Last year, Chopin released its Family Reserve. Touted as the world’s first ‘ultra-luxury vodka’, it’s a unique spirit distilled from a special variety of young potato harvested in eastern Poland. It also retails for a jaw-dropping $150.
There have been far more expensive vodkas released over the years. But virtually all of those examples rely on some form of gimmick. In 2012, Stoli Elit launched its Pristine Water Series. The first edition utilized water from the Himalayan mountains and fetched $3,000 per unit. Since then there’ve been bottles dressed in Swarovski crystals or encrusted in rare gems. The most audacious offering of all was filtered through crushed diamonds and then packaged in a platinum and rhodium encased bottle, with a diamond-set neckband designed by Leon Verres. The aptly-named Billionaire Vodka sold for $3.75 million.
Ostentatious outliers aside, high-end for vodka (say, Grey Goose or Ketel One) typically means a cash outlay of no more than $30. Chopin’s entry marked the first times that a brand dared to break the three-figure barrier for a vodka, based on the value of the actual liquid itself.
It was the brainchild of the company’s owner and founder, Tad Dorda. He opted to take a winemaker’s approach to vodka production, overseeing the cultivation of young potatoes. As the name implies, they’re harvested early—only three months into the growing season. The tender tubers are