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How do you handle recently purchased "Bad" alcohol.......

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I received a bottle of Stoli Elite as a Christmas gift. Let me preface this with I am a 20+ plus vodka drinker....and Stoli (regular) is my vodka of choice however I have had dozens of bottles of Stoli Elite over the years. (as well as many many other vodka's)

Anyway we were going out with another couple and I was bragging to other husband about the Stoli Elite and I wanted them to meet at our place so I could mix him up a quick martini before we headed out to dinner.

I mixed two "pure" meaning NO vermouth or anything else besides chilled on ice and Stoli Elite each poured over 3 olives with no excess olive juice. The other person took a sip first and was slightly overwhelmed by the "punch" the drink carried. So much so I thought he was joking to bust my chops over how un-smooth it was. So after his sputtering and complaining about the bite I had to try it and I have to say........this was NOT Stoli Elite. This had a very distinctive bite on your palate and burned all the way down. I was shocked.......I'm literally talking about the quality of a Mohawk or similar dime store vodka. Neither of us could stomach it and we poured them down the drain and drank regular Stoli.

What do you do in a case like this? I've NEVER experienced anything like this outside of a spoiled wine or skunk beer. There was a clear plastic seal over the cap so it wasn't tampered with.....but I can't go back to the store and tell them to try it because what's to have stopped me from taking an empty bottle and filling it with Mohawk or the like. I was thinking about going to the same liquor store and purchasing another and opening it in the store and trying it to prove my point if they got a bad batch.

Anyone ever have a similar experience?

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  1. There is a slight chance it could have been a counterfeit, as I remember reading several years ago about how this was a big problem in Russia.

    Unfortunately, to add to your problems, vodka is the easiest spirit to believe that the drinker doesn't know what they're talking about if they say it tastes different than they think it should. Of course it tastes bad, it's straight vodka, and it's not supposed to have a flavor anyway. If you really want to ensure it's the bottle and not you, you would need to go to another store and buy the same bottle and taste them side by side.

    If you bought the original from a store with good customer service, they may take it back anyways, even if you can't prove it wasn't tampered with. But they will probably still think that it's you and not the vodka.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nickls

      I was actually going to add to my OP that I gave a friend a bottle as a Christmas Gift which was purchased from a different location and that friend has NOT had any complaints. I haven't tasted theirs but it certainly doesn't have the bite mine does. To be honest I can't drink it burns so bad.

      1. re: jrvedivici

        I've had this same experience with a few bottles of Grey Goose over the years. I have no idea what causes it. Someone suggested to me counterfeit bottles as well - but it tasted like gasoline.

    2. If you know what liquor store you bought it from, you can contact the distributor. And even if you don't remember and it's in the same state, the distributors for the spirit are generally the same. That will take the onus off of the store itself and one step closer to the company who makes it (considering that this spirit is made out of the country).

      http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/