J.J. Kurberg Golden Root Vodka (40%)

In 1866, the German pharmacist Jacob Kurberg bought the Moe manor and restarted the production of different spirits. Jacob was a specialist in the use of different medicinal plants and he also made various tinctures. Jacob Kurberg has given this name to this series of spiced spirits from Moe Distillery. The Moe distillery was re-reopened in 2012. It is the only distillery in Estonia that also produces the rectified spirits, using winter rye grown in Estonia.

Golden root (Rhodiola rosea) is a naturally growing plant in northern Europe and Siberia that can also be grown as an ornamental and medicinal plant. Its rhizome is said to smell like roses. It is also used as a drug to reduce fatigue and depression. The concentration of drugs is at its strongest when the root is at least 10 years old. According to the producer, the golden root used to flavour this liquor, is grown in Estonia and is more than 10 years old. The active ingredients are located at the root of the plant, which has been searched to contain up to 160 different ingredients.

The aroma is light and delicate, it reminds rose, lavender and chamomile. The taste is smooth and slightly sweet. It has a light rosy tinge, similar to what I have come across in rose water, i.e. distilled rose petals. The taste is light but pleasantly soft, the burn of alcohol is also light. The taste of rose root is at its strongest when drinking it neat. Diluted with water, the rose root taste is diluted too light. Sometimes this is opposite, i.e. the strong burn of alcohol hides the flavors, which turns out better when adding water.

I haven’t heard of golden root before, neither tasted it, so there were no prejudices about the product. The vodka is very well made, the rye used as a raw material is high quality. Due to its softness, it is pleasant to enjoy neatly and the product suits well to the dining table. It should not be wasted on drinks, the subtle taste is not enough to give anything extra to the mixes.

The taste of golden root could be even stronger, but it could again raise the price of the product too much. Even now, vodka is on sale at a relatively high price, with a price of nearly 40 euros per liter. I recommend trying the product, at least for a small bottle or 4cl restaurant serving.


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