Beluga Noble Vodka
Updated: Oct 12, 2021
Vodka is an interesting thing. It takes on flavour very well and holds it. This Scoffer has recently used a fairly nondescript, off the supermarket shelf vodka to produce a zippy limoncello and the results, with lemons from the tree at home, has been pretty impressive for a first time effort.
But, enough of the blowing of one's own trumpet. We were recently introduced to Beluga - a supposedly premium Russian vodka with claims of aristocratic origins and ties to the former Imperial court. Distilled in the heart of Siberia in northern Russia in the Mariinsk distillery, we seem to be only able to find vodka distilled for 19 years. Hardly a long connection but we shall keep digging.
However spurious or otherwise the provenance, the flavour profile makes claims of honey oatmeal, holy thistle and vanilla. I am afraid I cannot concur. It has very little of that hot, alcohol burn but the remainder is fairly bog standard product you'll find in labels like Stolichnaya, Smirnoff and others in the $50-$60 price range. In my opinion, it is neither noble or distinct.
If you are after a drink to have with a mixer, then this will suffice. It carries the name Beluga, and while usually associated with premium product, is a translation of the word white. Beluga Caviar is produced from a large white sturgeon (huso huso) from the Black and Caspian seas and its tributaries. The Beluga Whale is a white arctic and subarctic toothed whale. To call something Beluga is not that hard.
Methinks this is more clever marketing and a little bit of poetic licence, other than actual connections to the Romanovs and the former Russian court. But with a good slurp of tonic or soda and a wedge of citrus, it is perfectly drinkable. Or sip it over ice if that is your thing. I have researched quite a few reviews and I reckon there are too many similarities for this to be anything other those generated by someone who wants to sell it.
My choice? Buy a bottle of Belvedere or seek out an Australian artisanal for a few extra bucks. You'll be supporting locally made and avoiding a bunch of BS along the way. I'm not sold on the fact it is any more than that.
RRP $60-$65 - 700ml
Available widely at chain retail outlets