Words are inadequate to the task of describing just how lovely this Polugar is …..
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 the Single Malt Rye, Wheat, the Rye & Wheat, Classic Rye, and the flavored varieties Caraway, Honey and Allspice, Garlic and Pepper.
Using great care in the distillation then selecting only the best distillation runs which are carefully blended then rested for one month to marry and blend for the most harmonious result the Polugar is then bottled.
Appearance: clear Heavy oily body almost more a light oil than a spirit,on swirling when the meniscus rolls down slowly with some tears forming leaves behind a constellation of droplets in the glass
First Impression: Intensely creamy rye, quality such an intensely flavorful bouquet it seems more like a barley except it has a slightly fruitier and more peppery character. Rye notes of almost lyrical quality in a gentle but intense expression of a rye spirit
Taste: Oily thick mouthfeel that then warms give you an extremely fatty mouth feel rapidly swelling to a cream and highly intense rush of rye and a drying pepper note that slowly blossoms to a delicious lovely long fade on the finish, as the Japanese say about very fine Sake – shiripin (it has a tail).
Drinks: This is a singular vodka that should be enjoyed in a high quality tasting glass ( such as a NEAT Glass or a Celtic Malts Glass) to fully appreciate the nuances, and ideally done in a quiet environment so you can fully appreciate all the nuances this vodka has.
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 black colored label with antique fonts in gold with a raised gold 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 darkly finished wood cork heavily printed with a fair bit of information atop a black and gold neckband. 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: Receiving a bottle of this could make a brave man weep
Final Thoughts: Unlike a lot of other very expensive vodkas, this one put the quality on the inside in a very demonstrable fashion , rather than just putting a somewhat better vodka in an expensive bottle, or sourcing some exotic water flown in from God Knows where for the bragging rights and little real impact on the taste. While it definitely qualifies as in the Lux or luxury segment of the vodka market, there is no hype of fancy bottle, but some damn fine quality.
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