A great caraway flavored vodka. Beats Aquavit hands down for taste and smoothness
Notes: An interesting distillery with a very interesting series of vodkas in their portfolio. They actually call it Polugar (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 vodka is clarified using fresh egg whites and then filtered through birch charcoal – something that only the most prestigious forms of vodka do.
The Rodoinov & Sons Distillery Boast an extensive portfolio of Vodka/Polugar/Bread Wine including this example from their flavored varieties their Caraway, Wheat, the Rye & Wheat, Classic Rye, the Single Malt Rye and the other flavored varieties Juniper, Horseradish, Pepper, Honey and Allspice (with Pepper) , Dry Cherry and finally their Garlic and Pepper.
Using their Wheat and Rye polugar/vodka as the base they then add caraway (in some form – we don’t know if they macerate then distill again, distill in a herb basket, or just macerate and blend after the fact)
Appearance: Clear with no inclusions, sediment, etc.,On swirling it leaves a light to medium coat on the glass with the swirl line retreating rapidly install legs that turn into droplets
First Impression: Intensely caraway with the wheat and rye providing a lovely roundness to a somewhat aromatic, almost grain and licorice/slight anisette note from the caraway
Taste: Nicely oily entry that glides across the tongue with the aromatics of the caraway blending with the wheat and rye to give you a nicely spicy liquid bread
Drinks: A good alternative for a twist on a Martini and those drinks people call vodka martinis. Works well in Bloody Marys, and many other drinks calling for a little spice and aromatics. Can also replace gin as a more simple alternative in certain drinks. It is also outstanding with food – particularly such as herring or other Swedish and Russian cuisine.
Bottle: Clear cylindrical bottle with a tall neck and a dark olive colored neck capsule with gold lettering on the vertical with an attractive light green colored label with antique fonts with a raised copper metallic “P”at the top of the label with a drawing of a loaf of rye – presumably with caraway seeds . A synthetic cork provides a good tight seal but easy to remove.
NB : The original bottles are as described but the bottles for US distribution will follow the same color schemes as described for each flavored vodka but the bottle shape will like the grain series. “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 synthetic cork provides a tight seal and is topped by a 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 Lux presentation.”
Other: If I did not know better I would say it was one of the smoothest Aquavits I ever had.
Final Thoughts: Well made, flavorful and full-bodied. A great mixer for to explore and play with. It and its other flavored brethren from Polugar could yield a lot of new cocktails for those looking for a different but high quality ingredient for their next cocktail menu.
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