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Breaking Down the Hype Machine: Is Crystal Head Vodka the Best Vodka in the World?

Crystal Head Vodka1 logo 199x300 Breaking Down the Hype Machine: Is Crystal Head Vodka the Best Vodka in the World? Crystal Head: The Planet’s Hottest Premium Vodka

By Matt Goldstein

Dan Akroyd’s premium vodka out of Canada, Crystal Head Vodka, has a full on hype machine driving its pricey bottles right off the shelves.  Winning a double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and our very own double blind taste test against the likes of Belvedere, Grey Goose and Tito’s vodka, there is no doubt that Crystal Head Vodka has performed very well against the best vodka’s in the world, but is Crystal Head the best vodka in the world?

The theme of Crystal Head Vodka is based on the legend has it that 13 crystal heads have been found in regions around the world, from the American southwest to Tibet and they’re dated between 5,000 and 35,000 years old.  These Crystal Heads were supposedly polished into shape from solid quartz chunks over a period of several hundred years.  Whether the legend intrigues you or not, the clear glass skull vodka bottle is certainly eye catching and definitely the most unique vodka bottle on the shelf, if not the entire liquor store and this bottle fuels the hype and dynamic sales.

crystal head vodka glacier water Breaking Down the Hype Machine: Is Crystal Head Vodka the Best Vodka in the World? Made with glacier water from Newfoundland Canada, quadruple distilled and filtered through Herkimer diamonds, Crystal Head is a grain based vodka with zero additives.  We’re not sure where the genius is in how they make the vodka, but it’s certainly in there.  Most people are looking for a smooth vodka, and that’s perfectly fine.  We on the other hand are looking for a complex vodka and a little bite.  Crystal Head Vodka has all of those elements in one.  We tasted Crystal Head Vodka straight out of the bottle and poured it in the glass, neat and at room temperature, and then we tried the Crystal Head with and In and Out Martini with as little vermouth as possible so we could taste the vodka.

Tasting Notes of the Crystal Head Vodka :

This is an excellent vodka with a complex and smooth style.  With hints of vanilla, citrus and grain this  perfect vodka has just enough bite to let you know it’s there and it works perfectly with the vermouth in  martini.

Dan Akroyd Crystal Head Vodka Breaking Down the Hype Machine: Is Crystal Head Vodka the Best Vodka in the World? Is Crystal Head the world’s best vodka?  It is very difficult to say that any vodka or anything for that matter is best in the world, but without question, Crystal Head must certainly be considered one of the best vodka’s in the world period.  Winning the double gold medal at the world most prestigious spirit competition and crushing the competition in our own double blind taste test, Crystal Head certainly performs exceptionally well time after time.  With the Crystal Head comes a steep price tag at about $50, which is expensive for a vodka considering you can get a solid vodka for around $15.  For example, Tanqueray Sterling vodka finished #2 in our vodka trials and the retail price is $14.  Now, Crystal Head is certainly better than Tanqueray Sterling, but is it more than 3 times better as the price indicates?  That is uncertain.  All in all, looking past the hype, gimmick and excellent marketing, Crystal Head Vodka comes with our highest recommendation.

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The Vodka Trials: Crystal Head, Tanqueray Sterling, Belvedere, Pinnacle, Tito’s, Stolichnaya & Grey Goose Vodka’s

Crystal Head Vodka1 logo 199x300 The Vodka Trials: Crystal Head, Tanqueray Sterling, Belvedere, Pinnacle, Tito’s, Stolichnaya & Grey Goose Vodka’sCrystal Head Vodka Crushes Competition in Double Blind Taste Test

By Team Goldmine

The Vodka Trials were a double blind taste test featuring premium grain vodka’s going head to head with vodka’s that cost as little as $10 a bottle.  The vodka’s were randomly selected from different price ranges, ratings, fame, popularity and respectability.  Although the expensive and premium Crystal Head stole the show, some more less expensive vodka’s performed very well compared to other premium vodka’s such as Grey Goose, which finished dead last.  The vodka’s finished in the order as follows:

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1. Crystal Head Vodka:

Crystal Head Vodka was the clear winner of the 2011 Vodka Trials and was voted #1 by the majority of tasters.  Legend has it that the 13 crystal heads have been found in regions around the world, from the American southwest to Tibet. They’re dated between 5,000 and 35,000 years old, and were supposedly polished into shape from solid quartz chunks over a period of several hundred years.  This legend is completely full of crap, but hey, the vodka is no joke.  It’s a bit pricey and gimmicky and also owned by Dan Akroyd.  Crystal Head Vodka is made with pure glacier water from Newfoundland Canada, purified through quartz crystals, also known as Herkimer diamonds and four times distilled.  This is simply one of the best vodkas available.  Priced at about $50.

Tasting Notes:  great even flavor and balance, dry, light kick but smooth and very drinkable with a little aftertaste.

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Tanqueray sterling vodka 124x300 The Vodka Trials: Crystal Head, Tanqueray Sterling, Belvedere, Pinnacle, Tito’s, Stolichnaya & Grey Goose Vodka’s2. Tanqueray Sterling Vodka:

Who knew Tanqueray made a vodka?  Guess what!  This vodka is a flat out stud.  Two times distilled, once in a 220 year old copper pot, and made with pure grain, Tanqueray Sterling is a perfect martini vodka, perfect for drinking it straight or a mixer and its only $14.  We love it!

Tasting Notes:  great kick, all around well balanced vodka flavor, spicy, light to medium warmth.

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3. Belvedere Vodka:

Belevedere vodka is one of the world’s first premium vodkas.  Quadruple distilled and made with Danowski gold rye and zero additives, Belvedere is made with water from Belvedere’s own artisan well.  Let us reiterate, this was a double blind taste test and Belvedere vodka almost tied for 2nd place.  This premium vodka proved to be real when it comes to a martini.

Tasting Notes:  Excellent!  Tasty with a kick, extra smooth, great aftertaste, well balanced, distillation very evident and medium warmth.

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Titos handmade Vodka 225x300 The Vodka Trials: Crystal Head, Tanqueray Sterling, Belvedere, Pinnacle, Tito’s, Stolichnaya & Grey Goose Vodka’s4. Pinnacle Vodka:

Pinnacle is a small batch quadruple distilled vodka made with spring water from Northern France.  Made with wheat from the Brie region, and purified through charcoal after distillation.  This is an excellent vodka for $10.  Yup, you can get a full 750ml for just $10.  Pinnacle beat out a couple of vodka legends in our double blind taste test so it can’t be a bad move.

Tasting Notes:  Little kick, light flavor, smooth, crisp with a light aftertaste and medium warmth.

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5. Tito’s Handmade Vodka:

Tito’s is produced in Austin at Texas’ first and made in small batches in an old fashioned pot still.  Tito’s is simply one of the best vodka’s available for just under $20 and one of America’s best vodkas.

Tasting Notes:  Slightly smooth, A bit heavy, strong with a strong aftertaste, a well balanced strong and heavy flavor.

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grey goose 300x300 The Vodka Trials: Crystal Head, Tanqueray Sterling, Belvedere, Pinnacle, Tito’s, Stolichnaya & Grey Goose Vodka’s6. Stolichnaya Vodka:

Made from wheat, rye and glacier water, Stolichnaya is considered to be the classic Russian vodka.  Stoli is solid in a martini, straight or in a mixer but was simply out was simply outgunned in the 2011 Whiskey Goldmine vodka trials.

Tasting Notes:  Dry but flavorful with a great finish and light warmth.

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7. Grey Goose Vodka:

Grey Goose is made from fine French wheat, and water naturally distilled through champagne limestone.  Grey Goose vodka is distilled according to the traditions of the Cognac region and a full flavored medium bodied vodka.  We were always a fan of Grey Goose be it martinis, on the rocks, a shot or in a mixer, but there is no doubt that Grey Goose got crushed in the 2011 Vodka Trials finishing dead last.  What else is there to say?

Tasting Notes:  heavy warmth and burn but smooth, and intense.

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American Vodka Review: Koenig Potato Vodka Martini & The 360 Eco Friendly Vodka Martini

360vodka 236x300 American Vodka Review: Koenig Potato Vodka Martini & The 360 Eco Friendly Vodka MartiniThe In & Out Style…

By Matt Goldstein 

The 360 Eco Friendly Vodka

 is a quadruple distilled, five times filtered double gold winning vodka priced at around $20.00.    Eco Friendly vodka is an excellent martini vodka.  Its’ very smooth but has good bite.  360 is dry and compliments the fresh vermouth.  There is a thick, full, long lasting aftertaste for a vodka with notes of wheat and cream.  From their on site recycling efforts, 360 Vodka Eco Friendly Vodka claims to have saved 8442 fully grown trees, 3,476,000 gallons of water, 4,500 barrels of oil, 2,000,000 kilowatts of electricity, 30,000 pounds of air pollution and 1,700 cubic yards of landfill space.  Pretty impressive actually…  

Koenig Potato Vodka

 is a small batch Idaho potato vodka made with pure Rocky Mountain water made in double copper pot stills.  You can really taste the vermouth in this potato vodka.  Koenig vodka is thick with a full body.  Its’ also smooth with a little bite and has a thick mellow aftertaste.  For about $20.00, we prefer Koenig over the much more pricey potato vodka, Ultimat, about $50.00.      

Grey Goose Vodka Martini 

Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka Martini 

Vox Vodka Martini

 

koenig vodka image 69x300 American Vodka Review: Koenig Potato Vodka Martini & The 360 Eco Friendly Vodka MartiniHere are some cocktails from the Koenig website:

The Vodka Rockefeller

  • 3 oz of Koenig Potato Vodka

  • 3 oz dry vermouth

  • Dash of orange bitters

Shake with ice, strain, and serve with olive and lemon or orange.

The Negroni

  • 3 parts Koenig Potato Vodka

  • 1 part Campari

  • 1 part sweet vermouth

Shake with ice, strain, and serve with lemon twist.

Raspberry Martini

  • 3 parts Koenig Potato Vodka

  • 1 part raspberry liqueur

  • ½ part blue curacao

Chocolate Banana Martini

  • 3 parts Koenig Potato Vodka

  • 1 part crème de cacao

  • 1 part banana liqueur

Shake with ice, strain, and garnish with a stick of milk chocolate.

The Nutty Professor

  • 3 parts Koenig Potato Vodka

  • 1 oz Frangelico

Shake with ice, strain, and garnish with hazelnuts

Lemon Drop with Koenig Vodka

  • 2 oz Koenig Potato Vodka

  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 oz simple syrup

Shake with ice and strain. Serve in sugar-rimmed martini glass and garnish with lemon.

Citrus Crush Martini

  • 2 oz Koenig Potato Vodka

  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 oz simple syrup

Shake with ice and strain. Serve in sugar-rimmed martini glass and garnish with lemon.

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Grey Goose Vodka Martini 

Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka Martini 

Vox Vodka Martini

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