Thursday, February 4, 2010

Review: Tito's Handmade Vodka

I'll admit it - I tend towards the opinion that the best vodka doesn't get any better than neutral and non-offensive, and that super-premium vodkas are far more about image than taste. So maybe I'm less than qualified to write a vodka review. But, I was impressed enough by Tito's high quality and low price that I feel compelled to write about it.

Tito's is made from corn rather than grain, then distilled six times in pot stills in Austin, Texas. It's then filtered through activated carbon to remove impurities. Despite its fairly humble presentation (no frosted glass bottles, or celebrity advertising campaigns), it's been garnering rave reviews from a number of different sources - the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Drinkhacker, Spirits Journal, etc. Even as a non-fan of vodka, I figured that I had to try it!

Tito's comes in a standard glass bottle, with a simple brown label, and a neat copper-colored (albeit plastic) cap. It's a simple, plain look, with none of the flair of, say, Grey Goose, or most other high-end vodkas. But isn't it what's on the inside that counts?

Tito's pours a nice crystal clear color (it's vodka, so no surprises there). The aroma is subtle - medicinal, but with a rich sweetness. That also holds for the flavor - it's definitely got that vodka medicinalness to it, but not in an unpleasant way. It's rich on the palate, sweet, and you can sip it without much of a burn, even neat. The finish is sweet and clean. Not complex in terms of flavors, but very nice.

I think that Tito's is every bit as good as the Grey Gooses and Belvederes of the world (if not even better), yet it's priced like Smirnoff or Skyy. Whether you like vodka as a drink in its own right, or if you just want to stock your bar with something solid, Tito's is a great choice. Highly recommended.

Price: ~$18

Value: 20/20
Overall Quality: 18/20

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