Russian Standard (vodka)

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Russian Standard Vodka
Russian Standard Vodka
Type Vodka
Manufacturer Russian Standard
Country of origin Moscow, Russia
Introduced 1998
Alcohol by volume 40%
Proof 80
Related products List of vodkas

Russian Standard (Russian: Русский Стандарт, Russkiy Standart) Vodka is a major Russian premium vodka brand.

History[edit]

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.[1] The original product was re-christened Original.

In 2006, a new distillery with 4 million cases/yr capacity was opened in Saint Petersburg.[2]

Market position[edit]

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.

In a 2006 overview of Russian premium vodkas for Vanity Fair, the "Imperia" product stood alone with a top A+ grade.[3]

Production[edit]

Production of the Russian Standard Original is based on a four-tier protocol:[4]

  1. mashing and fermenting
  2. distillation and rectification
  3. filtration and relaxation
  4. 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.

The spirits are blended with 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.[citation needed]

The product is then filtered four times through charcoal. Platinum receives two more filtrations through silver and Imperia two more filtrations through quartz from the Ural Mountains.

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.

Mendeleev myth[edit]

The marketing claims that, "In 1894, Dmitri Mendeleev, the greatest scientist in all Russia, received the decree to set the Imperial quality standard for Russian vodka and the 'Russian Standard' was born",[5] or that the vodka is "compliant with the highest quality of Russian vodka approved by the royal government commission headed by Mendeleev in 1894."[6]

This, however, is based on a popular myth that Mendeleev's 1865 doctoral dissertation "A Discourse on the combination of alcohol and water" contained a statement that 38% is the ideal strength of vodka, and that this number was later rounded to 40% to simplify the calculation of alcohol tax. However, Mendeleev's dissertation was about alcohol concentrations over 70% and he never wrote anything about vodka. Furthermore, the 40% standard strength was introduced by the Russian government already in 1843, when Mendeleev was nine years old.[6][7]

Variants[edit]

  • 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
  • IMPERIA
    • The luxury brand, launched 2004
    • Distilled additional four times.
    • Filtered additional two times through quartz.
    • Luxury brand

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nora FitzGerald (24 Feb 2006), High-end vodka is keeping spirits up, The New York Times, retrieved 25 December 2010 
  2. ^ 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 
  3. ^ Brett Forrest (12 Dec 2006), The Great Vodka Taste Test, Vanity Fair, archived from the original on 28 November 2010, retrieved 25 December 2010 
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Sainsburys: Russian Standard Vodka 1L Linked 2014-06-28
  6. ^ a b Evseev, Anton (2011-11-21). "Dmitry Mendeleev and 40 degrees of Russian vodka". Science. Moscow: English Pravda.Ru. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  7. ^ "Prominent Russians: Dmitry Mendeleev". Prominent Russians: Science and technology. Moscow: RT. 2011. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 

External links[edit]