Surakas is one of the newest Estonian craft distilleries. Currently they have one plain vodka and two flavoured vodkas. For vodka making Surakas is using organic grown Estonian winter rye. Rectified spirit is distilled in Estonia so it is one of the few 100% Estonian products, while most of the vodkas sold in the market are made from imported spirit. Just filtered tap water has been added for dilution, nothing else. Rüübe Vodka is available in a few selected stores and bars in Estonia, the price for a 50cl bottle is from 17 to 30€. Rüübe Haljas was chooced of a best Estonian vodka at 2020.
There is a faint rye aroma on the nose, which reminds of rye bread. Taste is slightly sweet at the beginning, and the rye bread aroma comes right away. To avoid misunderstandings, the rye flavour is subtle and very light, since the vodka is made from 96% rectified spirit. So there can’t be too much taste, but at least Haljas is not completely neutral ethanol-water, like most of the wheat vodkas normally. It has a tiny nuance of burned grain, which I have tasted also from other rye vodkas.
Mouthfeel is a bit thick and oily, it’s very smooth, the burn is light and short. Taking notice it is not filtered at all, this vodka is very smooth and at the same time has a decent taste of grain. I like this kind of presence to honour the vodka making roots, while most of the other producers are using coal, silver, platinum or whatever filtrations. Maybe to hide the taste of poor raw material or too busy distillation process. Aftertaste is also smooth and slightly sweet, and does not have any bitterness or savours.
It’s very high quality and well done vodka, a gem in the wide selection of different vodkas that every supermarket has in Estonia. Its only disadvantage is the poor availability and high price. But in this case the quality is worth the money. Try it at least the 4cl shot in a restaurant, if you have a chance.