I am quite new to vodka and I wonder if their target market plays a role on any aspect of their craft that can affect their taste.

Do you know, based on you experience I guess, if the vodkas made for exporting to other countries are generally better or worse than vodkas made for the russian market ?

1 Answer 1


Is vodka made for exportation generally less good?

Generally speaking I do not believe so. Nevertheless, one should know the vodkas you are buying!

To begin with, why is it that for most people the difference between a good and bad vodka is practically indistinguishable? Well, part of that has to do with regulation. See, in many parts of the world, there is specific regulations designed to ensure that vodka is “without distinctive character, aroma, taste or colour.” That seems to lay the ground work for an industry that should be pretty much uniform across the board right? Well, not quite.

First there is going to be a difference based on what the vodka is being distilled from. Vodka is traditionally made by distilling cereal grains or potatoes that have been fermented. Generally rye and wheat varieties are usually considered higher quality, and therefore you’ll find these bottles to be higher in price point. However, some vodkas can be made from ingredients like molasses, soybeans or rice, and on the rare occasion they’re made from byproducts of oil refining or wood pulp processing. That doesn’t sound appealing does it?

What tends to happen with the “cheaper” varieties is that many of the impurities of the refining process linger, leaving an unpleasant taste or worse yet an unpleasant hangover. Don’t be fooled by the amount of times a vodka is distilled either; it doesn’t matter if a vodka made with poor ingredients is distilled three or more times, you’ve still started with a poor product.

Now, don’t take this to mean that “bad” means “cheap”, or even “good” means “expensive”; the reality is there are a number of great vodkas, made with quality ingredients that fall across all price points. Bad vodka is just poorly made, but good vodka doesn’t have to be expensive. What tends to affect the price point more than anything is the marketing around a vodka, so that “ultra premium” vodka you’re purchasing is more of a lifestyle choice than anything.

All that being said, there are a few excellent vodkas you can rely on when heading into the liquor store. Each serve their own purpose, whether it’s a decent inexpensive bottle for cocktails, or something to act as a showpiece. - Is There Really a Difference Between “Good” and “Bad” Vodka?

Most vodkas on the international market do not fit into the above definition of less good or even bad compared to domestically sold vodkas. I can find no evidence to support a response in the affirmative to this question.

Thus vodkas made for exportation are generally quite good vodkas. In any case, know the vodkas you are buying and read up on them.

Vodkas are rated online for one’s interest, such as the following:

  • Thank you for your answer and this article ! About knowing the vodkas one is buying, where can I find relevant information other than the brand's marketing speech ?
    – Axel B
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 15:58
  • However I don't mark the question as answered yet because I prefer to wait for other's opinions
    – Axel B
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 16:09
  • Their comment about distilling not being able to fix a poor source is incorrect. The number of times distilled is still fairly meaningless, since on a large scale, most neutral spirit it distilled in giant continuous columns, rather than batch stills. These columns have an incredible ability to separate components and produce really pure fractions. I've tasted stuff from a supplier that uses waste materials from wineries, which is often quite old and bad by the time it reaches the distillery, but you'd never know it tasting the spirit.
    – Jack
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 3:59

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