The Remake: A Review of Skyy Vodka from WhiskeyD

At WhiskeyD, we're passionate about uncovering the true character of spirits from around the world. Today, we turn our attention to Skyy vodka, a prominent player from the US. Sampled in Germany back in 2013, this clear, 40% ABV vodka surprised me with its quality.

Ubiquitous Presence

Skyy vodka seems to be everywhere. From bars and clubs to online advertisements, this brand is omnipresent. Almost every time I search for a term containing “vodka,” I’m greeted with an ad for Skyy. Its widespread visibility is a testament to its aggressive marketing strategy.

Product Placement

Skyy vodka hails from San Francisco but is owned by Campari. Established in the 1990s, it has since dominated much of the club scene through aggressive marketing techniques, including product placements—even in Chinese sitcoms. This relentless push has cemented its brand image as a champion of marketing.

However, its marketing prowess initially didn't entice me to try it. I often compared it to brands like Smirnoff Red Label #21 and Absolut, which are known more for their marketing than the quality of their vodka.

Revisiting the Brand

Fast forward to March 2022, as I re-edit these reviews almost a decade later, I revisited for additional information. The first thing that caught my eye was the updated bottle design, now boasting “water enhanced with Pacific minerals.” Intriguing. The bottle I tried was from 2013—does this mean a new tasting is in order?

Tasting Experience

Reflecting on my initial review, Skyy vodka turned out to be better than expected. The taste is clean and smooth, making it easy to drink without much resistance. It’s quality stuff. The aftertaste, though slightly uninteresting, isn’t bad but could benefit from a bit more aroma.

The deep blue bottle design struck me as fairly average. However, the price point of about 13€ for 700ml is excellent.

Ideal for Mixed Drinks

Skyy vodka, despite being American, reminded me of Nordic brands like Absolut or Finlandia, known for their solid quality and suitability for mixed drinks. I’d chill Skyy and add some juice and ice cubes for a refreshing cocktail. For neat consumption at room temperature, I’d prefer something like Belvedere or Russian Standard.

Final Thoughts

Skyy vodka proved to be a pleasant surprise. Its clean, smooth taste makes it a versatile option, particularly for mixed drinks. Given its price point and quality, it’s a solid choice for any home bar.

I’m curious why I didn’t try Skyy vodka sooner and whether the new formulation with Pacific minerals enhances its profile. Perhaps it’s time for a revisit to see how this staple of the vodka market has evolved. For now, Skyy vodka holds its own as a reliable and accessible option that delivers more than just a well-marketed image.