A marvelous dry cherry infused vodka that may cause you to lose that Luxardo bottle forever, it is that good !
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 Horseradish, Garlic and Pepper, Honey and Allspice (with Pepper), Juniper, Pepper, Caraway, and this their Cherry/Nahilia flavored one. Using their Wheat and Rye polugar/vodka as the base they then macerate their flavored series then bottle it at the traditional proof of 38.5 % (77 proof which is higher than most commercial flavored vodka.) and in this case that infuse/macerate sour cherries and refreshingly, DO NOT add sugar so you have a TRULY dry cherry taste ( unlike Luxardo “Dry” Maraschino Liqueur , Cheery Heering, and still different from a cherry eau de vie or Kischwasser) making for a truly unique new product to be enjoyed either on its own or as a mixer.
They also have a grain series which includes Wheat, the Rye & Wheat, Classic Rye, the Single Malt Rye, Barley and Buckwheat grains.
Appearance: Clear appearance with no cloudiness inclusions. In the bottle it is dark cherry red, in the glass it is a pool of cherry or cranberry with a lovely sheen to it. The depth of color is quite remarkable. Thin clear coat on the glass on swirling. it forms a very distinct meniscus/edgeline with teardrops forming which then retreat rapidly and form droplets on the side of the tasting glass
First Impression: Graceful but heavy notes of sour (non sweet really and quite pleasant) cherries nicely subdued grain note from the wheat vodka serving as a pleasant backdrop to the cherry notes, there is also a nice cherry wood aromatic and oils from the pits and skins come across nicely. A delicate cross between and eau de vie, and a genever gin in the grain like notes that so subtlety mix with the cherry.
Taste: Lightly oily but spicy dry cherry note coating the tongue with a entry and what seems to be a signature lovely mineral like finish/fade that is slightly drying with a pleasant warmth with the addition of an aromatic dry cherry with slightly woody notes, a touch of oils from the skins and a slight bitterness from the pits in a lovely integrated last and bouquet of delicacy and restraint.
Drinks: A natural for swapping out Luxardo or Cherry Heering in many cocktails and also could be used instead of Creme De Yvette or Creme de Violette for a drier alternative, and so good on its own at room temperature. It can also be swapped in for a vermouth, giving you color but not the sweetness of a red, and less herbal than a white. Have fun !
Works well with bourbon, rye and especially Mescal to make completely different cocktails. and not to mention lovely in a bone china teacup or good quality tasting glass straight up.
Bottle: Clear cylindrical bottle with a tall neck and red colored neck capsule with Russian Red gold lettering on the vertical with an attractive cream colored label with antique fonts with a raised copper gold metallic “P”at the top of the label with a drawing of a sprig rom a cherry tree with two leaves and a pair of cherries. A synthetic cork with a wooden top provides a good tight seal but easy to remove.
Other: 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.”
If you want one of the best around in this category, of flavored/infused vodkas, this is it.
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