INDULGE

Ultimate Beverage Challenge Reviews Vodka

UBC_1

Ultimate Beverage Challenge (UBC) was founded in 2010 by award-winning author/critic/journalist/educator F. Paul Pacult, publishing executive and editor Sue Woodley, and consultant David Talbot. In 2013, editor/journalist Sean Ludford became a partner. For the past five years, UBC has operated Ultimate Wine Challenge (UWC) and Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC), which are acknowledged as being as two of the world’s foremost annual international wine evaluation and competition events.

As UBC judging chairmen, F. Paul Pacult and Sean Ludford have instituted an innovative and exacting evaluation methodology for the careful appraisal of beverage alcohol products, in order to provide unbiased and meaningful results — findings that help suppliers grow their brands. This painstaking, detail-oriented methodology is accomplished in several ways: by working only with the most qualified, world-class judges; serving each entry in carefully-chosen fine crystal glassware at its optimum service temperature; keeping each “flight” to less than eight products to avoid palate fatigue; using multiple round blind-tasting to ensure a level playing field for every entry; providing a calm, clean evaluation environment; and, employing the best back-of-house staff to ensure smooth operation.

Also for ease of comprehension, UBC utilizes the universally understood 100-point scale. Entries that score 90 points or more in the first round of judging are assigned to a second set of judges for an additional round of blind judging, to determine finalists and trophy winners. After all the results are tabulated, the highest scoring spirits or wines in each category are awarded the highly coveted “Chairman’s Trophy.” Additional accolades of “Great Value,” which recognizes a favorable price/quality ratio, and “Tried & True Award,” which recognizes consistent quality over at least three UBC competitions, are also awarded where applicable. In addition, each spirit or wine that receives a score of 85 or higher in either UWC or USC is provided with a tasting note that records its characteristics and uses.

This issue we feature the Chairman’s Trophy and the 12 finalists in their 2015 vodka tasting.

TOP VODKAS

UBC_2

Chairman’s Trophy – Score: 95
Russian Standard Original Vodka

Russia, 40% abv
Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation, Great Value

Shimmering clear appearance. Dry breakfast cereal aroma is classic. Integrated, harmonious in mid-palate and aftertaste. Superb balance from start to finish. A world standard.


UBC_3

Score: 94
Khortytsa Platinum Vodka

Ukraine, 40% abv
Excellent, Highly Recommended, Great Value, Tried & True


Score: 94
Purity Vodka

Sweden, 40% abv
Excellent, Highly Recommended, Tried & True


Score: 94
Spud Vodka

Poland, 40% abv
Excellent, Highly Recommended, Great Value


Score: 94
Viche Pitia Classic No. 25 Vodka

France, 40% abv
Excellent, Highly Recommended


Score: 93
Belvedere Vodka

Poland, 40% abv
Excellent, Highly Recommended, Tried & True


Score: 93
Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka

United States, 40% abv
Excellent, Highly Recommended, Great Value


Score: 93
Deep Run Vodka

United States, 40% abv
Excellent, Highly Recommended


Score: 93
Ménage à Trois Vodka

United States, 40% abv
Excellent, Highly Recommended, Great Value


Score: 93
Prairie Organic Vodka

United States, 40% abv
Excellent, Highly Recommended, Great Value, Tried & True


Score: 93
Snow Leopard Vodka

Poland, 40% abv
Excellent, Highly Recommended


Score: 93
Starlite Vodka

United States, 40% abv
Excellent, Highly Recommended, Great Value


Score: 93
Van Gogh Blue Triple Wheat Vodka

Netherlands, 40% abv
Excellent, Highly Recommended