Vodka Proofs

Check Out This List Of Top Vodka Proofs

If you’re a diehard enthusiast, you likely never shy away from enjoying beverages with high alcohol content like vodka proofs. But how will you know if your favorite vodka is a higher or lower-than-normal proof? Most vodka brands generally have high levels of ethanol, averaging 45% alcohol by volume (ABV.) To determine the proof, we double the ABV, which gives us 90 alcohol or vodka proof.  

For most drinkers, 80 or 90 vodka proofs hit the spot, as these conserve the mild and smooth flavor commonly associated with vodka. Yet proofs above 100 have become fashionable among modern drinkers. A good example is the Polish-made Spirytus Rektyfikowany vodka, boasting 96% ABV and 192 proof. 

With such a high ABV, is Spirytus Rektyfikowany even legal? Yes, it’s legal in many countries, but check local regulations whether you’re allowed to consume it in your state if you reside in the US. We recommend you use it as a base for your cocktails instead of drinking it neat. If you consume it neat, severely restrict your intake and never exceed your drinking and body’s limits.

But never limit yourself to only the lowest or highest vodka proofs. With so many quality vodka brands vying for a growing and diverse consumer base, you have every reason to be daring with your choices. Below, we’ve compiled this super handy list to help you navigate the world of quality vodka proofs

1. Absolut Vodka (80 Proof)

For first-time vodka drinkers, Absolut Vodka is one of the better options. And it’s also the safer option because it’s a milder vodka produced by a renowned brand. Made in Åhus, Sweden, and owned by Pernod Ricard, this beverage has become a worldwide sensation. According to Statista, Absolut Vodka (9 liter cases) sold 13 million units worldwide in 2022.   

But what contributes to the massive popularity of this clear Swedish vodka? It’s mainly due to the smoothness of the beverage combined with fruity, vanilla, and caramel tones. This has made it one of the most accessible and tastiest vodka proofs on the lighter end of the scale. It’s also affordable, which will only set you back about US$ 27 for a 1L bottle. 

2. Smirnoff Vodka (90 Proof)

Hardly a bar or liquor shop doesn’t stock Smirnoff, making it easily obtainable. It’s also a favorite among mixologists since they often use it as a base for phenomenal cocktails like Dirty Martini, Lemon Mojito, and Midnight Kiss. Smirnoff is part of the Diageo group, with beverages produced in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, India, Italy, Kenya, and the USA.

Its growing popularity is due to its crisp, dry, and smooth flavor, making it the perfect party drink. Smirnoff features non-genetically modified corn and undergoes a triple distillation process during production. And at only US$ 15 for a 750 mL bottle, Smirnoff is well-positioned to appeal to budget-conscious drinkers. 

3. Belvedere Intense (100 Proof)

The Polish-based Belvedere releases some of the best premium vodka proofs in the marketplace. Luxury brand LVMH owns Belvedere, yet local cultivators in Zyrardów closely adhere to strict Polish regulations to produce one of the world’s most sought-after vodkas. When attending a private party, frequenting a cocktail bar, or buying bottle service at a nightclub, Belvedere will often be a top pick among those in the know. 

But given that Belvedere Intense is 100 proof, it’s a beverage that comes on strong yet exhibits a smooth and rich flavor. Expect a mix of crème caramel, chocolate, and spicy tones. Also, expect to pay between US$ 25 – 55 for a 1L bottle, with the higher pricing often due to stock shortages in certain territories. 

4. Finlandia 101 (101 Proof)

Finlandia produces several milder vodka proofs for European markets, often with an ABV below 40%. That’s where Finlandia 101 comes in, as it’s aimed at markets like the US, where there’s a greater demand for higher proofs. The Finnish-made beverage is ideal for cocktails and vodka connoisseurs who enjoy its well-balanced sweet and spicy flavor.  

Its core ingredients include clear spring water and barley that help give it its crisp and sharp taste. But due to its higher proof, its taste may overwhelm most, especially new vodka drinkers. It will set you back US$ 25 – 28 for a 1L bottle, so it’s affordable enough if you’re contemplating an impulse purchase.

5. Aether Vodka (120 Proof) 

Melbourne, in Australia, is hardly the city you’d expect to be at the forefront of vodka production. Yet, Aether Vodka defies expectations by being the best vodka in Australia and one of the best on the global stage. The distillery behind this over-proofed vodka, New Alchemy, implements a unique distilling and refining methodology that helps set the beverage apart from competitors.  

New Alchemy only distills Aether in smaller batches and sources all its ingredients, such as grapes and wheat, from Victoria, Australia. Due to its higher proof, Aether is ideal for cocktails, but some enjoy it as a traditional vodka. Expect to pay $ 35 for a 750 mL bottle, but higher pricing isn’t uncommon due to limited availability in certain territories. 

6. Sklar’s Balkan 176 Vodka (176 Proof)

If you’re feeling adventurous, perhaps you should give Sklar’s Balkan 176 Vodka a try. But be forewarned, this is one of the strongest vodka proofs in the market, so you should never inhale it or drink it neat. The beverage is so notorious for its extremely high ABV that it even contains several health warnings. 

Made in small batches in Serbia, the triple-distilled beverage burns like hell soon after the first sip. After that harrowing experience, multiple overwhelming flavors and a long but smooth finish round off the drink. But Skalr’s Balkan 176 Vodka isn’t cheap, so expect to pay US$ 45 for a 700 mL bottle. 

The Bottom Line About Vodka

We revealed some of the finest vodka proofs you need to try in our list. If you’re a light or new vodka drinker, stick to 80 or 90 proof. This will help you gain an appreciation for the pure and smooth taste of vodka. But if you’ve tried it all and have developed more esoteric tastes, move on to vodka proofs above 100. Follow DistilleryNearby to learn more about vodka, craft spirits, and the distilleries shaping the industry. 

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