The black label with the large Cyrillic letters on the frosty white bottle proudly proclaimed “Russian Standard” vodka and, oh yes, it also indicated it was 80 proof and distilled and bottled in Russia. This was a quite simple, straightforward and no nonsense approach and as practical as wearing Ermine in Siberia on a cold winter’s day. Quite “Russian” I mused. I wonder what they really meant by “standard”? Could it be the standard by which all others are judged or was it the standard drink of Russia? There was only one practical way to tell for sure.

Upon opening a bottle of anything I immediately stick my nose into the neck of the bottle to get a concentrated blast of the scent. This product produced virtually nothing. It was very clean with a slight trace of ethanol. The same could be said for the shot I poured, a clean nothing.

The first sip I took continued along this line. There really was no taste, no bitterness, no sting, no tingle, no nothing. It slid quietly and calmly down my throat leaving me feeling a warm nothing. However it was very, very smooth which made me think of the word Super rather than Standard.

Under U.S. and European law “vodka must not have any distinctive aroma, character, color or flavor”. This vodka has successfully met and even exceeded that criteria.

For around, or even less than $20.00 for 750ml this vodka is as good as or better than super premiums costing up to and over twice the price. I guess they meant this was the “Standard” by which all others are judged.

Written by George Brozowski

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