Stolichnaya is a well-known Russian vodka brand with a history dating back to the early 20th century, when the Russian authorities wanted to guarantee the production of high quality vodka. Stolichnaya was registered in 1938, but the first batch of vodka was not produced until 1948. It was first presented outside Russia in 1953 at the alcohol fair in Bern.
After the break-up of the Soviet Union, ownership of the Stolichnaya brand continues to be disputed between the Russian state-owned company FKP and the private SPI Group. FKP produces vodka in Russia, while SPI produces in Latvia. Distribution rights are being disputed around the world.
Stolichnaya is made from wheat and rye. The grain is fermented for 60 hours, then it is distilled three times to a strength of 96.4%. The distillate is diluted with spring water to the bottling strength and filtered through sand, quartz, activated carbon before bottling. FKP produces Stolichnaya at the Kaliningrad plant, spring water is imported from Lake Samara. SPI, on the other hand, makes the rectified spirit in Tambov and is diluted with Latvian spring water and bottled in Latvia at the Latvijas Balzams plant. Stolichnaya bottled in Latvia is most commonly sold in Europe.
The aroma has a bit of graininess and a light ethanolic hue. The taste is smooth, quite dry and fairly grainy. The burn is quite light, the aftertaste has a grainy feel and very light bitterness. The taste is similar to Moskovskaya produced in the same factory. However, the Stolichnaya is perhaps a more rougher and succulent. The pleasant and lush grainy aroma sets it apart from many other inexpensive vodkas. High quality vodka that goes well with chilled schnapps on the dining table. I think it’s the best when drinking neat, so you can fully enjoy the nice grain aroma.
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Stoli brand might sound russian, but it is produced in Latvia and has no ties to Russia