Grey Goose Is Made Entirely In France
Despite the presence of the French flag on the bottle, many people are still unaware that Grey Goose is made entirely in France. Most people associate Vodka with Russia, and the other “Vodka Belt” countries, which is largely the reason why Frank selected France instead as the home of Grey Goose. France is revered for its culinary history and rich soil that produces some of the most well-known wines and breads in the world. So every part of the Grey Goose production process leverages the best of what France has to offer.
“I didn’t approach this as stripping out impurities – I never let them get in there in the first place.” – François Thibault
The grain utilized is a soft winter wheat, considered a superior bread-making wheat, that is grown in Picardy, France. The grain is distilled in that region, north of Paris and then sent to the Cognac region where it is blended with locally sourced spring water that is naturally filtered through limestone. After filtration the vodka is bottled in a plant dedicated solely to bottling Grey Goose, in french made bottles.
The Price Tag May Be Cheap But The Quality Might Shock You
Its no secret that robots make the best pizza at Costco, and that the robot revolution will start when the pizza androids finally decide to revolt. But there’s one secret the retailer doesnt want you to know: which companies are making all of its deliciously affordable Kirkland booze? If youve ever shopped for inexpensive gin, vodka, tequila, or other spirits at Costco, youve probably wondered the same thing.
You could search this free Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau database to find out which importer/producer the booze is sourced from, but its complicated, just like that Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin movie. Many brands have multiple distilleries, and can make private label booze. While we can’t definitively say what the answers are, we wanted to give you two educated opinions: the general internet consensus and the thoughts of Stuart Jensen, a longtime bartender extraordinaire and co-owner of Denvers Curio Bar.
Read this handy guide on who makes seven of these best-selling spirits for Costco, and if theyre worth your hard-earned money. If you think Kirkland just pours Grey Goose into a vodka bottle, well, you might not be too far off.
Who Actually Makes Kirkland Vodka
While rumors have persisted for years that Kirkland Signature Vodka, aka Costco‘s house brand, is really the same as Grey Goose, this rumor is not just an oversimplification, but it’s evidently just not true. To address the first issue regarding the Grey Goose rumor, there are actually two types of Kirkland vodka: a cheaper American version and a pricier French version. It is only the French vodka that is really comparable to Grey Goose, and what’s more, Grey Goose categorically denies the rumors, as does the Bacardi brand that owns Grey Goose, according to Thrillist.
The final word on this question of vodka origin comes from the U.S. government’s own Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau . They have issued one and only one Certificate of Label Approval for Kirkland-branded vodka of any type, and that certificate states that all Kirkland vodkas from 2005 on have been produced by the Levecke Corporation in Mira Loma, California.
Recommended Reading: Does Vodka Have Carbs
Kirkland Signature Aejo Tequila
The internets opinion: Ive never had the pleasure of typing three words that go together as well as these: Ed Hardy Tequila. What does that have to do with Costco tequila? It all goes back to the NOM. As Tequila.net explains, the NOM is a unique identifier on bottles of tequila to let people know that the booze within is authentic. It also tells you which distillery the tequila comes from. One distiller can make multiple brands of tequila, and it just so happens that Kirklands is from the same source as the Ed Hardy Tequila . Other tequila sourced from that distillery includes KAH , Santos, Sol Dios, and Tonala.
The experts opinion: Youd think knowing the NOM would make this easier. It doesnt. Jensens guesses its sourced from Hornitos, but hes more interested in discussing why this añejo is different from others on the shelf. Its not terrible, but its a little hot and thin for an añejo, he says. The fact that its this thin makes me question if theres a diffuser . Its a way of speeding up the process of making tequila, and you end up with a product thats thin and tastes more along the lines of an agave vodka than a tequila. Its missing some of that depth, complexity, and agave flavor. He gives it points for the charred oak and vanilla notes, but says if youre looking to make cocktails with tequila, try a blanco! And maybe buy another añejo bottle.
Grey Gooses Creator Was All About French Decadence And Luxury
There wasnt a particular recipe or method that drove the creation of Grey Goose. Frank simply aimed to fill a gap he noticed in the beverage market: high-end vodka. Grey Goose is distilled in Picardy, France, but not because of any specific regional interest. As vodka is made by stripping alcohol of most of its congeners and funky flavor compounds, it can be made almost anywhere. But Frank chose a place specifically against tradition as in, not Eastern Europe. He wanted a vodka American consumers would immediately associate with luxury. And whats more posh than France, the home of Champagne and Burgundy?
Recommended Reading: Are There Carbs In Vodka
Ketel One Is Top Two Material
You might not be surprised to see Ketel One among the very best vodkas. Ketel One Vodka is a classic big brand that does not disappoint. First and foremost, there’s a beautiful look to the bottle itself that just screams sophistication. Secondly, it has a wonderful flavor combination. As noted on the Ketel One website, the spirit itself has a “crisp, lively tingle” that sits in the mouth as it’s consumed. Ketel One is also described as having a “silky” texture that allows for easy consuming that’ll make you go back to the brand time and time again.
Ketel One is great for sipping, as well as mixing, in part due to its hints of honey and citrus. Nothing sounds better than a Ketel One vodka soda with a lime slice. And customers really are fans of the top vodka brand, too, so if you really want to get a vodka that’s going to deliver, this is the one. “The perfect vodka staple to have in your house. A very versatile alcohol which is also nice and smooth,” one reviewer on Influenster wrote.
At $35 for a 750ml, this vodka hits the sweet spot.
What Is Grey Goose Made From
The Grey Goose brand was launched in 1997 and created by Sydney Frank and Francois Thibault. Owned today by Bacardi Limited, it is still made entirely in France.
The vodka begins with a selection of French wheat grown near the distillery in Picardy. Grey Goose is distilled one time through a five-column distillation process. Once distilled, it is moved to a bottling facility in the Cognac region and blended with limestone-filtered spring water from Gensac-la-Pallue. All Grey Goose vodkas are bottled at 40 percent alcohol by volume .
As with any flavored vodka, the base liquor establishes and either makes or breaks the entire portfolio. In keeping with the clear vodka’s top-shelf quality, the ingredients used in each flavor are natural, and the vodkas are free of other additives. Grey Goose flavors use French names.
You May Like: What To Mix With Tennessee Apple Whiskey
Read This Before You Drink Grey Goose Vodka Again
When it comes to making cocktails, there’s no spirit more versatile than vodka. From the simple screwdriver to the sophisticated dirty martini, a seasoned mixologist can create almost any flavor profile with a liquor that many people describe as flavorless.
The thing is, vodka does have flavor. If you’ve ever done a shot of the stuff, you can definitely recognize it, and according to Jon Kreidler, co-founder of Tattersall Distilling in Minnesota, just because a distiller strives for a neutral spirit does not make it devoid of distinct tasting notes. “There’s a big difference between vodkas, if you taste them,” he explained to Wine Enthusiast. “To claim that vodka is flavorless and tasteless is just silly.”
Vodka can basically be distilled from anything that’s fermentable, including potatoes, wheat, and even fruit. With that much variety in base ingredients, different textures and subtle hints of flavor are bound to sneak through. Lance Winters, master distiller of St. George Spirits in California stressed in the same article that without distinction between each vodka, “There would be no reason for a consumer to choose one over another, except for price.” And there’s the catch price. If you’re looking for a specific flavor in your vodka or perhaps absence of flavor, price doesn’t necessarily dictate what you’re going to get and the perfect example of that is Grey Goose.
It’s Blended With Water From Cognac
Ask any vodka distiller about what makes their spirit stand out, they’ll first point to the base material and its origin, and then the water supply. . Grey Goose gets its water from a 500 foot well in the Grande Champagne region of Cognac it’s been filtered through limestone over several centuries, and is drawn on the day that it’s destined for the bottling plant in the neighboring town of Gensac. Unlike some new craft vodka makers who prize the mineral content of their H20, Grey Goose goes to great lengths to strip the water of all mineral content before blending it into the finished vodka.
Read Also: Where To Buy Screech Rum In Us
It’s Milled & Distilled By Fewer Than 20 Employees
The entire world’s supply of Grey Goose comes through the mill and distillery in La Vallee de l’Oise, a facility manned, when I visited, by all of 17 people. It’s a small, focused operation: the wheat grain comes in via truck and is weighed and analyzed for starch content, then milled into a fine wheat flour. The flour then undergoes “saccharification,” where the starch is converted into the glucose that will fuel the yeast during fermentation. From here, the resulting “wheat mash” enters a cascade fermentation process. It churns through six tanks as yeast converts sugar into alcohol, leaving a “wine” of 10% ABV that will then be distilled into a 96% ABV spirit via a massive column still.
Bacardi Paid A Pretty Penny For The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg
Franks gamble at brand-before-booze was very successful. Hugely, in fact, since the Grey Goose label was sold to spirits giant Bacardi in 2004 just 7 years into its product life cycle. The selling price? About $2 billion. All for a liquor that is technically defined by its colorless, flavorless, odorless purity.
Also Check: Patron Tequila Expensive
The Man Who Developed The Grey Goose Recipe Wasnt Taken Seriously At First
While Frank was the one who created the brand, it was Francois Thibault who came up with the recipe. As Thibault was originally working with cognac, the idea that he was now going to work with vodka was openly mocked.
Luckily, after the success of his recipe, the mockery subsided, and the practice of fellow Matire de Chai making vodka became more common.
The Eye Of The Dragon $55 Million
Hong Kong-based Dutch company Royal Dragon released The Eye of the Dragon with a determination to make it spectacular inside and out. This vodka is one of the smoothest on the market, thanks to its distillation process, and uses charcoal to distil the spirit five times. Outside, the bottle is covered with 50-carat intense yellow jewels with around 15,000 diamonds weighing 2 kilogrammes of solid 18-karat gold. The dragon on top of the bottle is also studded with millions-worth of diamonds.
Also Check: How Much Sugar Does Vodka Have
Differences Between The Vodkas
No, Grey Goose Vodka does not produce nor privately label Kirkland vodka, Joe McCanta, Grey Gooses Global Head of Education, told USA TODAY. This is a viral claim that has circled Grey Goose for many years and its completely false.
Costco had no comment.
The certificates issued for Grey Gooses various American products all state the products originate in France, confirming Grey Goose statements to USA TODAY.
From harvest to milling to distillation to bottling, every step is done in France. Only Grey Goose uses single origin Picardy wheat and water from our natural limestone well in Gensac-la-Pallue to craft a gluten free spirit of exceptional character, McCanta told USA TODAY.
Grey Goose told USA TODAY its vodka is distilled only once in an effort to preserve the quality natural ingredients and profiles of its ingredients. Kirkland Signature French Vodka states on its bottle that it is distilled five times.
Which Costco Vodka Is Better
Kirkland Signature French VodkaBuy: Kirkland Signature French Vodka Named by many online reviewers as the single best deal at Costco period, The Kitchns panel of industry experts ranked it as their favorite vodka in a blind taste test with premium name-brands, noting its sweet and bright flavor.
Also Check: What Proof Is Tanqueray Gin
Clearly People Aren’t Drinking Grey Goose For The Taste
Liquor reviewers who aren’t allowing their brains to be rewired by Grey Goose’s price tag don’t like the vodka. Spirits Review and others dismiss it as “avian fashion victim” vodka, suggesting that people are only buying Grey Goose for its name and associated hipness. Spirits Review gave Grey Goose a four-out-of-10 rating, with a score of two out of 10 on value. The refined palates of the tasters at The New York Times tried 20 high-end vodkas in 2005 when the whole super-premium vodka fashion craze was in full swing. Oh, and they threw a commoner called Smirnoff into the competition, just for fun. Smirnoff wound up being the overall favorite. Grey Goose didn’t even crack the top 10 and was said to be unbalanced and overly sweet.
The reason people drink Grey Goose, according to marketing experts, has nothing to do with taste. The vodka is an “everyday luxury” that a lot of people can afford. That Rolex on that hedge-fund manager’s wrist might be out of our price range, but we can afford to splurge on the same Grey Goose martini he’s drinking .
Kirkland Signature Blended Canadian Whisky
The internets opinion: Goldfarb notes that its believed that Kirklands Canadian whisky comes from Crown Royal. We might never be able to confirm who manufactures the booze for sure, but the purple label sure makes it seem like Costco is inviting comparisons to the popular Canadian whiskey. One downside: the Kirkland bottle doesnt get you one of those sweet purple velvet bags associated with Crown. But with the money you save by buying Kirkland you can color in a brown paper bag with purple marker, you creative DIYer, you!
The experts opinion: While Jensen says this this has a little more spice than in a Crown Royal, overall its thin, dry, and high pitched. He admits hes not a huge fan of Canadian whiskeys on the whole, but his guess is that its produced by Crown Royal. Overall, he notes that for a 6-year-old product, its probably a much better deal than anything else youre going to buy in a Canadian whiskey. He bets that if you enjoy mixing Canadian whiskey with Coke or 7Up, youll be quite happy with this bottle.
Recommended Reading: Jim Beam Apple Whiskey Calories
Kirkland Signature Original Spiced Rum
The internets opinion: It doesnt take much sleuthing to figure out which distillery is behind a booze when all you have to do is look at the label. This particular one states that the rum is distilled on the island of St. Croix, which narrows it down to two distillers: Cruzan or Captain Morgan. And yet, the booze rating site Proof66 says the spirits producer LeVecke Corp. makes the rum. The answer is probably that both Cruzan and LeVecke are involved in producing the rum. We agree with the reviewer at Best Tasting Spirits, who says that the rum is shipped to California where Levecke Corporation adds natural flavors and caramel color before bottling at 92 proof in a 1.75L bottle.
The experts opinion: Its a little buttery on the nose, Jensen says. Id assume this comes from Cruzanit smells like Cruzan, too. He says that the rums artificial vanilla extract flavors read a bit too medicinal for his tastes. But since spiced rum drinkers often cover up the booze with Coke anyways, this bottle is a steal at a mere $14.99.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vodkas
What are the top 10 vodkas?
The top 10 vodkas, renowned for their flavour profiles, smoothness and use of high-quality distillation methods, are: Belvedere, Beluga, Grey Goose, Crystal Head, Hangar 1, Ciroc, Absolut, Ketel One, Pinnacle,and Svedka.
Which is the smoothest vodka?
The smoothest vodka is Belvedere vodka, which is almost velvety on the tongue and has a premium flavour to match.
Is Titos vodka good?
Titos is a multi-billion-dollar small batch brand and is a bestselling vodka in the United States. Its a smooth vodka filled with character that comes at a good price. Its known for its sweet, black pepper and corn notes and is a popular choice across the world.
What mixes best with vodka?
As a spirit famed for its lack of strong flavours, vodkas versatility means it goes well with most mixers. To bring out the notes of the spirit, go for soda and a squeeze of lime or pair it with tonic water. For a more flavourful drink, orange juice or grapefruit juice both mix well with vodka.
What is the best tasting vodka?
The best tasting vodka is Hangar 1 Fog Point, a small-batch vodka with notes of pear, citrus and honeysuckle. Drink it neat for best results.
Recommended Reading: What To Mix With Effen Blood Orange Vodka