Back at it…it’s review time!
Today we take a look at…Sobieski Vodka
The Lowdown: Vodka confuses me. Is it supposed to taste like something, or taste like nothing? Should it just be avoiding comparisons to rubbing alcohol? If the point of it is to taste like nothing, then what makes one better than another? If it’s truly a “poser fluid”, in that it takes on the properties of whatever it’s mixed with (as many of my cocktailian brethren call it), then how do I evaluate such a thing?
These are the questions that vex me as I review my first vodka for the site, Sobieski. I’m no stranger to vodka. It’s an easy drink, and incredibly easy to make a shot from. When you’re in a bind you can always take some vodka, some fruit-flavored liquor, and maybe a splash of juice, throw it in a shaker and pour them out. Easy crowd-pleaser and takes no thought whatsoever when the endlessly thirsty hoard approaches your bar at a party and wants to do a shot NOW.
Oh yeah, Sobieski. It’s Polish. Made from rye (Dankowski rye, as if you actually know the differences between different strains of rye) instead of wheat or potato or soy or whatever the hell else people are trying to make vodka from these days. Here’s what really excites me the most about this vodka: the price. Premium vodkas are a scam by and large, so when I see a vodka labeled “premium” that I’ve seen retail for around $15 a 1.75L, that’s a good thing (unless you’re buying vermouth or something, why buy in smaller quantities?). Grain alcohol, which is what vodka is, is incredibly easy and cheap to produce, and I’m encouraged to see a company embrace the “premium” moniker and not try to charge me frigging $30 for a 1 liter. So, let’s get on with it, shall we?
The Whiff: There’s a little bit of a tang, a dry dry citrus maybe. Actually, there’s almost a powdered sugar thing happening. I don’t know how else to describe it, but that distinctive scent that powdered sugar has when you open a package and a little cloud poofs out. Other than that, not much.
The Taste: Well…not much really. This is good, I suppose. The sort of processed sugar thing carries through, the taste fills the mouth, but not with anything necessarily. Very little alcohol burn (though I’m mostly numb to that kind of thing anyway by now), and a light mineral component. Slight oily viscocity. Overall, what people look for in a vodka.
The Mix: I decided to go with one of the concotions that the Sobieski marketing team recommends for their vodka (and was the only one I had all the ingredients for). So here it is:
1.5 oz Sobieski Vodka
1/2 oz Marie Brizard Triple Sec (I used Bols)
4 wheels of Cucumber (1/4 inch slices)
1/2 oz fresh squeezed Lime Juice
Top with aprox. 3oz lemon-lime soda
Prep: Place the cucumber slices in an old-fashioned glass with the lime juice and muddle for just few seconds, add ice cubes and Sobiesi vodka with Triple Sec, then top with soda. Stir and serve.
And here’s how it looks (I chose to garnish with a cucumber slice):
Now that’s some good drinkin’. A little sweet, but not so much that it’s cloying. You’re probably going to want to filter out the cucumber seeds somehow, because they are freaking annoying. Be very careful that you don’t overpour the triple sec, because it can overpower the drink pretty quickly if you aren’t careful. Crisp and refreshing, I wish I’d had this during the heat of the summer.
I also tried it in a vodka tonic, with similar delicious results.
Would you drink it again?: Absolutely. I don’t drink vodka straight, and I don’t know anyone who does, so do you really care what it tastes like straight-up? Of course not. This holds up just as well as any premium or even “ultra premium” vodka I’ve ever had, it mixed well, and the price-point makes it a no-brainer. The only thing I wish is that their 1.75 liters came in glass bottles instead of plastic (as the 750ml and 1 liter do). I know, it’s purely an asthetic thing, but if you’re shooting for “premium”, at least do the bare minimum of looking the part. You could crank up the price a whole dollar and still be ahead of the game.
Would you recommend it to someone else? Yes yes yes. I’d love to blind taste test some friends of mine who think they can tell the difference between vodkas to prove to them that price point isn’t the end-all be-all of quality. Sobieski is clearly as good or better than most premium vodkas on the market, and at a fraction of the price.
Overall Score: 96 out of 100
It’s truly refreshing to see a premium vodka exude quality while not trying to price-gouge their customers. Well done Sobieski.
Have a spirit or mixer you’d like us to review? Email us!