Kõivukahhin (58%)

Moonshine is not so commonly on sale in Estonia, but luckily there are still entrepreneurs in the Estonian countryside who practice this centuries-old tradition. Kõivukahhi is the language of Setomaa and means rustling of birch (leaves). According to the manufacturer of the product, the birch itself has nothing to do in the manufacturing process except that it has been distilled under a birch. The moonshine made in southeast Estonia is made according to a traditional recipe; from sugar, yeast and groundwater from a well. The sugar mash is distilled twice and the distillate is bottled directly undiluted and at 58% strength. A 20 cl bottle cost €5 directly from the producer.

The spirit is completely transparent in the glass and no impurities of any kind are visible. The nose has the traditional aroma of sugar wine. The taste is surprisingly sweet and clean. However, it is so sharp that the mouth starts to burn immediately. By adding about a third of water, the product starts to be enjoyable. The sweet and slightly fruity taste of sugar wine is on display. There are no impurities at all, so the manufacturer has been clearly competent and also still used in the production on pro-level. The soft and sweet initial impression is followed by a sharp but short alcohol bite. Aftertaste is a soft and sweet, with slight fruity nuances.

Kõivukahhin is a stylish, home-made, but quality-driven moonshine, with nothing bad to say about it. Compared to vodka, it has its own special nuance, which extends even to a drink made with juice or another mixer. The product has not been post-processed in any way, and it does not need it. Activated carbon filters and others are for those who don’t know how to mash properly or distill with unsuitable equipment. It’s stuff that’s definitely worth buying if you happen to come across it.


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