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Nemiroff Original Vodka

Review Nemiroff Original Vodka   (85/100)
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on March 31, 2011

The Nemiroff’ Vodka Company began in the city of Nemyriv near Vinnytsya, in the very heart of the Ukrainian Podillya area. Rich soils and a good climate for the production of wheat make this area of the Ukraine ideal for the production of vodka. The company was founded in 1992, and has grown into a worldwide spirits company, which now exports to over 50 countries.

Nemiroff Original Vodka was introduced in 1999, and it is now available in over 25 countries world-wide. As indicated previously, it is a wheat based Vodka which (according to the Nemiroff website) includes the addition of the caraway seeds, and honey in its production. I was given a sample bottle by Igor Kashkan, the local Importer of Nemiroff. I was told by Igor that although this vodka is not labeled as a Premium Vodka, the company believes that their Nemiroff  Original is an outstanding product nonetheless.

In evaluating the spirit I held an informal gathering at my residence, where four friends and I put the spirit through the paces of my review methodolgy. We tried as best we could to observe the rituals and traditions of an old-fashioned Vodka tasting. These were my observations:

The First Impression  8.5/10

Like the previously reviewed Nemiroff Vodkas, we have a stylish rectangular bottle with a slightly flared bottom. The bottle is topped with a plastic screw cap topper that also contains a plastic diffuser. The black label presents the spirit nicely with attractive but not over the top graphics.

The back label provides some additional information about the Vodka that was not part of the website promotional information. It makes mention of the flavour of thyme which should be noticed as you taste the Nemiroff Original. That is very interesting as the company website speaks of specially selected caraway seeds and honey being used in the manufacture of this Vodka, but it does not mention Thyme.

The First Sip    (17/20)

I placed the vodka in the freezer in the morning, and my friends and I sampled it in shot glasses that afternoon. I allowed the Vodka to warm slightly so that its temperature was just a little over zero degrees Celsius. The spirit was somewhat creamy at this temperature, and it coated the palate with a light buttery mouth feel. There is very little flavour, although I detected a spicy warmth on my tongue as the vodka covered it. As I swallowed my first sip of the Original Vodka, I did not feel any appreciable burn but there was a light spicy aftertaste and warmth on my palate and the back of my throat. The light aftertaste does resemble thyme much more than caraway or honey. All of my friends noticed this same light spiciness, although I doubt we would have recognized it as the flavour of thyme without reading the back label of the bottle.

Taking a Shot   (16.5/20)

The first full swallow (shot) was very pleasing. The Vodka slid down my throat feeling lightly creamy and very smooth. I did not notice any initial burn in my throat; but a few seconds after the Vodka was swallowed, the back of my mouth was warmed, and a light burn began to develop in my throat. Only ghostly indistinguishable flavours were apparent.

I also sampled the vodka at warmer temperatures in subsequent tasting sessions. I noticed more vegetal flavours, and it felt a little warmer in the throat. As the Vodka approaches room temperature a stronger aftertaste is apparent. This aftertaste is lightly sweet and lightly spicy with perhaps just a touch starch or wheat flour. That light burn I felt when the Vodka was cold was only that, a light burn which is not uncomfortable.

Out for Dinner   (17/20)

The Nemiroff Original Vodka paired very well with food. My guests and I had prepared a platter of Edam cheese, a tray of fresh buns with real butter, some salt and pepper chicken wings, and smoked cocktail sausages. I had also prepared a steaming pot of Pepper Pot soup made with a shredded potato base. The food tasted great paired with the vodka, and it was fun taking a swallow of vodka and then following it with a mouthful of food. The light spicy aftertaste of the vodka did not deter our enjoyment of the food rather it seemed to fit in rather well.

Cocktails   (26/30)

This is a nice cocktail Vodka. I mixed a few Cosmopolitans for my friends during the tasting event, and the result was a drink which had a nice sweet fruity tinge to it which made the experience just a little dangerous, (as in the cocktails disappeared as fast as I made them). The Original Nemiroff Vodka seems to sit back in the cocktail accenting the sweetness of the fruit flavours rather than subduing them.

I made a Pink Pussy Cat the next day, and I was amazed at how the grapefruit seemed to jump right out of the cocktail. I do not think that I can go wrong recommending the Nemiroff Original Vodka for an evening of nice cocktails.

(You may find the recipe for The Pink Pussy Cat below)

Some Final Thoughts:

The Nemiroff Original Vodka seems to have as part of its flavour profile, a very subtle addition of character, which made my tasting event better than the sum of its parts. The light ghosts of flavour and spice within the vodka improved the experience rather than detracted from it. The Nemiroff Company makes no secret that they use natural essences and flavours as part of their production method, (in this case, caraway seeds, natural honey, and perhaps thyme). This is a refreshing change from products I have tasted where the Vodka is reaching such a level of purity that all of the character is stripped from the beverage. I do not believe Vodka should be flavourless, it should have light nuances that slip and slide off the tongue and haunt back of the throat with light aftertaste. The Nemiroff Original Vodka is just like that and for a Vodka which does not contain the word ‘Premium’ on the label, it is sure tastes and behaves like it is “Premium”.

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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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The Pink Pussy Cat

1 1/2 oz Nemiroff Original Vodka
1/2 Pink Grapefruit Freshly Squeezed
3 Large Ice-Cubes
1/4 oz Grenadine

Add ice to a tumbler or Collins glass
Pour the Vodka and the Grapefruit juice over the ice and stir
Float the Grenadine on top
Serve with a straw

And please remember to enjoy responsibly; my aim is to help you choose better drinks not to help you choose more drinks!!

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You may (loosely) interpret my scores 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 still 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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