Vodka can be made from a number of source ingredients, but my two favorite are corn and potatoes.
Corn vodkas are typically sweet in flavor and versatile for drinking straight or mixing. The grain seems relatively easy to work with based on the vast amount of very good corn vodkas on the market. In fact, I’ve never rated a corn vodka under 4 stars.
Potatoes, on the other hand, can vary. I’ve never had a truly bad potato vodka, but I’ve had as many middling potato vodkas as I have had excellent ones. This leads me to believe that potato distillation is a little more difficult to get right. But when they are done right, the vodka tends to be flavorless, sometimes even sippable like water, whereas corn vodkas rarely achieve that. When potato vodkas aren’t great for drinking straight, they at least mix pretty well.
That brings us to Gunnar’s Distilling Company, a husband and wife team based in Florida, that is making vodka with ingredients sourced from American farms. Their American Farm Series of vodkas include corn and potato vodkas and aim to highlight the quality of US produce.
As of the time of writing, Gunnar’s Distilling Company have been making their corn vodka for over two years and they added a potato vodka to the mix around 6 months ago. There aren’t many distillers, especially craft distillers, splitting their efforts between two source ingredients like this. So, we have a unique opportunity to compare these two excellent vodkas.
Gunnar’s Corn Vodka is an excellent example of a corn vodka. It has a slightly sweet flavor and a peppery finish that fades quickly.
Gunnar’s Potato Vodka, on the other hand, is almost completely flavorless and very pleasant to drink. Gunnar’s Potato Vodka is among a few flawless executions of potato vodka, and the only American potato vodka that I can give that accolade to.
Gunnar’s Distilling Company has two exceptional vodkas, make no mistake. They’re as good as your current favorite corn or potato vodka. But, since this is a shootout, I have to make a call and I prefer Gunnar’s Potato Vodka over Gunnar’s Corn Vodka for drinking straight.
Both are really good. I recommend the corn vodka to newcomers. But if you like vodka, Gunnar’s Potato Vodka is choice.
Let me be clear, Gunnar’s Potato Vodka is no slouch for mixing. When having to compare two vodkas that are this good, it’s the nuances that matter and the sweetness of the corn vodka put Gunnar’s Corn Vodka a nose ahead of Gunnar’s Potato Vodka.
The sweet tones of the corn vodka elevate the juice and magically reduce the tartness of my favorite screwdriver toppers (pomegranate and cranberry), which makes for a better all-around cocktail.
The potato vodka is also great for mixing, but the cocktails have a typical flavor. The flavorless vodka is only contributing alcohol, and it’s frankly a shame to mix such an outstanding straight vodka in the first place.
For mixing, Gunnar’s Corn Vodka wins the day.
After making hay on the back of these two excellent vodkas, the better vodka is ultimately the one you prefer. I can easily see how most will prefer the corn vodka because it is easily accessible with a more familiar flavor profile. But, the potato vodka checks all my boxes, so I’ve found myself reaching for Gunnar’s Potato Vodka over Gunnar’s Corn Vodka.
In the end, I highly recommend trying both side-by-side and seeing where you come out.