When it comes to vodka, there are many exciting flavors to discover. For instance, in 2020, we reviewed everything from bottles that were inspired by local weather to vodka from wine country with a grape base.
But whether you’re looking for the newest flavor or the best bottle to mix into a cocktail, this list has got you covered.
Best vodkas to look for
D. George Benham’s Vodka; $27, 93 points. Made from grapes and a blend of grains (wheat, rye, corn), this smooth vodka is neutral on nose and palate, with whispers of grapefruit, almond and charcoal. It slides into a clove-accented finish. —Kara Newman
Hangar 1 Fog Point Vodka; $134, 93 points. This limited-edition vodka is “inspired by the Bay Area fog,” the producer says. The base is distilled from a Chenin Blanc and Viognier blend from California’s Pine Ridge Vineyards, then cut with water sourced from Hangar 1’s “fog catchers.” The finished vodka is remarkably silky and layers a distinctly fruity note with earthy unsweetened chocolate, finishing lightly with a dusting of lemon-pepper. —K.N.
Smugglers’ Notch Moroccan Rose & Grapefruit Flavored Vodka; $27, 93 points. A candied orange peel aroma entices the nose. The palate is relatively neutral at first, then plenty of orange peel and grapefruit pith emerges on the rounded, surprisingly long finish, adding ginger and white pepper sparks. Mix with tonic or soda water. —K.N.
ATX Vodka; $19, 92 points. Look for a neutral aroma and palate laced with almond sweetness. The long, bracing finish suggests pink peppercorn, grapefruit peel, cardamom and clove. —K.N.
Belvedere Single Estate Rye Vodka Lake Bartezek; $38, 92 points. One of two new bottles introduced to demonstrate the impact of terroir in vodka, this bottling is crisp, light and overall neutral on nose and palate. A vegetal hint on the palate leads into white pepper, ginger and lemon peel on the exhale. —K.N.
Tom of Finland Vodka; $35, 91 points. Named for Touko Laaksonen, the Finnish artist and gay icon better known as Tom of Finland. Made from organic wheat and rye, this versatile vodka has a mild, slightly citrusy scent and a smooth, vanilla-tinged palate that finishes brisk, with peppy hints of lemon peel and white pepper. —K.N.
Shelta Cavern Spirits Vodka; $30, 91 points. Made from malted barley and wheat, look for distinct fruity notes on nose and palate. It’s not the absolute neutrality some seek in vodka, but it’s still pleasant, light and soft with tinges of coconut and cinnamon heat into the finish. —K.N.
Round Rock Vodka; $20, 90 points. Made from 100% corn, this versatile small batch vodka is relatively neutral on nose and palate, with brushes of charcoal, citrus and white pepper, with a bracing, drying finish. Sip or mix. —K.N.
Hanson of Sonoma Organic Vodka; $30, 90 points. A small-batch wine country vodka distilled from organic grapes. The faintly fruity aroma channels bubble gum or lychee. Those notes echo on the palate, layered with hints of rosewater, cinnamon and white pepper heat. Sip or mix. —K.N.
South Fork Vodka; $19, 90 points. This small batch vodka distilled from corn has a distinctly sweet, marshmallow-like aroma. The palate also has a sugary tone, hinting at marshmallow and coconut, finishing brisk. —K.N.