The problem with vodka is that it’s easily dumbed down. Cheap vodka is great for mixing with orange juice or soda water or Red Bull because it’s so readily ignored -- and so efficiently potent. But good vodka, like good whiskey or good tequila, is meant to be sipped, savored, appreciated on its own. Absolut Elyx deserves that respect more than most others.
Until its international release in 1979, Absolut had been a delicious Swedish secret, made in relatively small quantities in a relatively small Nordic riverside town. The company was known for continuous distillation, a process that filters and purifies the vodka 10 times over before it’s finished. With Elyx, the company builds on this 100-year-old process by manually distilling the stuff in copper rectifiers from 1921 (most mass-produced vodkas are catalyzed in other metals, none of which make the resulting spirit quite as clean). But Elyx's kicker is the wheat it uses; it’s sourced from a single estate at Rabelof Castle in southern Sweden, which means all the grain is uniform (unlike the blends that make up most other vodka production) and can be rigidly controlled and purpose-grown with exactly the right water and starch contents.
So Absolut nailed it on the content front. But the marketing is just as interesting. They’ve installed Johan Lindeburg, fashion designer and all-around stylish Scandinavian, as Global Creative Director. He’s giving the vodka a look and feel that’s unmatched anywhere else in the industry, from the distinctive copper-accented bottle to the sultry ad campaign featuring Chloe Sevigny. In contrast to that glamorous image, $50 for a bottle is an appealing price point, especially for one of the few vodkas we've been really excited about in a long while.
Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope.
The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.
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