Diageo presents 4Fs of vodka tasting

29 October, 2009

In an effort to establish a "new language" for the vodka category, Diageo has devised a new analytical approach to tasting the spirit, known as the "4Fs" – Fragrance, Flavour, Feel and Finish.

The company plans to use the new method as a training tool for the on-trade, allowing a clearer understanding of the characteristics of the premium vodkas in its portfolio.

Bartenders will be able to explain signature serves more easily to consumers, based on the profile of each brand, such as the "Clean & Classic" Smirnoff No.21 (Red); "Rich & Distinctive" Smirnoff Black; "Crisp & Sophisticated" Ketel One; and "Fresh & Sensual" Cīroc.

Ketel One global brand ambassador Jason Bowden said that there have been previous attempts to classify vodka based on geography or raw materials, "but it gets too complicated." By contrast, identifying the 4Fs "Really brings vodka alive."

"It's marrying the functional with the emotional," he says, describing the 4Fs as: "Very much a tool for the consumer to responsibly enjoy vodka, but understand too."

The new approach was inspired by a similar method developed in the diamond industry, which uses the "4Cs" of Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carats.





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Joe Bates

Turning travellers into shoppers

In Cannes last month as I dashed around from stand to stand and from interview to interview amid a whirl of product launches and cocktail parties, I heard one question asked over and over again.

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