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The Art of Vodka Tasting: A Beginner's Guide

vodka doctors vodka tasting guide

The art of vodka tasting can be intimidating for beginners, but with a little know-how and some practice, it can be a fun and enjoyable way to explore the world of vodka. Whether you're a vodka aficionado looking to expand your knowledge or a newcomer to the world of vodka, this guide will give you all the tips and tricks you need to get started.

Best Budget Vodkas Ranked

smirnoff vodka doctors


A global vodka giant with Russian origins, Smirnoff delivers consistent quality and versatility for any mixer.

Alcohol Percentage: 40%

Taste Profile: Crisp, mild sweetness with a clean finish

Best Cocktail Pairing: Classic Cosmopolitan

Best Food Paring: Grilled chicken skewers

Brand Breakdown: Find out more here

absolut vodka doctors


Swedish purity in a bottle, Absolut is distilled from winter wheat, giving a smooth and rich experience.

Alcohol Percentage: 40%

Taste Profile: Smooth with light grain and citrus hints

Best Cocktail Pairing: Absolut Elyx Martini

Best Food Paring: Smoked salmon canapés

Brand Breakdown: Find out more here

ketel one vodka doctors

Ketel One

A Dutch treat, Ketel One is the result of over 300 years of distilling expertise; a refined choice.

Alcohol Percentage: 40%

Taste Profile: Fresh with subtle citrus and honey notes

Best Cocktail Pairing: Dutch Mule

Best Food Paring: Aged cheeses or Dutch herring

Brand Breakdown: Find out more here

The Art of Vodka Tasting: A Beginner's Guide Table of Contents

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  1. Start with a clean slate. Before you begin your vodkaTasting, make sure to cleanse your palate with some water or unsalted crackers. This will help to remove any lingering flavors and allow you to fully appreciate the flavors of the vodka. It's also important to avoid eating or drinking anything else during your tasting, as this can affect your ability to taste the vodka accurately.
  2. Know your vodkas. There are many different types of vodka to choose from, each with its own unique flavor profile. Traditional vodkas are made from grains like wheat or rye, while others are made from potatoes or grapes. These base ingredients can give the vodka a distinct flavor, so it's important to consider what type of vodka you're interested in tasting. In addition to the base ingredient, the distillation process can also affect the flavor of the vodka. Some vodkas are distilled multiple times to create a smoother, cleaner flavor, while others are only distilled once to retain more of the base ingredient's character.
  3. Taste in a specific order. When you're tasting multiple vodkas, it's important to taste them in a specific order. Start with the lightest vodka and work your way up to the boldest. This will help you to fully appreciate the flavors of each vodka.
  1. Take small sips. When tasting vodka, it's important to take small sips and allow the vodka to coat your tongue. This will help you to fully appreciate the flavors and nuances of the vodka. Swirl the vodka around in your mouth and take some time to really savor the flavor. It can also be helpful to take some deep breaths through your nose while tasting to help release the aroma of the vodka.
  2. Use your senses. Vodka tasting is not just about the flavor of the vodka. It's also about the aroma, mouthfeel, and finish. Pay attention to all of these aspects as you taste each vodka, and consider how they contribute to the overall experience. Does the vodka have a smooth or rough mouthfeel? Does it have a long or short finish? How does the aroma of the vodka compare to the flavor? These are all important things to consider as you taste.
  3. Keep notes. As you taste each vodka, make note of the flavors, aromas, and other characteristics you notice. This will help you to remember what you liked (or didn't like) about each vodka, and can be a useful reference for future tastings. You might also want to consider rating each vodka on a scale of 1 to 10, or using other criteria such as smoothness or overall flavor. This can help you to better understand your preferences and make more informed decisions when selecting vodkas in the future.
  4. Have fun! Vodka tasting is a fun and enjoyable way to explore the world of vodka. Don't be afraid to experiment with different vodkas and try new things. You might find that you have a preference for vodkas with a certain base ingredient, or that you enjoy flavored vodkas more than traditional ones. The key is to keep an open mind and have fun with it. And most importantly, remember to drink responsibly and always have a designated driver if you're planning on imbibing.

And now for our funny anecdote to end on a light note: my friends and I once hosted a vodkaTasting party where we decided to do a blind taste test. Let's just say that things got a little competitive, and we ended up with a few broken glasses (and friendships) by the end of the night. Always be careful when you're handling glassware, folks!

So there you have it, a beginner's guide to the art of vodka tasting. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a vodka newbie, we hope this has been helpful and has inspired you to give vodka tasting a try.


About Ferdynand Scheuerman

Ferdynand is Vodka importer, exporter and specialist with over 30 years of experience in the Vodka industry. He knows the subtle in's & out's of Vodka. Spending most of his time discovering new brands, new blends and new cocktails.

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