I always thought vodka was just alcohol and water, and that the ideal vodka was one lacking all flavor components characteristic of the grain or potato mash that it was distilled from. I once saw a vodka process diagram showing multiple distillation and charcoal filtration steps--suggesting an effort to remove all flavor components. But looking at the prices being charged for high end vodkas, I am wondering what the draw is. Are there flavor components in these high end vodkas that make them that much more desirable than pure alcohol that people pay more than $50 a bottle for them?

  • $\begingroup$ a good (not hi-end) vodka is made using specially threated water, sometimes mineral or artesian water. This is worth some extra money. No idea about hi-end vodka, though. $\endgroup$
    – permeakra
    Sep 1, 2015 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ The New York Times ran a blind taste test in 2005 which declared Smirnoff to be hands-down the best vodka. Based on that I'd be skeptical about there being something special about a "high-end" vodka's flavor that makes it worth paying for. However, the article did note that different vodkas do have distinct flavor profiles, so there is some taste difference between different vodkas. $\endgroup$
    – chipbuster
    Sep 1, 2015 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


High end vodka is primarily good vodka+branding. You pay extra to get that designed bottle. Perhaps the manufacturer also does something extra that they claim makes the vodka special. Whether it actually does depends on what they have done.

Good vodka has most flavours removed. Some flavours - specifically those that both have a boiling point close to that of alcohol and the ability to pass through an active carbon filter will remain.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.