20
May-09

Eristoff Vodka Review

In my recent visit to Guwahati, I did a bit of vodka shopping. I was amazed by the number of wine shops there. Literally, every second shop is a wine shop and these shops are privately owned. So you can see various lighting and decorations in each of the shops just to make one’s shop better than the other, couple of doors away :)  But none of these shops have bar attached. In a place where it’s cold most of the time, I guess it’s obvious that people drink a lot.
Now I went into one of the bigger shops, with my broken Hindi, I somehow made the shop keeper understand that I wanted to know what brands of Vodka he has. I was actually looking for the Romanov Red, which was advertised outside. But they (nor neither of the other shops) had it. The other brands they had were all the usual ones EXCEPT for one. It was a quarter bottle, oddly (but nicely) shaped, with a blue label. It was called Eristoff. When I enquired the price, it was Rs.110 hmm in a place where a quarter Romanov was Rs.50 (compared to Chennai’s Rs.70) it was exorbitantly expensive. I thought there must be something special then and asked for a full bottle. Sorry! , he said, this stuff comes only in quarters. So I paid for a quarter. The guy nicely wrapped the bottle in paper, then put it in a carry bag and gave it (unlike in Chennai, where they throw the bottle on your face :) ). I checked it in the flight and brought it back to Chennai.
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to examine the bottle and do some research on it. I discovered, it was indeed a very famous international brand.

This is what Wikipedia has to say
“Eristoff Vodka originates from Georgia and was first created for Prince Eristoff in 1806.
Made from 100% grain spirit, Eristoff is triple distilled and then charcoal filtered, a technique first established in 18th century Russia.
The Eristoff logo – a wolf howling at a crescent moon – represents the Persian name for Georgia, Virshan, meaning “land of the wolf”. Today, Georgia is still home to the grey wolf, which for hundreds of years has been a part of Russian culture and folklore.

Eristoff’s bell-shaped bottle is embossed with the imperial crown and around the base of the bottle the words “Original Recipe of Prince Eristoff of 1806” are written in Russian Cyrillic text.” Read more here.

The brand has a wonderful website. Take a look at http://www.eristoff.com/
Their land of the wolf commercial is very famous. Take a look at it in youtube

On the label of the bottle which I bought it says

“Prince Nocklai Alexandroivch / 1806 / Eristoff / Triple Distilled / Premium Vodka”
In India, to my surprise, not UB, but it is made by Bacardi – Martini India, of course the guys who make Bacardi.
As for the drinking experience. Nothing to shout about. Not to the class and smoothness of the international ones like Absolut or grey goose, but definitely better than our local ones. Had a tinge of citrus bitterness to it. Less of the typical vodka odour. Will definitely not make it my regular drink, given a chance. But for sure can be an occasional one.

Sadly, I don’t think we get this in the southern states at least in Tamilnadu, Kerala. So if you go to any place where you can get it, grab one! Cheers!

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  • Ashish

    I have tasted one brand i.e Wodka Gorbatschow ( Tripple chill filtered for excellent Purity) I have found Gorbatschow is far better than Eristoff, Mainly eristoff is harsh & gives hangover but Gorbatschow is smoothest one. I suggest you try Gorbatschow its Germany’s No1 Vokda & You know germans are very particular about Quality.

  • Pingback: 2011 Top 3 Vodka Brands In TN – # 1 Eristoff Vodka , #2 Magic Moments Vodka , #3 Romanov Vodka .. KosuKadi

  • vps

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  • CatGunHome

    This is an Assamese guy writing, who spent 5 years in Guwahati, much before the so-many-wine-shops-in-Guwahati days (1986-1991). Back then, one needed to cross into Meghalaya, near Khanapara (the Veterinary college student friends there at Khanapara used to refer to it as, “Going Up”, as one needed to walk upwards to cross into Meghalaya), about 15 KMs from Panbazar, Guwahati, where my College was, to have tax-free alcohol.

    There were few wine shops back then in Guwahati. In Panbazar, there was B.N. Dey & Sons (probably the oldest in Guwahati, who also sold Times of India, Telegraph and other newspapers), which was just opposite to the Departments of Assamese and Philosophy of my college; near Fancy Bazar and the Guwahati Medical Hospital (I cannot remember the street name anymore, sorry) there was another shop (forgot this name as well). Beyond that, I do not remember any. The wine shops used to close at 7-30 PM; after that, if you were lucky as well as courageous, you might be able to get a real garbage drink (Sikander Rum, for example, real crap) at a very high price from the Army Transit Depot, which came into being by about 1988 or so.

    I came to your page while looking for some info on Eristoff vodka. I mean, I recently bought a bottle of Eristoff (750 ml, price was USD 15, but got it on sale for $10), and was looking to see what price info the internet has. It seems remarkable that the price in Los Angeles, California is very similar to that in Guwahati.

    (P.S. I am glad that your first impression of Guwahati was pleasant. I was in Chennai for only about 6 hours on my way to Andaman, and the rude behaviour of the taxi driver(s) (at the airport, they replied in Hindi to my questions in English, but the moment I took the taxi, the driver only spoke to me in Tamil, to everything I said in English, and then abused me in Tamil for each simple thing I asked) has left a bitter taste in my mouth. I have good Tamil friends, and I know that the behaviour of the taxi drivers do not reflect anything on the people of Chennai, but I just wish that my only experience/memory of Chennai could have been pleasant.)

    Best regards.

    • http://www.kosukadi.com KosuKadi

      @CatGunHome I fell in love with Guwahati the first time I went there and I have been returning there every year ever since. I ensure that I go in peak winter around Jan (Bihu) time so that I can enjoy the chill and the slowed down life style during winters. Fancy Bazaar is the only place I could pick up from the places you have mentioned, I take a stroll through it every time I am there at Ghy. Also glad to hear Ghy matches LA liquor prices. Eristoff 750ml is exactly Rs.500 in Chennai as well.

  • CatGunHome

    I want to add a few more things.

    1. Guwahati, though it appears very cold in the winter due to high humidity, can be pretty hot in the summer, when the temperature rises up to 36 degrees Celsius (maybe even more) and during which time the asphalt on the roads melt due to high humidity.

    2. The many wine shops phenomenon was (initially) apparently a retaliation by the Late Hiteswar Saikia (and his congress I government) against the ban on alcohol imposed by the ULFA; they also used to beat and humiliate people who drank alcohol. Mr. Saikia, a shrewd politician/statesman issued permits for wine shop to the surrendered ULFA leaders (and some cadres).

  • babi

    its a good one, dear ones…. while U like Vodka……. its much better than WM and Smirnoff…… should stay for a hauling ……

  • TP1

    I just visited Madrid, Spain for the first time with my friends whom all drink the popular vodkas back in the states. We came across Eristoff because the local corner store only had one bottle of Absolute and this brand. We bought the absolute and a bottle of Eristoff. Much too our surprise this vodka was very smooth, no after taste and no hangover the next day. This was our drink of choice for the remainder of the trip. We even bought two bottles a piece at the Duty Free shop and brought them back to the states.