Until the beginning of 2021, Russian Standard was one of the best-selling Russian vodkas. After the Ukrainian war, the bottles disappeared from sale and this vodka brand, founded in 1998, can only be found in a few stores. In addition to the original Russian Standard, the brand has also been announced as Platinum, Imperial and, lastly, Gold, which was introduced to the market in 2008. The Gold version is basically the same as the Original, but it has been flavored with Siberian ginseng, vanilla and cinnamon. A 50 cl bottle cost €10.99.
The nose is neutral, but has a bit of sweetness and a light solvent aroma. The taste is soft and rich, even creamy. The sweet vanilla aroma comes out well in the background. However, I can’t find any cinnamon there. Ginseng is a stranger to me and I can’t isolate it either.There is not any special ginger-like burn in the taste. The vanilla sweet note is in the main aroma, and it continues steadily all the way to the aftertaste. Ethanol bites the throat a bit, but otherwise Gold is rather soft. Although the vodka has a clear sweet note, it is not any syrupy or such. The sweetness is restrained and at a decent level. When sipping it neat at room temperature the taste is rather neutral, you can hardly find any grainy aroma. The vanilla sweetness is even dominating when adding a little water, and there is a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste. However, you can’t call Gold a vanilla vodka, it’s clearly different from really vanilla specified vodkas like Absolut Vanilla. The vanilla aroma is just a slightly affecting sweet note. Due to its sweetness, Gold could be well suited for sipping with ice cubes. Of course, it also goes well with various drinks But although for its price, I see no reason why it should be bought just for mixed with orange juice. To the dinner table, I would still prefer the drier and more grainy original Standard.