call it by its name
This is a review of Grey Goose vodka from France. I sampled it in Germany in 2011. It’s clear, 40% alcohol, owned by Bacardi, and I was pretty much blown away by it.
Finally, the legendary Goose. I had been looking at this bottle in the store window for a long time. But just like Belvedere, it had always seemed too expensive.
So when I signed my second book deal (yes, we’re making a travelogue and an illustrated book on top of that!), I decided it was time.
the problem with hope
Apparently, people don’t call this one Grey Goose. They just call it the Goose. Just like they call Stolichnaya just Stoli. Anyway, that’s cool with me. I want to fit in. So there: I’m about to try the Goose now!
Oh, and I have such high hopes!
There is one problem with hope, though: it carries the fear of disappointment.
passive aggressive single distillation
Of course Grey Goose vodka has a nice-looking website:
Cocktail recipes, company lore, the works. It’s a premium product, and it wants to look like one.
The fun begins on the product description page. Everything starts out normal, with a picture of the bottle and some words about the vodka:
But then, as you scroll down, you get to the passive aggressive part:
There are a lot of vodka brands advertise themselves as being GLUTEN-FREE. One of them is Tito’s Handmade vodka. And guess who writes HANDMADE on their bottle? Yes, Tito’s. Now I’m not 100% sure about the DISTILL MORE THAN ONCE part, but I read somewhere that Tito’s is distilled six times.
The passive aggression is strong in this angry Goose.
I’m not sure why the Goose seems to be so angry at Tito’s Handmade vodka. Maybe it’s because Tito’s was taking aim at frosted glass bottles on their site?
Or maybe because the Goose was founded in the mid-1990s, just like Tito’s. Sidney Frank, a businessman who had gotten rich selling cognac and Jägermeister in the States, wanted to create a premium vodka brand, frosted glass and all. Grey Goose turned out to be wildly successful, becoming an affordable status symbol (at least compared to a watch or a sports car). The brand was later sold to Bacardi for billions of dollars.
Surely Tito’s wouldn’t chip away at their market share in the premium segment?
Grey Goose doesn’t disappoint
Aaaaaanyway, we’re here to review some vodka brands, not gossip about them. And I have to say that this was one of those rare instances where high hopes were solidly met. The Goose was good, in fact it reminded me of Belvedere: a taste so smooth, even balmy, and a rich aftertaste that has a slightly sweet, lingering aroma.
I loved the bottle design as well. The only thing bad was the price tag: 34€ for about 700ml.
Don’t get this as a status symbol. Buy a bottle if you have something to celebrate. And don’t put it in the fridge! It’s way too good for that. I wouldn’t use it in mixed drinks, either. I enjoyed drinking the Goose neat and at room temperature. With some snacks and some friends.
Appreciating the goodness.