Wódka Koronna Kazimierza Wielkiego
|Reviews to date: 1||Average score: 5|
|Country: Poland||Distilled from: Rye||Company: Wierzynek Restauracja|
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Served chilled in a crystal glass at Wierzynek - Kraków's oldest restaurant. This vodka was on my must-try list, because it' just might be the only vodka in the entire world that started off hand distilled on-premises in small batches (like an american brewpub), rather than at a distillery for commercial distribution. Modern laws have moved production offsite, but it's still made in the city center.
On the nose, it's profound and hefty - a serious wet-hay funk dominates, with a potpourri of dried lemon zest, quince, and flower notes. The smell alone is more complex than the taste of any US-produced vodka I've ever had.
Unsurprisingly, this stuff is STRONG, and tastes almost completely unfiltered. There is next to no sweetness whatsoever, but instead has an almost singed body to it, like a strong cigar or an aged bourbon. After the intensity of its alcohol wears off, you're left with an aftertaste like aspic, egg white, and candied lemon. It goes down with no burn whatsoever, but it leaves the whole mouth a little numb.
It's a good thing this isn't widely available, because I cannot imagine trying to convince someone with a red solo cup to accept this much in-your-face bold flavor and complexity from a vodka. It's one of the most incredible I've ever had, and a near-textbook example of why quality grain and careful distillation mean everything.
Reviewer: Sam W.