Chopin (POL) VS. Schramm (CAN) Potato Vodkas

Chopin (Siedlce, Poland) Potato VS. Schramm Vodka Organic Potato (Pemberton Valley, BC)

Winner: Chopin (smoother, better balanced and cleaner)

1) Chopin, 40% ABV

On the back of the bottle:

“Frederic Chopin transformed the subtleties of the Polish spirit into enchanting, emotional music. That same passion is found in Chopin Vodka. Handcrafted in Poland with methods passed down from the fifteenth century, made exclusively with potatoes grown in the Podlasie region of Poland and distilled four times. The result is an exceptionally well-rounded vodka with a smooth, clean finish. Chopin is the spirit of Poland.”

-fun facts from chopin.com:

  • produced only during mid-September to early December with naturally grown potatoes (no chemicals)
  • potatoes are harvested late in the season to maximize the starch content (22% vs 12% normally) = richer flavour
  • as many as 40 potatoes (7lb/3kg)go into making ONE BOTTLE OF VODKA
  • fermentation for 3 days, 4x distilled to almost 100% ABV, 5x filtered

My notes:

  • $50 @ BC Liquor stores (2010) – same price point as Belvedere and Grey goose
  • Flavours: vanilla, green apple, anise, pepper
  • My rating as a Vodka: A-

Tasting notes (room temp, 5min airtime, neat): pours clear as usual, thicker than water. Aromatic minerals on the nose, quite clean with almost no nasal burn. Tastes of salty vanilla, hints of green apple, transitions into a peppery anise and warm finish. Alcohol burn is controlled and dissipates with warmth. 6/10-level sweetness and am very satisfied with the texture – not as syrupy as the Belvedere nor as watery as the Sobieski. The oils in the Vodka make it supple and round. More complex than the Belvedere but not quite as alcohol-burn-smooth.

2) Schramm Organic Vodka, 40% ABV

On the side of the bottle:

“In the heart of the Coast Mountains of British Columbia lies the beautiful Pemberton Valley where Schramm Vodka is carefully hand distilled in small batches. Here, locally grown organic potatoes and pure mountain water combine to produce a genuine, ultra premium vodka.”

fun facts from the Schramm website:

  • 5 different varieties of organic potatoes are used, some of which are culls – potatoes that are too large or small to sell @ the grocery store
  • 7kg of potatotes go into making a single bottle of Schramm vodka
  • vodka is produced in small batches; it takes 17 hours to reach the final distillation (for the final distillation actually, X), that of which only the “heart” is kept
  • that’s Mt. Currie on the bottle

My notes:

  • $49 @ BC Liquor Stores
  • Flavours: caramel, agave, black cherries
  • My rating as a Vodka: B-

Tasting notes: pours clear, thicker than water. On the nose SURPRISINGLY is just like a Tequila Blanco (nosing a Cazadores Blanco right at this moment), unoaked blue agave, though not roasted or as sweet. I can’t say I particularly enjoy this nose in a Vodka, however. Tastes of light caramel, agave syrup, and subtle black cherries in the finish. 7/10-level sweetness and not quite as smooth going down as the Chopin. Can’t say I love the flavour profile as a sipper. It’ll probably work nicely as a mixer I bet.