Pros: Potato vodka, not made from grain
Cons: Very expensive
While it is well known that vodkas have become trendy over the past few years as the vodka martini far outnumbers gin martinis due to consumer preference. However, as a vodka connoisseur for many years, and having imbibed in vodka martinis long before this trend emerged, I have been on a years long search for the best vodka.
This search eventually led me to Chopin. Made by the same company which produces Belevedere, this is the potato vodka offering from them. As all vodka purists know, potato vodka provides the best flavor. Unfortunately, though, many of the previous potato vodka producers, such as Stolichnya, have long since converted to cheaper grain vodka. Chopin is one of the few left that is made from potatoes.
The difference is that the potato vodkas provide a true vodka flavor, with more "bite" and a very slight bitterness, than the watered down, flat taste of grain derived vodkas, which seems to be the general public preference.
The name vodka, of course, is derived from the polish word for water, but for my taste, I want to know that I'm drinking alcohol and not just water, hence my preference for a fuller flavored potato vodka. Further, it has been proven that any grain vodka can be made to taste this way though a mulitiple filter process, so you can just buy the cheapest and filter it, which many distillers do. The potato vodka, which is more expensive, maintains a unique flavor, regardless of the number of times it is filtered.
As good as Chopin is, and as much as I like it, it is very expensive, running about $26-$30 per fifth (750 ml). Other comparable vodkas, while hard to find, can be better values, such as Luksusowa, (not listed as an item for review) which is also Polish and also potato, and can be purchased for about $20 for 1.75 liters.
The good news with Chopin is that if you are a true potato vodka aficionado, it is available at most upscale restaurants and bars serving martinis, whereas the others usually aren't. If you haven't tried Chopin, you should, to at least compare the difference with what you're drinking and understand the true potato vodka taste.