Ketel One

4 StarStarStarStarStar

Ketel One is a 40% ABV vodka from the Netherlands. The vodka is produced by Nolet Distillery and imported by Ketel One USA. The quality is considered to be great. The average price is around $21.92 per 750mL. Rated 4 out of 5 based on 19 reviews.

The bottle states the following:

Handcrafted in small batches, using traditional recipes at the Nolet Distillery in Holland. Founded 1691.

Is the “ultimate” in the world of vodka… In a class by itself. For generations, the Nolet family in Holland has been distilling the finest spirits using techniques and recipes perfected by Jonnes Nolet and his successors since 1691. Ketel One, named after the original distilling ketel number one, is distilled in small batches using traditional pot stills, filtered through charcoal and rested until perfect. This costly, painstaking yields a limited quantity of Ketel One Vodka that possesses a refined elegance, distinctive smoothness and unmatched quality.

From father to son in Schiedam, Holland. [Followed by a list of distillers, all with the last name Nolet, that I'm not interested in transcribing at this time.]

Ketel One Vodka Review

5 StarStarStarStarStar

Ketel One. Ketel One is the vodka I hear the second most people claim is The Best Vodka, bested only by Grey Goose. I never really bought it because of price. That is, until I started VodkaBuzz. I have tried to review this vodka no less than five times. Every other time, we end up drinking first and saving the review until the next day. Every other time, we drink it all before we can review it. This time, I’m determined to do this review.

The Shot

Ketel One is very smooth. In the mouth, it is fairly flavorless. There’s no burn on the way down, though there is a mild bitter flavor left in the mouth afterward. It’s slightly unpleasant to me, but I definitely didn’t need to chase it with anything.

The Mixed Drink

I mixed Ketel One Vodka with two parts Sugar Free Red Bull. While it is clearly a good mixer, the bitters come through a little too much to call it a perfect mixer. It’s pretty close, though. Ignoring the tinge of bitter, Ketel One makes for a very smooth and very drinkable cocktail. You’ll more than likely be very happy with Ketel One.

Opinions

Ketel One is an outstanding vodka. The family tradition has made me a bit nostalgic (even thought I didn’t want to type it out for you), but the attention paid to the vodka really pays off. If you haven’t had Ketel One Vodka (chances are that you have), you ought to try it. I know that it is pricy, but what will a few bucks for a shot the next time you are on vacation hurt you? Not any.

Rated 5 out of 5.

Robert Brodrecht

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Mike W

    5 *****

    Snagged 2 one liter bottles in St. Maarten duty-free. Can’t beat two 1L bottles for $35! I prefer it over Grey Goose.

    Mike W

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Justin Jones

    5 *****

    Ketel One simply on a pedistal of its own. This is an example of a delicious smooth vodka that has only been slightly affected by the designer vodka movement of the late 1990′s early 2000′s. When I think of vodka I think of Ketel One. This vodka is smooth with a pinch of earthiness that reminds you that flavor matters just as much as smoothness. This vodka is not only properly distilled but it’s consestint with its a flavor all the way through. I highly suggest making Ketel One one of your best vodkas in your personal bar collection.

    Follow me on twitter at JUST_b_REEL

    Justin Jones

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Ben

    No Rating

    Holy crap, I just logged on to tell you about Kettle One and I see this review. It’s pretty good but slightly bitter at the end. Closest thing it reminds me of is Stoli, but I think it’s better. It was on sale, so I finally grabbed a bottle.

    Ben

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By teduardo

    4 *****

    I like Ketel One quite a bit. One of the better widely available vodkas. A very slight burn, but not unpleasant. Not a great mixer, but not terrible. I think you can do better for the price though, provided your store has a good vodka selection.

    teduardo

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Ben

    No Rating

    Yeah, I found some 375mL Chopin bottles on clearance for $7 a piece. Since they were old (the code on the bottom said 041206 which I’m guessing is 4 Dec 2006) I asked the manager “why so cheap?”. She said they were removing the display and needed the space. I bought both bottles for the hell of it, since I’d probably never spend the $30-40 for the normal 750′s. I’m beginning to wonder if the age or location (near a window) affected the taste. It has a slight taste that is just “off”. I can’t even describe it. Can sealed vodka spoil at room temperature if sunlight gets to it? I also grabbed an old Belvedere 375mL for $11 from that same display.

    Ben

    Reply

    • Ketel One Vodka Review By Robert

      Straight from the folks at Tito’s Handmade Vodka, “age and exposure to sun should not affect vodka.” Someone else asked about this once, too. They had a big bottle (like the 3 foot tall promo bottles) of Belvedere, I think, that was bad after sitting a long time. My only guess is that it got contaminated some how.

      Reply

      • Ketel One Vodka Review By Ben

        Good to hear.

        I thinks it’s a good shooter, sun-damaged or not. It just doesn’t play nice with Mountain Dew.

        Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By taffyg2003

    4 *****

    I had a Ketel One vodka martini last night for the first time in quite a while at a local restaurant, which was really nice. It was very smooth, mildly sweet, and had only a subtle bite. The aftertaste is the only part of this vodka’s character that is not superior, presenting a mild burnt rubber flavor. Regardless, the cocktail it made was VERY enjoyable.

    As I have asserted before, because this great vodka is ubiquitous, it is easy to overlook it as pedestrian. However, it is anything but ordinary. When nothing like Crystal Head or some other exception and exotic vodka is available, I need to remember that Ketel One should be my go to restaurant and bar vodka.

    taffyg2003

    Reply

    • Ketel One Vodka Review By Robert

      I appreciate and agree with your assessment. I don’t drink it very often, but it’s definitely not a bad pick. To boot, it’s much more widely available than most of the other stuff I like. So, that helps ;)

      Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By BoozePro

    No Rating

    For the price, I think Ketel is a superb tasting vodka. Very clean on the intro and finish. Lately, I’ve been drinking Ketel One Citroen alot. It is said to be natural lemon and lime. I have been mixing it with water and it is very refreshing. It tastes much better than Belvedere Citrus or Grey Goose Le Citron. And kicks the living crap out of Absolut Citron. Do a side by side and you will be amazed!

    BoozePro

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By taffyg2003

    4 *****

    Ketel One was the first vodka that I had an opportunity to try after I had recently discovered this forum and the notion that Grey Goose is not all that it has been cracked up to be. I generally drink vodka martinis straight up with olives, so I decided to share one made with Grey Goose and one made with Ketel One with my wife when we were out to dinner. First we tried the one made with Ketel One, and we were both very impressed how smooth and how little alcohol burn it had. Then we tasted the one made with Grey Goose, and felt that it was noticeably harsher, more bitter, and burned more on the swallow. It did have a little more flavor, however, which made the martini a little crisper, and altered the flavor of the vermouth and olives. The Ketel One was more neutral, somewhat oily, and essentially let the flavors of the vermouth and olives stand out, too. Ultimately, we both felt that Ketel One was a finer vodka than Grey Goose.

    Since my Grey Goose had just been bested by Ketel One, I was eager to compare Ketel One to some of the other highly rated vodkas. Since this taste test, which occurred a couple of weeks ago, I have had the opportunity to also try Tito’s Handmade, Stolichnaya, and Crystal Head. Read about my impressions in the corresponding threads. I also tried a sample shot of Sobieski at a wine tasting last May, but it was under different circumstances than the other taste tests, so my impression is more vague; I guess I should try it again.

    taffyg2003

    Reply

    • Ketel One Vodka Review By Dimegirl

      YES- KETTLE ONE is by far better then Grey Goose in the pretty bottle. Kettle One Citron is flawless i recently tried it myself!

      Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Jason

    No Rating

    I tried it recently at a bar, a straight big shot, enough to evaluate. It’s definitely better than Grey Goose, clean and smooth, but with a slightly unpleasant bitter aftertaste that I didn’t really like. Good, but still not worth the price IMO, because there are much cheaper vodkas that are just as good or better.

    Jason

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Ogen

    2 *****

    Hmm. I’ve tried so many better vodka’s than this. I’m not a huge bitter fan honestly.

    Ever tried Dryfly vodka? Probably the best vodka I’ve ever had and you don’t have a review here.

    The shot almost tastes like butterscotch, with a mild burn. No chaser needed. If you get a chance to review it, I would be intreseted to see what you have to say.

    Ogen

    Reply

    • Ketel One Vodka Review By Robert

      Unfortunately, Dry Fly isn’t sold where I live. I tried to get a bottle to no avail. As soon as I can find a bottle (probably the next time I travel out of the state), I plan on getting it for a review.

      Reply

    • Ketel One Vodka Review By Robert

      Oh, and if you don’t like the bitters, avoid Russian vodkas. Not that Ketel One is Russian, but that Russian vodkas typically have a bite to them (on purpose).

      Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By kristine

    No Rating

    I did a side by side taste testing of 5 vodkas a while back with a bartender friend. Ketel One was BY FAR the absolute worst thing I had ever tasted at room temp! With that said… once ice cubes were added and it was cold it was my second favorite. So, note to self… don’t ever try to drink Ketel One at room temp! :o)

    kristine

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By slcmetalhead

    3 *****

    As with all my reviews, I’m sipping an ice-cold shot with no additions.

    My initial impression? Very mild, quite neutral. A bit sweet. There’s a bit of burn going down, but not much. It’s not the smoothest vodka I’ve ever had, but it’s pretty nice. Also, the smell is very neutral, almost non-existent.

    However, there’s a faintly unpleasant aftertaste that I can’t put my finger on, a bit pungent. A bit of lingering burn as well. Still, it’s pretty good quality stuff overall.

    Having said that, it’s also pretty pricey at $24.59 for 750ml. It’s good, but it’s not that good. I’d give it 4 stars for taste alone, but taking price into account, I give it 3.

    slcmetalhead

    Reply

    • Ketel One Vodka Review By taffyg2003

      I had a great Ketel One martini over the holiday weekend. It was probably the best Ketel One martini I’ve had, and one of the best martinis I’ve had, too. Since it is a “common” vodka, it is easy to overlook just how nice Ketel One is; very smooth, crisp, and subtly sweet. Comparing it to a bartended Grey Goose martini ordered the night before, it was much smoother and had a better flavor. The experience reminded me that I should be content to order a Ketel One martini as my “go-to” vodka when more esoteric vodkas are not on the menu.

      Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Ashton

    4 *****

    I really enjoy this vodka. I agree with many of the other comments that it has a little bit of a bitter after taste, but it doesn’t bother me at all. In the mouth and down the throat is very smooth, and theres no real taste, unlike the other two I sampled tonight, Grey Goose and Belvedere. They both had kind of a weird taste to them. Maybe someone can confirm this but I think they have a different taste because of what they are made of?

    Anyway, Kettle1 is by far the best I have tried so far, and half the price of grey goose.

    Ashton

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Gilbert Noreau

    5 *****

    Excellent vodka so far. My favorite has to be russian standard vodka straight from Russia. It comes very close to this one. Ketel one is rich and taste good. Here in Canada it’s pretty expensive. Around 30,25$ for 25$ it will be ok. And just for 750 ml. Still i won’t complain too much since it’s among my top 3 of vodka!

    Gilbert Noreau

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Ben

    No Rating

    This is unrelated, but while I’m here… I finally got around to trying a potato vodka. This one is called Blue Ice American Vodka. I did the usual showdown versus Sobieski. It has less flavor to it than Sobieski. Wasn’t overly bitter or sweet or anything. Kinda blah-like, like potatos… go figure. Mixed well with OJ. Wasn’t bad with Diet Mountain Dew. Not exactly a bargain at $19.

    Ben

    Reply

    • Ketel One Vodka Review By Robert

      I can’t remember if I’ve had Blue Ice, but it sounds familiar. If Ive seen it, it has been a few years. I highly suggest Chopin if you want a good potato vodka. It’s fairly expensive, but worth a shot if you’re looking for new stuff.

      Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Mitch O

    5 *****

    I tried Ketel One after trying Absolut, Absolut 100, Grey Goose, Stoli, and Smirnoff. Absolut 100 made me like vodka, but Ketel One made me *love* vodka. For the most part, I consider myself a purist of alcohol. I love craft beer, I love single malt scotch neat, I love mezcals and tequilas neat, and I love Ketel One all by itself as well. It’s very much worth the price and has become the only vodka I purchase. As soon as I have a bar, this will be my rail and my top shelf.

    Mitch O

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Jo

    5 *****

    I kinda stumbled on kettle one and loved that I did. It’s very smooth, crisp and gentle on the swallow. I used to drink it straight on the rocks but got a little out of hand one night and decided straight up wasn’t right for me; however, club soda or tonic water and a lime sets kettle one as the best cocktail ever. It is very pricey but I found a 750 for $11 couldn’t believe at a mom and pop liquor store. I hope no one hips them to the cost

    Jo

    Reply

    • Ketel One Vodka Review By taffyg2003

      Ketel One is very good. Have you tried Tito’s Handmade Vodka in a Vodka Tonic? I’ve compared a few other highly rated vodkas (but, not Ketel One) mixed with tonic water and lime, and it seems to be much smoother and tastier in that drink. If you get the chance to try it and Ketel One in a vodka tonic, let me know what you think.

      Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By mohammed

    4 *****

    I tried bottom shelf vodkas like smirnoff , absolut and skyy and they all were good mixers but bad shooters so I went to this site and saw the reviews and i planned to pick up a good shooter vodka so I went to the alcohol store and asked them what is top shelf vodkas they have and they give me 2 options grey goose and ketel one so I shoosed ketel one .
    when I shoot it I was really impressed how smooth it was but I was not impressed whith the bitter finish of the vodka and that bitterness hold it from being a perfect vodka . Overall a great vodka for shooting and mixing but I won’t recommend to waste this vodka on mixing .
    By the way this vodka is cheaper in my area (U.A.E, Ajman) or internationally noun by the name( Dubai), its about 18 $ for 1000 mL

    mohammed

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Jack

    No Rating

    I enjoy your reviews but seriously question your comments regarding this and other vodkas where you refer to them as “…flavorless.” I find nothing further from accurate. Ketel One, as well as many other vodkas, has a distinct flavor. As with most vodka from Holland, Ketel One has a slighlty earthy taste. Vodkas from the Nordic regions tend to have a slight sweetness to them, while Grey Goose has a lighter taste. Good vodka is similar to wine in that it takes on disctinctive characteristics depending on the soil type, water, and local climate. Don’t shortchange good vodka calling any of it “flavorless.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Jack

    Reply

    • Ketel One Vodka Review By taffyg2003

      @Jack, I agree with your assessment of the different flavor nuances that arise due to a vodka’s geographic and grain differences. However, I think that Robert refers to a vodka as “flavorless” when tastes essentially like its ethanol aroma rather than exerting additional flavors. Perhaps another way of describing such a vodka would be to say that it has a “neutral” flavor. In my opinion, examples of “flavorless” of “neutral” vodkas would be Chopin and Ketel One. From my experience, these vodkas are prone to allowing vermouth to overly express itself in a vodka martini due to the fact that they contribute relatively little to the flavor of the cocktail.

      Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By kayuh

    3 *****

    Love the site! Cuz I love me vodka! I’ll have to snag some Ukrainian vodka next time we go and send it to you to try. I used to buy Ketel One maybe 15 years ago…when it was priced around $15-18 for 750 ml. I found Belvedere (when it was $22-24) a much better martini mixer. While I can tolerate Ketel One, I feel it does not have the quality warranting today’s pricing. If I’m going to spend that kind of money on Vodka, I’ll get Imperia for sure.

    kayuh

    Reply

    • Ketel One Vodka Review By taffyg2003

      @kayuh, I have been meaning to try Imperia due to all of the hype, but the high price has kept me from buying a bottle. I have spent that kind of money and more on bottles of Jean Marc XO and Crystal Head, so it is just a matter of time when I feel the urge to splurge. ;)

      Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By ilya

    No Rating

    Is it possible to buy Ketel One vodka in a 3 liter bottle?

    ilya

    Reply

    • Ketel One Vodka Review By Robert

      The largest size bottle I’ve seen of any real bottle of vodka in the US is 1.75 liters. There are the novelty size giant bottles, but I’ve heard those don’t actually contain vodka. A 3 liter bottle may exist, but I’ve never seen one on sale in the US.

      Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By G.C.

    5 *****

    This is arguably the purest vodka on the market, at any price. Open the bottle, and have a sniff. There is no pungent stench, only subtle, refined tones.

    Drinking it straight is a pleasure. It starts out soft, tasting nearly sweet. However, it finishes strong. You may feel a burn or detect a pepperish taste. It wont upset your stomach like Skyy, costs 40% less than G.G. and is truly top shelf.

    G.C.

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Miles

    No Rating

    This is very weird. I have a bottle of Ketel 1 that dates back to 1994, the label is soft brown instead of white and depicts a fire oven under a copper pot still.

    It is bottled at 35% rather than 40%, and has a subtle almond aroma, and tastes like an old cabinet (Read: aged in some form of wood or oak… yet it isn’t oak, whatever it is).

    It’s an extremely good Vodka that by all means was not flavorless.

    Miles

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Dan

    No Rating

    I just bought a bottle of Kettle One Oranje. I was a little apprehensive because I didn’t really like the lemon infused one. I’ve been infusing Kettle One myself with lemons ever since. Anyway I bought this “oranje” brand of Kettle, and it is a sheer delight on the rocks! I picked it up for $26.99 for a litre. Not bad for a great sipping vodka. So, if you like flavored vodkas that are not sweet, I highly recommend it. Thanks again for the nice forum.

    Dan

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By AZWolverine

    3 *****

    Good stuff! One of the better grain vodkas I’ve enjoyed, and a pretty good value to boot. It leans toward sweet and has a vibrant personality on the palate.

    AZWolverine

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Drew

    No Rating

    I am normally a bourbon drinker so my tastes usually have run to the sweet. I bought a small bottle of Ketel One just to try it. I found that after shilling and on a few rocks, the taste was smooth with a hint of the bitter you wrote about. I added a twist of lime a spash of water (Literally) and found a drink which I could consume nightly with ease. I like this and actually fely like an adult while drinking it (My kids would laugh but my parents-single malt drinkers might be a bit less in agreement). I enjoyed this vodka and I believe I will have to keep a bottle on hand. This si a great site by the way.

    Drew

    Drew

    Reply

    • Ketel One Vodka Review By Robert

      Thanks, Drew!

      Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By bigcor23

    3 *****

    I thought Ketel on was very bitter. I was har to hold in my mouth due to the bitterness and burn. Once swallowed the burn quicly vanished but the taste remained. It mixed OK i could still detect a slight biterness

    bigcor23

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By bowman

    No Rating

    i drink a half gallon a night is that bad its only smirnoff

    bowman

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By Mike

    5 *****

    Excellent vodka! I spent years drinking that Grey Goose crap because that’s all my friends used to get at the club. I always thought that the stuff was bad. It just didn’t taste right. It was waaaay to bitter and tasted a lot like gin. Finally, one night we went with Ketel One because it was a fair amount cheaper. I was blown away by how good it was. It mixes so well that you forget there’s booze in your drink. A+++

    Mike

    Reply

  • Ketel One Vodka Review By ARNOLD RAMPERSAD

    1 *****

    EXCELLENT STUFF.DRINK WHAT TASTES GOOD.TO YOUR VERY GOOD HEALTH!

    ARNOLD RAMPERSAD

    Reply

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