Swedish Absolut is the second best-selling vodka in the world. It has been manufactured in Åhus, Sweden since 1879. Wheat grown near the factory is used as a raw material. Absolut Vanilla was developed in 2003, mainly because vanilla is simply one of the most beloved flavors in the world. According to the manufacturer, nothing other than vanilla extract is added to the vodka, not even sugar. In addition to vanilla, Absolut makes a total of 19 different flavored vodkas. The one-liter bottle shown in the picture was bought years ago from a Tallinn-Helsinki ferry. Today, the bottle label has been redesigned.
The aroma is sweet and has a strong vanilla flavour. According to the manufacturer, the vanilla flavor is made by extracting real vanilla grown in Madagascar.
The taste is soft and sweet at the beginning, but in the mid-palate the sweetness becomes bitter and the aftertaste is already pungently bitter. The sweetness should come from the vanilla only, as sugar is not added due to the manufacturer. In the unflavoured Absolut, such bitterness is not felt. So it should come either from the vanilla or by the use of lower quality rectified spirit.
The sweet and bitter taste is a somewhat unpleasant combination. Although I like vanilla ice cream, it is not suitable for seasoning vodka at all. The liquor is not suitable for drinking neat, and I did not like the taste of vanilla when I mixed vodka with different juices. The taste of vanilla is quite intense. Diluted with water, the taste of vanilla is as strong as when drunk straight from the bottle.
Absolute Vanilla is a well made vodka and it is exactly what it promises, has strong vanilla aroma and is sweet. However, it can only be recommended to bartenders who know the recipes and know with which ingredients vanilla aroma is suitable. It’s best in very sweet drinks with cream and / or chocolate added. For basic use, for mixing with juices or lemonades, it’s not suitable, unless you happen to be a really big friend of vanilla.