Ketel One Vodka 750mL

While Ketel One isn’t our favorite spirit, not even our favorite vodka we have used more Ketel One in the Buffalo Lounge than any other liquor. Ketel One is our go-to drink for its wide use in Russian, screwdrivers, and tons of other mixed drinks, without sacrificing quality in the least. It is the standard we judge all vodka’s on, namely if you’re not better of comparable than we don’t want to deal with you. This has since changed with Three Olives much ore competitive price, but Ketel One is a good barometer for vodka.


Now if asked what we’d prefer to have in our drinks we’d mention Russian Standard, we’d suggest Hammer + Sickle, and we’d dream of the smuggled gems from Russia itself. However because of cost we have to settle, and while most are content settling with Absolut and Smirnoff I see a better future. A future where vodka doesn’t… you know – suck. In this respect we’ve always turned to Ketel One.

That brings up one of the best things about booze reviews; that these reviews benefit not just you in informing you of what’s out there but it gives us reason to try new things. A major problem I know some people suffer from is buying the same thing, they know what works so why risk it. While not everything can be a gem like New Amsterdam Gin, finding a vodka like Three Olives that is just as good in mixed drinks as Ketel One but has a lower cost is fantastic.

Don’t get me wrong in every way but value I consider Ketel One to be superior, but that’s the rub isn’t it? Notice there I said value, not price; in terms of bang for buck, and what you get your vodka for you can do better than Ketel One, but not much better. Let’s see what they have to say for themselves and how they rate up in terms of hard science-y numbers.


For ten generations, the Nolet family in Holland has been distilling the finest spirits using techniques and recipes perfected by Joannes Nolet and his successors since 1691. Ketel One, named after the original distilling kettle number one, is distilled in small batches using tradition pot stills, filtered through charcoal and rested until perfect. This costly, painstaking process yields a limited quantity of Ketel One Vodka that possesses a refined elegeance, distinictive smoothness and unmatched quality.”


Now onto the scores:

Taste: 5.9 – Swetta vest finds it an unpleasant taste, the rest generally disagree.

Aftertaste: 6.6 – The aftertaste is much better than the taste, something we all agreed on.

Burn/Smooth: 5.9 – Has a burn but it’s not awful.

Aroma: 6.25 – Like a hint, but barely there for Buffalo. Some others were not a fan, and some found it pleasant.

Honesty: 7 – Got some hard-core wank and it’s from Holland. The commercials and ornate bottle raise it up. Fails the swetta-vest-test.

Mixability: 7.33

Vodka Tonic: 7.375 – The tastes clash a bit and most of us think that’s better.

Screwdriver: 7.6 – Tastes better than regular orange juice somehow. Add more vodka to make it better.

Russian: 8.25 – One of the best Russians I’ve ever had.

Vodka Martini: 6.1 – Not a good vodka for a martini, it feels like it has a weird flavor. Feels less water-downed, but feels off.

Value: 6.25 – High-mid shelf but it is worth that price

Google Shop Average: $22



Reviewer Scores:

William Henri Neve the IV: 7.5

Justice: 6.5

BuffaloJern: 7.5

DJ_Lvl: 7

Swetta Vest: 6.5

Want to compare this spirit against our archives? Visit our statistics page.

Metric Score: 45.23/70 |+| Metric Average: 6.46 |+| Reviewer Average: 7

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Final Thoughts:

We get the same amount of score yet the price difference makes the quality difference negligible. This is again a really good vodka, but if you’re looking for something that may not be the best priced but overall taste better than go with Ketel One. Ketel One is probably one of the best mixing vodka’s for price you can get (except martini’s) and if the budget allows wiggle room even with the Three Olives cheaper price we’d recommend Ketel One (in a bar).


I am the Buffalo editor and curator of Honest Booze Reviews

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