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15 Top Shelf Vodka Brands To Try (2023 Updated)

Top Shelf Vodka Brands

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Due to its smooth and refreshing taste, vodka is a popular choice among hard liquors. Besides, it works well in various beverages, creating cocktails and mixed drinks.

While buying a cheap bottle of vodka is perfectly fine, exploring finer options is always worth it. However, it can be hard to determine which premium vodka is worth investing in.

To narrow down your options, we listed the top-shelf vodka brands you should try.

Top 15 Premium Vodka (Certified Top-Shelf) Brands

15. Pinnacle

Bottle of Pinnacle Vodka

Average Price: approx. $14/750ml

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: Instead of the premium ethyl alcohol, this vodka is made using water and French grain from the same region that produces Grey Goose.

We like its fresh nose with wheat, citrus, and vanilla hints. The palate is a little peppery (white pepper and black pepper), with honeydew rind and ripe tomato notes.

If you want to sip chilled vodka, Pinnacle is one of the best vodkas to try.

14. Burnetts

Bottle of Burnetts Vodka

Average Price: approx. $9/750ml

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: Burnetts is an American spirit made using midwestern grains. It’s available in various colors and flavors and is the perfect drink for any occasion.

In short, you can get to try different tasting notes. Aside from the Simply Classic, Burnetts flavored vodkas includes Cherry, Citrus, Peach, Raspberry, and many more.

13. Barr Hill

Close Up Shot of Barr Hill vodka

Average Price: approx. $46/750ml

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: If you’re a fan of honey-themed drinks, you’ll love Barr Hill vodka. This artisanal vodka is made with raw honey, creating a sweet and floral liquor.

Its natural ingredients, like the honey flavor, pair well with citrus or aromatic drinks. For an additional honey treat, try Barr Hill’s gin.

12. Ciroc

Hand Holding Bottle of Ciroc

Average Price: approx. $35/750ml

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: If you’re looking for a top-quality vodka that’s not heavy but still has a citrus-driven note, Ciroc is a perfect choice.

This vodka is made with French grapes, adding light and floral flavor. It’s an excellent choice for fruit-infused drinks like those in a dirty Martini.

11. Beluga

Bottle of Beluga Vodka

Average Price: approx. $32/750ml

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: This Russian vodka uses artesian water in western Siberia to create excellent vodka. After the distillation process, it’s infused with milk thistle, honey, and oats for a unique flavor.

So, we enjoyed its incredibly smooth and pure profile. This vodka is sifted twice through a quartz crystals and silver filter. It has a long and vanilla-tinged finish.

10. Hangar 1

Bottle of Hangar 1 Vodka

Average Price: approx. $30/750ml

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: One of California’s best, top-shelf vodka brands is Hangar 1. We second the motion because we like its playful and artistic vibe.

Its vodka is made with French grapes, adding a bit of floral to the overall flavor. It can be enjoyed in various ways – in a trendy craft cocktail or a classic vodka Martini or Bloody Mary.

9. Crystal Head Vodka

Hand Holding Crystal Head Vodka

Average Price: approx. $52/750ml

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: This skull-shaped bottle may intimidate you, but it’s an excellent addition to your liquor cabinet. Crystal Head is a top-quality vodka made using crystal distillation.

It involves exposing the crystal layers to varying degrees of pressure. Actually, this is filtered seven times, three of which are in Herkimer Diamonds.

For a creamy and smooth drink, try Crystal Head’s Original.

8. SVEDKA

Close Up Shot of SVEDKA Vodka

Average Price: approx. $17/1L

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: Svedka is the best vodka brand for anyone who wants to keep their liquor shelves stocked. Made from winter wheat, it’s smooth to drink with a mild taste making it an ideal addition to a wide range of vodka-based drinks.

But to enhance its flavor further, add a bit of mint and vanilla to a mixer. Also, the price of this vodka makes it one of the best vodka brands offering value for money.

Between Clix vodka and SVEDKA, go for the latter.

“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”

– Ron White, American Solo Comedian

7. Absolut Elyx Vodka

Bottle of Absolut Elyx Vodka

Average Price: approx. $49/1L

Alcohol Content: 42.3% ABV

Why We Like It: This is one of the mainstream versions of clear vodka. It’s widely available and accessible in liquor stores and bars.

Due to its traditional distilling process, Absolut vodka gives a smooth taste with a bit of a nutty flavor. Besides, this is made from Swedish winter wheat and is the strongest vodka on this list.

6. Ketel One

Bottle of Ketel One Vodka

Average Price: approx. $27/750ml

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: If you’re looking for cheap vodka but still want to try something premium, Ketel One is a good choice. This Dutch-made vodka has a distinct citrus flavor, perfect for a simple cocktail or rocks.

This vodka is made using wheat from Europe and is produced at a 300-year-old distillery owned by the Nolets. You can choose from their many variants, including Oranje and Citron, made from oranges and lemon, respectively.

5. Tito’s Vodka

Close Up Shot of Tito's Vodka Bottle Label

Average Price: approx. $29/1L

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: Tito’s vodka is gluten-free, with a smooth finish and taste. This vodka is made by distillation in a pot still, which takes around six times (much stronger than a column-distilled vodka).

Its corn, ABV, and other ingredients help contribute to its slight sweetness. Upon trying Tito’s vodka, we understand why its popularity, and that’s due to its versatility.

4. Chopin

Bottle of Chopin Vodka and a Glass

Average Price: approx. $30/750ml

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: Another impressive Polish vodka brand is Chopin. This top-shelf vodka avoids the usual gimmickry and focuses on traditional methods of the distillation process.

We highly suggest Chopin wheat vodka if you want a drink perfect for summer. But if you like something unique, then try Chopin’s potato vodkas.

It’s made with high-quality wheat and potato, respectively. Also, it has a natural sweetness ideal for making a fruit cocktail.

Tip: If you choose between this spirit and Wheatly vodka (from the Buffalo Trace Distillery), go for Chopin first. This is more satisfying.

3. Stolichnaya Elit Vodka

Pouring Stolichnaya Elit Vodka Bottle

Average Price: approx. $60/750ml

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: Although this brand is relatively new, Stolichnaya Elit has gained widespread recognition for its ultra-premium vodka.

We like how light and complex this vodka is. It has subtle sweetness created by a unique process that involves freezing and filtering the fermented liquid.

2. Belvedere

Close Up Shot of Belvedere Vodka Bottle

Average Price: approx. $42/1L

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: We like how Beldevere follows its country’s strict regulations regarding vodka production. Made with locally sourced rye, Baldevere vodka gives a clean taste, ideal for making some cocktail recipes, like Martinis.

We like Belvedere’s notes of almond, French vanilla, and cream. This is a smooth spirit, unique vodka with a neutral aftertaste.

1. Grey Goose

Bottle and a Glass of Grey Goose Vodka

Average Price: approx. $42/1L

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Why We Like It: For people new to high-end vodka, Grey Goose is a great choice. This French brand boosts freshness and creamy taste.

If you want to try an excellent spirit with a unique taste, we suggest trying Grey Goose’s botanical vodkas. It is best served neat or in a Moscow Mule [1].

FAQs 

What’s the most expensive top-shelf vodka?

The most expensive top-shelf vodka is Billionaire’s vodka, which costs around $7.25 million. It’s crafted using an authentic Russian recipe and then filtered using diamonds [2].

What makes a vodka top-shelf?

What makes a vodka top-shelf is its satisfying and exciting flavor. It’s not always the extra cost that comes with most vodkas; it’s how the spirit satisfies drinkers.

Is it worth spending more money on top-shelf vodka?

Yes, spending more money to buy the best, top-shelf vodka is worth it. The more it is distilled, the more it costs due to raw materials and everything involved. But the high price tag comes with high-quality vodka, so it’s worth the investment.

What should I look for when choosing a top-shelf vodka?

You should look for a top-shelf vodka with a delicious flavor made with quality ingredients and a meticulous process. Some vodka brand uses French wheat, and other vodkas undergo a four-column distillation process [3] like in Skyy vodka.

Key Takeaways 

Choosing a top-shelf vodka brand doesn’t have to be shrouded in mystery. And this list has some of the finest examples of what craft liquors and premium vodkas can offer.

These bottles cater to different taste buds. If you like the best-flavored vodka, try Burnetts and Absolut for unflavored vodka [4].

But for the overall experience, we especially recommend Grey Goose, Pinnacle vodka, Belvedere vodka, and Crystal Head.

References:

  1. https://www.esquire.com/food-drink/drinks/recipes/a3817/moscow-mule-drink-recipe/
  2. https://financesonline.com/top-10-most-expensive-vodkas-in-the-world-swarovski-crystals-diamonds-gold/#
  3. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/how-to-distill-vodka
  4. https://www.britannica.com/topic/vodka
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