|Country of origin||Moscow, Russia|
|Alcohol by volume||40%|
Stolichnaya Flavoured Premium vodka
|Related products||List of vodkas|
Fermentation of Stolichnaya starts with wheat and rye grains and artesian water from the Russian city of Samara and the Kaliningrad region. The fermentation takes about 60 hours. Once fermentation is complete the resulting liquid is distilled four times to a strength of 96.4% ABV. This spirit is then diluted to bottling strength with more artesinal well water. It is then filtered through quartz, sand, activated charcoal, and finally through woven cloth.
The brand's logo features the words "Stolichnaya vodka" in gold cursive script, over a drawing of a Moscow landmark currently under re-construction, the Hotel Moskva, where Stalin once stayed and the site of one of the first Metro stations in the capital city. ("Stolichnaya" is the adjectival form of "stolitsa" ["столица"], meaning "capital city".)
There is confusion about the actual birth date of Stolichnaya vodka. The earliest confirmed production date is 1948, but the label design clearly predates 1946. It is likely that it was created by V. G. Svirida around 1944. However, there is a trademark patent dated 1938, which is sometimes quoted as another birth date.
In 1953, Stolichnaya was introduced at the international trade show in Bern and received a gold medal.
If bought in Russia, the label reads: Russian Vodka (as seen in the photo). If bought outside of Russia, the label reads: Premium Vodka. Stoli is now produced and bottled in Latvia for SPI Cyprus and is labeled as Imported Premium Vodka.
In 1972, the PepsiCo company struck a barter agreement with the government of the Soviet Union, in which PepsiCo was granted exportation and Western marketing rights to Stolichnaya vodka, in exchange for importation and Soviet marketing of Pepsi-Cola. This exchange led to Pepsi-Cola being the first foreign product sanctioned for sale in the U.S.S.R.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Stolichnaya vodka continued to be produced for export in several of the ex-Soviet republics, including Ukraine. The bottles retained their Soviet-era labels.
In August 1991, the Soviet patent office revoked the Soviet agency's right to use the Stolichnaya name in Russia. This led to numerous lawsuits, including what companies could market vodka under this name in the United States. On November 20, 1992, a federal judge ruled that PepsiCo would maintain the exclusive right to the name in the United States, as allowing others to market under the name would bring a "risk of irreparable harm" to the trademark.
Presently the internationally distributed version of Stolichnaya is not a Russian vodka but is distilled and bottled in Latvia. In 2009, William Grant & Sons signed an agreement to distribute Stolichnaya in the USA, taking over from PepsiCo. The rights to distribute Stolichnaya branded vodka outside Russia but not covering the United States are owned by Soyuzplodimport, known internationally as SPI Group, controlled by Yuri Scheffler. SPI Group had a global distribution agreement with Pernod Ricard, which was canceled after Pernod Ricard bought Absolut vodka.
Since 2001, the Stolichnaya trademark has been an object of a dispute between the SPI Group and the government of Russia. In 2002, a Moscow court ruled that the Government of Russia would get back the rights to the Stolichnaya brand name from SPI Group, once their licensing agreement runs out, with no automatic right of renewal.[clarification needed]
Stoli is available in many varieties, including:
- Stolichnaya 80 proof (red label)
- Stolichnaya 80 proof (Kristal or gold)
- Stolichnaya 100 proof (blue label)
- Stolichnaya Elit ("ultra-luxury" i.e. ultra-filtered)
- Stoli Blakberi (Blackberry)
- Stoli Blueberi (Blueberry)
- Stoli Citros (Citrus)
- Stoli Cranberi (Cranberry)
- Stoli Gala Applik (Apple)
- Stoli Ohranj (Orange)
- Stoli Peachik (Peach; formerly named Stoli Persik)
- Stoli Razberi (Raspberry)
- Stoli Strasberi (Strawberry)
- Stoli Vanil (Vanilla)
- Stoli White Pomegranik (White Pomegranate)
- Stoli Wild Cherri (Wild Cherry)
- Stoli Chocolat Razberi (Chocolate and Raspberry)
- Stoli Hot (Jalapeño)
- Stoli Sticki (Honey)
- Stoli Chocolat Kokonut (Chocolate and Coconut)
- Stoli Salted Karamel (Salted Caramel)
Several of these offerings have performed well at international spirit ratings competitions. For example, the Elit label was awarded a silver medal at the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Stolichnaya's chief rival Russian Standard Vodka aroused controversy when it questioned Stolichnaya's Russian authenticity, due to the elongated distribution and ownership chain. Pernod Ricard responded by insisting that it is an authentic Russian vodka, as nothing is added or removed during the bottling.
In Eminem's 2010 music video for Love the Way You Lie, Stolichnaya vodka was included in several scenes. The product placement begins with actor Dominic Monaghan shoplifting a bottle of the vodka, after which he and actress Megan Fox drink from it on the roof of the liquor store. Stolichnaya also advertises heavily with digital banners behind homeplate during televised New York Yankees games. In the hit United Kingdom sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, Stolichnaya vodka was constantly portrayed as Eddie and Patsy's favorite vodka.
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