Vodka is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the world, and for a very good reason. It is a very strong liquor, commonly having 40% alcohol by volume. This can get you really drunk fast. Originally from Russia, this drink is composed of water and ethanol, and depending on its type, it can also have some flavorings.
Vodka is made by distilling fermented wheat and potatoes, but modern variants are also fermented with fruits or sugar. Traditionally consumed neat or not mixed with ice or other mixer, this drink is well loved by Europeans and, later in its history, Americans too. Today, vodka is commonly mixed with other drinks and is seen as the basis of many cocktail concoctions, such as vodka tonic, white Russian, Bloody Mary, and many more.
The Vodka Wars
To better understand the products being compared in this article, it is important to have descriptions for each. This can make sense of the claims of its maker and would be a good foundation for the latter head-to-head comparisons of these leading brands.
- Smirnoff is the world’s number one, or at least that is what its maker claims. The identity of this drink comes from its classic taste, an authentic Russian-inspired flavor that also inspired the birth of many varieties around the world. Considered to be the first one to popularize the said spirit worldwide, this brand is hard to beat on its claims.
- The Grey Goose brand, on the other hand, claims to use only the finest ingredients and the highest standard of craftsmanship in its distillation process. Both of these, they claim, produce liquor that is smooth and has a very distinct character. This is a result of the passion behind its making. The commitment is to produce a drink that is of the highest quality.
- Absolut is a Swedish spirit that is made from natural ingredients. Unlike the others, it does not have any added sugar in its contents, thereby giving drinkers a very clean taste of their favorite alcohol. But even with its clean distillation, it still has that rich and full-bodied flavor with that complex but smooth character from the fermented grain. Drinkers swear to catch a hint of dried fruit in every sip of Absolut. This is what the brand calls the “true taste of vodka.”
Comparisons: Smirnoff, Grey Goose, and Absolut
Between Smirnoff No. 21 and Grey Goose Vodka, it is observed that the general preferences lean more toward Smirnoff, scoring higher at 84, while Grey Goose follows at 82. Both of these drinks are rated at 40% ABV and categorized as clear spirits.
Smirnoff’s price, however, is almost half the price of Grey Goose, retailing at an average of $12 while Grey Goose sells for an average of $30. The reason behind the cost differences is that Smirnoff has 3 distillations while the other more expensive brand has a total of 5, which in many considerations can also produce a better tasting drink.
While Grey Goose might be obviously superb in some respects, it is also worthy to note that Smirnoff at its price point won more distinctions – consistently placing on the top at the San Francisco World Spirits, bagging gold four times in 2003, in 2008, a double gold in 2009 and another gold in 2013. This says a lot about the possible superb taste of Smirnoff, supported by the fact that it won the preferences of more drinkers.
Between Smirnoff and Absolut, the former scored lower than the general impression of drinkers with its 84 rating compared to the 94 rating of its counterpart, Absolut. Both drinks are clear spirits, which also have the same ABV at 40%. The price differences are quite obvious, with Smirnoff selling lower at $12 and Absolut retailing at $20 on average.
Both of the drinks are distilled three times, but although both drinks are almost the same in all aspects, the Smirnoff pulls out its more winnings in the San Francisco World Spirits with a total of five gold rankings in four instances from 2001 to 2014. But Absolut did not go home empty-handed as it bagged a double gold at the same event in 2013 and it also bagged a 4.3 rating from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
The comparison between Absolut and Grey Goose sees the former leading in the overall impression scores, getting a rating of 94 compared to its competitor’s number of 82. Drinkers’ rating for Absolut is at 4.2 stars on a 5-star scale, while the other brand is rated at 3.2 stars. Both have an ABV of 40%. The price point of both has a $10 difference, with the Grey Goose selling higher at $30 per bottle. The cost difference, however, can be traced back to the variation in the distillation process of the two brands. Both of these drinks, however, got the same rating from Wine Enthusiast Magazine at 4.2 stars.