Sobieski Vodka

Sobieski Vodka

Sobieski Vodka Review

Sobieski Vodka
Sobieski Vodka

I ask this question because there are a few Vodka people out there who do indeed think Sobieski is among the very best Vodkas of the world. I’ve done some cheap vodka reviews, like Taaka Vodka and for all the Vodka Reviews on Product Review Ratings, Sobieski was a ‘must-try’. In fact, the tag on the bottle indicates that Sobieski scores higher than Svedka and Stoli by one organization which reviews wine spirits. I will begin by saying that Sobieski Vodka is unlike any other vodka that I’ve ever tried.

I poured my first shot straight into the martini glass. A very strong, burning aroma of alcohol immediately filled my nostrils. If this was any indication of Sobieski Vodka’s smoothness of taste, this was not a good sign. The Sobieski touched my tongue with a bit of a sweet harshness and distinction. Sobieski has a very complex flavor with floral like overtones and a bit of a citrus finish that continues to tempt the front of your mouth long after you’ve swallowed it. Sobieski has the longest lasting finish of any vodka I’ve ever tried. Unfortunately, the fullness of flavor never quite smooths out. The burn and taste of bitterness continues to hang out in the back of your mouth, throat and esophagus long after the pleasant taste has rounded out. It is not overly unpleasant. Sobieski is certainly a tasty vodka, but not a very smooth one. I am puzzled as to why some reviewers have said Sobieski is so smooth. With it’s very distinct flavor, I believe Sobieski would be one of the most noticeable vodkas in any mixed drink and that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you enjoy its complex overtones. Even in grape-juice, orange juice or kool-aid, the ringing after bite of Sobieski would be hard not to notice. So, what am I to conclude from those whose opinions of Sobieski are so drastically different? I guess not all taste buds are the same. What might taste bitter and burn for one, might seem sweet and smooth to another and vice-versa. Obviously, there is middle ground where most of us agree on the best vodkas and Sobieski is the first exception to the rule that I’ve found. Up until now, I pretty much agreed with the rest of the opinions on the best vodkas. Sobieski is made in Poland and distilled 4 times from rye grain. I’ve tasted vodkas distilled with potatoes, wheat and other grains, but this is the first rye that I’ve tried. Rye does have a stronger bite than most grains, so perhaps that explains my perception about the bitter after taste.

Bitter, but Bold

Despite any negative things I’ve said about it, the Sobieski did make me a couple of pretty good martinis; straight with two olives. As with the Vikingfjord vodka, I’m sure a dash of vermouth and a little more olive juice would soften much of the after-taste. I would certainly rank Sobieski ahead of the Vikingfjord and probably even ahead of the Finlandia Vodka for its unique taste. I like alcohol with character. Based on character alone, Sobieski tops all of the other best vodkas I’ve tried. So, bitter feelings aside, I find myself looking forward to the next martini made with Sobieski. When it comes to spirits, I’m the adventurous type. The full, broad, complex taste of Sobieski makes drinking martinis more fun.

How do you rate Sobieski?

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Vikingfjord Vodka

Vikingfjord Vodka
Vikingfjord Vodka Review

With my recent purchase of Vikingfjord Vodka, my local liquor store trip through the Scandinavian countries is nearly complete. There’s one from Iceland called, Reyka Vodka that is said to be pretty darn good.  Before I bought the Vikingfjord I wasn’t really intending to get another Vodka from this region of the world, but the $12.99 price tag for 1.75L bottle caught my eye. I’m always looking for cheap bargains and the Vikingfjord had a $3.00 rebate ribbon wrapped around its cheap $12.99 price tag so I couldn’t resist. Unlike the others; Svedka, Fris and Finlandia, Vikingfjord is made from Potato instead of grain. I’m really beginning to wonder if the ingredients make that much of a difference. In the final analysis of vodka, it’s the smoothness and purity that most of us seem to be looking for. So, how smooth, clean and refreshing is Vikingfjord?
My first sniff of Vikingfjord revealed an aroma that would suggest somewhat plastic-like, bitter tasting Vodka similar to other cheap brands like Taaka. Surprisingly, my first taste disagreed with my unkind impression of its odor. The Vikingfjord greeted the front part of my mouth and tip of my tongue with a promisingly clean, sweet and refreshing flavor. I stopped for a moment and let the flavor finish its journey down my mouth and throat. Unfortunately, the pleasant part of its journey ended somewhere between the middle and back of my tongue and throat. What was once a pleasant greeting turned into a bitter after-taste that lingered near the back of my throat like an unwanted guest. My hopes for a $12.99 bargain bottle of vodka were dashed. On the other hand, as proven in my Dirty Martini and Taaka Vodka reviews, even cheap vodka has a purpose. Fruit Juice or Cool-Aid mixers are not going to be enough to completely mask the bitterness of Vikingfjord, but they will make it more tolerable. A better purpose is a dirty martini. I poured about 3 ounces of the Vikingfjord and a dash of vermouth into a stainless steel shaker of ice. I violently shook the mixture until the stainless steel shaker was so cold I could no longer hold it. (This is the way you finish the filtering process of an impure tasting vodka.) I finished off the ritual by putting a couple of olives and a teaspoon of olive juice  and Vikingfjord vodka into a chilled martini glass. I was impressed with how well the bitterness had mellowed with the olive juice, vermouth and shaking process. It didn’t make a half-bad martini. I would rate a Vikingfjord Vodka martini a notch or two above one that is made with Taaka. On the other hand, the Vikingfjord is a good two notched blow the other three Vodkas from the Scandinavian Region.

Vikingfjord Vodka and Scandinavian Vodka Ratings

  • Svedka Vodka : 93
  • Fris Vodka: 87
  • Finlandia Vodka: 85
  • Vikingfjord Vodka: 72

Finlandia Vodka

Finlandia Vodka
a Review

Finlandia Vodka
finlandia vodka review

In my never-ending quest to find the best vodkas of the world, I’ve gone from Sweden (Svedka) to Denmark (Fris), and now the latest: Finlandia from Finland. Finlandia vodka is the most unique, surprising Vodka  to me of this trio tasting test from Northern Europe.  Finlandia has a very bright, dry taste that I might even describe as sparkling and somewhat carbonated.  The Finlandia probably packs the biggest bite of the bunch, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The bite and harshness of Finlandia is felt at the top of the mouth and tongue, unlike a cheap vodka that burns at the back of the throat and reminds you as it goes down. When I poured my first shot of warm Finlandia into a glass and took  a sip, its quick bite on the tongue and mouth prepared me for a less than smooth finish, but I was wrong. The bite the Finlandia leaves on the roof of the mouth and tongue does not translate to a less than smooth or unpleasant finish. In fact, it leaves a pleasantly clean sparkling taste in your mouth as it goes down your throat quite smoothly, leaving no burning or unpleasant after effects at all. I really enjoyed my first martini made with Finlandia, and after learning what to expect from it, my 2nd one was even better.

Is Finlandia Vodka among the Best?

Like Fris, Finlandia Vodka is not distilled from potato. It is made with Barley and distilled and filtered from the natural glacier waters of its own region. The makers of Finlandia say that you cannot improve upon nature, so rather than re-filtering it several times, their Finlandia Vodka only needs to be filtered once through the clear, pristine glacier waters of the region. Some reviewers have described a white-pepper taste to Finlandia and I cannot disagree with that at all. Finlandia delivers a very peppery taste and snappy finish. I paid $19.99 for a 1.75 liter at my local, discount store.

You can take these Best Vodkas Ratings with a grain of salt or the 6-row barley used to make Finlandia. If it’s overall smoothness you’re after, these ratings are exactly right in my opinion. However, if you’re wanting something different, lively and interesting, you might prefer these vodka ratings in reverse. The Finlandia is the least smooth, but the most interesting. The Svedka, by far, is the smoothest of the bunch and the Fris falls somewhere in between. Finlandia vodka makes an excellent straight martini with two olives and in my opinion belongs among the Best Vodkas of the world. For the low price of $19.99, you won’t be disappointed in the bright, sparkling taste and smooth finish of Finlandia. I’ve often criticized using expensive vodkas to mix with fruit drinks because the strong flavors of the fruit will overwhelm and negate the pure freshness of the alcohol. However, if you insist on mixing a good vodka with fruit flavors and such, Finlandia is an an excellent way to go. The sparkling, white-pepper bite will add to the liveliness of any fruit or soft drink. I think foo-foo and martini drinkers alike, will agree that Finlandia deserves consideration among the best vodkas of the world.


How do you rate Finlandia Vodka?

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