabbing the wrong bottle), and it was good, and mixed excellently with orange juice for screwdrivers. If this vodka’s 1.5L offerings price was as good a deal as their 750’s, it would be my top pick, however, it still had to make this list as it’s extremely smooth and has almost zero aftertaste.
Thanks for reading the above reviews from just another guy that has no financial stake in any of the above companies but just started this blog years ago giving my take on the best lower end liquor and wines to buy for those like me that were just starting out in the territory. When I first started trying alcohol’s a few years ago I didn’t know any mixed drinks other than a screwdriver, and had no idea what anything tasted like as I had been a complete non-drinker until my 30’s for reasons I won’t go into here.
If anyone would like a specific brand reviewed by me, or if you are curious about a brand I may not have listed here, feel free to comment, all feedback is appreciated, all except trolls of course. Any discussions I have been privy to, deteriorated into the usual dribble you see on other websites like YouTube, and will be promptly deleted so don’t bother if you are one of those types.
Have a Great Holiday and Safe Holiday Season!