This is a review of Imperial Collection Gold vodka from Russia. I sampled it in Germany in 2011. It’s clear, 40% alcohol, and even though it tasted pretty good it also utterly confused me.
Almost every time I go to the little Russian shop around the corner, I ask them: “Do you have that Czar-vodka?” And they never seem to have it. Or rather: they never seemed to have it. Until now.
This is where it gets complicated. I used to think that this vodka was called Czar’s Gold vodka (Царская Золотая). But it isn’t. It’s called Imperial Collection Gold vodka, and I think it’s the big sister of the Imperial Collection I reviewed in Russia a year earlier.
Why the confusion, you ask?
the weirdness of Russian brands
I told you about the brand Ladoga that owned a few Russian vodkas: Ladoga Hlebnaya, Imperial Collection, and Czar’s Gold among them.
The problem is that Imperial Collection Gold vodka (top left) and Czar’s Gold vodka (bottom right) look almost identical:
I don’t know what this means. What I do know is that the bottle that I bought had the words IMPERIAL COLLECTION GOLD on it. So I’m going to just go with that.
The website offers a short introduction to this vodka:
Nothing overly interesting. Lots of FILTRATION. Lots of FROSTED GLASS. Some 24 KARAT GOLD.
Anyway when I bought the bottle I carried it home like a gem. I set it on the table and unscrewed the cap. I somehow figured that this was going to be a very good vodka. It looked so shiny and golden.
But it wasn’t just as awesome as I had expected.
Imperial Collection Gold vodka is good
Don’t get me wrong: my review notes say that Imperial Collection Gold vodka isn’t bad at all. It was actually quite smooth to drink, and the aftertaste even felt a bit flowery. I thought it was a good, interesting vodka. But it wasn’t that good.
The bottle design was somewhere between nice and tacky. The price tag of around 22€ for 700ml was a bit high.
All in all, I’d say if you’re looking for a good vodka, this is for you. Just don’t expect to be blown away.