Khlebny Dar (or Hlibny Dar) is a Ukrainian vodka and has already featured four times on this blog. In addition to the Classic vodka, National Horilka Company manufactures vodka purely from wheat and rye, as well as gluten-free and grain sprout flavored versions. There is also a spirit drink flavored with honey and ginger. Winter Wheat is also a vodka made purely from wheat. The difference between Wheat and Winter Wheat is the wheat sowing time. (spring)Wheat is sown in the spring and harvested in the fall. Winter Wheat, on the other hand, is sown in the fall and harvested in the fall of the following year. Winter wheat germinates in the field already in autumn, winters green and starts growing faster in spring. Because of this, it has a higher gluten content than spring-sown wheat. Flour made from winter wheat reacts more effectively with yeast and is used for baking, while spring wheat is better suited to pasta. In the production of vodka, the extra gluten makes the distillate softer and slightly sweeter. Khlebny Dar Winter Wheat is available in Baltic grocery stores here and there, but not as comprehensively as Classic or Wheat. A 50 cl bottle costs around €7.50.
The nose of Winter Wheat is practically the same as with Wheat vodka. The smell is light and soft, slightly sweet. The taste is very smooth. The winter version doesn’t even have the burning end in the throat like the Wheat vodka had. The taste is not particularly sweet, but still a little sweeter than the previously tested Wheat. Either the taste doesn’t have that clearly recognizable initial sweetness that is found in many vodkas which are softened with glucose syrup. The taste is neutral and has very little grainy aroma. The taste is so neutral that nothing but a light warm breath of ethanol remains in the aftertaste. Khlebny Dar Winter Wheat is certainly one of the smoothest vodkas I’ve ever tasted. It’s really easy to sip neat and drink in shots. It can be recommended for getting quickly wasted. Because of its neutral and soft taste, it can be done frighteningly easily. A more easily available and cheaper vodka is maybe better for making drinks. Even though Winter Wheat is very soft and pleasant, I would still prefer a bit more tastier Classic version on a dinner table.