Liquor Review Category: Vodka Grain Base
Producer: The Smirnoff Company
Origin: Russian Federation
Alcohol Content : 40%
Smirnoff began with Piotr A. Smirnov in Moscow who was commissioned to produce vodka by the government after he was the first to filter the spirit in charcoal, removing impurities and making a consistent quality. It literally revolutionized the distilling world. After some success, the Smirnov family was forced to flee Russia in the revolution in 1917 when all private businesses were confiscated. Vladamir Smirnov adopted the French spelling of the name Smirnoff and from there began producing again. Smirnoff vodka, in 1934, became the very first vodka to enter the United States. (The Complete Book of Spirits by Anthony Dias Blue.)
There has been legal dispute over the name Smirnoff but today it is consolidated with Diageo and once again is produced in Russia. It is the number one selling spirit in the world today.
Smirnoff No. 21–the red label vodka found nearly everywhere–is a grain neutral spirit made in large column stills but using the charcoal filtration process invented and patented by Vladamir Smirnov himself. Diageo claims that Smirnoff is the top-selling brand in the world and, if true, it is on the back of this vodka.