Polugar Barley Vodka

  • Rating: 10
  • Value: 8
Distillery: ,
Proof: 77 (38.5%)
Price: $45 750ML
Price Range:

A new standard to judge other unaged barley spirits. This could put Poteen (Poitemen) to shame. Delicious enough to make a brave Russian weep.

Notes: interesting distillery with a very interesting series of vodkas in their portfolio. They actually call it bread wine, but for the sake of simplicity in our reviews we are going to classify it as a vodka (never mind the fact no one would search for bread wine as a category of spirit). Bread wine is actually a more accurate description in some ways than vodka to describe the older more traditional form of vodka, much in the same way that Genever /Jenever forms of gin use the distinction of Vieux Systeme (using pot sills and lower proof distillation to retain flavor) to the new column stills distillation methods use more widely today which yields products with less character.

The distillery itself is built along historic lines, using 18th and 19th century drawings to recreate their still – copper pot stills that look more like a cognac charentais or alembic type still or some of the older stills used for other spirits of that period . Here is one of the few pictures of their stills.
The preparation of ingredients uses traditional wash and malting of grains and nothing else. The water is also not some Reverse Osmosis/filtered to death, fear of flavor water but natural spring water.
The Rodoinov & Sons Distillery Boast an extensive portfolio of Vodka/Polugar/Bread Wine Including series of grain spirits which include Buckwheat,  Rye and Wheat, Classic Rye, Single Malt Rye, Wheat, and the macerated  flavored varieties;  Caraway, Cherry (Nahilia )Honey and Allspice, Garlic and Pepper , Horseradish, Juniper,  and Pepper.


Appearance: Clear, silvery, viscous/oily in appearance.On swirling it leaves a nice oily coating on the glass with long smith legs retreating slowly from the edge line with some droplets.

First Impression: Very much just like baked bread notes, a rich grain flour with slight herbal and grassy note with touches of honey and a breath of mint.

Taste: Lovely, oily entry with a heavy, almost viscous body and a taste that reminds you of  A really outstanding Poteen (Unaged Irish Whiskey – usually made illicitly. Smooth and slightly oily, on entry with a full smooth taste. Like a liquid grainy bread or great pastry with touches of mint and honey with a lovely fade/finish of herbs, mint and honey with an ever so slight drying leaving you with a nice grain taste. This spirit is so smooth and gentle it hides the fact tat it is as strong as it is – until you bonelessly slide under the table if you are not careful…

Drinks: It adds a lovely body and some complexity, especially in a vodka cocktail, rounding and smoothing edges, blending seamlessly and adding its own whispers and nuances to a cocktail.

But personally I like to drink it at room temperature out of a good quality glass or a bone china teacup so I can fully appreciate the nuances and quality of the spirit.

Bottle: Nicely done and distinctive square clear glass bottle with a slightly heavy bottom and rounded shoulders and a distinctive and nicely done rolled lip like an antique bottle. A dull gold/yellow colored label with antique fonts in dark red-brown with a raised copper metallic “P”at the top of the label and a clear label with an explanation of Barley Polugar on the back. A synthetic cork provides a tight seal and is topped by a darkly finished wood cork and the back label has a fair bit of information about it on the label ( but go to the website for far more detail) . This series of vodka is very distinctive in a sea of frosted glass cylinders (every other vodka it seems) , makes it easy to stand out at a distance on s shelf and overall makes for a very distinctive  presentation..

Other: We use the term vodka in our description and search index so people may find it easier. It bears little relation to what passes for vodka these days, and I mean the in only a complimentary way.

Final Thoughts: Yes it is a bit pricey, but it has no equal either.


A well laid out and easy to navigate page with some fascinating history on vodkas and bread wine. A quick but must read page for vodka fans – or anyone who wants more information on the vodka family of spirits

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