Hlibny Dar (Hlebnyi Dar) is among the five best-selling vodkas in the world and the best-selling vodka in Ukraine. Hlibny Daria is manufactured by the National Vodka Company, Cherkasy region of Ukraine. The brand is owned by the Bayadera Group, which includes Koblevo Winery, Nikolaev Brandy Factory and several other alcohol producers. The National Vodka Company was founded in 2005 and is built according to EU standards, the equipment comes from France and Italy. The company has its own laboratory where dozens of different recipes have been developed and the company also owns 18 patents. Outside Ukraine, Bayadera’s products are distributed by Diageo, the world’s largest alcohol company.
Hlibny Dar’s product family includes eight different vodkas, five of which are also on sale in Baltic states. Hlibny Dar Craft Classic is a specially treated vodka in which gluten has been removed from the raw grain. It is the first gluten-free vodka in Ukraine. In addition to gluten-free cereals, specially treated water has been used in the production, but no additives have been used and vodka has not been filtered at all. The Crafted series was released to celebrate the manufacturer’s 15th anniversary. The series also includes vodka flavored with ginger and honey, which is also gluten-free.
As you might expect, there is no way you can sense the absence of gluten for the smell or taste. The aroma is very neutral and there is not the same grainy aroma that was in Hlibny Dar’s classic vodka. The taste is very neutral, only very slightly grainy. The vodka is otherwise quite smooth, but the ethanol bites once quite sharply. There was no similar sharp bite in Classic vodka, so it must have been removed by different filtration methods. The manufacturer does not say what grain has been used in the production, but due to the very neutral taste, wheat is likely to play a major role. There is a feeling of very light sweetness in the taste, but it must have come naturally, i.e. glucose or other sweetener should not be added. Craft Classic is a basic good and neutral vodka, albeit with a slight sharp burn. It does not add anything new and different to the product family. So if you do not necessarily want to get gluten-free vodka, you should rather buy Hlibny Dar Classic vodka, which was better in every respect.