Russian Standard is a rather new vodka brand. It was established in 1998 by Roustam Tariko, who is also owner of Russian Standard Bank. After the launch it is rapidly grown for one of the major brands from Russia. In three years, it was already on sale in over 80 countries and the production was 20 million litres per year. The basic vodka was later renamed to Original, when there were three other variants, Gold, Platinum and Imperial.
Russian Standard is produced from wheat, distilled four times and filtered four times through charcoal. It is diluted from the water of Lake Lagoda, which is said to have one of the softest water naturally available. Price of the 50cl bottle is usually around 9-10€ in Estonia.
It is neutral but somehow a bit sweet on the nose. Not any ethanol stink which is common for cheaper vodkas. Taste is smooth, very lightly sweet, it has a short and light burn, not any bitterness on aftertaste. There is light but a pleasant grain, a bit of flour like taste which is not so common for vodkas which are made only from wheat. It has a nice body and it is very well balanced in all aspects. Neutral, grain taste, very clean, decent but light burn. All these basic factors tell it is a very well done vodka. I do not have anything to complain about with this vodka, the price is a bit higher than the average vodka in Estonian market, but a couple euros more is a very good investment here.
I’m wondering what more expensive Platinum and Imperial have to offer, as Original is already an excellent product. Of course, further distillations and filtrations can bring an even more neutral and softer end result. But at the same time, graininess and other aspects may be lost, which are very well balanced in this Original one.