Achieves through subtlety what most strive through by over saturation . Think pleasant cook fire rather than napalm.
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 Pepper, and the other flavored varieties Cherry/Nahilia, Garlic and Pepper, Honey and Allspice (with Pepper), Horseradish, Caraway, and Juniper.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.)
It is also equally if not more refreshing that their flavored vodkas are designed to be used with food – a much more responsible and enjoyable way of drinking vodka than most of their competitors products which are chemical candy flavored crap designed for the inexperienced (not to say underage ) drinkers.It is also refreshing that unlike a lot of other brands they do not add coloring to their pepper vodka or throw peppers inside the bottle.
Appearance: Clear with no inclusions, sediment, etc., On swirling it leaves a light t coat on the glass with the swirl line retreating rapidly small legs that turn into droplets.
First Impression: Moderate notes of pepper – not the blast I as afraid was going to happen) with a light pepper aromatic to it carried on light scents of alcohol. Not at all like the usual nose burning and floor wax and string bean waxy smell of a lot of other pepper vodkas. Exceedingly clean and delicate.The wheat and the rye round off the edges of what could be a harsher distillate if not carefully done and artful cuts to the heads and tails.
Taste: Delicate whispers of pepper with a slightly oily entry and the sweet and sour of the rye contrasts to the smooth wheat.The pepper starts off s touch sweet, then warms a small bit and is boosting the alcohol warmth, then a nice fade to an alkali tang on the tongue , and a pleasantly warmish finish that is quite pleasant – not the usual hellfire and choking that some pepper vodkas go in for. A delicate job of imparting flavor and heat without burning down the tasters taste buds.Beatifully balanced and understated.
Drinks:An alternative for a twist on a Gibson (Gin Martini with a cocktail onion instead of the usual olive or lemon twist) and those drinks people call vodka martinis. Works well in Bloody Marys, – but warn people first, and many other drinks calling for a blast spice and aromatics. While horseradish is a relatively exotic flavoring in a drink, think about it – it’s almost as good as butter or bacon! So let your devious mind loose and whip up some drinks no one else has ever tasted. It is also outstanding with food – particularly such as fish (smoked or unsmoked) Swedish,Polish, Russian, or other cuisine such as Thai or Vietnamese.
Bottle: Clear cylindrical bottle with a tall neck and a light slate blue colored neck capsule with gold lettering on the vertical with a red-brown colored label with antique fonts with a raised copper gold metallic “P”at the top of the label with a drawing of a red pepper . 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: Because it is made in the traditional (read pre 1895 ) way and only distilled 10 around 160 proof = the upper limit for most pot stills, its production is sadly outlawed in Russia and so is done in Poland.
Also because of the restriction adopted by the standards of the United States which mandates a fear of flavor tasteless distillate that is too distilled to retain much character at all, it cannot be labeled vodka as such.
Final Thoughts: A very well made pepper vodka.
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