Polugar Classic Rye Vodka

  • Rating: 10
  • Value: 8
Proof: 77 (38.5%)
Price: $63 750 ML
Price Range:

A lovely expression of a rye vodka that will ruin you for lesser brands.

Notes: An 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 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 the Classic Rye, Wheat, the Rye & Wheat,  Single Malt Rye, and the flavored varieties Caraway, Honey and Allspice, Garlic and Pepper.

Appearance: Clear as a bell, on swirling it leaves a light coat of oily rye which rapidly becomes sparkling droplets of various sizes.

First Impression: Heavy rye presence with the sweet sour spiciness of the rye coupled with a heavyset of grain lets you know you are in for a treat.

Taste: Delicious oily entry with a smooth bite of rye first sweet, then sour, with a pepperiness and nice fade to it. It seems to share the characteristic of all the Polugar vodkas being a deadly smoothness this one with a linger of rye that is quite pleasant

Drinks: The rye grain taste and oily body serve to make an outstanding cocktail. However I think this spirit is best appreciated as a sipping vodka from a good quality tasting glass so you can give it the attention it deserves. As an accompaniment with food, particularly Russian cuisine, it really shines, and lets you know what you have been missing by drinking other brands.

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  cream parchment colored label with antique fonts with a raised copper metallic “P”at the top of the label and a clear label with an explanation of Polugar on the back. A synthetic cork provides a tight seal and is topped by a wood cork heavily printed with a fair bit of information. 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.

Other: We love this vodka, but at $140 a bottle it definitely qualifies as a Super premium

Final Thoughts: One of the best rye vodkas we have had with a sumptuous body and mouthfeel. Makes the other rye vodkas taste anorexic by comparison.


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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