Another review has arrived, this time from Booklist (content restricted), June 13, 2014:

Vodka has no color, no fragrance, no flavor to speak of, and yet it’s one of the most coveted beverages in today’s world. Filtered multiple times to eliminate anything that might impart some taste, vodka nevertheless provokes passion among aficionados claiming to be able to identify different brands by taste and aroma. Open any glossy magazine not specifically published for minors, and almost surely there will be one or more eye-catching ads for vodka, many designed to be an issue’s most striking and discussed feature. Vodka’s ubiquity is without doubt a triumph of marketing an image or a lifestyle irresistible to young drinkers in particular. Now, as with beer and wine, small distilleries have arisen that aim to attract passionate cognoscenti and cocktail snobs. Matus traces the spirit’s origins in Russia and its invasion of modern American culture, supplanting the pronounced flavor profiles of gin, rum, bourbon, scotch, and other spirits.

—Mark Knoblauch

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