The vodka category is beginning to go through a real identity crisis. Now that the flavored vodka boom is clearly ending, vodka companies are scrambling to figure out ways to hold on to their growth and remain relevant in a marketplace that is increasingly shifting towards whiskey. In 2013, Grey Goose saw a sharp drop in sales, with a whopping 5% decline. Part of this sharp decline is attributed to Grey Goose’s decision to not chase the flavor trend too hard, but a more significant factor was unexpected competition from non-premium brands like Tito’s Vodka and Deep Eddy’s Vodka, which took significant share away from premium players like Grey Goose.
The problem with the vodka category, and its players, is that the category has enjoyed such effortless success for decades with very little need for innovation. While we don’t think vodka is going to lose its dominance any time soon, the landscape is clearly changing.
Oddly enough, Grey Goose VX isn’t technically a vodka: the TTB has slapped a ridiculous “Spirit Drink” classification on the brand and bottle, which goes hand in hand with their outdated classification for the vodka category itself. Grey Goose VX is essentially Grey Goose vodka “finished with a hint of precious cognac”. The Grey Goose VX bottle does disclose that it’s a blend of 95% Vodka and 5% Cognac, the same ratio that’s common with spirit whiskey. There’s also some sort of filtering process, as the final Grey Goose VX is crystal clear.
Grey Goose VX is packaged in a bottle that very much looks like a fusion of the classic Grey Goose Vodka bottle with the traditional bottles often used for XO Cognac.
Grey Goose VX (80 proof / 40% ABV,$74.99) – the nose is clearly different from the base Grey Goose Vodka, with soft cognac notes including honey, raisin, milk chocolate, and shortbread cookie. As with the base Grey Goose Vodka, the nose on Grey Goose VX is soft and unassertive without any vapors.
The entry for Grey Goose VX follows the nose pretty closely with cognac flavors of raisin, milk chocolate, shortbread cookie, iris, dried apricot, and white grape. It’s a nice grouping of flavors and they are presented well and solidly integrated. The midpalate is a continuation of many of the flavors introduced in the opening, with raisin and dried apricot most pronounced. There’s a bit of pepper spice and a touch of ginger, and as with the traditional Grey Goose Vodka it is a fairly restrained and mellow midpalate. The finish for Grey Goose VX is the most vodka-like part of the taste experience and most representative of the traditional Grey Goose Vodka, with light wheat notes tapering to a dry finish.
Grey Goose VX does an excellent job of infusing some of the delicious flavors that cognac offers without fundamentally disrupting the vodka experience. The integration and balance, while preserving the core Grey Goose character, is masterfully done and light years beyond Twenty Grand, one of the other vodka/cognac blends on the market.
Grey Goose VX is in limited suppy, and offered at a great price right now at West Vail Liquor Mart.
$74.99 for 750ml bottle
Come in and grab a bottle while supplies last!