When the bottle of IRU Vodka (Imported from RUssia) arrived at my desk, it came with several postcards that read “seven times distilled no hangover vodka”. Really, a no hangover vodka? I’m a bit skeptical of that claim as I have learned, through brutal experience, that if I drink enough of anything, it will most decidedly give me a hangover. But then there’s that whole “congener” thing to consider.
Congeners are essentially impurities that are either inherent to the substance being fermented and/or distilled or are created during the fermentation and distillation process. I’m not just talking dirt and debris here; I mean nasty stuff like acetone, acetaldehyde, tannins, propanol and glycols to name just a few of the nasty culprits. If you ingest enough of these thugs, they will stick a knife in your gut and brain and slice you into pieces, and the more of them you consume, the more slices you will suffer. Booze of any color will contain more of them than clear as water spirits, such as vodka.
Now, there is a way to minimize these bad boys, and that is through multiple distillations; the more distillations the less impurities. Distilling IRU vodka seven times should go a long way in getting rid of the enemy. Unfortunately, if you end up drinking a bottle of this, or any other vodka, I can assure you that you will suffer the consequences, since the primary ingredient in alcohol is ethanol, which is highly flammable and causes dehydration and on top of that it is volatile, which causes nausea. Without the ethanol, there would not be any alcohol, DUH!
I had one question left, which the good folks at MDG Spirits answered. How in the world can an imported Russian vodka made from wheat, distilled seven times, and filtered five times through charcoal, and comes in a glass bottle cost only $9.99 per 750ml bottle? Doesn’t it sound to you like it should cost at least $30.00 per bottle? Well, they claim that they have zero dollars invested in marketing and don’t pay high end celebrities to tout their vodka and consequently pass the savings on to the consumer. Okay, so let’s get on with it and see if it tastes as good as it sounds.
IRU Vodka comes in a clear bottle with the letters IRU prominently displayed in red and below them there is blue and white lettering and a floral design; it really looks Russian. The nose is quite odorless, with maybe just a smidgen of alcohol – so far so good. On the palate, this vodka does a pretty good imitation of water. There really are no flavors to speak of. I get the tiniest little bit of a tingle, but that’s about it. The finish is warm and fuzzy, with the tingle turned up a bit, and it lasts a short amount of time. This vodka totally adheres to the traditional definition of vodka: an unaged, colorless, odorless spirit with no discernible taste. What a pleasant surprise! This is excellent vodka comparable to super-premium vodkas costing three or four times as much. As a matter of fact, this IS a super-premium vodka at an unbelievable price point of only $10.00 per bottle. IRU Vodka is about as good as vodka gets. If you’re one of the lucky few to live in New York, Oklahoma, Illinois or Florida where it is currently available, rush out and get a bottle and enjoy! I do believe they are expanding their market, so when it comes to your neighborhood, try it; you’ll like it. Hey, just maybe this really is a hangover proof vodka? I’ll let you know after I finish this bottle, hee, hee!!
By George Brozowski