When an opportunity is presented to try a new vodka, of course you accept it. When that vodka is a horseradish vodka then you become more intrigued.
Polugar No. 5 is a 38.5% Alc./Vol Russian vodka, but may be produced in Poland in an old restored distillery. The description of ‘bread wine’ for this vodka is a reference to being a traditional rye grain vodka using copper pot stills for the distillation process. These old methods of grain distillation began to disappear in the 1870s as rectification became the favoured process. Production was forbidden in 1895 and in 2010 the Rodionov family have revived its production. The name polugar means half burned in reference to an old technique used to determine the strength of the drink.
We found it to be a smooth drink with no burn. The taste is both complex and unexpected and it gradually warms you deeply. It is an aromatic and delicious drink, that is surprisingly clean and refined. It is different, it is nice.
“And I must admit that I drank too much polugar with my friends.”
van Krylov’s fable “Two men”, 1825
“However, the people of Saint Petersburg are somewhat different from those from Moscow: apart from polugar and tea, they also like coffee and cigars.”
Vissarion Belinsky, “Saint Petersburg and Moscow”, 1844
Overall score:9 shots out of 10