Grey Goose is simultaneously one of the most loved and hated spirits brands in the world. Legions of martini drinkers have turned Grey Goose, which is now owned by Bacardi, into a must-call phenomenon on the back bar, and today some 20 million bottles of the stuff are sold every year. (Though this number has been in decline for a while as more superpremium vodkas have continued to appear on the market.)
I first reviewed Grey Goose (simplistically) back in 2008. After 13 years, the brand was definitely due for a fresh set of eyes (and mouth). How does this French wheat-based vodka compare in today’s marketplace? Some thoughts follow.
Very gentle on the nose, Grey Goose shows an almost ephemeral note of medicinality, the only hint that it’s actually a high-proof vodka and not something more innocuous, like coconut water. Slight notes of sesame oil, almond, and a hint of vanilla give it a light sweetness, again evoking something you might drink at the spa instead of the bar. The body is creamy and gentle, again showing on the palate a modest vanilla note and some spun sugar, making for an iconic New World experience that is often copied today. The gentle sweetness, marshmallow-like at times, really rounds out on the tongue, eliminating any sense of boozy sharpness or heat. The finish is equally clean and simple, lightly sweet with no bit whatsoever.
While I generally gravitate to vodkas with more pungency and cleansing astringency, it’s easy to see why people continue to love Grey Goose. It is pleasant and perfectly innocuous — and most of all, it never feels like booze… at least until that third vodka-soda, amirite?
A- / $33 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]