It is the cleanest to my palate. My father, who is always looking for good cheap booze, swears by Gilbey's, or Bowman's. I have read that the rise in the popularity of vodka came after prohibition, since vodka is a very just a very young whiskey (as the athor put it). It was designed as a spirit to be drunk immediately after disitilling; therefroe put to market very quickly. As to its use only in a mixed drink -- bah! That is when you use the cheaper stuff like Absolut or Smirnoff. When vodka must stand on its own - as in an extra dry martini - then it must be very clean on the palate. I recently bought some Tito's Handmade Vodka (pot distilled six times and $18.00 for 750mL). It is some harsh hooch.