Vodka - Wódka
Polmos Bialystock, Poland
Importer: Panache USA, New York, New York
PROOF: 80 (40%)
AGE: Not Applicable
TYPE: Polish, Rye
PRICE: $9.99 750 ml
Notes:A high quality vodka at the price point where they all should be.
At $9 dollars a 750 ml or $15 for a 1.75 L, for a good rye vodka we are finally seeing someone stand up to all the marketing hype that would make a subprime mortgage broker blush. The price of vodka has been getting out of control; for too long.
Grey Goose set what was then a ridiculous price for vodka and so everyone thought it had to be good. It got to the point if you charged less than $25 for vodka it couldn't possibly be any good. Thankfully the people who are importing Wódka decided to bring in a honest vodka at an honest price. Filtered through three different filter mediums the last being charcoal, this vodka would be classified as type 3 or Lux grade by the usual grading standards of production.
Appearance: Crystalline bright appearance, clear as a bell. Silver pool in the glass. On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with long thin legs and scalloped edging.
First Impression: Alcohol and grain. At first pass you get some esters, then they very quickly pass and you can smell the graininess of rye and almost anticipate the body of the vodka by its depth.
Taste: Tasted at room temperature it is a touch raw - but few people outside of myself and my Russian friends drink it that way. But it displays a nice grain character. Not as minerally as Russian styles of vodka this polish rye will appeal to people who want lots of rye flavor with a minimum of mineral distraction. Oily body and warmth/burn when you toss it down lets you know you are drinking something.
Drinks: Martini was excellent (with olive or twist) the rye adds some depth and complexity (something a vodka martini sorely needs anyway). Worked well in every other vodka based drink also. Assertive enough to taste it (in a good way) with its solid grain backbone put plays nicely with other ingredients but lends weight to the mouthfeel.
Final Thoughts: Stick a fork in that over-priced goose - it's done!
Bottle: Clear glass bottle with a very Soviet Chic look to the label - looks very cold war proletariat. My Russian and Georgian friends found it highly amusing.
N.B.We are grading Wódka in the category of under $15 bottle not in a overall vodka standard (which would include varieties at over 6 times the money.)