June 17, 2009

The Diamond Standard Vodka

Bill Dowd photo

It's not the first vodka to be filtered through diamonds (see my tasting notes on Baojing 168), but this Polish creation may be the classiest packaging to come along in years. Although the spirit is made in Poland, the company is owned by Diamond Beverages LLC of Lake Forest, IL.

• The Diamond Standard Vodka

When I first saw a bottle of this vodka, I was mesmerized by the clean, understated elegance of the packaging. A true work of art.

It's a tall, slim perfume-grade Saverglass bottle with a round-cut 25 mm Swarovski crystal imbedded near the neck, and raised glass droplets appearing to come from the crystal. Around the neck is a silver-metal medallion attesting to the authenticity of the Swarovski element.

It is truly a work of art, celebrating Poland's foremost crystal artisan. Curious, then, that the stopper is made of plastic and a compound "cork." On my bottle, the two separated when the glue gave way, which necessitated employing a pair of pliers to open the bottle. (Note: Notified of this, a company rep told me "The cap separation ... has been corrected. The new production will be the same clear top without the cork; it will be a screw-on top.")

Inside, however, was a testament to the overall craftsmanship of Polish vodkas, be they made from potatoes or from grains. In this case, it's the latter.

The small-batch vodka is crafted at the historic Polmos Siedlce distillery from Dankowski Diamond Rye, the most preferred of Polish grains. It is distilled four times and filtered four times through a proprietary process using thousands of De Beers diamonds.

Diamond Standard is quickly moving to the top of my list of best grain-based vodkas. It is an uncommonly smooth, warm spirit, lacking any hint of edginess. As always with ultra-premium vodkas, forget the definition of "odorless." This has ephemeral hints of citrus and grassiness and the barest hint of thyme.

Suggested retail price: $79 for the 750ml bottle.

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