Zlota is a flavoured vodka from the Polish Żubrówka, better known as their bison grass flavoured vodka. Zlota is made from oak bark, vanilla, prunes and herbs collected from the Polish forest. Zlota was released in 2012 and is produced by a Polmos distillery in Bialystok, Poland. A 50 cl bottle cost around 8 euros in Estonia.
The smell has a bunch of plum, it is sweet and very pleasant. In addition to plum and vanilla, it has at least cinnamon and some other spiciness in the background. The mouthfeel is not as thick as in herbal liqueurs, but for sure some sugar has been added. The taste is soft and sweet at the beginning, but the added sugar has not been able to hide the rather sharp bite of the alcohol. The taste is not as plumy as the smell promised. Different spices are more on display, at least cinnamon, maybe cloves and cardamom. The taste is pretty straightforward from start to finish.
Although the colour of the drink is brown like in cognac, there is no matured or oak wood aroma. The brown colour must come just from the sugar colour. When drinking neat, the taste is quite nice, but a sharp bite of alcohol slightly reduces the pleasure. A splash of water or a couple of ice cubes softens the taste and brings a lot more sweetness. For lovers of herbal liqueurs, the Zlota can be a little too sharp and dry, with virtually no bitterness at all. It is also not very herbal, rather slightly spicy and fruity. The aftertaste is sweet and spicy. Zloty is a pretty good herbal vodka. Appropriately spicy, not too sweet. Definitely well suited for a variety of mixed drinks.
Zlota beats most of the cheapest brandys in the same price range. It’s clearly a flavoured liquor, and there’s no attempt to be any of the aged-flavoured aromatic spirit drinks that cheap brandys usually are. Flavoured spirits can be often quite tasteless, but there is at least enough flavours in Zlota. The aromas of plum and various spices also go well together. A good product worth trying!