As vodka can be made from almost anything that is fermentable, there is an incredibly long list of organic materials that vodka can and is made from.
When looking at those materials most commonly used in its production by the distilleries across most of Europe and the rest of the world, grains such as wheat, barley, corn, or rye, are used as are potatoes and grapes.
Each of these organic materials imparts a unique flavour characteristic on the resulting vodka, with other factors, including the water used, number of times it's been distilled, and whether its been charcoal filtered, being the other deciding factors in its taste and quality.
When looking at the flavours produced by each organic base, vodkas made from corn tend to have a slightly sweet and gentle mouthfeel to them, although some cheaply made ones can be quite chemical in their taste and finish, those made from grapes can be somewhat sweet or tangy whilst some can also possess no flavour at all, rye vodka is characterised as being one of the most intense drinking experiences of all with flavours of pepper, spice, cream, and even smoke being common attributes, vodka made from wheat is known to be lighter in texture, citrus-like in taste and sometimes possessing a long burn, and finally, potato vodka has a tendency to be thick, oily, and with a smooth finish that has flavours of earth and potato peel.
It is important to note that the flavour profiles of each bottle of vodka should be and are decidedly more subtle and gentle in their quality and strength and it is easy to spot a bottle of low quality, cheaply-made vodka due to the presence of any distinct burning alcoholic flavours or sensations that exist within the bottle.
To discover more about the taste of vodka, read this article.
Being one of the most prodigious producers of the spirit in the world, Russian vodka has evolved over the centuries into a global sensation that is still deep-rooted in Russian history, culture, and traditions. Discover more about vodka from Russia in our comprehensive guide to Russian vodka.
Being known for making their vodkas from a variety of grains and other materials, including potato, Polish distilleries have been making the spirit for centuries and continue to do so at the highest levels of quality. Find out all you need to know in a complete guide to Polish vodka.
Although most well known for producing the globally famous Absolut vodka brand, Sweden can lay claim to producing some of the best vodkas in the world thanks, in part, to its abundant natural bounty. View our guide to Swedish vodka to learn more about the vodkas from this Scandanavian nation.
Perhaps more well known for their wines and cognac, France has been one of the leading producers of fine vodka for decades thanks to global sensations Grey Goose and Cîroc, which lay claim to much of the high-end vodka market. Learn more by reviewing our complete guide to French vodka.
Having initially fallen in love with vodka imported from Europe, American distillers began experimenting with their own vodkas in the 19th Century and now produce some of the best craft and big-name vodkas on the market today. Discover more in our thorough guide to American vodka.
Although known more for their craft whisky, craft gin, and gold and dark rum products, Australian distilleries have increasingly been experimenting with producing their own craft vodkas, with some highly successful results. Uncover more about vodkas from the island continent by reviewing our guide to Australian vodka.