NEFT ultra-premium vodka‡‡ is produced in Austria with spring water from the Rätikon Massif mountain range, part of the the Rhaetian Alps.
There, rain and snowmelt water is filtered for 50 years through the layers of limestone and slate beneath.
That accounts for part of the special flavor, but a bigger part is the blend of four gluten-free, non-GMO, ancient rye grains* grown in lower Saxony, that are distilled into the vodka.
Neft is crafted at Destillerie Freihof, a 130-year-old family-run distillery in Lustenau, Austria.
The packaging is an unbreakable metal barrel that stays cold for hours.
For gifting, Neft Vodka is a great combination of presentation and taste.
If you’re wondering why the vodka is packaged in a barrel shape, it’s because Neft means “oil” in Russian, and the brand was created to honor oil workers. (There is Cyrillic lettering on one side of the can.)
Neft Vodka was created by a petroleum engineer from Western Siberia, who observed the endurance and sacrifice displayed by the Siberian oil pioneers† in the 1970s. When she decided to create a vodka brand, she fashioned it to pay tribute to them.
One source says that the unbreakable barrel allowed the workers to carry a container of vodka that wouldn’t break. There’s more about the barrel below.
She was determined to make a vodka of outstanding quality for which those original workers would be proud.
Kuzmina, sought the best organic ingredients and settled on the mountainous Vorarlberg region in the westernmost part of Austria, where pristine Alpine spring water and distillation methods produce some of the best spirits in the world.
Are you ready for a taste?
The great Alpine water, multiple-distillation process, and proprietary carbon-layer filtration produce a vodka of exceptional purity. Neft is elegant, creamy, smooth, and viscous, and can be joyfully sipped neat.
It truly is a luscious, ultra-premium vodka.
Get a group of tasting professionals in a room and you’ll hear a multitude of descriptors:
The tin-and-aluminum cans are made in black and white, plus a multicolor Pride design and a seasonal holiday barrel. The vodka inside is the same.
Why an oil barrel?
The barrels aren’t just to stand out: They’re insulated and will stay cold for up to 6 hours, according to the company. They’re also suitable for outdoor use since they can’t shatter if dropped.
And yes, you can refill the empty barrels with whatever you like.
The metal barrels are more sustainable packaging. According to the company:
There’s also a 1-liter barrel for $44.99; and a 100ml barrel for $9.99.
Some people are stymied by the rubber stopper at the top of the barrel. If you need it, see the video below.
*The ancient rye grains—Amato, Askari, Rasant, and Pollino—are thousands of years old and contribute to the unique flavor of Neft. They were selected for their soft and mild flavor profiles.
†The vodka is produced in Austria. It’s unfortunate that the Russian oil issue was brought on by the current Ukraine invasion, but the brand was founded in 2011 and is made in Austria.
‡MSRP is an abbreviation of Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price.
††The company was founded in 2011. The vodka first arrived in the U.S. in 2017.
‡‡The industry only recognizes “premium” vodka as the highest level. Brands in vodka and other categories have marketed themselves as super-premium and ultra-premium, based on the quality of ingredients and, in vodka’s case, the number of distillations and other features.
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