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Reyka Vodka

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (6 Reviews)

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Reyka Vodka from Iceland

Reyka Vodka from Iceland

Photo Courtesy of: © Reyka Vodka

The Bottom Line

A few spirits have employed the pure Icelandic waters in their production, however Reyka is the first to wholly take advantage of the country's resources as it is the first to be distilled and bottled there. The result is a super clean, premium vodka that has an environmental conscience.

To promote Reyka, the company has created some interesting television spots that are innovative and simply fun and quirky. Visit the Reyka website and click on the TV to watch the campaign.

Pros

  • Clean, "green" vodka
  • Produced using sustainable energy
  • Fun TV commercials

Cons

  • Small batches increase quality but limit availability

Description

  • Distilled from wheat and barley in a distillery operated by geothermal heat.
  • The first vodka to be distilled and bottled in Iceland.
  • 80 proof (40% alc/vol)
  • Retails for around $23 per 750mL bottle.

Guide Review - Reyka Vodka

As the first vodka to be distilled and bottled in Iceland, the makers of Reyka have created their ideal vodka using the country's pristine resources. Not only is this barley and wheat vodka clean, but it also comes with an air of prestige to it due to the distillers behind it, William Grant & Sons (makers of Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and Hendrick's Gin) and Master Distiller, Kristman Olafsson. These masters of spirits have designed the distillation perfectly to fill a need for a purer and more responsible production and, as Olafsson puts it, a "uniquely Icelandic" vodka.

Amidst the clean air of the village of Borgarnes in western Iceland, sits the distillery where Reyka comes together. The entire operation is run by the abundant geothermal heat of the land, a factor that led to the naming of the spirit as Reyka (Ray-kuh) is an ancient Icelandic word for steam or smoke. Small batches of only 235 cases per distillation contain glacial water from the Grabok Spring, which runs through a 4,000 year old lava field. Researchers have tested the waters and found there to be zero impurities. The resulting vodka is a testament that if clean products go in, clean products come out.

Tasting Notes:
Reyka has a strong "green" aspect to it. A delightful nose of sweet rose and fresh cut hay fills the senses with clarity. The palate is silky and marked with rose, lavender and a surprisingly spicy cedar. A short finish with undertones of warm citrus and grain complete the experience with uplifting purity.

Enjoy Reyka Vodka
Because it is so clean, this vodka is the perfect base for any cocktail: dry, sweet, fruity or herbal, it's all good. Reyka on the rocks and two dashes of Angostura bitters became a personal infatuation, as it is a beautifully herbal, earthy sipper that refreshes and uplifts the palate.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 2 out of 5
Heavy Mineral Aftertaste, Member NYSalesman

Ok. A Russian friend of mine suggested that I try Reyka. I was impressed with the price, only $15. When I got home I opened the bottle and poured a shot. I was super impressed with the clean nose - no alcohol smell at all. My love affair ended after I drank the shot. The vodka does go down smooth, not enough of a burn for my taste but I could see how others would find it preferential. The deal breaker, however, was the aftertaste. Yes, do not believe the other reviews, there is a huge aftertaste problem with this vodka. My guess is that the other reviewers didn't drink the vodka straight or when it was warm. At first I suspected it was potato vodka because of the mineral like aftertaste. However, after reading the bottle and seeing it was made from grain, I concluded that the heavy mineral aftertaste is due to the filtering through lava rocks. As an avid vodka drinker I can tell you that a good vodka (an early Polish word for resemblance to water) should have the following three properties: 1) Colorless (like water) 2) Odorless (like water) 3) Neutral taste (like water) with just the right amount of burn at the back of your throat Reyka fails on property #3 In my opinion, the best vodkas are: 1) Belvedere (makes the top 5 ranking every year by the beverage tasting institute) 2) Titan Glacier (my personal favorite, very clean potato vodka made from four column distillation and charcoal filtration) 3) Kettle One 4) Sobieski (At $17 a bottle it's about the same price as Reyka. It doesn't have quite as clean a nose, but does have a much cleaner taste). Note that Grey Goose is not on the list. If you're drinking Grey Goose, then you don't know vodka.

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