An aged vodka made in Poland and Russia. Polish version at right.
According to the old Polmos Vodka Site, the tradition of aging vodka originated
in Poland and goes back for many centuries. The story goes that a long,
long time ago a baby girl was born. A barrel of vodka was safely buried
underground. Years goes by.. and on the day of the daughter's wedding the
barrel would be dug up, and set up for the wedding celebration. Imagine
the surprise of the parents when they realized that there was a different
vodka in the barrel. Everyone loves what the vodka, the time and the oak
barrel had made. They realize that it was the aging process in the oak barrel
that made this vodka so special. Beautiful golden color, a unique brandy-like
taste, smooooth.. Aged for at least five years, and of limited supply, this
rare Vodka has been awarded a gold medal by the world. Starka now appears to be owned by the Szczecin branch of Polmos.
Further refinements are described in Classic Vodka by Nicholas Faith and Ian Wisniewski:
Poland and Russia boast the widest range of flavoured vodkas, spanning
such ingredients as rowan berries, juniper, honey, pepper, lemon, blackcurrant
and cherries. While some styles are produced by both countries, there are
significant differences in the ingredients used. Russian lemon vodka, Limonnaya,
for example, uses lemon peel, while the Polish version, Cytrynowka uses
lemon tree leaves as well as lemon peel. Similarly, both countries produce
Starka, an aged vodka. The Poles blend unrectified rye spirit with tiny
amount of Malaga wine, which is aged for a minimum of 10 years in small
oak casks. [note from the publisher:........................] The Russians
combine grain spirits flavoured with an infusion of apple and pear tree
leaves, together with brandy and port.