Never mind vodka, this is a stunning gin botanical mixture. It is what Hendricks Gin and a number of other somewhat non traditional London Dry Gins were shooting for (and failed miserably at compared to this). Subtle, understated and gracious.
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, Cherry, Garlic and Pepper, Honey and Allspice (with Pepper), Pepper, Caraway, and this their Juniper 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.)
Appearance: Clear splice appearance almost quicksilver in a glass.Thin but nice 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 juniper notes with lemon citrus,sweet blueberries and boysenberries. A delicate cross between and eau de vie,gin, and a very subtle vodka infusion.
Taste: Lightly oily but spicy entry with a rush of citrus and juniper with a progression of sweet berries and a lovely mineral like finish/fade that is slightly drying with a pleasant warmth
Drinks: Could be one of the best sweet gins botanical mixtures I have come across. A natural for swapping out a gin in many cocktails and so good on its own at room temperature.
Lovely in a bone china teacup straight up.
Bottle: Clear cylindrical bottle with a tall neck and robins egg ( or juniper of course) blue 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 a juniper sprig with needles and berries , a cut lemon and some berries. A synthetic cork 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.”
Final Thoughts: While it is a bit pricey compared to most vodkas and gins, one cannot argue bout the quality of both the distillation and the infusion.
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