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Wyborowa Exquisite (Wodka)

Review: Wyborowa Exquisite (Wodka)    (94/100)
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on March 24, 2011

Wyborowa Exquisite is the Premium version of Wyborowa Vodka and it is produced in Turew, which is a single estate distillery in Western Poland. It is distilled using 100 % Dankowslie Slote Rye Grain.  The Wyborowa Exquisite has been my Vodka of choice for several years now. However, now that I am beginning to experiment a little with Vodka spirits I thought I should put my favourite Wyborowa Vodka through the paces of my review methodology to see how it compares to the other Premium Vodka Samples I have recently received.

I think I will begin the review with a video I discovered online:

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I found it interesting that the video devoted most of its time to showing us the elegant bottle and very little of its time dealing with the actual quality of the Vodka in the bottle. In contrast, my review will devote most of its time to the quality of the Vodka and a far shorter amount of time discussing the bottle presentation. (Although, it is with this bottle presentation that I will begin.)

The First Impression 10/10

The bottle design for the Wyborowa Exquisite was conceived by Frank Ghery,  a Canadian/American Pritzker Prize-winning architect. If you run an internet search on Frank Ghery you will discover that he is considered one of the most important and influential architects of our modern age. The design which Frank Ghery came up with for the Wyborowa Vodka is a design that nicely fits with the name, Exquisite.  In fact the bottle is not only exquisite, it is also very sexy as it  incorporates a masculine rectangular form elegantly softened with a feminine curve (or twist) around the vertical center-line of the bottle. The mock crystal topper (which can be used as a shot glass) adds to the overall appeal of the bottle presentation which oozes sex appeal and luxury.

The First Sip 18.5/20

I placed my bottle of Wyborowa Exquisite in my freezer overnight before each tasting session, and then allowed the vodka to warm slightly to just above zero degrees Celsius before I would begin.

Once the Vodka reached the proper temperature, I poured it into an oversized shot glass and brought it up to my nose for a gentle sniff before I slipped a tiny portion into my mouth and let it sit there slowly covering my tongue. The initial aroma of the vodka presented tantalizing glimpses of rye spices with just a hint of pine and citrus. These impressions were reinforced on my palate although the ghostly flavour impressions seemed to vanish as quickly as they appeared. The Vodka was not as creamy as some of the more recent premium vodkas I have tried. It was however cleaner in the mouth, and as it is swallowed the finish in the throat was clean as well.

A mellow rye-like heat is present in my throat after I swallow. I detected no bitterness, only a very light aftertaste which is of rye spice, and a delicate gin-like flavour of piny citrus. A nice beginning!

Taking a Shot 19/20

I brought the remainder of the glass to my mouth and swallowed the remaining vodka. That impression of ‘cleanness’ which I noted in my first initial sip was reinforced and ‘clean’ is probably the best descriptor I can use to describe this experience. There were no vegetal flavours, nor was there any sort of cloying metallic aftertaste. The vodka goes down smooth and nice. I do sense a warm ‘kick’ in my mouth, and at the back of my throat; but I did not detect any burn in my lower throat. After my swallow I did notice a nice gentle warmth that rose from the bottom of my chest upwards through my esophagus to my throat. It felt very nice.

I repeated this ‘shot’ style experience a few more times on a few different days, and I began to notice a light starch-like flavour that I hadn’t noticed earlier. The citrus notes seemed to take more shape as well. The vodka seemed vaguely sweet, and exhibited very light flavours of green grape and lime. I definitely like what I am tasting which is almost reminiscent of a very very soft gin.

Out for Dinner 18.5/20

The Wyborowa Exquisite seems to me to be ideally suited to enjoy with a variety of foods. At the tasting event where I introduced the vodka to my friends I served Pepper Pot soup, Salt and Pepper chicken wings, fresh bread, and Edam cheese and smoked sausage. After the first initial sip and taste, we would each take a small shot of Vodka, and then follow it with a few mouthfuls of food, and then repeat the process. To say the experience was a hit with my friends would be an understatement. The Vodka tasted great, and so did the food. I also paired the vodka with teriyaki pork and wild rice when I was doing some additional tastings of my own. Again I really enjoyed the combination.

Cocktails   28/30

After the food pairings my friends and I settled into a comfortable posture, and I served a few small cocktails in our final examination of the Wyborowa Exquisite Vodka. I always make a Cosmopolitan cocktail for comparative purposes and as I suspected the Cosmo made with this Vodka absolutely rocked. The rye-like spice in the vodka really took shape in the cocktail and the result was a zesty drink which all at my tasting session admired.

Later, on my own, I decided to go in the direction of Martini style cocktails as I believed the delicate flavours and soft smoothness of the Wyborowa Exquisite would make this an ideal vodka for martini-style cocktails. As I suspected, these cocktails were superb as well.

(See the recipes for the Vodka Martini Exquisite and the Exquisite Blue Lemon Martini below)

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Final Score 94/100

Highly Recommended for Vodka Shots and Sublime Cocktails

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

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Suggested Recipes

Vodka Martini Exquisite

1 3/4 oz Wyborowa Exquisite Vodka
1 tsp Dry Vermouth
1 green olive and/or
a twist of lemon peel
ice

Pour the Vodka and Dry Vermouth into a metal shaker,
Add ice.
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain and pour into a chilled martini glass.
Drop the olive into the martini.
Finish by arranging a twist of lemon peel on the rim of the glass.

Of Course Enjoy!

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Exquisite Blue Lemon Martini

1 3/4 oz Wyborowa Exquisite Vodka
3/8 oz  Bols Blue Curacao
3/8 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon simple syrup
lemon slice for garnish
4  ice cubes

Rub the rim of the martini glass with the slice of lemon.
Pour the Vodka, the Bols Blue, the lemon juice and the simple syrup into a metal shaker
Add ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain and pour into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with the slice of lemon on the rim of the martini glass.

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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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