Tasting Nemiroff Vodka
It was back in November at the The 2010 Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival, when I was first introduced to a Ukrainian Vodka called Nemiroff. I kept in touch with Igor Kashkan, the local Importer of Nemiroff, after the festival and asked him for a little more information about his vodka and the dizzying array of flavours which are available.
As the saying goes, “Ask and you shall receive…“. What I received was a deluge of press releases and information about Nemiroff and how it has quickly become one of the fastest growing Vodka brands in the world. In fact, according to the 2009 IWSR rating – Elite Brands List; Nemiroff is at the top of the list as far as sales sustainability with an impressive growth rate and a high percentage of sales outside of its main market.
I got a little lost in all the graphs and figures, and I decided that rather than try to regurgitate them here, instead I should maybe talk about the Vodka directly. To that end, Igor sent me three bottles in the Nemiroff range, and rather than having a rum tasting this past Sunday as I usually do, I had an old-fashioned Vodka tasting…..
My friends Lukasz & Dennis brought over an impressive array of sausage, pickles and cheese, and I brought out some nice fresh bread. We started with the Nemiroff Ukrainian Honey Pepper Vodka, first sipping just a little to get flavours washing over our palate and then having a nice shot followed by chunks of sausage, pickles and soft cheese.
We followed this up with a little Ukrainian Rye Honey Vodka and this time I added a Cosmopolitan, to the repertoire. The sausage was disappearing fast and so was the cheese, and I have to be honest, I was really impressed with how well the Nemiroff was tasting and how much fun it was to add the food to the tasting session. We finished off the afternoon with the Ukrainian Wheat Vodka. A sip followed by a gulp, chased with sausage and bread and cheese (the pickles were gone by now) and then another Cosmopolitan to sip on as we chased the afternoon away enjoying ourselves.
I even brought out a nice pot of mild chili to soak up those buns as we discussed the merits of Nemiroff Vodka. This was where I listened closely to Lukasz, because he was the ringer I had brought in for the tasting. You see, he was born in Poland where this style of Vodka tasting is common. In fact, you might say that Lukasz is a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to Vodka. I liked everything I tried, but to me Lukasz opinion was paramount.
Lukasz reaction of course was to ask if he could enjoy another glass or three…
So far the 3 brands Nemiroff Vodka tasted by Lukasz, Dennis, and myself have received three thumbs up. Of course I will do full reviews and scores for each Vodka in the following weeks here on my blog!
Here is more information (from the producer) on the different Vodkas we enjoyed that afternoon.
For centuries, two vodka varieties have been particularly well-known in Ukraine: honey vodka and pepper vodka. Then, in 1997, specialists of the Nemiroff Ukrainian Vodka Company took a daring and revolutionary step uniting these two flavour extremes and creating Honey Pepper vodka. Inspired by ancient Slavic recipes, Nemiroff Honey Pepper vodka meets desires of the most refined strong drinks connoisseurs. It is premium Ukrainian vodka with unique and exiting flavour, which embodies the superior quality and heritage. Using only the finest natural ingredients Nemiroff created a subtle blend, in which wild herbs balance the sweetness of honey and the warmth of delicate red chilli peppers. It is the best-known and unique Nemiroff flavour that is appreciated by more than 30 countries worldwide and became the so-called «business card of Ukraine».
A subtle, soft taste that combines the flavours of pure honey and the freshly baked crust of rye bread with long warming and calming aftertaste, framed with an elegant taste of matured cognac. Rye Honey is a drink unforgettable for its wonderfully mild and exquisite taste. Rye Honey will remind you both of a warm summer evening on the sea-coast and a warm fire in a fireplace on cold winter evenings.
The recipe of this vodka was developed in keeping with the authentic traditions of classical vodkas. Palate of purest grain wheat alcohol is strengthened by aromatic extracts of freshly baked white bread with long-lasting rich aftertaste. This vodka comes from the finest grain and specially prepared artesian water with crystal transparency and purity. Ukrainian wheat is a traditional symbol of prosperity, abundance and hospitality – which is why it is always found at family celebrations, weddings and jubilees.