Once upon a time vodka from the Slavic lands of its origin had taste, character and a spirit of place. But over the past two centuries governments, big business and globalization have turned it into a largely tasteless industrial spirit suitable only for mixing with something else. Vodkas are now distinguishable, one from another, more by their expensive packaging than anything in the bottle itself. Purity, the commercial producer’s holy grail, means three, four and sometimes five separate distillations, each successive rectification stripping the spirit of further dignity and character.
At Vestal Vodka (@vestal_vodka) we see purity as a more homely and down-to-earth quality. We pick our potatoes early when they are small and full of flavour. We are fussy about which variety we plant and exactly where they are grown, aware that what a French winemaker would call terroir is equally important in our business.
The results astonish those familiar with commercial vodkas. Simon Difford, a British spirits guru in the mould of wine’s Robert Parker, has given an unprecedented 5+ (out of five) to our 2010 vintage Kaszebe and 4.5 for both the 2009 and 2010 of our Podlasie, another of the regions of Poland where we grow our potatoes.
Since we’ve calculated that a 5+ score from Difford is equivalent to a 100/100 Robert Parker score for wine, we are tempted to call ourselves the best vodka in the world. But better that you decide for yourself.
Taste any of our young potato vintages against any commercial vodka and set what you think. Vestal Vodka is best drunk just slightly chilled (14-15 degrees) and a bulbous brandy glass is perfect for tasting.
It is available at vestalvodka.com, Waitrose, Harvey Nichols and all good bars.
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