Monday, December 14, 2009

Moskovskaya Vodka: A Bargain from Russia


There is a lot of foreign vodka available in the U.S. and no spirit category has more competition. As your host has mentioned previously, the method of vodka production can heavily influence the flavor. Recently, your host recommended Dry Fly Vodka out of Spokane, WA. In that case, the uniqueness of the product, full bodied flavor, and craft production process merited the $30-$35 price tag. On the opposite end of the flavor profile lies the drier, Russian/East European style. With these vodkas, a higher price may more likely represent brand prestige than an indication of outright quality.

Your host recently came across a Russian vodka that for the price, knocks the socks off of most vodkas 3 to 4 times as expensive. The brand is Moskovskaya vodka, and is available at your local Trader Joe's at the bargain price of $8.99 for a 750 ml bottle (for those fortunate to live in non-control states).

Enthusiasts of Russian vodka may recognize that the green label design and bottle bear a striking resemblance to the red labeled Stolichnaya vodka. In fact, both brands are manufactured by the same company, SPI Group, a major Russian conglomerate. Originally formulated in 1894, Moskovskaya vodka was re-introduced under the Soviets in 1925. It has a different flavor from Stoli, with a slightly spicier finish. It shares Stoli's smooth mouth feel and pleasing smell, at less than half the cost. The mash bill reportedly contains rye malt, and the distillers add small amounts of baking soda and acetic acid to the final product as flavor enhancers.

It's easy to strike out in this price range for vodka, as most options tend to have a nasty alcohol burn and medicinal smell...fine for mixing and masking with juice, but not suitable for a martini. Moskovskaya is a winner, let's hope the price stays low.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog .. I never thought that you going to write about it:) thanks a lot

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