Alcohol is necessary to extract the vanilla flavor from the beans so you will always smell some alcohol. To accurately smell our vanilla extract shake the bottle then smell the lid not the bottle. Also see the question "how do I taste test vanilla extract?
The best way to test vanilla extract is with milk. Put 1 oz (29 ml) in a small cup and add 1/8 tsp or 1.0 ml of vanilla extract. Stir and let sit for 1 minute. Before tasting it we suggest smelling the cup.
We believe real vanilla has over 250 different flavor profiles in addition to vanillin.
Pure vanilla extract is a medium to dark brown maybe even black in color. Clear vanilla extract is not pure and is likely imitation.
The biggest difference is Grade A beans are longer and have little to no blemishes defects. See our Home page for more details.
There are several important differences. First is price. Pure vanilla extract is expensive. Second pure vanilla extract must be made with 35% alcohol according to the FDA.
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