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UA to introduce new vodka onboard, summer 2018

UA to introduce new vodka onboard, summer 2018

Old Mar 2, 18, 1:53 am
  #16  
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Meh. Vodka is vodka in my mind. Don't touch the other spirits where taste actually matters!
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Old Mar 2, 18, 9:55 am
  #17  
 
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buying two products from one supplier = $$$ savings me thinks. UA will probably pass it off as giving a superior product to the customers but in reality this probably just saves them some change.
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Old Mar 2, 18, 10:21 am
  #18  
 
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I don't really care about Vodka either (they just better not get rid of the Glenfarclas!). Since I'm not a Bloody Mary fan, I'll sometimes do a vodka-cranberry on a morning flight, but that's about it.
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Old Mar 2, 18, 10:27 am
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by riphamilton View Post
i was expecting dubra, majorska or popov (ahhh.... high school days). i'm pleasantly surprised.

total wine retails a handle of tito's at $30, whereas wheatley is $24.

if wheatley is distributed in my neck of the woods, i'll give it a shot for national moscow mule day this saturday.
Haha dubra. Imagine. That "quality" Connecticut stuff.
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Old Mar 2, 18, 11:05 am
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That's too bad. I liked Tito's for the taste, as well as the GF aspect to it.
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Old Mar 2, 18, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by riphamilton View Post
i was expecting dubra, majorska or popov (ahhh.... high school days). i'm pleasantly surprised.

total wine retails a handle of tito's at $30, whereas wheatley is $24.

if wheatley is distributed in my neck of the woods, i'll give it a shot for national moscow mule day this saturday.
First thing I thought when I saw this thread was "Popov".
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Old Mar 2, 18, 12:48 pm
  #22  
 
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I've never tried Wheatley vodka, but I'm running to Binny's to try some right now! I'll report back. This may be a good or a bad thing. Tito's was more of the "cool" vodka. I wish they would take Chicago's very own Effen Vodka!
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Old Mar 2, 18, 3:55 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by LASUA1K View Post
I've never tried Wheatley vodka, but I'm running to Binny's to try some right now! I'll report back. This may be a good or a bad thing. Tito's was more of the "cool" vodka. I wish they would take Chicago's very own Effen Vodka!
I did the same thing. Went to Binnys and bought some. It's actually pretty good folks. Or Koval would have been cool had they chosen something Chicago.
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Old Mar 2, 18, 4:20 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
I'm not much of a vodka drinker... I haven't tried Wheatley but I'm willing to give it a go. At least it's not bargain-basement stuff.

JUST DON'T TOUCH THE SCOTCH... please, United, leave well enough alone here!
What's the current scotch lineup?
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Old Mar 2, 18, 4:41 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
What's the current scotch lineup?
Glenfarclas 12 year... otherwise known as the "G-stuff"!
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Old Mar 2, 18, 6:39 pm
  #26  
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As long as it's not Russian, I'm good with it
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Old Mar 2, 18, 9:35 pm
  #27  
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Craft Distilled Vodka Boarding This Summer

Beginning this summer, United is excited to serve Wheatley Vodka, an award-winning handcrafted vodka made from the same master distiller who produces Buffalo Trace, the popular bourbon the airline currently serves onboard. Buffalo Trace Distillery, considered the world's most award-winning distillery, uses the same wheat to produce Wheatley Vodka as is used to produce legendary bourbons such as Pappy Van Winkle and Weller.

Vodka is the number one-selling spirit served on United flights. Wheatley Vodka will be available for purchase in the economy cabin on flights where a beverage service is offered. Customers flying in United's premium cabins may enjoy the spirit at no cost.
This is so... Orwellian. I mean, I have no problem with the change. It sounds like a good idea (I don't drink vodka, either on UA or elsewhere, so I have no dog in the fight... but objectively it sounds like Wheatley might be a net improvement over Tito's if you're not gluten-intolerant). But the crafting of the announcement is perverse. Let me count the ways.
  1. Buffalo Trace (not to mention its parent company Sazerac) is huge. They produce a lot of brands. You really can't draw much of a conclusion from "...made from the same master distiller who produces Buffalo Trace."
  2. The fact that this is made from "the same wheat" as Pappy is... irrelevant. Wheat is always a minority ingredient in bourbon. And it's pretty much a commodity. And the actual grain -- its terroir, or whatever -- is the tiniest contributor to the flavor. It's what you do with it. This is almost like saying "I boil my pasta in the same water as [insert famous restaurant/chef]!"
  3. Finally, what puts me over the edge here is "...as is used to produce legendary bourbons such as Pappy Van Winkle and Weller." Seriously? I mean, I like the Weller line. I have a bottle of Special Reserve downstairs as I write this. Shoot, if I wasn't about to crack open a new bottle of Maker's 46, I'd go pour myself a splash of Weller as soon as I finished this rant! But... a bottle of Weller runs about $21.99. It's the best $20 bourbon you can buy (AFAIK), and to be fair it is wheated (like Pappy), but... a bottle of Pappy will run you roughly $2,000-3,000 on the secondary market right now. This is like saying "Ford Motor company, maker of famous automobiles like the GT and the Fiesta."
Okay, I'm done ranting. But how does United manage to actually make a "change I'm going to like"... yet announce it in a way that makes me cringe?

P.S. Before somebody out-nerds me... the William Larue Weller (antique collection) does warrant being mentioned in the same breath as Pappy, so maybe I'm being unfair. But there are three other Weller bourbons than run about $20 or so per bottle, so I mostly stand by my rant.
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Last edited by QBK; Mar 2, 18 at 9:43 pm
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Old Mar 2, 18, 11:08 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by SFHokie View Post
I don't care what they do to the vodka, just don't get rid of the Bailey's ... coffee needs it in the morning, and so do I after a trans-(con, pac, atl) flight!
the baileys is great on the sundae too instead of the toppings offered.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 7:27 am
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
I am not a vodka expert either, but I listened to an excerpt today of Marketplace Money about Vodka that mentioned that Vodka as a matter of law (regulation?) has to be

"‘neutral spirits so distilled, or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials, as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color."

(Title 27, Section 5.22 of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Code)

I think this is the episode; I queued the full podcast for future enjoyment. For now I will assume that United is replacing one non-distinctive liquid with another one. And I'll take shelter awaiting the flaming from resident Vodka aficionados (again, remember, I am not a vodka expert/drinker)
Not flaming...

While the regulations state that vodka should be without distinctive taste, there definitely are differences that result from the ingredients and the processes used to make it. To me, vodka made from corn (e.g. Titos, Platinum, Prairie) has a distinct sweetness. Vodka made from sugar cane (e.g. Ocean) has even more sweetness along with a slight caramel finish. Potato vodka (e.g. Chopin, Luksusowa) has milder sweetness along with a slightly oily finish. The one vodka made from grapes I've tasted (Ciroc) definitely has a grape/wine flavor. Wheat vodkas vary considerably from light, clean, and almost flavorless (e.g. Grey Goose, Belvedere) to heavy and oily (less expensive brands). In the end, it's really a matter of personal preference. I prefer potato based vodka, while my wife likes wheat based vodkas. YMMV!

I hadn't heard of Wheatly Vodka before seeing this thread. However, the other vodka made by Buffalo Trace is "Platinum" which, for its price, is quite good as a vodka for mixers. I'm also a fan of their Bourbons.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 8:11 am
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by PHLGovFlyer View Post
Not flaming...

While the regulations state that vodka should be without distinctive taste, there definitely are differences that result from the ingredients and the processes used to make it. To me, vodka made from corn (e.g. Titos, Platinum, Prairie) has a distinct sweetness. Vodka made from sugar cane (e.g. Ocean) has even more sweetness along with a slight caramel finish. Potato vodka (e.g. Chopin, Luksusowa) has milder sweetness along with a slightly oily finish. The one vodka made from grapes I've tasted (Ciroc) definitely has a grape/wine flavor. Wheat vodkas vary considerably from light, clean, and almost flavorless (e.g. Grey Goose, Belvedere) to heavy and oily (less expensive brands). In the end, it's really a matter of personal preference. I prefer potato based vodka, while my wife likes wheat based vodkas. YMMV!

I hadn't heard of Wheatly Vodka before seeing this thread. However, the other vodka made by Buffalo Trace is "Platinum" which, for its price, is quite good as a vodka for mixers. I'm also a fan of their Bourbons.
I would be curious if these things actually show up in blind taste tests. Because for instance "sugar vodka tastes a little sweet" is the kind of thing people would tend to say if they know the vodka is made that way.
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