Jacob Kurberg was a German pharmacist who bought a manor in the village of Moe in Estonia in 1866 and restarted the production of spirits there. During the Soviet era, production was discontinued until it reopened in 2012. The current Moe distillery respects tradition and has named its product line according to Kurberg. 100 years ago, in the production of rye vodka, slightly malted rye was usually added to improve the fermentation process. This same old-fashioned way has been used to make Rukis rye vodka, and about a third of the used rye is malted. The product is also distilled at a slower rate than usual, which means that the aromas and flavors are better preserved. The distillate has not been filtered at all, and in addition to pure spring water, no additives have been added. Rye Rye Malt Vodka is available in 50 cl bottles and costs around € 15 in Estonia.
Compared to the traditional 1866 rye vodka produced at the Moe distillery, Rukis is a little smoother and sweeter, probably due to the use of malted rye. The grain aroma is strong in nose and taste. There are also nuances of toasted or burnt grain, which is typical of rye vodkas. The lack of filtration feels like general roughness and hardness, the alcohol burn is also somewhat sharper. The aftertaste has a strong grainy aroma which reminds a bit of rye bread. Rukis is clearly stronger and rougher than most basic grain vodkas which are filtered in many different ways. It is well suited for sipping neat or with ice, of course also as a chilled shot on the dining table. For cocktails it is not worth due for its quite valuable price. Rye Rye Malt Vodka gives you some idea of what vodka tasted in Estonia 100 years ago. Rye is an honest and intense vodka, the use of rye malt in the process may give a slightly sweeter and more fruity hue compared to other rye vodkas.