Amundsen Expedition 1911


Amundsen vodka

not that cold

This is a review of Amundsen Expedition 1911 vodka from the Czech Republic. I sampled it in Germany in 2015. It’s clear, 37.5% alcohol, owned by Stock, and I thought it was okayish.

This one is called Amundsen Expedition 1911 vodka, and it’s from Poland the Czech Republic. I bought it in Poland, along with several other fine bottles of the V. Then I took them home to Hamburg and lined them up along the wall in the place where I was living. It was beautiful.

Czech vodka on the map

I don’t know why I was initially under the impression that Amundsen Expedition 1911 vodka was from Poland. Maybe because I had bought it there. Anyway, it’s really from the Czech Republic.

There is an official website that oscillates between party drinking, icebergs, and fruity cocktail recipes. I liked it.

Amundsen vodka is apparently owned by Stock, a company in Plzen. They also own Pražská, and they have a distribution agreement with Diageo.

Apart from these I also found an Amundsen vodka Facebook page and an Instagram account. Both were active.

[online search from April 7th 2022]

There was still some confusion, though. At first I had been under the impression that the Amundsen vodka bottle had undergone a redesign. That was until I noticed an Instagram post that showed the bottle that I had along with the regular Amundsen vodka bottle. Apparently the stuff that I was drinking was called Amundsen Expedition 1911 vodka?

about vodka themes

Vodka manufacturers often rely on a theme to market their products. Be it the place where they manufacture (Finlandia, Danzka, Bavarka), something historical (Back In USSR) or even space aliens (Crystal Head). Even weapons can be a theme (Kalashnikov).

In this case, it’s obviously Roald Amundsen and his 1911 polar expedition (I incidentally wrote a book review about his expedition once).

the problem

There’s a problem, though: Amundsen was from Norway, not from the Czech Republic. So how exactly do you market a product based on something that has nothing to do with you?

The manufacturers tried to tackle this issue by giving their Amundsen Expedition 1911 vodka bottle a bluish hue. Kind of like an iceberg. They also put a dog sled on the label, along with the claim that this vodka was supposed to be made of glacial water for a FEELING OF EXTREME COLDNESS. The part with the glacial water reminded me of Xellent.

Amundsen Expedition 1911 vodka tastes normal

Okay, back to our review of Amundsen Expedition 1911 vodka. As I was preparing to sample it at room temperature, I found myself wondering there was really going to be a cold taste. Some vodkas had it. Saimaa came to mind. Or Mansfeld.

But it turned out that Amundsen Expedition 1911 vodka wasn’t exactly polar. It has a clean taste to it, and it was pretty smooth on the tongue. But it wasn’t cold. In fact it burned a bit too much on the way down.

The aftertaste was okay. It did some warming in the stomach, but there wasn’t that much of an aromatic sensation, something fulfilling and lasting that usually characterizes a fine vodka.

bad cap

The bottle looked good – I liked the simplicity of its design and the slightly blue glass. There was a dispenser, which I always appreciate. But the cap was rubbish. I have yet to figure out if it’s a screw cap or if you’re supposed to just press it on. It really is that flimsy.

The price was good. I got this half liter bottle for 8,76€. This means that 700ml would cost about 12,26€.

All in all, Amundsen Expedition 1911 vodka was goodish, not great. And it wasn’t very cold.