It’s odd, but as of 2014, there’s hardly any Ukrainian vodka brands available in the UK, which is surprising compared to its closeness to Russia, but it seems to be a country who is proud of its creations, yet have the unwillingness to share to the rest of the world. Staritsky Levitsky has broken this mould.
Ukraine has had many rulers over the years including Kievan Rus, the Golden Horde, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, The Russian Empire, The Kingdom of Poland, and, finally, the USSR. But its traditions have been maintained, and with Staritsky Levitsky, they’ve been revived after 100 years. Produced in a region of Ukraine named Precarpathia, Staritsky Levitsky only use Ukrainian grain harvested in August from black earth (considered some of the best agricultural soil in the world).
Couple this with spring water containing natural quartz and utilising a century old distillery to produce a small batch vodka, how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Very smooth and clean on the nose with a slight floral aroma following. Green apples, a little spice and a smooth texture with hints of wheat on the palate. Short but memorable.
Not a bad vodka on its own, but the producers do say that a recommended way to enjoy is serving Staritsky Levitsky at 8-10 ° C and goes well when paired straight with a meal or cigar to enhance the flavours.
Distil. No.9 is their small batch version. Originally creating many batches of the traditional Ukraine distilling traditions, it was deemed batch 9 was worthy of release. Ukrainian wheat and pure water from the Carpathian springs are distilled five time and purified for four (twice through young birch charcoal and twice through rhinestone), each batch produces only 9999 bottles. So how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Distil. No.9 – 40%
A clean, fresh nose of wheat which carries onto the palate. A developing creamy richness, with hints of butter and a warm dry spice on the long finish.
A different take from the distillery, and goes well within one of these –
50 ml Distil. No.9
10 ml Blue Curacao
25 ml Fresh lemon juice
25 ml Sugar syrup
30 ml Apple juice
Stir all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass.
Both Worthy of inclusion within your drinks cabinet, or indeed can be found in London as many of the drinking establishments as well as further north very soon.
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