For the past several months on my daily commute to work I have been greeted by an advertisement that I eventually had to follow up on. The sign claimed that Iceberg Vodka was voted a gold medal at the 2009 Cannes Vodka competition. Now I regard Iceberg as a lower level offering on par with Smironoff and Absolute so I was suprised by such a prestigous award. I figured that maybe I could save some money on the Belvedere I typically purchase and make the switch to this inexpensive yet ‘highly premium’ vodka. Not so fast.
Now, I haven’t tried Iceberg Vodka and after investigating this ‘award’, nor will I ever. I did some research and there was a very casual vodka tasting event at the Cannes FILM festival and here is the list of winners. Now I don’t even care who won that competition as the number of companies participating was tiny, the event was informl and was more of a PR stunt rather then a real competition. Even more notable is the fact that Iceberg Vodka wasn’t even a participant.
I contacted the company asking them why they had this claim in their sign hoping that I had overlooked something but was completely ignored by them. Its too bad they didn’t realize their poor customer service skills would result in negative publicity on a popular bartending website.
As a result of this entire ordeal I figured JoeBartender.com would hold its own tasting competition. Real people testing real Spirits. Lets get a consumers opinion on what is good and what isn’t, forget about these weird competition with so called experts. What matters is when people like you and I order a Vodka water or a shot of Whiskey at the bar it tastes great. Now despite emailing every North American distillery asking them to participate I did not get one company willing to enter. What a crock!
Iceberg and the entire North American distillery industry should be ashamed. A lot of these awards and competitions are a farce to drive up sales. I guess the only way to determine what is good is to sample a variety of alcohols until you stumble upons something you like.
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