Willa Vodka is a new entrant to the market, first hitting shelves in 2013. It’s distilled from Italian grain and blended with water from Nantucket, but Willa’s origins begin in Chicago, where two guys with a love for vodka and healthy living hatched the plan to create an easy-drinking low calorie vodka.
Low calorie vodka is pretty much the antithesis of what we typically cover, but hey, there’s probably a market for it. Low calorie beers have proved popular, so maybe these guys are onto something. Of course, to achieve lower calories you need a lower alcohol content, so Willa clocks in at 35% ABV, a touch below the benchmark standard of 40%.
The product itself relies heavily on marketing speak, with literature like “super-premium organic craft vodka.” That doesn’t really mean anything (well, maybe the organic part), and it certainly doesn’t dictate whether a product is good or bad. But we’re game to evaluate anything on its own merit.
Willa Vodka pours crystal clear in the glass. On the nose, you’ll find just a hint of alcohol, plus some mild vanilla, but it’s mostly neutral. Drink up and the mouthfeel is pleasantly creamy, with a buttery vanilla note. There’s a slight charcoal/mineral note, but nothing too off-putting. It finishes smooth, easy and fairly short, with mild sweetness taking you home. In an age where most vodkas are incredibly neutral tasting, it’s always nice to find some flavor.
Willa Vodka won’t blow you away. It’s rather one-note across the board, but it’s an easy-drinking vodka without any discernible burn. So if you’re looking for something with tons of character, well, try gin. But if you want a lower calorie option with a touch of sweetness, then give this one a shot.
– 35% ABV
CE Rating: ★★