Review – Grey Goose Vodka
There is surely no bolder claim than stating your spirit is the ‘world’s best tasting’ in its category. Indeed few are so confident in their product as to make such a claim. Not so with Grey Goose who are very certain that their vodka is the best tasting in the world. Given taste is so subjective I can only assume that the intention is to produce a spirit that is enjoyed by all who taste, and that means creating a flavour profile that appeals to the masses. Much of the enjoyment of spirits and cocktails comes from learning about your own palate and so it is good to see the brand working with consumers to create individually tailored cocktails through their Taste by Appointment campaign.
Distilled from wheat sourced from Northern France, Grey Goose is distilled using water from the Grande Champagne region of Cognac. Distillation takes the form of a 5-stage process that is claimed to focus on developing the character of the spirit rather than simply removing impurities and creating neutrality.
Neat: The silky smooth mouthfeel is immediately evident, whilst the delicate flavours take a little more searching. Nonetheless there is certainly a subtle anise taste that sits alongside a touch of cracked black pepper, and again the buttered popcorn from the nose. A whisper of liquorice completes the understated flavour profile which lingers longer than might be expected given its delicate nature. All in all, this is a nice clean vodka that whilst not as ‘neutral’ tasting as some, is nonetheless reserved in its character.
Mixing: The clean and smooth taste profile of Grey Goose make it a solid choice for the majority of vodka cocktails that seek such qualities from their base spirit. However, whilst the ability to play second fiddle to other ingredients in some cocktails is most certainly a strength, there are others where you are left wishing for just a bit more flavour to add some complexity. Generally, cocktails such as the Espresso Martini which use very dominant flavours in addition to the vodka are well suited, and Grey Goose ensures that things remain nice and smooth. It also is a success in drinks such as the signature Le Fizz (recipe below) which are intentionally light and refreshing, or fruity numbers such as the Scarlet Punch (recipe below) which are intentionally approachable to any palate. It is however the middle ground of ‘not too light-not too heavy’ cocktails such as the Fifth Degree or Gypsy Queen No. 2 where this vodka ends up a little lost in the mix.
Signature Cocktail – Le Fizz
35ml Grey Goose Vodka, 15ml Elderflower cordial, 15ml lime juice
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a Champagne flute, top with soda water
Signature Cocktail – Scarlet Punch
50ml Grey Goose Vodka, 40ml raspberry puree, 30ml creme de cassis, 20ml lemon juice, 10ml sugar syrup
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Alternatively combine larger amounts in same ratio in a punch bowl with ice for larger groups.
Grey Goose is a good quality, clean tasting vodka. Suited to cocktails where other flavours are the star of the show, it neither excites nor offends. The world’s best vodka is a claim I find hard to agree with, but it certainly has the mass appeal factor that will ensure continued success.
Grey Goose is available to buy from Master of Malt.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.