>>consumers and buyers give their views on the latest launches

Stolichnaya Elit

From: First Drinks

First Drinks is hoping its new premium vodka Stolichnaya Elit, which will act as a flagship for the brand, will achieve cult status among vodka connoisseurs

Price: £38.99 per bottle

Total score: 46/50
consumer’s verdict

mark ellerby, transport consultant, 27, kent

I normally buy premium brands like Absolut but I’ll occasionally pick up a lesser-known label if it looks interesting enough.

Real Russian vodkas are the ones that usually tempt me away from my regular choice, so Elit would catch my eye.

The packaging is distinctive, with a tall, sleek bottle that looks great in my drinks cabinet.

On its own, it has an ultra smooth taste that lives up to the claims on the bottle. In a cocktail it was camouflaged slightly, but gave the impression of being quite pure.

I was not surprised by the price because of Elit’s quality and upmarket design, but I think it will be a challenge for the manufacturer to persuade most consumers to buy Elit when so many other popular brands are sold at a fraction of the price.

Score: 22/25
buyer’s verdict

Bob redmile, wine and spirits buyer, parfetts cash and carry

Stolichnaya Elit is the new ultra-premium vodka to be launched in the UK by First Drinks. It is expected to sell in on-trade outlets and to vodka connoisseurs.

The presentation is excellent, as befits a product with an rsp of £38.99. The bottle is very stylish - taller and thinner than most other vodka bottles.

It has been produced using a centuries-old Russian recipe that was used by the czars. Only top quality raw materials and the highest quality alcohol are used for Elit.

The spirit has a smooth taste that is very palatable neat and mixed. It is a superb vodka, but sales will be limited due to the high rsp. However, anyone lucky enough to try a bottle will not be disappointed.

Score: 24/25
n Product:

Magnum Uncovered in tubs



n Launch date:

September 2003