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

absolut vanilia

From: The Absolut Company

This new addition to the Absolut stable was so eagerly awaited that customers have apparently been importing stock from the US, where it was launched last year.

It is distributed through Maxxium UK.

Price: £13.49 for 70cl bottle

Total score: 32/50
consumer’s verdict

Lou law, 32, university welfare officer, london

I am always intrigued to try new flavoured vodkas and often drink them on a night out.

Because of the number of brands which have brought out vanilla versions in recent months, I thought it was a bit gimmicky for Absolut to do the same.

However, I am normally a fan of vanilla and vodka is also my drink of choice, so I was quite sure this would appeal to me.

I tried it chilled as a shot and although it had a vague vanilla smell, it tasted overly sweet and sickly.

Even when I added a dash of tonic, it still had an unpleasant synthetic after-taste and I couldn’t manage any more. It didn’t live up to the premium quality I would expect from Absolut and would definitely not make it into my drinks cabinet.

Score: 12/25
buyer’s verdict

sally holloway, wine and spirits buyer, Booths

Absolut is well established in the premium vodka sector and this is a unique addition to its flavoured range.

The brand makes much of the purity of its Swedish spirit in what is becoming a competitive market. This is destined to be used as a mixer in cocktails as the vanilla flavour is dominant on the nose and the taste but it is not unpleasant or artificial. It adds a touch of sweetness before the heat of the spirit kicks in but is a clean tasting drink.

Vanilla and coke is a great combination so I imagine it will be used by most consumers for this sort of long drink. Brand extensions do not always last the course and it is not as refreshing as the citrus variants, but it does maintain the premium image of Absolut and will no doubt be well used in style bars.

Score: 20/25