This is a review of Russian Standard vodka from Russia. I sampled it in Germany in 2011. It’s clear, 37.5% alcohol, and I’m a big fan.
This is the one. Russian Standard vodka – Русский Стандарт. This is the reason for SlowerPulse.
why I made this site
One night I was hanging out in a friend’s kitchen sharing a bottle of Russian Standard vodka. A guy came in to grab something from the fridge. I asked him: “Care for a glass of vodka?” He took the glass, gulped it down, then looked at the bottle and said: “Bah! Why are you drinking these new brands, they disgust me! You should be having one of the classics!”
And I thought: Does a vodka brand have to be old and established for it to be good?
But I had no way of knowing. Having only started drinking at 27, I was still new to the realm of vodka – and to alcohol in general. So I decided to try all the different vodka brands in the world. And I can tell you this much already: the guy was wrong.
about the standard
The word “standard” in Russian Standard doesn’t mean “norm” or anything. It refers to an official flag. I went back to vodka.com to get some information, but there was surprisingly little:
By the way, the Mendeleev story that people like to bring up when it comes to vodka is likely bullshit.
about Roustam Tariko
Well, as it turns out, Roust is owned by Roustam Tariko, the Russian self-made billionaire who created Russian Standard vodka in the late 1990s. I suggest you read the Wikipedia page about this guy and his companies.
Tariko is apparently one of the few rich people in Russia who didn’t build their fortune by privatizing state assets. He used to import sweets into Russia, then moved on to booze. Now he owns a bunch of assets, including a bank and a life insurer. Some of the not so glorious chapters in his life apparently revolve around loan sharks from his bank telling customers to sell their internal organs to pay off their debt.
how does Russian Standard do it
Back to the Standard: albeit its marketing as a premium vodka in Russia, it really doesn’t cost much. I got mine for around 11€/700ml. The bottle design is pretty nice, and I like that it doesn’t seem to have changed much over the last decade.
Oh, and what’s most important: Russian Standard vodka tastes so gooooood! It is perfectly smooth, almost balmy on its way down the throat, and its aftertaste is complex and aromatic. Did I taste almonds? Not sure, but it’s awesome.
All in all, this is still one of the best vodka brands I have ever tried. There is one thing to keep in mind, though: vodka mainly depends on water quality, so each batch can be a bit different.
Anyway, enjoy this with a slice of good bread!