Within the category of vodka, there’s very little delineation of quality levels. Price isn’t always the best indicator – we’ve reviewed under $20 vodka that beat the pants off vodkas twice their price. Also, any vodka company can slap the label “Premium” or “Ultra Premium” on literally any vodka, because it doesn’t really mean anything. The only way to tell if a vodka is a good one is to try it.
Blue Angel Ultra Premium Vodka (90 Proof – $20) gets points for marketing their product well. The frosted bottle and faint blue background are very attractive on a back bar, and the attached “Angel Eyes” swizzle stick is an interesting (albeit odd) addition to the package. As with all spirits, however, it’s what’s inside the bottle that matters the most. The nose of Blue Angel is strong ethyl alcohol (which smells a lot like citrus and household cleaner). It’s a slightly sharp nose with the slightest hint of confectioners sugar underneath the citrus and cleaner. The entry follows the nose pretty solidly, with strong citrus and a slightly sweet undertone. The confectioners sugar comes out in the mid-palate and builds nicely but things take a really sharp turn in the finish and there’s a very unpleasant, almost acidic quality to the finish. It’s one of the more unpleasant finishes we’ve tasted in a vodka in a while.
Blue Angel Ultra Premium Vodka seems to have the right idea in its mid-palate, but that’s sandwiched between a fairly undesirable nose and a finish that is quite unpleasant. Blue Angel bills itself as having a creamy mouthfeel and smooth finish, but we found it to be exactly opposite. It’s an unfortunate reinforcement that you can’t judge a spirit by its packaging, name or price – it’s what’s in the bottle that really counts, and what’s in this bottle isn’t worth recommending. Not Recommended