The Vodkaphiles Review
Made in: Finland
Distributed/Imported in the US by: Finlandia (Brown-Forman)
Main raw material: Wheat
Expected retail price: $ 18.00
The smooth Finlandia vodka (winner of our 2nd Annual Vodka Taste-Off) is the base for creating this cranberry flavored vodka.
Here are the comments our experts shared on this vodka.
The color is pretty, even though the packaging is ordinary. The texture is not quite viscous enough for me. The initially sweet/tart flavor is appealing, but it almost immediately turned medicinal, and the lingering effect was of having taken medicine, albeit fairly pleasant stuff. But I like the plain Finlandia better.
This vodka bursts with flavor. When poured in a glass the festive appearance and fruity aromas are appealing, and the effect carries through in the mouth.
Bright, brickish-cherry color with good clarity. Medium weight, nice viscosity, soft. Pleasing, clean, lightly-fruited aroma of cranberry, herbs, red apple. Clean, fresh, mildly fruity taste of cranberry, herbs and spice, with light grainy/salty notes. Ends with tasty interplay of sweet/sour/tart finish that is off-dry, medium-long and smooth. Frosty-looking bottle, with image of white reindeer evokes Finnish glaciers although cherry color mitigates this somewhat. Cranberry Vodka did not seem that attractive and tasty at first but it seemed to grow on me. Quite tasty straight and cold or over ice, either alone or with a twist of lemon or lime. Makes a refreshing, interesting aperitif.
Somewhat artificial scent; packaging less than imaginative; taste straight somewhat reminiscent of cough syrup. Saving grace - this vodka should be popular with the Seabreeze set. Didn't have any grapefruit juice, but did try it with OJ. It was a pretty pinky-orange and had a pleasant flavor. That's the direction I would concentrate my marketing if I were they.
Wonderful fragrance and very fruity, smooth initial flavor. But this initial fruitiness is not followed up by as warm and silky an aftertaste as I expected. A nice infusion concept, but, because this is only 30% alcohol, beware of freezing before serving--it can actually go to slush. I found the vodka was actually smoother and more pleasurable when just lightly chilled.
Aroma: Initial rounded pure almost richly scented with essence of cranberry, lesser plum and cherry like notes and hints of spice. Very subtle with respect to alcoholic presence. Appearance is enticing yet almost misleading cherry cough syrup color hinting at candied cherries. (Gives the impression of a coctail or liqueur rather than a pure spirit as still run products are colorless) Has good clarity and texture. Taste: Medium richness and concentration with slightly creamy viscous texture. Pleasant, softly fruited with subtle cherry, plum, almost caramel like flavors. Cranberry essence is far more prevelant in the nose than in the mouth. Clean, well balanced, with mellow lingering off dry finish. Packaging is clean, understated, attractive and elegant package. Well designed and flattering for this artificially colored spirit.
Our vodka experts are dispersed around the country, tasting the very best vodkas. We do not gather together in one place, engage in Groupthink, and otherwise influence one another's opinions. Each expert has their own tastes, preferences and quirks (but we share a tasting methodology). We feel all of this contributes to more interesting, honest results.
It is worth noting that, in our scoring, we use the full 100 point scale, not just the top 10 or 20 points of it. We don't believe in grade inflation, and we consider a score of 80 or above to be the mark of a fine vodka. The final scores tallied above are the average scores of our seven vodka experts from around the country.