Crystal Head Vodka
The Crystal Head Vodka bottle
|Country of origin||Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada|
|Introduced||Southern California, 2008|
|Alcohol by volume||40%|
|Website||Crystal Head Vodka|
Crystal Head Vodka is an additive-free vodka manufactured by Globefill Inc. in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It was conceived of and founded by actor Dan Aykroyd and artist John Alexander in 2007.
The vodka is quadruple-distilled and seven times filtered, the final 3 filtrations through Herkimer diamond crystals. It is additive-free, gluten-free, and kosher certified. The product is packaged in a cardboard box, sold in a clear glass bottle in the shape of a human skull that has a wooden bottle closure. The bottle was designed by artist John Alexander and is manufactured by Milan-based glass-manufacturer Bruni Glass.
Aykroyd and Alexander conceived of the idea for Crystal Head Vodka in 2007. After many frustrated attempts to find a vodka that was free of additives, Aykroyd realized that if he wanted one, he would have to make it, so he set out to create one of the world’s purest vodkas. Alexander designed the bottle based on the pair’s shared fascination with the legend of the 13 Crystal Skulls. The purity and quality of the skulls of legend were a perfect match for the super premium vodka. 
It took two years to execute the manufacture of the bottle, as Milan-based glass manufacturer Bruni Glass declared it to be of "unsurpassed design and complexity."
Crystal Head launched in Southern California in September 2008 and launched in four other states shortly after. Liquor stores sold out quickly. Supply could not keep up with demand, and the company had to hold further release until they had built up stock. Crystal Head launched in the rest of the states in 2009, and is now available in more than 40 countries. According to 2010 data compiled from IMPACT, Crystal Head Vodka reached the one-million bottle mark faster than Grey Goose, Belvedere and Chopin vodkas.
In 2010, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario refused to carry Crystal Head Vodka in its stores, because it said people might find the bottle offensive. In 2011, in response to popular demand, the LCBO lifted the ban.
21,000 bottles of the vodka were stolen from a warehouse in Southern California In May 2011, Dan Aykroyd responded to TMZ: "My partners and I are sorry to lose this much vodka to theft and do not condone criminal activity in any fashion, but we are happy that some consumers will be afforded the opportunity of tasting it at significantly lower than retail price." 
Crystal Head Vodka is manufactured by Globefill Incorporated at the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation distillery in Newfoundland, Canada. "Peaches and Cream" corn grown in the Chatham-Kent region of Ontario is processed and distilled four times to produce a neutral grain spirit at 95% alcohol by volume. The raw spirit is then reduced with Newfoundland glacial water to 40% alcohol by volume. The liquid is then filtered seven times of which three are through Herkimer diamonds. These raw stones are quartz crystals, which have been ascribed healing properties by some new age belief systems. This proprietary filtration process accounts for the smoothness of the vodka. Crystal Head does not use any additives--glycerol, citrus oil, or sugar—in the production of their vodka. The factory and product is certified kosher, as well as gluten-free.
There is a Crystal Head bottle on the bar in the opening sketch of Saturday Night Live hosted by Justin Timberlake on March 9, 2013. In this sketch Dan Aykroyd plays the bartender. A bottle of Crystal Head can be seen on set in the 2013 film Broken City starring Russel Crowe and Mark Wahlberg.
Crystal Head has won numerous awards, including a Gold Medal for Excellent Taste at the 2013 Moscow ProdExpo Internation Tasting Contest, as well as a Double Gold Medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Awards are listed below:
- The Fifty Best, Best Vodka 2013 - Gold Medal
- The Vodka Masters 2013, Super Premium - Gold Medal
- Moscow ProdExpo 15th International Tasting Contest, 2013 - Gold Medal for Excellent Taste
- Australian Liquor Industry Awards, 2012 - New Product of the Year
- Australian Liquor Industry Awards, 2012 - Best Luxury Spirit 
- Top 10th Percentile among All Expert Rated Vodkas: Proof66.com 
- San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2011 – Double Gold Medal 
- Kosher Certification, 2010 - Orthodox Union 
- San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2009 – Silver Medal
- LA Spirits & Wine Competition: 2009 – Silver Medal – Special Jury Award for Unique Packaging
- Crystal Head Vodka
- Kleinman, Geoff (2010-09-23). "Dan Aykroyd Talks About Crystal Head Vodka". Drink Spirits. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "Crystal Head Vodka Awarded OU Kosher Certification". Ou.org. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- Beppi Crosariol. "Ontario bans Dan Aykroyd's skull-shaped vodka". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- Beppi Crosariol. "How Dan Aykroyd finally got his skull vodka unbanned from the LCBO". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "Dan Aykroyd - 21,000 BOTTLES of Vodka ... STOLEN". TMZ.com. 2011-12-05. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "Dan Aykroyd has 21,000 bottles of vodka stolen | CTV News". Ctvnews.ca. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "Dan Ackroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka: Celebrity builds brand awareness | Financial Post". Business.financialpost.com. 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "Crystal Head vodka joins forces with The Rolling Stones-Stockhouse news". Stockhouse.com. 2013-05-31. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "Herkimer Diamond Meanings and Uses". Crystal Vaults. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "Crystal Head Vodka". Crystal Head Vodka. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- The Fifty Best | Best Vodka 2013
- The Vodka Masters 2013 Results
- Hart, Courtney (1 April 2013). "Russia Awards Gold Medal for Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka". Kingston Herald. Kingston Herald Ontario. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- "ALIA 2012 winners revealed - The Shout, Hotel News, Liquor News, Bar + Club News". Theshout.com.au. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- Proof66 Ratings Information for Crystal Head
- "Crystal Head Vodka Takes Home Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition - Press Release". Ereleases.com. 2011-04-28. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- Official website
- Official Website Germany
- Forbes Magazine
- Santos, Zeon (February 16, 2014). "Forensic Scientists Create The Face Of Crystal Skull Vodka". Neatorama.com. Retrieved February 20, 2014.