Smirnoff

2 StarStarStarStarStar

Smirnoff is a 40% ABV vodka from Russia. It is filtered with Charcoal. The vodka is produced by Diageo and imported by Diageo. The quality is considered to be ok. The average price is around $13.58 per 750mL. Rated 2 out of 5 based on 11 reviews.

The bottle states the following:

Produced in the USA by the Smirnoff Co. under the formula and processes of Pierre Smirnoff Sons, successors to the world-famed Pierre Smirnoff, Moscow, Russia, Purveyor to the Czars, 1886 – 1917. Triple distilled, exceptionally smooth. Ten times filtered in a unique process for ultimate clarity.

Smirnoff Vodka Review

2 StarStarStarStarStar

Smirnoff is a ubiquitous name in the vodka world. This isn’t just because of huge ad campaigns, but because Smirnoff (the brand) has product available in so many different flavors and proofs. The vodka is in virtually every bar in the US (at least every one I’ve been to). Smirnoff is also pretty affordable.

In the past, Blue Label Smirnoff was my beverage of choice because the bang for the buck is undeniable. I still regard Smirnoff Red Label as my ultimate bottom shelf for mixers. That is, I won’t drink anything (except for a review) of lesser quality than Smirnoff in a mixed drink.

For the record, the recipe comes from Russia (hence the country designation above), but, according to the bottle, it’s made in the United States. I’m not sure what to make of that in regard to this review (since I am a stickler for details), but those seem to be the fact. Smirnoff Red Label is also known as Smirnoff No. 21. I chose to call it by Red Label, as I feel that is more common nomenclature.

The Shot

The shot opens with no clear flavors, bitter or otherwise. As I let my tongue marinate in the shot, I notice the feeling of having the moisture sucked from my mouth. This is typical of some cheaper vodkas (e.g. Skol or Aristocrat), though Smirnoff is nowhere near as bad. Upon swallowing, the burn is obvious and the bitter flavors come out in spades. This vodka requires a chaser. Diet Mountain Dew is my favorite chaser, but it isn’t doing a great job of taking out the flavors.

The Mixed Drink

For Smirnoff, the mixer is Passion Fruit juice. The mix is bitter. In a club or bar, given the lower price compared to high quality vodkas, I certainly feel like Smirnoff would suffice. However, drinking in the comfort of my home or in a calm environment where I can reflect on the drink, Smirnoff is barely acceptable. It isn’t a fun vodka to drink, but it would get by in a pinch.

Opinions

Smirnoff is a great bottom shelf vodka, but doesn’t make the cut when it comes to casual drinking. If you’re in a club and you don’t want to shell out for Stoli, Smirnoff is your man. Smirnoff Red Label still maintains my low-as-I’ll-go rank.

Rated 2 out of 5.

Robert Brodrecht

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By ActionxJack5on

    3 *****

    Smirnoff is simply your run-of-the-mill vodka. It’s not bad; it’s not good. Shooting Smirnoff requires a chaser. I rarely chase with vodka but Smirnoff burns pretty damn bad. If mixing cocktails, Smirnoff is great! In summation, buy Smirnoff if you don’t have even money for top shelf, but you don’t want cheap vodka. I give it a C- for shooting and a B for mixing.

    ActionxJack5on

    Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By Sam Smithson

    3 *****

    I’m with the reviewer on this one. Smirnoff Red is OK and perfectly drinkable, but the grades above it (Blue and Black) are significantly tastier.

    Sam Smithson

    Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By Fred

    2 *****

    Smirnoff is the lowest I can go.. I get sick off every bottom shelf vodka I’ve tried. I only sort of feel queasy the next morning after Smirnoff.

    Fred

    Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By jesse

    4 *****

    I’m just now getting into vodka and so far the only ones that have been the best are stoli sobeski and Smirnoff. With that being said Smirnoff is a good vodka I like it on the rocks and I like the burn that comes with it not bad in tast or price

    jesse

    Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By Justin Jones

    4 *****

    I’ve decided to rate Smirnoff today because I have got into many debates with my Bartending buddies about quality when it comes to vodka. I myself am a bartender an have used Smirnoff in a few cocktail competitions around the U.S. and England. Smirnoff in essence is the standard at which the the vodka balance beam sits. On one end is high quality vodkas like Ketel One and Chopin and on the other you have Aristocrat and Burnetts/Pinnnacle etc. Most Americans are off put by the bite and astringent introduction that Smirnoff presents. The truth is there is a difference in burns and initial flavors. Smirnoff is unique in its consistency all the way through. No awkward mouth feel or even soft calm notes. It’s a medium burn all the way through which means your first shot will taste like your last. Smirnoff is is more appropriate in mixed drinks involving fresh fruits. The strength of the vodka helps expedite the infusion of the fruit in most decent mixed drinks. Smirnoff works well in Martinis that use vermouth but not as well in ones that don’t. The truth is Smirnoff is a victim of the designer vodka movement of the early 2000′s. Brands like Grey Goose and Belvedere relied heavily on aristocratic word of mouth and packaging. Don’t get me wrong I believe them to still be exceptional vodkas but they have definitely muddled the impact of Smirnoff and even Stoli as being exceptional vodkas.

    Justin Jones

    Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By lasousa

    3 *****

    I like this vodka.

    lasousa

    Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By AZWolverine

    No Rating

    Very clean on the nose, not much else to detect. It has a slightly sweet mineral flavor, with some medicinal alcohol kicking in later. By no means my favorite, but it does represent a respectable value.

    AZWolverine

    Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By darpo.olof

    No Rating

    I have a question regarding Smirnoff. In the US it is made in the US, in Europe it is made in UK or Italy. Why is this? Could someone bring some clarity to this please? From what I have understood they only do own distilling in the UK, otherwise they only buy already rectified alcohol, is this correct?

    darpo.olof

    Reply

    • Smirnoff Vodka Review By taffyg2003

      I had an opportunity to compare a Grey Goose martini with a Smirnoff martini a few nights ago at a lower end restaurant. Grey Goose was their best offering, so that is why I choose that as the “reference” vodka. Interestingly, the Smirnoff cocktail was fairly smooth. The aroma was also reasonably soft, as well, so things were off to a good start for the relatively inexpensive vodka. Unfortunately, the smooth start turned quickly into a noticeable bite with a bitter and spicy finish and aftertaste. Don’t get me wrong, the martini was not bad overall, especially for one made with a lower shelf vodka, but the Grey Goose martini was noticeably superior in flavor and aftertaste. The Smirnoff was about as smooth, if not smoother than the Grey Goose surprisingly, however. In the grand scheme of things, I would place Smirnoff near the bottom of my vodka list. At this point, I would say that it is better only than Absolut from my experience with about 25 or so vodkas. I have given only Absolut a 2 star rating, with all other vodkas getting 3 or higher. I am on the fence about rating Smirnoff, but I do not think it is as low down as Absolut so I will give it a borderline 3 star rating.

      Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By Julianna

    No Rating

    On the opposing view point, although Smirnoff is a low priced vodka it actually always gets ranked highly in blind taste testing. I feel the reason that people decide not to “desire” the taste is because they feel it is cheap so it must be a “low-end” vodka… In reality Smirnoff is a cheap vodka because they sell so much of it therefore giving them the ability to keep prices low and consumers happy. Many “high-end” restaurants and bars use this as their well vodka to keep consumers satisfied and let them know they are getting quality. If you decide to go otherwise because some think price = quality hit up some Ciroc which is one of my favs… easy to drink on the rocks with a lime

    Julianna

    Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By marcb93

    2 *****

    Smirnoff is only a small step above the cheap vodkas. The finish has an unpleasant, almost overwhelming alcoholic taste and burn.

    marcb93

    Reply

    • Smirnoff Vodka Review By danny

      try borski or gran legacy and then try to say smirnoff is only one step above

      Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By danny

    3 *****

    When it comes to vodka, what are you really looking for? The aftertaste, or burn? I rarely buy anything more expensive than smirnoff. I will shell out for stoli sometimes. Smirnoff is about as good as vodka gets. No upfront flavors, aftertaste is alcoholic and grainy. The nose is nonexistant, which when compared to borski (5 bucks for a fifth) is a good thing. The burn is medium and stays on the tongue. All in all, smirnoff is vodka, a good vodka. when you buy grey goose, belvedere, or ciroc your paying for less burn and smoothness…….way to take all the fun out of it!!!

    danny

    Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By chuckers

    No Rating

    I thought it would be good because of the name is one of the most famous. Wow I took a shot at my gf’s house and it burned horrible, tasted like you would think rubbing alcohol would taste like. I am glad vodkabuzz doesnt care for it either cause most people say it is pretty good, it is really bad.

    chuckers

    Reply

    • Smirnoff Vodka Review By Robert

      @chuckers, Smirnoff is good if you want a cheaper cocktail, but not the cheapest / well vodka cocktail (at least where I live). I’d only drink it by choice if I was trying to save money at a bar, though an extra dollar would be worth the jump to Stoli. Sobieski and Svedka are much better at roughly the same price if you’re buying bottles at a store.

      Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By 4NIK8R

    2 *****

    The Smirnoff available in North America is just OK. Unfortunately for those of us who live there, a member of the Smirnoff family sold the North American rights to the Smirnoff name to Heublein back in the 1930s, and so you have to go elsewhere to get the good stuff. Black Label Smirnoff can hold its own against any premium vodka that I’ve tried, and that’s quite a few of them. If you’re lucky enough to find some, I definitely recommend it.

    4NIK8R

    Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By J. R.

    No Rating

    Sobieski is much better for about the same price. Smirnoff is like drinking water.

    J. R.

    Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By Jason

    No Rating

    What I’d like to know is how was Smirnoff favored over other vodkas like Grey Goose and Ketel One in The New York Times taste test?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/26/dining/26wine.html

    Jason

    Reply

    • Smirnoff Vodka Review By sting.ruffoni

      Because Grey Goose is an overrated vodka. Some people think that price is what makes something great or bad. I can afford Grey Goose, but choose Sobieski, Smirnoff or Tito’s over that over hyped and over priced Goose.

      Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By srogge

    No Rating

    What a wonderful example of how proper advertising can sell absolute garbage. Svedka is cheaper and miles better. Get some class and donate this to the homeless guy down the street.

    srogge

    Reply

    • Smirnoff Vodka Review By sting.ruffoni

      Wrong on two accounts. Svedka is not cheaper and is not better.

      Reply

      • Smirnoff Vodka Review By Cameron

        Wrong on one account. Svedka is definitely better.

        Reply

        • Smirnoff Vodka Review By Justin Jones

          You’re right Svedka is better. Cleaner and smoother.

          Reply

  • Smirnoff Vodka Review By John

    2 *****

    started drinking a few months ago. Tried Svedka the bought some Smirnoff, Smirnoff def. had me feeling queasy the next day.

    John

    Reply

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