I had to do a little research to learn where the latest trio of vodkas to cross the GSN desk originated. The Republic of Moldova? It sounded vaguely Russian. Looking at my handy desk globe, I discovered that Moldova is located smack dab between Romania and the Ukraine. However, it turns out that Moldova enjoys mild winters and warm summers. So, the initial images I had of bearded men & beautiful dark eyed women bundled into fur-lined coats enjoying ice cold shots was completely wrong.
But what of this wheat based vodka, or as the bottle proclaims, vodca? More importantly, with a base price point of only $10, how does it compare to other vodkas that sell for anywhere upwards of eight times as much? Read on, dear imbiber…
Vodca (80 Proof) Crystal clear with a nose that is sweet with hints of spice. The taste is light and sweet with a slight minerality. There is an odd tannic quality and almost bitterness with more earthiness than other other vodkas as it warms in your mouth. The finish is fairly short with lingering notes of black pepper and a slight saltiness. This is a great vodka for use in mixed drinks like a Bloody Mary, Long Island Iced Tea or a Moscow Mule, but not recommended for a vodka martini. GSN Rating: B-
Orange (74 Proof) The orange made a positive impression on me with its light natural orange nose, and smooth fruity flavor. Other orange vodkas I’ve had in the past have been very dry, but the Exclusiv has more juiciness to it which comes across as refreshing and organic. The infusion of orange has made this a much smoother vodka than the unflavored Exclusiv 40 proof. This is a fine vodka for sipping on its own or used to add some extra depth in a Screwdriver or a different take on a Southside cocktail. But, ultimately, for $10 this is a great bargain when stacked against other heavy hitter top shelf orange vodkas. GSN Rating: B+
Raspberry (74 Proof) This leads off with an enticing, natural, fruity nose. However, the flavor hits quickly and then almost instantly recedes behind the intensity of the vodka itself. Overall, I was disappointed by this one. The heavy mineral quality fights against the fruit flavor here and creates an unbalanced sensation. It also leaves a bit of heat in the back of the throat which I didn’t pick up in the other two vodkas. I wouldn’t recommend this product except for use in a generic type of alcoholic fruit punch. Still, for $10 you can’t go wrong as long as you’re not expecting much. GSN Rating: C-
For more information go to http://www.exclusiv-vodka.com