Russian Standard (vodka)
|Country of origin||Moscow, Russia|
|Alcohol by volume||40%|
|Related products||List of vodkas|
The brand was introduced as the "Russian Standard" vodka in 1998 by the Russian Standard company of Roustam Tariko. The Russian Standard, later called Original, vodka established the brand as one of the top premium vodka brands in the Russian market. Its new Russian, Soviet-free identity, turned (unusually for a premium beverage) an advantage in the rapidly developing market of the 1990s Russia.
Two years after a successful Russian market launch, international expansion was started. This was accompanied by the launch of Russian Standard Platinum product in 2001 and the luxury brand Imperia in 2004. The original product was re-christened Original.
According to the manufacturer, in 2009 the brand was active worldwide in 70+ markets with sales over 2 million cases/yr. Marketing emphasizes the 100% Russian mantra – being produced by a Russian recipe, from only Russian raw materials, distilled and bottled in Russia.
Russian Standard aroused controversy when it questioned the Russianness of its chief international rival Stolichnaya. At that time, Stolichnaya was distilled in Russia but bottled in Latvia. Stolichnaya distributor, Pernod Ricard, responded by insisting that Stolichnaya is an authentic Russian vodka, as nothing is added or removed during the bottling.
Production of the Russian Standard Original is based on a four-tier protocol:
- mashing and fermenting
- distillation and rectification
- filtration and relaxation
- bottling and packaging.
Higher-end products add more purification steps.
Winter grains from Russian Steppes are milled and fermented. The raw spirit is distilled four times for the Original and Platinum variants while the Imperia spirit is distilled eight times. However, this is not a potato based vodka.
The spirits are blended with a glacier water from Lake Ladoga. Proximity of Lake Ladoga was one of the main reasons for the company's decision to establish its distillery in Saint Petersburg. The lake's underground sources provide one of the softest waters naturally available.
After final filtration, the spirits spend 48 hours in relaxation tanks, are bottled and packaged. As a quality vodka contains only water and ethanol, it generally does not mature or age and its shelf life is limited only by packaging.
The marketing casually mentions that the production conforms to the scientist Dmitri Mendeleev's 1894 formula.
While his university dissertation was on reactions between alcohol and water, the recipe for the imperial 40% vodka standard came to be 50 years earlier during his childhood. This myth was debunked in 2009 by Russia Today.
- Russian Standard Original
- Original product launched in 1998
- Raw ingredients: winter grains from Russian Steppes, glacial water from Lake Ladoga
- Distilled four times and filtered four times through charcoal
- Russian Standard Platinum
- Higher-end product, launched 2001
- Filtered additional two times through silver.
- Russian Standard Gold
- Notes of vanilla, caramel, and spearmint
- Limited edition
- Added ingredient Russian Ginseng
- The luxury brand, launched 2004
- Distilled additional four times.
- Filtered additional two times through quartz.
- Luxury brand
- Nora FitzGerald (24 Feb 2006), "High-end vodka is keeping spirits up", The New York Times, retrieved 25 December 2010
- Dermot Davitt (13 Nov 2008), "Russian Standard reveals grand ambitions to become a global force in premium vodka segment", The Moodie Report (London: Moodie International), archived from the original on 22 July 2011, retrieved 22 November 2011
- Brett Forrest (12 Dec 2006), "The Great Vodka Taste Test", Vanity Fair, archived from the original on 28 November 2010, retrieved 25 December 2010
- "Production Process", Russian Standard corporate website (Russian Standard Company). Note that a query screen requesting date of birth and country of origin intercede. Also, page dynamics do not work properly under Chrome running on Ubuntu Linux.
- "Myths about the father of chemistry's alphabet still persist", News:Sci-Tech (Russia Today), 10 Jun 2009, retrieved 25 December 2010