Food & Drink

This $20 Vodka Just Won Gold at the International Spirits Challenge

Russia sets the standard when it comes to affordable vodka. Case in point: Russian Standard, which hovers around $20 a bottle and recently won a gold medal at the International Spirits Challenge (ISC).

The brand is a Supercall favorite—it’s one of our top vodka brands for shots and one of our picks for best Russian vodka overall. It’s clean and a little sweet with a creaminess that makes it go down easy. Throw it in the freezer for a bit then shoot it with some traditional Russian drinking snacks, and you won’t be disappointed. Apparently, that’s something that more than 50 judges from the ISC also realized during their blind taste test.

The ISC has been running for 23 years. For 2018, it received more than 1,500 entries from nearly 70 different countries. They don’t take their decisions lightly. There are 10 days of blind tasting, and each spirit in every category is ranked by its aroma, appearance, taste and finish.

Russian Standard wasn’t the only vodka to win gold. It falls under the “Vodka Wheat Standard” category, and the ISC has 12 vodka categories total. Other gold medal winners you should look out for are Nikka Coffey Vodka (Vodka Multi-Ingredient Super Premium category), the new Smogory Forest Belvedere Single Estate Rye vodka (Vodka Rye Super Premium category) and Mamont Vodka (Vodka Wheat Super Premium category). The tasters have also caught the pickle-flavored-everything bug. Gustav Dill Vodka won gold in the premium flavored vodka category.

Russia may or may not be the motherland of vodka, but when it comes to your freezer, Russian Standard deserves some reserved space.