Svedka vodka

the north strikes again

This is a review of Svedka vodka from Sweden. I sampled it in Germany in 2011. It’s clear, 40% alcohol, and I thought it was a bit underwhelming.

Another Northerner. I mean, who would have thought that Svedka vodka was from Sweden? Svenska + Vodka = Svedka. And yet here we are. I found this one in a regular grocery store in Germany and decided to take it home.

why reviewing vodka is hard

I’ve been thinking about some of the difficulties in vodka tasting these days. One problem is that vodka doesn’t differ as much in taste as do other liquors, say whiskey, for example. The differences in taste and aftertaste are much more nuanced, and they often depend on factors that are subject to change, like water quality, for example.

Also, the sensual experience of a certain vodka depends on so many factors besides the quality of the product: your mood, the accompanying food you might be having, your level of intoxication – even what your friends say about the vodka might influence your own opinion.

So I think it’s hard to pass judgement based on simple tastings. But what can we do?

American wheat

Of course Svedka vodka has a website. is shiny and a bit more colorful than I had been expecting:

Svedka vodka website

At first it didn’t seem like they were offering much in terms of information, but then there was this part:

Svedka vodka info page

So Svedka vodka was bought by a US company called Constellation Brands in the late 2000s. And apparently they have started sourcing their wheat from the US as opposed to from Sweden. In order to IMPROVE PRODUCTION while maintaining the SAME HIGH-QUALITY AND GREAT TASTE.

I don’t understand exactly how this works, though: do they create a distillate in the US and then ship it to Sweden and mix it with water? Would it still be a Swedish vodka otherwise?

Svedka vodka is alright

Okay, time to let the vodka speak for itself. I thought Svedka vodka was alright. The smoothness was there, it’s just that the aftertaste seemed a bit dull. The bottle looked good, and the price of 14€ for 700ml was still affordable.

Keeping the testing difficulties in mind, I decided to give Svedka vodka two tries on two different occasions. Just to be sure. But in the end, “average” is still the description I want to use. Or maybe “slightly above average”.

This is a reliable vodka that might be good in a mixed drink. Like so many others from the North.