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What do you think causes the Berry flavor in Grey Goose?


mrjeffthurmon

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So I have probably taste tested fifty or so vodkas, and each one has a pretty specific flavor profile. Depending upon whether they are grain, potato, or other, how they are filtered or not filtered, the number of times through the stills, the cuts, the type of still, and the water quality create differences in flavor to be sure.

One thing I have noticed, however, is Grey Goose's distinct flavor. Take a drink of another vodka (straight), then take a drink of the Goose. Let it settle in for a moment.... Notice the berry flavor in the finish? Does anyone think they are adding this flavor in without stating it, since it is a miniscule amount? Do you think it comes from the particular type of grain they are distilling? Any other ideas? Just wondering... Jeff

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Additions of citric acid and sugar to what is labelled as vodka has been allowed in the US since 1956, with the ceiling of citric acid levels rising significantly forty years later.

The former ATF made a ruling in 1997 for products labelled vodka in the US which permitted an addition of up to 1 g/L (1000 ppm, or 1% v/v) of citric acid in its production. 200 mg/L (200 ppm, or 0.2% v/v) of sugar had been allowable as an addition since 1956. The ruling is shown at this link:

Ruling 97-1

How's that for "....without distinctive character, aroma or taste" as the standard of identity for vodka?

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The natural taste of ethyl alcohol from soft white winter wheat, along with additions of citric acid and sugar could somewhat resemble the taste of blueberry to more than just a few! Grey Goose does claim, however, that nothing except water is added post-distillation. Perhaps the sensation is from minerals in the dilution water? You would have to subject a sample to gas chromatography if you fancy being a vodka sleuth.

If Grey Goose is not your preference, go with a different brand! Many fine vodka brands of high purity exist at less cost. The range of composition has been growing for many years!

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At my opinion you should to taste another Grey Goose vodka out of other party of the vodka and compare these vodkas by smell and taste. I have tasted the vodka when on last week of December i am working by invitation of one of big ukranian brandy manufacturer to design technology for their new grape vodka. All degustators who tasted Grey Goose among other vodka samlples did not reveal any blueberry notes neither in smell nor in taste. Moreover we feel some kind of paper tone that is one of spirit defects and often is caused by filtration through law quality filter cardboards as a main but not last reason.

I met, for instance last time in Romania, with cases when at one bottle line are bottling different kind of vodka and sweet liquors and taste and aroma of pure vodka depend on how thoroughly the bottling line was washed.

By the way, there are special technologies that allow to influence upon taste and smell of vodka without adding any ingridients. For instance vodka gain special sweetness due to acetals and semiacetals and so on, even light fruit or grape notes in tastes. But as i know they do not use these technologies.

As for citric acid and sugar syrop. It is unlikely give directly bluebery aroma and taste.

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Yes, it is possible too, Artisan Still Design.

But if vodka is pure, unflavored one, sometimes there are some defects in the spirits such as, for instance, smell of either vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or vitamin B. These defects are the results of either unproper grain preservatives or ferments. Sometimes the smell of ascorbic acid succeeded to transform in other kind of flower smell.

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Well, you can have a lot more problems than that, such as a sulphur smell from using lignite coal to filter, differentials in water quality, flavor from the vessels, and so much more.... I understand that the rules are different in other parts of the planet than in the U.S.. Thanks for the information, however, this has proven very interesting, especially you BW FIggins, great information, I may play around with this at my place.... Jeff

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Not sure whether you've planted the idea in my brain. But I was spurred to have another smell/taste of some bought-in neutral grain spirit (as it's from a base of French wheat). Not on the finish, but it was on the nose I picked up a definite berry (blueberry-esque) flavour. Which is very nice.

Don't have a bottle of Grey Goose lying around. But... it can't be too far off ;)

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