Belvedere Vs. Grey Goose: Which Is Better?
Vodka—just reading the word may make you think back fondly on old college memories, or maybe it made you wish it was happy hour already, or maybe it served as a reminder to add all the ingredients for a vodka martini to your grocery list. Whatever the thought of vodka does for you, it cannot be denied that it is one of the most popular and versatile liquors available.
Vodka is believed to have been first created as early as the 8th century, with different variations being independently developed in different areas of Europe, particularly Sweden, Poland, and Russia. Today, vodka is beloved by many throughout the world, from the newly legal American undergraduate student to the bartender at the classic, upscale bar, to the cosmo enthusiast, to pretty much every attendee at an open-bar wedding.
And while a drinker who is still in school may opt for a brand of vodka at a lower price point, such as Smirnoff or Svedka, drinkers who are looking for a more refined drinking experience and have more disposable income have a few more options at their disposal.
This article will lay out the differences and similarities between two of the more top-shelf brands of vodka, Belvedere and Grey Goose, to give you an inside look into which premium vodka you should pick up on your next trip to the liquor store.
Belvedere Vs. Grey Goose
Belvedere is a high-end vodka that originated in Poland. Belvedere prides itself on the freshness and purity of its ingredients and its dedication to quality, history, and craftsmanship.
$25.99-$39.99 for a 750 mL bottle (price varies depending on production method)
Belvedere also regularly releases special varieties of vodka, each of which adds a different display of craftsmanship.
Belvedere Unfiltered is vodka using a special variant of rye known as Dankowskie Diamond, a high-grade rye with less starch than other rye variants and a natural salinity. Belvedere Unfiltered is described as having both sweet and salty notes, as well as slightly nutty and savory hints.
Heritage 176, which gained Finalist status in the 2020 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, pays further homage to Polish vodka-making history by using rye that has had fire applied to it before distillation, in a process called “malting,” in order to bring out richer and complex flavors.
Belvedere Intense is a limited-edition product. It is a bolder version of the classic vodka, using less water in the dilution process and a charcoal double-filtration. Belvedere Intense is 100 proof (50% ABV).
The brand also offers two vodkas that use only rye grown together on the same farm to provide a unified taste: Single Estate Rye-Smogóry Forest and Single Estate Rye-Lake Bartężek. According to the brand, because of this unique practice, when these two vodkas are tasted side by side, they display vastly different taste profiles from each other and from other, more traditional vodkas.
Smogóry Forest uses rare Diamond Dankowskie rye grown on a single estate in the rural village of Smogóry. This vodka is advertised as being bold, robust, and savory in taste.
Lake Bartężek uses rare Diamond Dankowskie rye grown from a single estate on the shores of Lake Bartężek toward the north of Poland. This vodka is advertised as being fresh, smooth, and delicate.
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Belvedere vodka is made from rye and water. Specifically, the brand exclusively uses Polish Dankowskie Rye, which is a naturally sweet winter grain that is regarded as being the ultimate ideal for cereal-grain vodka bases. The company sticks to rye grown by the same handful of farmers. Further, Belvedere utilizes water that is drawn from artesian wells located near the Belvedere distillery in Poland. The product is advertised as having zero additives, including sugar and glycerin, and being gluten-free and certified Kosher.
Belvedere’s current production process is inspired by the original centuries-old processes that early Polish vodka manufacturers utilized. Before the water is incorporated into the vodka-making process, it is filtered and, using reverse osmosis, stripped of much of its minerals and salts. This vodka is distilled four times.
For its flavored vodkas, Belvedere also adheres to Poland’s regulations regarding vodka purity and uses fruit peels or whole fruits that have been soaked in water for 10 to 14 days.
According to the Belvedere, its vodka has a velvety texture and a full, round mouthfeel. This smooth vodka toes the line between sweet and savory, with black pepper on the one hand and notes of vanilla on the other.
Other Belvedere Products:
Belvedere does not offer other products at this time, although it does offer its vodka in a handful of special collectible packaging options: Summer Limited Edition (a fun bottle with a blue and yellow tropical design) and Bespoke Silver Saber (a sophisticated reflective bottle, available for personalized text).
Grey Goose is another go-to for premium vodka. Grey Goose was founded in 1996 by Sidney Frank, and its original vodka recipe was developed by François Thibault. In 1998, just two years after its inception, Grey Goose was named the best-tasting vodka in the world by the Beverage Tasting Institute. As of 2004, the brand is owned by Bacardi, although it has retained its own practices for production. Originating in France, an international culinary and artistic hub, the company focuses its identity on extraordinary quality, meticulous production, and the integrity of its ingredients.
$28.98-$43.99 for a 750 mL bottle (price varies depending on flavor)
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This French company uses only winter wheat grown in and around the Picardy region of France. The water used originates in a limestone-lined natural spring found near the Belvedere blending facility in Gensac, in the Cognac region, 500 feet below ground. Grey Goose vodka is gluten-free.
Grey Goose uses a very distinct distillation process, in accordance with what is known as the Maître de Chai tradition. The vodka is distilled five times in the company’s distillation facility in Paris, then blended with fresh spring water and bottled in Cognac.
Specifically, the winter wheat used is milled four times over a 24-hour period, then broken down with special enzymes, and fermented over six cascading tanks. Then the resulting liquid is distilled five times in column stills. The water is filtered to remove impurities, then blended into the vodka. Because the water added comes from a spring lined with limestone, the water is packed with calcium.
Other Grey Goose Products:
Grey Goose does not offer other products at this time. However, like Belvedere, Grey Goose does sell limited edition packaging for its classic vodka. Currently, Grey Goose offers a fun and unique bottle in celebration of the 2020 US Open.
Belvedere Vs. Grey Goose
When mixing one’s favorite cocktail, one may think that the addition of various juices and flavors would make the base alcohol irrelevant. But it is crucial to incorporate a high-quality base liquor if you want a high-quality cocktail. And if straight shots or sipping are more your style, then it is even more vital to select a vodka made with quality ingredients and care.
Both Belvedere and Grey Goose hit the mark on this: both vodkas are renowned for the attention to detail that goes into each step of their processes, from ingredient selection to production method. You can’t go wrong with either brand, but now that you know a bit more about their similarities and differences, you can make a more informed choice about which one may be best for you.