I’ve tried several brands of vanilla in the last few months, and here’s my review so far!
These are all alcohol-based, with vanilla extract only (no sugar/fake flavors).
Singing Dog Organic vanilla: not so great. The potency is quite weak — I used almost double to get the full flavor.
Simply Organic Madagascar: not so great. flat flavor; strong alcohol taste.
Frontier Organic pretty good! Good flavor and strength — good all-purpose cooking extract.
MacTaggart’s Brand Tahitian: THE BEST I have ever tasted. Beats all previous vanilla experiences hand-down. The Tahitian vanilla is delicate in flavor, the extract has a full-bodied flavor and aroma, prompting me to declare it as worth every penny. You can get some here: http://www.mactaggartsbrand.com/
I haven’t tried the Madagascar variety from them, but I intend to!
Most vanilla production is in Madagascar and Tahiti. Nicer vanilla brands will distiguish the two, as they have different flavors: the Madascar is more full-bodied, deep, strong; the Tahitian is delicate, lingering, bright.