Few words are pre-loaded with luxury the way beluga is. Trump is another, but there was already a vodka with that name on the market (now defunct).
Beluga hails from Russia, but beyond this there’s plenty about its production that remains rather mysterious. It is distilled from grain in Western Siberian distillery founded in 1900, filtered through quartz sand and silver, and cut with water from a Siberian spring. The company says it is distinguished “by using a preciously calibrated distillation ritual, which gives its vodka a pure enrichment of high quality taste.” Also of note: It’s a straight vodka, but it includes a few additives, apparently in small proportions, including honey, oat extract, and Silybum marianum extract (you know it as the milk thistle). More on that later.
Poured fresh, this is a pungent vodka with a hefty, medicinal nose. This fades in short order, though, leaving behind a somewhat sweeter nose. That sweetness carries through directly to the palate, where a creamy, semi-sweet body awaits. Perhaps this is where the honey comes in, imbuing the medicinal aspects of this vodka with a more sugary side.
Beyond this, the vodka is fairly simple, with not a lot of additional characteristics to be discovered. That isn’t altogether a bad thing, as vodka is supposed to be “neutral” — but if your tastes err toward the sweeter side of life, and you have a bit of money to burn, Beluga Noble is worth a shot. (Note: Do not confuse this with Beluga Gold Vodka, an even more upscale bottling, not reviewed here.)
B+ / $30 / vodka-beluga.com
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