Which is better? Clearly the latter.
Russian Standard (80 proof), which we first reviewed more than a decade ago, is a good vodka. It is not exceptional, but you can do far worse. And the price point is attractive. Once chilled, it can be enjoyed—as opposed to tolerated—neat, which is the most fundamental test of a vodka’s quality. (Rating: Good)
Russian Standard Gold Vodka (80 proof) is pricey, but for those with the wallet, it clearly is a step up. It is cleaner, and one can sip this vodka neat at room temperature without batting and eye. It is that good. (Rating: Excellent)