People who say there’s no difference among vodka brands should be directed posthaste to Level. It’s a gut-punching vodka, in a way you might not expect.
Level (a product of the Absolut folks in Sweden, distilled from grain at 80 proof), is immediately pungent upon opening the bottle, strong and thick when served from the freezer. Maybe that has more to do with the distillation process — a continuous system that reportedly distills the vodka hundreds of times plus a traditional batch distillation — than with the grain that’s fermented. One taste and you know this isn’t Smirnoff, or regular Absolut for that matter.
For starters, it’s sweet. Sweet like it’s been impregnated with lots of sugar. I could have sworn I could taste the crystals in the mix, it’s that powerful. There’s spiciness here, too, a lemon-pepper kind of mix that hits you when your taste buds recover from the sweet.
Wow, it’s perhaps the most flavorful vodka I’ve ever had. For many who are looking for a smooth, flavorless spirit, that may not be a good thing, but if you want a mixer for sweet cocktails that can also stand up on its own, Level is an interesting addition to your bar.