An impressive vodka in a impressive bottle for less than Avian Fashion Victim Vodka.
Notes: This vodka is produced in Yaroslavl, a city in the Golden Ring near Moscow. Based on a 300 year old recipe from a master distiller, they use selected wheat and water drawn from a 1500 ft deep artesian well and is distilled 5 times then filtered 5 times each using the usual Russian method of paper,sand then birch charcoal used for the highest grades of vodka, then an additional filtering through silver- which some believe to have various health benefits.
Produced at a state distillery and given the “luxe” (type 3) designation of the highest grade of vodka by their government.They also produce Regalia Gold, a version of this vodka with additional filtering through gold and aged in white gold vats for 6 months before bottling.
Appearance: Crystal clear, no sediment whatsoever. Limpid shining pool in the glass. On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with long thin legs. Wonderful bright appearance.
First Impression: Alcohol and grain, plump,almost creamy texture to the smell. No trace of off-notes, or the smell of rubbing alcohol that many other vodkas suffer from. A carefully done distillation.
Taste: Plump grain body glide past the tongue nipping at it with the alcohol edge and nice lingering finish. Slight sweetness with the higher notes from a good wheat grain. Slightly oily and wonderfully thick body but not too heavy- this is the kind of body that cheaper vodkas strive for by doping with sugar, glycerin, or vanilla but this vodka comes by it honestly.
Wonderful hard mineral water taste and body in this vodka -real Russian well water. I suspect this is the distillery (or one of them) that the old Stolichnaya came from- it had the same wonderful water profile- nowadays Stoli tastes like it was made from rain or distilled water – severely lacking character and depth in my opinion. This on the other hand tastes and feels like real Russian vodka
Drinks: Already very clean to start with, chilling it down makes it even more smooth. Excellent temperature, maybe too good cold. Martini* was excellent (with olive or twist). All the other drinks benefited from the minerally taste and smoothness of this vodka. It stands out more than most without overwhelming the drink.
*Use Noilly Prat and keep the vermouth refrigerated after opening for the best taste.
Bottle: Clear and sandblasted blown glass “etching is done only by females under 35 -the ones with the surest hands,” and as its name might suggest, the bottle is in the shape of a fat Russian crown! Certainly stands out from all the other vodka bottles out there!
Final Thoughts: One of the few vodkas that are actually worth paying over $25 for. Less money than either Stoli or the Avian Fashion Victim Vodka, with more depth and complexity.
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