Absolut Citron (SWE) VS. Smirnoff Citrus (USA) – Citrus Vodka Round 1

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Today I’ll be versusing (yes it’s a real word) two closely priced flavored vodkas. Non-blind because I can’t pour with my eyes closed. I’m sure both don’t need any special introduction so here are the specs:

1) Absolut Citron – 40% ABV – 750ml, Sweden, ~$27 CAD

  • continuous distillation, winter wheat
  • Ingredients: vodka, natural citrus flavour (how?) (Note: lime is also added according to their website)

VS

2) Smirnoff Citrus – 35% ABV – 750ml, USA, ~$27 CAD

  • 3x distilled, 10x filtered
  • Ingredients: vodka, glycerin (sweetener/thickener) , natural flavor (say what?)

Criteria:

Nose: The Absolut exhibits a clean tingly lemon oil scent that kind of reminds me of Vim toilet cleaner, and just a hint of alcohol detection. The Smirnoff has a more lemon candyesque nose that is noticeably “bolder” and “wider”. Comparing both to the actual lemon in my hand, the winner is Absolut Citron.

Taste: With Absolut, I get a numb tongue, medium throat burn, slight nasal burn, medium warmth, flavour is half lemon peel/lime peel, medium smooth. And the Smirnoff I get a very watery start, creeping tingly alcohol mixed with jagged lemon oil mids, low-med burn (smoother), yuckier flavour, aspartame roughness in the mouth, and cleaner finish. Verdict: both suck aka not to my godly standards, but if I had to pick a winner it’d be Absolut Citron.

Final Notes:

  • Absolut has better flavour, fullness, and balance. Good in a cocktail.
  • Smirnoff has better smoothness, and shotability (yes a word). Good for happy time.

Grape Vodkas Prelims

Grape Vodkas

(Read the updated 2013/Aug review here! My palate has changed since.)

Overall Ranking:

  1. Skyy Infusions Grape, (obsolete)
  2. Three Olives Grape, (obsolete)
  3. Smirnoff twist of White Grape, D-

1) Three Olives Grape, 35% ABV, (Lawrenceburg, Indiana)

  • Rating: (obsolete)

Tasting Notes (all at room temp): slightly syrupy mouthfeel, 6/10-level sweetness, grape is muted and mostly in the background hiding behind the warmth of the vodka. Grape flavour is candi-esque and more like a grape soda than from the grapevine. Has an aspartame-like roughness.

2) Skyy Infusions Grape, 35% ABV, (San Francisco, CA)

  • Rating: (obsolete)

Tasting Notes: intense “juicy” grape + vine flavour right off the bat, sharp 6/10-level sweetness in the mids, not as warm as Three Olives but much flavour. Ideal as a mixer or even as a shot. Great depth of flavour

3) Smirnoff twist of White Grape, 35% ABV, (Norwalk, CT)

  • Rating: D-

Tasting Notes: less syrupy than all the rest, huge alcohol impurity + 8/10-level sugar rush from the start mixed with an unauthentic white grape flavour andbitterness, tingliness on the tongue, nasal burn and gag reflex. Avoid.

Cocktail from skyyinfusions.com:

Grape Ginger Swizzle

  • 1.5oz Skyy grape vodka
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar (turbinado)
  • 4 blackberries
  • 4 slices of peeled ginger
  • top with ginger ale (about 1.5-2oz)

Direction: Muddle, strain (or double-strain), serve in a low-ball glass with ice and garnish with a blackberry-candied ginger (Reed’s bought at Save-on)-blackberry skewer.

  • Rating: B+

Tasting Notes: Excellent drinkability, good freshness, ginger flavour is well-balanced and sweetness level is expertly controlled. Definitely one to memorize and serve to the ladies.