My days of drinking vodka involved flavored Svedka and Smirnoff. Granted, those were in my days of when it wasn’t exactly legal for me to be drinking alcohol. I had grown up, a little bit, and moved my way to Absolut and Tito’s, but there wasn’t much else in terms of vodka for me. Present day, I don’t drink much vodka unless it’s a mixed drink. Vodka lemonade or soda, John Daly’s, the usual stuff. However, I do branch out – I try a different vodka every time I buy some. Well, this time, it took me to Khor Vodka.
I have seen Khor Vodka at the liquor store, but that’s it. I had never drunken it nor did I know anyone who had ever drank it. The bottle says it’s rated 100 points and top 3 best selling vodka in the world… How have I never seen this outside the liquor store?!?! I suppose things are about to change.
Khor Vodka History
Khortytsa Distillery was constructed in 2002-2003 by Global Spirits, a leading distribution and spirits company. Construction went quickly and Khortytsa Distillery was placing Khor Vodka on the shelves in December 2003. Khor Vodka was founded in Ukraine, but didn’t begin distributing vodka to the US until 2011.
Khor Didn’t need the US market to be a world leader of Vodka sales. By 2006, just three years after going to market, Khor Vodka cracked the top 10 in vodka production. By 2018, they were among the top 3 in global sales for vodka. In 2020, they were number 2, although quite a ways behind Smirnoff at number one.
Vodka from Ukraine
Okay, so let’s cover this briefly and get back to the Vodka. At the liquor store, they made sure to let you know this was Ukrainian vodka. They had a label and a tag that let you know you were supporting Ukraine. That’s not why I bought it. I bought it because it scored 100 points and was one of the worlds best selling vodkas. However, it did bring in some questions.
Is Khor Vodka highly rated because it’s produced in Ukraine? Is Khor Vodka a top-selling vodka because people are wanting to support Ukraine? Well, if you read our brief history on Khor Vodka, you’d know that’s not the case. Khor was a top selling brand across the world well before the Russia – Ukraine war. What about the 100 points? Well, we’re going to find out just how good the vodka is ourselves.
Khor Vodka Overview
- Spirit: Vodka
- Owned By: Global Spirits
- Distilled By: Khortytsa Distillery
- Age: Unaged
- ABV: 40%, 80 proof
- Mash: 100% corn
There’s really nothing atypical about Khor Vodka – at least from the basic overview. The one change-up is that it’s made from corn. Most people associate vodka with potatoes and corn with whiskey or bourbon. However, vodka can be distilled from ANYTHING – at least anything that can ferment. There are more and more vodkas that are being made from grain, though. Grey Goose is distilled from wheat, Belvedere from rye, and Tito’s from corn, as well.
Grain Vodka vs Unaged Whiskey
Ever since learning the legal requirements of whiskey, vodka, or any other spirit, I’ve had one huge question. Why is grain vodka such as Khor not considered whiskey? Or at the least, why can’t it be considered whiskey? The answer, according to Post and Courier, is proof and oak.
First is proof. After distillation and before being cut, vodka must come out at or above 95% ABV. It is then typically cut to 80 proof, which is the minimum. Whiskey, on the other hand, must come out of the pot or column stills below 95% ABV. 80 proof is also the minimum proof that whiskey can be cut to.
Second is oak, and this is where I was really thrown off. Obviously, we think of whiskey as being aged in oak barrels. That’s where much of its taste comes from and all of its color. However, there is no aging requirement for whiskey. Sure, bourbon must be aged 2 years in oak casks, scotch and Irish whisky must be aged 3 years, but just whiskey… there is no age requirement. However, while there is no age requirement, the spirit must touch oak in order to be considered whiskey – even if it’s just for a couple hours.
So, theoretically, if you were to take Tito’s or Khor Vodka, distill it at a slightly lower proof (out of the stills), and put it in an oak cask for a couple hours, it would be whiskey.
Is Khor Vodka Good?
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, it’s time for my favorite part. Well, with whiskey it’s usually my favorite part, at least. It’s time to pour myself a glass and find out if Khor is a good vodka!
Now, the whole point of vodka is to be neutral. While there are some differences between each individual brand, vodka is supposed to be neutral and smooth. The nose is neutral in that there is nothing there but ethanol. Open up a packet of Purell sanitizing wipes and boom, that’s what you get here. Neutral, not quite smooth or appealing. I’ve reviewed many whiskeys that are appealing on the nose but not the palate and vice versa, so let’s see if it tastes better than it smells.
Unfortunately, the taste isn’t great here. There’s not as much ethanol as there is on the nose, but that’s about all you get with a little graininess. This isn’t a huge deal for me as I’m not someone to buy vodka to drink neat or on the rocks. The problem is that this isn’t a vodka I’d ever want to take a shot of, so I probably wouldn’t bring it to a party.
Khor Vodka Mixed Drinks
I have no doubt that if you mix Khor Vodka with a bunch of lemonade or sweet tea, it’ll be like any other vodka. I’m going to mix Khor with water and a splash of cranberry to see how it holds up in a mixed drink. Well, it’s not bad. It’s not my first choice of vodka, but it’s not going to kill you either.
Khor Vodka Price
Khor Vodka isn’t something I want to drink neat or take a shot of, but it gets the job done in a mixed drink. To be fair to Khor, that’s how I feel about A LOT of vodka. That just means price is going to play a large role in our review.
- Khor Vodka Price 1.75L: $19-24
- Khor Vodka Price 750ml: $12-17
We purchased our bottle for $20, and I have to say that that’s very well priced. It’s cheaper than Absolut, Tito’s, even Smirnoff. It’s a 5 star vodka in the price category.
Khor Vodka Value
I don’t typically place star ratings or x/10 ratings because it’s such a subjective rating. However, I feel a little more comfortable doing it with vodka. So, to me, personally, this is a middle of the road vodka – 3/5, maybe 3.5/5. The price is 5/5.
If you’re only plan is to use vodka only in mixed drinks, Khor Vodka is one of the best options out there. You won’t find as quality vodka for that price. I will say, I’d still spend the extra $3-4 on getting Smirnoff, but that’s just me.
Khor Vodka Summary
I originally thought Khor Vodka may have received all their awards and sales due to being a Ukrainian vodka brand, but I was quite wrong. They’ve held awards and been a top seller in the world market for over the last decade. While the vodka inside the bottle isn’t my favorite, the price drives home the selling point.
Khor is a 100% corn based vodka just like Tito’s. I know many of us American’s love Tito’s, so Khor is a decent option if you’re looking to save an extra 7 or so bucks.
If you have your vodka that you love, and it’s in the $20-30 price range, go ahead and just stick to it. If you want to try new vodkas, not sure which is your favorite, go ahead and give Khor a shot. Like I said, it’s not my favorite, but it gets the job done.
Khor Vodka FAQ
Below are frequently asked questions regarding Khor Vodka. Many of these are answered in the article above.
Where is Khor Vodka Made?
Khor Vodka is made at the Khortytsa Distillery located in Ukraine.
What is Khor Vodka Distilled from?
Just like Tito’s Vodka, Khor is made from a 100% corn base.
What are the Best Selling Vodkas in the World?
Smirnoff is the best selling vodka in the world by a wide margin, selling over 23m cases a year. Khor Vodka comes in at #2 selling just over 10m cases a year.