You know the old yarn in Vodka marketing: the more something is distilled, the better it is. And now, here we are, examining what seems to be the apotheosis of vodka itself: a product distilled a whopping 34 times.
The implication, anyway, is that when something is distilled over and over, you're filtering out a greater number of impurities with each distillation "pass." By that logic, a vodka distilled three times would be nastier and more headache-inducing than a vodka distilled five times. It's a good story—one spoiled only by the minor fact that it isn't true.
For example, Reyka is perfectly fine vodka. They distill it once. Belvedere is perfectly fine vodka. They distill it four times. Ketel One is perfectly fine vodka. They distill it once on a column still and once on a pot still. So, in the case of Ketel One, that means... twice?
Now, here's the thing I've learned about Vodka: for any column still process (the details of which curious readers are invited to explore here), every time you add a copper plate into the apparatus, you can technically say that you've introduced a separate distillation step. So the reality might be that Purity Vodka is what comes out one end of a column still with 34 copper plates. Gunning for this degree of, well, purity is nowhere near as labor-intensive as, say, running a pair of socks through a mind-boggling 34 different wash/dry cycles.
So, laying my cards on the table, I was set to shit all over Purity purely because of this goofy "34 times distilled" marketing. I also felt that by talking up a distillation process that seems to border on the absurd, Purity is courting the type of Vodka drinker that feels the absolute best spirit is one that has been so processed that it no longer tastes like anything. And, as such, it would very certainly be not my thing.
Imagine my total surprise when I learned that Purity does in fact taste like something. The closest facsimile would be Belvedere, although Belvedere is made with rye whereas Purity is made with barley and wheat. In direct comparison, Purity is a bit more citrus-heavy and grassy on account of the wheat used in the distillation, but like Belvedere it's big and viscous in the mouth with a lot of extremely grippy and chewy grain. Like some of my favorite vodkas, Purity offers a sweet-and-salty combination that takes hold on the sides of the tongue and causes the mouth to water.
And it certainly seems well made! You really have to try to smell the alcohol here by getting your nose deep inside of the glass and taking as big of a breath as you can. And even still, it might just be your imagination. No Neutral Grain Spirit reek here in the least.
Color me surprised. Purity is a very good, flavorful vodka at a very fair asking price.