For many years, vodka was an overlooked spirit, but not anymore. Today, distillers craft smooth vodkas with rich flavors that are great to savor neat or on the rocks. You don’t need to mask a harsh-tasting spirit in a cocktail. While there are many different techniques used, you can rest assured that every vodka on our list is made using high-quality materials and is distilled multiple times to ensure a smooth finish and a spirit free of impurities. But, with so many vodka brands on the market, it can be hard to decide what to choose. Our list features the best top-shelf vodka brands and explains what makes each one so unique. Whether you’re looking for classic Russian vodka, something to elevate your Bloody Mary, a vodka to pair with caviar, the best luxury gluten-free vodka, or special bottles from companies using innovative distillation processes, you’ll find it here in our list of the best-tasting vodkas.
The Best Top-Shelf Vodka Brands
Chopin Family Reserve
This super-premium spirit is a potato-based farm-to-bottle vodka from Poland. The potatoes, known as new potatoes, were planted during the 2016 growing season in the rich, dark soil surrounding the distillery in eastern Poland. Harvested while they were still young, these potatoes result in a subtle sweetness with notes of earthy clove and licorice. Chopin Family Reserve is naturally gluten-free and exceptionally smooth. In addition, it comes in a beautiful bottle tucked into a sleek leather casing with a booklet describing the distillery’s history and craftsmanship. It’s one of the finest potato vodkas there is and is our top choice for pairing with caviar.
The first thing you will notice from Belvedere 10, a new luxury vodka, is the distinctive bottle. The sculptural bottle is 10 levels in height, which nods to the 10 steps required to create this ultra-smooth vodka. It is faceted like a diamond, referencing the single harvest of one field of organic heritage Diamond Rye used to make this luxury vodka. Belvedere 10 will be crafted annually in small batches from one estate in northeast Poland. The company uses a process with roots that date back to 1910 when the distillery was founded, modernized for today, of course. The spirit is quadruple distilled in small batches through copper columns, then filtered through natural cellulose filters. Finally, it rests for 10 months, which helps develop the smoothness Belvedere 10 is noted for. It has tasting notes of coconut, vanilla, and cacao, with an elegant finish.
Belvedere’s classic vodka is a great pick if you can’t find this, which still has limited distributrion in the US since its debut in 2023. The spirit has detectable notes of vanilla and rye, as well as a crisp, citrusy finish. Additionally, it has a creamy, full body and faint floral notes.
Beluga Gold Line
This exceptional Russian vodka comes from Siberia. It takes three months to produce, as its unique recipe is complex and its manufacturing process intricate. The base is of hyaline artesian water from Siberian springs, as well as malt spirit, which gives it a fuller-bodied taste and feel. Ingredients that also endow Beluga Gold Line with its rich flavor profile are rice extract and rhodiola rosea extract. It comes in a gorgeous bottle made of optical-crystal-pure French glass. It makes an elegant addition to your bar cart and is one of the best vodkas for making martinis.
CLIX Vodka by Caskers
You may know Buffalo Trace Distillery for its excellent bourbon, but it also produces an elegant vodka, CLIX. The brand’s master distiller brought his experience and his dedication to craftsmanship to create this smooth spirit. It undergoes 159 separate distillations, which give the vodka a smooth, elegant style. It has a clean finish and a delicate nose of sweet, fresh nectar, and it includes flavors of vanilla, white pepper, as well as hints of cinnamon.
This ultra-premium vodka blends Italian craftsmanship with California’s tech world. Carbonadi is an ultra-premium vodka is imported from Northern Italy to California, where it is micro-oxygenated and filtered through carbanados (also known as black diamonds). This process extracts the impurities, resulting in an incredibly smooth, crisp, sippable spirit. Bottled at 80 proof, House of Carbonadi suggests drinking it chilled and straight up. Only a top-shelf, luxury vodka can be enjoyed this way.
Desiree Reid founded Cardrona Distillery after studying for years with top spirits blenders from around the world. She returned to New Zealand with a mission to craft the finest spirits using Alpine water from Mount Cardrona in the country’s Southern Alps. Its Reid Single Malt Vodka uses high-quality barley that it mills on site. It ferments for more than 70 hours, which gives the vodka a rich, full flavor. Cardrona uses small copper pot stills to keep the flavors of pear drops, lemon, and toffee. This vodka won a Gold medal at the World’s Best 50 International Awards in New York. The Reid comes in an eye-catching oval bottle that will look beautiful in any home bar.
A single-estate, copper-crafted top-shelf vodka, Absolut Elyx is made from winter wheat grown on a single estate in southern Sweden, and it is distilled in a manually operated vintage copper still that dates back to 1921. This region’s climate is ideal for cultivating winter wheat because of its dry, cold winters and long, hot summers. The result is a silky spirit that tastes incredible in a martini or on the rocks.
This famous French, top-shelf vodka has only two ingredients: high-quality wheat and limestone-filtered spring water. Grey Goose has earned a cult following because of its traditional, time-tested methods and its delicate smoothness, and it’s easy to find at liquor stores. The nose is clean and subtly grainy, with traces of almond and black pepper.
This family-owned, artisan-crafted vodka is made in Greece from handpicked olives blended with grains and natural spring water. The distilled result is a smooth, sophisticated spirit evocative of the Mediterranean coastline. Tasting notes include ripe olives and peppery undertones, Kástra Elión is best when chilled, either neat or on the rocks.
Made with Polish rye and purified water from its own natural well, Belvedere is naturally effortlessly smooth and sippable. It has a rich history dating back to 1910 — Belvedere’s distillery is actually one of the world’s longest continuously operating facilities of its kind. The spirit has detectable notes of vanilla and rye, as well as a crisp, citrusy finish. Additionally, it has a creamy, full body and faint floral notes.
You may recognize Crystal Head by its memorably unusual bottle: a crystal skull. Even if you aren’t a fan of the macabre design of the vessel, you’ll love the spirit within. Crystal Head vodka is smooth, pure, and made from the highest-quality natural ingredients, free of any additives. It is crafted from locally sourced Canadian corn and distilled seven times — three of which are through layers of Herkimer diamonds. It has a clean taste with slight notes of vanilla.
This vodka uses modern technology to recreate the traditional practice of leaving casks of vodkas outside in freezing temperatures to remove impurities. First, Elit uses grain from a single source, which is subject to strict quality control. The grain is fermented, then triple-distilled to create a very smooth spirit. Elit blends it with mineral-rich water from a well that is over 200 meters deep. To purify the vodka and remove impurities, it filters the spirit through super-fine quartz sand before going through birch-wood charcoal. Finally, the spirit is freeze-filtered through ion-charged filters at a temperature below 0 F. No other company uses this freeze-filtration process. The result is a vodka with a smooth mouthfeel and flavors of butterscotch and black pepper.