Crystal Head Vodka
|Country of origin||Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada|
|Introduced||Southern California, 2008|
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.
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.
Aykroyd and Alexander conceived of the idea for Crystal Head Vodka in 2007, after realizing they were both fascinated by the legend of the 13 Crystal Skulls. Once Alexander had sketched the bottle, Aykroyd suggested that they fill it with a spirit that reflected the purity and quality of the skulls of legend. Aykroyd had been repeatedly frustrated by attempts to find a vodka that was free of additives, and realized if he wanted one he would have to make it. So the bottle was filled with the purest vodka they could manufacture.
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 30 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 a government owned 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--glycol, 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.
- 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
- Proof66 Ratings Information for Crystal Head