Distillery Profile: Stolichnaya


The Beginning

What do James Bond, Hugh Hefner and Eminem all have in common? Stolichnaya is their vodka of choice.

But, the brand has experienced more than just its 15 minutes of fame with the above mentioned characters. Stolichnaya traces its origins, history and iconic reputation back to the turn of the 20th Century, originating at the Moscow State Wine Warehouse No. 1.

At the turn of the 20th Century, the Russian Government wanted to ensure that a higher quality of vodka was crafted as a standard, this became known as Stolichnaya. The oldest traditions are still honoured to this very day to guarantee the quality of Stolichnaya Vodka is universally praised for the smooth character it provides to every drink.

Here in Australia, Stolichnaya has been a vodka of choice for consumers and bartenders over a number of decades, but in more recent years has lacked focus and direction as a result of being shifted amongst distributors locally – with consistent brand support and communication, the island2island Beverage Company will look to introduce a new generation of Bartenders to the story that makes Stolichnaya so unique


Heads & Tails

The process from grain to vodka is shaped in Tambov, Russia at the Stolichnaya distillery named Talvis.

Stolichnaya is distilled strictly three times. The “heads” (the harsher, more volatile alcohols that vapourise earliest) are extracted and the “tails” (the oilier, bad tasting alcohols that require a higher temperature to boil) are rejected to allow only the highest quality alpha spirit to remain.  This is called a ‘narrow cut’ from the ‘heart of the run’ which means taking the purest alcohols from the distillation.

After distillation, the vodka is filtered four times; through fine Quartz Sand and the charcoal of Russian Birch Wood.

Finally, it is blended with pure, natural spring water from the Balzams’ artesian well. This process ensures the subtle taste and character of fine Russian wheat remains.

Alpha Spirit

According to the vodka definitions of various countries, vodka can be made of ethanol, derived from various starchy materials, such as potatoes, corn and grapes; the list of raw materials varies from country to country. But in Russia it is illegal to use ethanol, derived from these other ingredients. Alpha grade spirit (vodka), can only ever be distilled from wheat grain.

In 2009 with a relentless pursuit for purity, a new distillery was built in Tambov. It is now the country’s most modern spirits production facility and one of the largest. Combing cutting edge distilling technology with human quality control at every stage.

Stolichnaya has a second home at the former Soviet Union Latvian capital, Riga, where the vodka is filtered and bottled since 1948 at the Latvijas Balzams, a cathedral to vodka, built by order of the Tsar in 1901.


Stolichnaya Premium Vodka

Genuine Premium vodkas are produced using exclusively Alpha grade spirit.

The quality and premium-ness of Stolichnaya vodka has been recognised by independent authorities by way of various awards with the Beverage Tasting Institute’s International Review of Spirits, awarding Gold medals to Stolichnaya Premium Vodka and others to the flavour variants, but more specifically to elit by Stolichnaya rating it as the highest rated vodka in the world.

A Brand Of Firsts

As the original Premium vodka, Stoli can celebrate a catalogue of firsts and pioneering achievements.


  • Stolichnaya was the first (original) brand to commercially produce flavoured vodka in 1962 with a Honey and a Jalapeno option.
  • Stolichnaya was the first vodka brand to introduce a Citrus flavour in 1986.


  • It was the vodka that helped open trade between the East and West in the 1970s when Pepsi-co was given exclusive importation rights for Stolichnaya vodka.


  • Stolichnaya was the first vodka brand ever in space when the Soyuz 19 docked with the Apollo mission.
  • Stolichnaya was the first vodka brand to mix a ‘zero-gravity’ cocktail in 2012.

Ultra-Luxury Vodka

  • Stolichnaya was the first vodka brand to release the ultra-luxury product with elit by Stolichnaya, in 2003.

The Future

Stolichnaya vodka is looking to reaffirm its premium positioning in key markets globally.

In Australia the brand represents a key pillar of island2island’s portfolio having secured a 5 year distribution agreement.  In 2013 island2island will focus on communicating the brand’s unique proposition and usage occasion for Bartenders.


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