Global Spirits Masters is a highly regarded series of blind taste competitions in partnership with The liquor store. The vodka rating, which this year was among the biggest blind tastings of vodka, chose 23 brands across different categories as the world’s best vodka expression. These vodkas were awarded master medals and scored between 90 and 100 points in the rating of a group of independent experts.
The Global Spirits Masters competition was launched in 2008 and prides itself on rewarding “excellence in spirits production” and “giving brands key differentiation in a crowded market.” The rating is divided into 19 separate competitions to ensure that each category of spirits receives proper attention from a specialized panel of expert judges. The judges, who are all considered experts in their category, are drawn from retail buyers, the hospitality industry, educators and journalists.
The competition awards silver (70-79 points), gold (80-89 points) and Master (90-100) points. The best vodkas in the 2021 competition came from all over the world and included winners from the UK, Russia, Australia and the USA.
The best vodka in the competition, winner of the Taste Master Award, was Nemiroff Burning Pear Vodka, 40% ABV, 750 ml. Headquartered in Nemyriv, Ukraine, Nemiroff is one of the largest alcohol producers in the world. The company dates back 150 years and has been in operation since 1872. The term is part of Nemiroff’s Inked Collection, a trio of flavored vodkas. In addition to Burning Pear, the other two terms are Blood Orange and Wild Cranberry.
Nemiroff’s Burning Pear Vodka is a vodka with aroma added to honey, pepper and pear. It is a smooth, satin vodka that offers sweet honey and pear notes, followed by a little warmth in the palate. The vodka sells for about $ 12 per. Bottle in the US, but has limited distribution and is difficult to find.
Another surprising winner, among the cheapest vodkas available, was Syabry rye bread vodka. It sells for about $ 7 for a 500 ml bottle and is produced by Belvingroup in Belarus. It has limited distribution outside Belarus and is not yet available in the United States. See wine-searcher.com if you are looking for an international mail order supplier.