Monday, September 15, 2008
Product Review- Sobieski vodka
Damn Sobieski vodka. First off, I'm not even supposed to admit to liking vodka even a little bit. I'm a gin guy when it comes to clear spirits, even going so far as to occasionally offering people "juniper vodka" in their drinks. I find most vodkas insipid, lacking flavor and appealing to the lowest common denominator. Even well made vodkas don't hold a ton of appeal for me, the idea of paying $40 for a bottle of something with little character makes me cringe. At 50 Plates, I carry Goose and Ketel One, but no Stoli, instead focusing our limited vodka selection on American artisan brands like Medoyeff, Hangar One and Lovejoy.
Then I got a bottle of Sobieski to taste. Its a luxury Polish rye vodka (the best of the best imho), with an $11 price point! Naturally, I was pretty suspicious. When I tasted it Sobieski, I found a vodka that can compete with its competitors at 4 times the price, its got a nice spiciness from the rye, but with subtly sweet rounded finish. I couldn't believe my taste buds. So I did what any self respecting bartender should do, I brought it into the bar and made martinis with it.
While I'm not a vodka afficionado, vodka drinkers who drink martinis seem to be the most discriminating and brand concious group of vodka drinkers out there, so introducing new product to someone who may have been drinking Stoli martinis for the last 10 years isn't the easiest thing. I was pleasantly surprised by people's reactions to Sobieski. Usually, after tasting their martini, they would ask me the name of it, where they could get it, and how much does it cost? Those are pretty great questions to be asked when you are introducing a new product behind the bar, and I am happy to say that Sobieski is now a limited listing product in Oregon, with a retail price of $11. I'm hoping to blow out our well vodka, Monopolowa, and replace it with Sobieski in the well. For $11 a bottle, no other brand can compete on price or flavor.
One more thing. If you look closely, you'll see that the bottle in the picture is empty. Thats right, it was so popular when I brought it in for tasting that we blew through that bottle in a couple of hours. I was planning on taking a better picture, but I think the empty bottle says it all. Sobieski is going to be the house vodka at Casa De Mayhew from now on, I've never seen a better vodka at a better price. This is great great stuff, don't miss out.