September 24, 2005

Gray Kangaroo Liquor Filter Review: Part 1

MH Gordons VodkaWe discovered the Gray Kangaroo Liquor Filter last week, and we knew we had to get our hands on one as soon as possible. After a full week of nearly tackling the mail man every time he approached the Liquor Snob offices, it finally arrived in the mail. We knew we had to put it through its paces. The site claims that the liquor filter will "take the stink out of your drink," so we knew we had to find the stinkiest, most foul booze around for the test.

And find it we did. If you're like us, when you think of quality vodka, you think of...Massachusetts. That's right. MH Gordon's, "distilled" and bottled in sunny downtown Somerville. Just looking at the bottle, complete with the $6 price tag, filled us with dread. It was perfect...if the Gray Kangaroo could take the stink out of this drink, we would be converted forever. We set up our testing apparatus, and the first thing we realized was that in order for the filter to work, you have to have a second, empty bottle. Sadly, our recycling had just been picked up.

We were able to cobble something together to aid in the filtering process, and the testing began. One note; when you test your Gray Kangaroo, don't make the same mistake we did. Make sure when you begin to filter that the Gray Kangaroo is right-side up, because there are two little holes in the upper half of the filter to make sure the booze can get into the filter quickly. If your filter is upside down, those holes will let the liquor miss the bottle. After we cleaned up the counter, we were able to get on with our vodka tasting.

Gray Kangaroo In ActionRound One: Unfiltered
Look: Clear, looks like water. But like some shark-infested sea, we knew it held hidden peril.
Nose: Edging close to the shot glass for a whiff, we're pretty sure we saw our nose hairs go up in smoke. After we regained our sense of smell, the first thing that came to mind was "paint thinner."
Swish: It burns! Oh, dear lord, it BURNS. We nearly called an old priest and a young priest for an exorcism. We dumped the rest of the glass through the filter.

Round Two: One Filtration
Look: Still looks clear and innocent, but we've been fooled before.
Smell: Far less, instead of paint thinner it smells like watered-down rubbing alcohol.
Swish: We closed our eyes and sipped and...instead of demonic convulsions we only shuddered a bit. Looks like the Gray Kangaroo is working, but we reserve judgment. Once again, the rest of the glass goes through the filter.

Round Three: Two Filtrations
Look: No change.
Smell: Smells Could it be?
Swish: Still tentative, we take a swig. It' It tastes like some of the good, solid mid-range vodkas we've had in the past. Still not convinced of the miracle, we take another drink. By Jeebus, it's true! This time we're not filtering anymore, and we sip the rest of the shot.

We'll be putting the liquor filter through some more testing, but the fine folks at Gray Kangaroo have us convinced. Their product really works. It was able to take the most evil swill of a vodka we could find, and make it drinkable. Keep an eye out here at Liquor Snob as we test it out more, including Pepsi challenges comparing filtered vodka to the high-end stuff. And if you want to pick up a Gray Kangaroo of your own, head on over to the Gray Kangaroo site and tell 'em the Liquor Snob sent you.

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at September 24, 2005 2:56 PM


Recent Comments

But my question is what does it actually mean by 50 liters of vodka filtering???
Does that mean 50 liters can only filter through, so using 3 or 4 filters per time that only gives you ~15 liters of vodka


Does it mean that each filtering is 3 times and in the end you can run it through a total of 150 times to get to 50 liters of testable vodka

Posted by: Nolan at October 7, 2012 11:18 AM

I tried to order this filter but I received absolutely no customer service. The only response I got back from the people who took the payment out of my checking. When I sent Gray Kangaroo multiple emails asking for a status I received nothing in return from them. I finally went back to the people who charged me and told them I wanted a refund due to not receiving any merchandise from Gray Kangaroo. Maybe their filters work...who knows because their customer service SUCKS!!!

Posted by: chris at November 2, 2009 1:22 PM

Saw a very similar episode air on Mythbusters. It was proven that after 10 filtered passes you turn crap vodka into the top of the line. It even fooled a professional vodka taste-tester. And he even guessed with 100% accuracy the order in which each shot (sample) was filtered.

Can't remember the filter used, think it was one of those WaterPik filters you put on your sink fawcet. If you check out the MB episode, it'll have all the 411 you need to make your very own vodka...expensive, but fun.

Posted by: Mythical One at March 19, 2007 3:04 PM

Okay, this is old news, about a year old, but I just found your site and if you haven't tried a Brita yet, my experience is that when I filter the cheapest vodka possible four times, Smirnoff and Absolut need to be thinking about their next jobs. Finlandia, Stoly, and the way over rated Grey Goose are still employed, however.

Posted by: BDW at October 25, 2006 7:21 PM

We're planning to go for the double-blind for round 2 of testing, as soon as our usual test subjects get out of detox. Actually, we're considering going for the elusive triple-blind test, which would mean no one can know what they're drinking, how they're drinking it, or what country they're in.

Posted by: Liquor Snob at September 29, 2005 6:35 AM

Ever thought about doing a REAL test. e.g: Double Blind study:

Posted by: Leonard at September 29, 2005 3:55 AM

Possibly interesting experiments to try with it:

1) Wine. Sweet or dry. See also "mixing."

2) Something strongly flavored, like a liqueur.

3) Mix some hard liquors, like wiskey and gin.

4) It'll lose its fizz but I wonder how beer fares?

Posted by: Lumpynose at September 29, 2005 12:08 AM

We did think about using the Brita, and there is even still talk around the office about doing a comparison filtration. There were two reasons we didn't for this review:

One was that the Gray Kangaroo press kit says using a Brita is unsafe because "they use silica gel and propylene felt which dissolve on contact with liquor."

And even if that's a load of hooey, the real reason, which was also mentioned in the OhMyGodItBurns article, is that the Brita is SLOW. When we want a drink, we want it now...not in 15 minutes when the Brita stops bubbling. We found the Gray Kangaroo to filter liquor much faster than our Brita does water, but we probably will do a comparison in the future.

Thanks getting in touch,
The Liquor Snob

Posted by: Liquor Snob at September 28, 2005 1:57 PM

Have you considered using a Brita?

Posted by: Scientician Ken at September 28, 2005 1:19 PM
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