Review: Bedlam Vodka

Review: Bedlam Vodka

Graybeard Distillery can be found in Durham, NC, and it makes a single product, Bedlam Vodka, which is distilled from rice “with a deep Irish heritage.” The concept behind the vodka: Avoiding harshness. Per Graybeard CEO Brandon Evans. “After years of dissatisfaction with many vodka’s on the market, we came together to create a spirit based on our philosophy that vodka need not burn.”

Results: Bedlam doesn’t “burn” in any overwhelming sense, as it is softened by breakfast cereal notes and a notable sweetness. The nose is so grainy as to evoke a white whiskey, somewhat musty, with a few scattered notes of lemon peel. The body is fairly harmless, again with light citrus notes but with a considerably heavier cereal component. The finish is lightly sweet but bready, with a sweet baked goods element (think doughnuts) to it.

So, yes, Bedlam has successfully removed the bite from its vodka, but that is really to its detriment, as what’s left behind is somewhat saccharine and a bit dull. Really, if you take the burn out of vodka, what do you even have left?

80 proof.

B- / $22

Bedlam Vodka




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. David Hulbert on December 3, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Basically this product is a a fortified wine! It’s NOT vodka! Falsely represented as a milder vodka it is really NOT VODKA at all. Good try guys but will NOT be buying it again! Fool me once,….

  2. Bedlam Vodka on December 5, 2019 at 8:03 am

    Hey David, Sydney from Bedlam Vodka here. That’s a very interesting take! Similar to fortified wines, fermentation is a part of the vodka-making process, however there are some substantial distinctions between these two types of alcohols. We’d love to discuss our process for distillation with you more if you’re interested. If so, shoot us an email at [email protected].

  3. Darla Madia on February 10, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    This is the MOST disgusting faux Vodka, because that’s NOT Vodka! Disgusting. I wrote the Company and asked for my money back and suggested they fire the Chemist and taster!

  4. Alex on February 27, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    I bought this as a joke because of Jason Derulo, but it’s actually pretty good. Doesn’t burn at all and very floral. I could fool someone into thinking it is Sake. Especially good with sushi!

    • Brainmist on October 30, 2022 at 10:47 am

      Spot on. My local grocery had it massively discounted; I bought it for the lovely bottle, as I’m not really into vodka, but I of course tried some, and was struck by how clearly it resembled sake. Highly distilled, of course.

      So I tried it reconstituted: 1:2 ratio of spirits: water.

      And yes, it passes as sake, although with a weird bitter after note. You could certainly cook with it. I haven’t tried it heated yet. But I think this would indeed pair well with sushi. And at its current $5/ bottle, plus a concentration that essentially makes it 3 bottles of sake? Hm. May have to stock a bit.

      Anyway, maybe the manufacturer wants to consider going into sake production.

      Given that the discounted price on

  5. Seely on January 29, 2023 at 8:35 am

    I tried this on a whim since I saw it on sale and I’m glad I did. I love sake and the nose on this is so similar, I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference if I was blindfolded. At room temperature it does have a bit of bite, but chilled overnight in the freezer it goes down SO SMOOTH. As a person who wants higher proof booze without the terrible “booze taste” or cringe-inducing bite, this was perfect for me. It feels nice and thick/soft on my tongue (if that makes sense), is easy to swallow, and has a whisper of sweetness to it that makes me want to have another sip– and I could sip this easily, but it mixes even better with a can of Polar Seltzer. Can’t wait to get my hands on some ginger to make mules with it. This is my favorite of all vodkas I’ve tried, easily.

  6. SWS H on May 24, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    Traditional vodka drinkers, beware. This will not taste “clean” like a Ketel One or Absolut. It has personality, funk. But if you are intrigued by white whiskey, strong sake, sochu, give this a whirl.

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