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Khortytsa Premium Vodka

Review Khortytsa Premium Vodka   85/100
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on August 11, 2012

The Khortytsa Distillery is located in the City of Zaporizhzhia, in the south of Ukraine. The facility is relatively new, its first distilled products were rolled out in December of 2003. According to the company website, the distillery uses only high quality grain spirits produced by Ukraine’s best factories for vodka manufacturing. Although the facility and the brand are relatively new, they have made a significant impact in the global market where today, Khortytsa is found in 85 countries worldwide.

The Khortytsa Brand was recently introduced into Canada, and I was recently asked to provide a few reviews of some of their selected products. The second of these products which I sampled is the Khortytsa Premium Vodka.

The First Impression  9/10

The Khortytsa Premium arrives in the nifty frosted rectangular bottle shown to the left. The ribbed glass on the sides helps you grip the bottle if it happens to be damp (as vodka bottles often are after they are taken from the freezer), and the overall look of the bottle and labeling is clean and professional.

An interesting feature of the bottle is the closure which rather than twisting off as you would expect, instead houses a pouring spout which extends out of the top as you turn it. The unique spout is part of the Company’s anti counterfeiting program which also includes matching serial number identification inscribed on each the bottle and the screw cap. The cap also has the bottling date for each bottle produced inscribed below the serial number. My bottle is inscribed 02.08.11 which means (I believe) that my vodka was bottled on February 08, 2011.

Taking a Sip  17/20

When I sampled the Khortytsa Premium Vodka I was struck by how much more refined it was than the previously reviewed Platinum Vodka from Khortytsa. Apparently the Premium Vodka is a little higher up the ladder in terms of quality than the Platinum is. (When I checked the Khortytsa website I learned that his was indeed the case.)

I sampled the spirit at just above freezing (about 2 degrees Celsius), and at this temperature it displays a very clean nose with only whispers of grain and citrus. The spirit has a nice softness upon the palate initially but it very quickly displays some strong spiciness when swallowed. I can also taste a light sweetness and some nice lemon-lime accents in the flavour. This would be perfect for me, however an every so light metallic bitterness is present after the swallow which keeps my score down a little.

Taking a Shot 16.5/20

When I took my first full swallow of the Khortytsa Premium Vodka, I noticed that the light sweetness and soft citrus remain at the front of the delivery. Although the vodka has this initial softness, it also imparted some significant spicy heat to my palate and to the back of my throat after the full swallow. The Vodka is smooth all the way down the throat; but because that spicy heat grows in the mouth and the back of the throat afterwards, this will be uncomfortable for some persons. On the other hand, I quite liked the combination of the smooth initial delivery and the nice spicy kick at the end when I take a full shot of Vodka. There is, I admit, a bit of spicy burn, but to me the experience is well worth repeating.

Out for Dinner  16/20

The Khortytsa Premium Vodka carried some of that soft sweetness into the food which I served, and this was particularly noticeable with fresh bread and cheese. However, I also noticed that the food seemed to be impacting the Vodka in a negative way. After taking a bite of bread or sausage, the vodka seemed to be picking up some bitter flavour from the food which displayed itself as a slightly vegetal aftertaste. I had noticed this same problem with the Khotytsa Platinum Vodka when I sampled it with food during that review. I should make it clear that this effect is much less severe with the Premium Vodka.

Cocktails 26.5/30

When my friends and I were sampling the Premium Vodka, we were also sampling three other Vodkas and as part of the regimen mixed a Vodka Daiquiri with each spirit. The cocktail made with the Khortytsa Premium was noticeably sweeter than the others. This sweetness on the part of the Vodka has been a recurring theme in the review. Because of this touch of sweetness the Vodka will have the ability to enhance many cocktails, particularly those which use tart ingredients. To that end, I decided to build a new cocktail just for the Premium, as the feature cocktail for this review. I call it the Estate Cocktail, and it tastes great with the Khortytsa Premium. (See Recipe Below)

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Final Score 85/100  (Excellent)

Recommended for Shots and Cocktails

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Vodka Reviews.

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Suggested Recipe

Estate Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Khortytsa Premium Vodka
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1 tsp Sugar Syrup
Mint leafs
Ice
Splash Soda

Pour the first five ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake vigorously until the sides of the shaker are frosted
Add a couple mint leafs to the frosted shaker
Shake briefly to bruise the mint
Double strain into a suitable glass
Add a splash of soda
Garnish with a sprig of mint
Enjoy!

Please remember to enjoy my cocktail suggestions responsibly!

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You may (loosely) interpret my score as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing Vodka.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again for cocktails only.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this Vodka in shots, although cocktails are preferable.
85-89    Excellent!  Shots or cocktails!
90-94    You may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 80    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
81 – 89     Silver Medal (Recommended  for shots and mixing cocktails)
90 – 95     Gold Medal (Highly Recommended for Vodka Shots and Sublime Cocktails)
95.5+       Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

 
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