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Tito’s Handmade Vodka


Tito's is a rather common sight when you're going vodka hunting - be it on shelves or buying guides. After all if you're going to be picking up some vodka, you want to invest alittle more on making it go down smooth and easy without as little consequences as possible - it's all about optimising how much fun you can have right?

And if Tito's constantly gets ranked high up there - well, maybe there's something to it.


Let's get into it.




Tito's is actually Texas' first and oldest licensed distillery established in 1997 - so much so that it was Tito's that actually got the law amended to allow for them to operate. The brand is named after Bert Butler "Tito" Beveridge II, a Texan himself. Bertito or Tito as he was known had gone to college to study geology and had first entered the oil and gas industry that took him around the world, but eventually he found himself back in Texas starting his own drilling company. Eventually he moved around and got into the mortgage business which was booming - it was the early 90's, and had thought to make his own flavoured vodka as a gift to friends.

He eventually figured that with nothing similar available, craft vodka, that is, he would get into making his own vodka. He was told by potential liquor store owners that he'd have to produce a vodka that you could sip straight and then he'd stand a shot.



Off Tito went - he started the Mockingbird Distillery under the company Fifth Generation Inc, in a small shed and counted on old pictures and books on moonshiners to create his own distillation set up.

After much tinkering around, he finally created a vodka he could sip straight - early pitches to investors didn't go too well with obtaining permits a real question mark. This meant that the one-man operation would have to persist for longer. Tito would burn through 19 credit cards and rack up $88,000 in loans to sustain the business.

Tito would spend his days working day and night hand-bottling his vodka and then going out and selling the bottles he'd just produce, and then get back to producing more and the cycle continued.


The OG Handmade.


It took eight years but eventually Tito's began to grow and was able to overturn state laws that allowed him to get the permits his micro-distillery needed to operate.

Tito differentiated his vodka by using yellow corn instead of potatoes or wheat (which also makes it gluten free) and figured that it'd take six distillation runs in a pot still to produce a vodka you could sip straight and unaged.

Of course, with Tito's consistently being high up on the buying guides - you'd have to take the "Handmade" part of its label and branding with a pinch of salt. For what it's worth it certainly did start out that way, but having operating for over two and a half decades, with the success its had, you can bet Tito's is a major operation these days - but really all we should care about is it tastes good. 


Tito’s Handmade Vodka - Review


Tasting Notes

Color: Clear

Aroma: Clean, mellow notes of sweet vanilla cream. It’s thankfully not sharp, pungent or antiseptic. In fact you’ve got to squint quite hard to find any scent.

Taste: Surprisingly sweet and approachable, very creamy texture and not punchy at all. Mostly of that sweet vanilla cream and alittle bit of sweet corn.

Finish: More vanilla cream, cream soda and a light hit of black pepper.


My Thoughts

I feel like everyone has some sort of early adulthood trauma from vodka, and this is just the thing to erase all of that. This is the furthest thing you’d conventionally associate with vodka - here is an incredibly approachable, smooth, mellow, even somewhat sweet tasting spirit, with no bite whatsoever. 

You heard that right - this isn’t like paint thinner, nail polish remover, or antiseptic. There’s no pungency, sting, burnt or bitterness. Heck you could pretty much drink this straight and I guarantee you’d enjoy it more than you’d ever believe.

For the most part this is of a very mellow sweet vanilla cream profile that’s creamy and silky in texture. 

That said - and this is how you know Tito’s did a good job because we’re getting greedy - I kind of wish there was more complexity to it. Not flavoured but perhaps more nuance, although I’m not entirely sure if there’s any additional flavour nuance to be had from vodka. 

Maybe a blend of various grain spirits? 

My Rating: 7.5/10


Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.


Images courtesy of Tito's Handmade Vodka.