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Nemiroff Rye Honey Vodka

Review: Nemiroff Rye Honey Vodka  (91.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted March 13, 2011

Nemiroff is a Ukrainian Vodka company based in the town of Nemyriv in Vinnytska Oblast. Since it was founded in 1992, the spirits company has seen rapid growth and currently exports to over 50 countries world-wide. Their Nemiroff Rye Honey Vodka, (which was launched in 2003), is a lightly flavoured spirit which combines the essences of freshly baked rye bread with the sweetness of real honey delivered at 40 % abv. I received a sample bottle of this flavoured Vodka to review from Igor Kashkan, the local importer of Nemiroff Vodka. Here are my impressions:

The First Impression  (8.5/10)

This lightly flavoured vodka is housed in a stylish 700 ml rectangular bottle with a slightly flared bottom. The bottle is topped with a plastic screw cap topper, and the label presents the spirit nicely with attractive but not over the top graphics. The clear glass shows us the spirit inside which, rather than being a clear spirit with no colour, is instead a very light almond coloured spirit with tinges of green and brown. I like the fact that the bottle used was clear. This allowed me to see the light tinges of colour and as a consumer would indicate to me that I can expect a little more flavour than I would normally associate with a clear Vodka.

The First Sip  (18.5/20)

As I poured my refrigerated sample into a large shot glass, I noticed a light rye aroma drifting up from the spirit. There were sweet accents in the air as well. Things seemed light and appealing at first blush. When I took my first sip, the cold vodka (about 5 degrees Celsius) felt creamy in my mouth, and it coated the palate with light but firm rye spices which also had hints of bread dough, and a feathery sweetness which did actually remind me of honey. The Vodka is aptly named ‘Rye Honey’ Vodka as the rye flavour is first and foremost as the dominant flavour, and the honey flavour trails very gently behind. As I swallowed this first sip, I was taken aback at the lack of any burn in my throat. This was a very nice beginning to the tasting session.

Taking a Shot  (18/20)

With the Vodka still cold, I decided that it was time to take a shot rather than a sip. This first shot was smooth and nice. That light rye flavour and delicate honey continued to coat my palate and my throat in a delightful manner. The back of my mouth was warmed; but my throat still felt no burn even with a substantial swallow of the flavoured vodka. As an experiment, I also tried the Rye Honey Vodka at room temperature. Even then I received only a light burn at the back of my throat. My normal experience with Vodka is that it can quickly become harsh at room temperature; but the Honey Rye Vodka is definitely different.

Out for Dinner  (19/20)

With fresh bread, soft Swiss and cheddar cheeses, and a variety of mild and spicy sausage chunks, the Vodka tasted wonderful. The bread in particular seemed to taste just a little sweeter and just a little fresher as if it had been imbued with the essences from the Vodka. The Vodka tastes better now too. The rye like flavour of the vodka and the sweeter honey notes seem to be more active when paired with food. My friends who joined me in the tasting all agreed that this was a wonderful experience, even Dennis who is not necessarily partial to Vodka, really enjoyed himself as he attacked the Rye Honey Vodka and the food with vigor. Lukasz, my friend from Poland who is much more familiar with Vodka than any of us, gave the Rye Honey Vodka his full seal of approval.

Cocktails  (27.5/30)

I went a little crazy mixing this flavoured Vodka into a variety of my favourite Vodka cocktails. Each drink I made seemed to be a little better than everyone was expecting. The Cosmopolitan I began with was great with its fruit flavours accented beautifully by the gentle rye flavour. I made a Balalaika which turned out superbly, and I even got creative and designed a modified Vodka Martini especially for the Rye Honey Vodka.  It seems to me that a touch of character was added to my cocktails each time I used the Nemiroff Rye Honey Vodka. The result of my efforts is that I cannot help but be enthusiastic about the Nemiroff Rye Honey Vodka for great cocktails.

You may read some of my other Liqueur and Favoured Spirit Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

(See the recipes for the Balalaika and the Rye Honey Martini below)

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Final Score 91.5/100

Highly Recommended for Vodka Shots and Sublime Cocktails

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Cocktail Suggestions:

The Nemiroff Rye Honey Vodka Balalaika

1 1/4 oz Nemiroff Rye Honey Vodka
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Cointreau
ice

Combine the first three ingredients into a metal shaker with the ice.
Shake until the metal shaker chills.
Strain into a chilled glass.
Serve and Enjoy

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Modified Rye Honey Vodka Martini

1 3/4 oz Nemiroff Rye Honey Vodka
3/8 oz Dry Vermouth
dash Chartreuse
ice
lemon twist

Chill your cocktail glass until it is very cold
aromatise it with a dash of Chartreuse  by adding a dash and swirling it to coat the glass
Combine the first two ingredients into a metal shaker with the ice.
Shake until the metal shaker chills.
Strain into the chilled glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Serve and Enjoy

Note: If we omit the Chartreuse from the recipe entirely then the result is the standard Vodka Martini

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As usual 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)
90 – 95     Gold Medal (Highly Recommended for Vodka Shots and Sublime Cocktails)
95.5+       Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

 
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