Tito's Handmade Vodka begins with founder Tito Beveridge, who presumably does something with his hands to bring every bottle to life.

Maybe he picks up every handful of corn used in the distillation process and lets the grain run through his fingers. Maybe he slaps at the liquid the mash tub and splashes it around. Maybe he carved some mahogany to make a woodblock for the logo. I'm not really sure.  

Those who really want to know what's being "handmade" over at Tito's have gone so far to file lawsuits which allege that someone selling 12 million bottles each year couldn't possibly be making vodka by hand. It's a pretty classic story about the little guy needing to update, modernize, and automate until he wakes up one day and finds that he's no longer little. Forbes has a great article if you want to know more about the backstory.

Tito’s is light and inoffensive, and I mean that in the best of ways.

Me? I like Tito Beveridge. He's described his accomplishment at Tito's by saying, "I make a Filet Mignon at a pot roast price," and tells people, "I'm a fifth generation Texan who decided to generate fifths." The initial operations were funded by buying land and equipment with about nine different credit cards. It's a story that—to me—rings true with working class honesty. I can overlook the marketing puffery. Probably most of the employees out there in Texas have hands and use them as part of their daily operations.

Tito's is a good product to explore for a variety of reasons. Using corn rather than more common distillate bases gives the vodka a little more sweetness than you might expect. Pot still distillation (which he does six times) knocks out a lot of the ethanol burn and industrial solvent smells you'd get from garbage-tier vodka like Popov (a story for another day, perhaps). The price point is outstanding at about $20 for a fifth.

As for the taste itself? Tito's is light and inoffensive, and I mean that in the best of ways. You might not want to make a vodka martini with this stuff, but it's a superb mixer. You certainly could enjoy it straight, but I'd steer you towards something more robust like Russian Standard Gold, Absolut Elyx, or even Belvedere. However, if someone wants a screwdriver or a Moscow mule, Tito's is a good choice, as it's a vodka that unabashedly makes everything else in the cocktail the star players without any scummy aftertaste.

To me, that counts for quite a lot.

Nose: Not much of anything, but thankfully no weird industrial stuff, so that's a plus.
Taste: Creamy, sweet, and with just a little bit of saltiness to make the mouth water.
Finish: Agreeable, quick, and with little lingering burn.
Misc: 40% ABV, made in Texas. Jury's out as to to what extent hands have in the actual making of the vodka.
Price: $20
Overall Rating