Slava is exceptionally smooth, balancing a warm, distinctive character and a long, elegant finish. It is superb taken neat and creates cocktails and martinis that are clearly superior.
Made from quadruple distilled, centre-cut rye and wheat spirits, blended with artesian water from the famous Zolotonosha source, then slow-filtered through over two tons of birch charcoal and quartz give Slava its amazing smoothness and exceptional purity.
When people try Slava Ultra Premium Vodka, they are amazed at how superior it is to other vodkas. The most common question is – “what makes it so much better?” It is not just one thing that makes it better – but four things that each contribute a little, but when taken together, make a big difference. As it turns out, these are the four things that matter when making vodka.
1) MASH INGREDIENTS – RYE AND WHEAT ARE BEST
Most people think that vodka is made of potatoes. That isn’t really true. It is hard to make decent potato vodka whereas; all the good potato vodkas originate from Poland. The best vodkas are made from grains, especially rye and wheat. Slava is made from only pure rye and wheat grown in the beautiful black soils of Ukraine- the breadbasket of Europe. These grains make superior vodka, which is smoother, more complex and nuanced in character.
2) 60% OF VODKA IS WATER
In 1896, the Czars vodka gurus established our vodka plant in the middle of nowhere – the tiny village of Zolotonosha. The specialty of this place was water.
Water is comprises of 60% of vodka. The best water for vodka comes from the ground. It is called artesian water. A whisky maker will tell you the same thing. It needs to be from an underground, live, moving source, since it must be mineralized.
Most vodka makers just use tap water that has been knocked down and re-mineralized to simulate artesian water. Some vodka makers talk about exotic sources of water like glaciers and icebergs. Dead, ice-bourne water is awful for making vodka. It is not mineralized and 16,000 years of fossilized bird droppings and dead fish do not improve water at all.
3) FOUR TIMES DISTILLED IS IDEAL
Distillation is a very tricky process. Distill vodka many times and it becomes smoother. Distill it too many times and it becomes tasteless. Quadruple distillation strikes the perfect balance between smoothness and character.
4) SLOW FILTERED – TWO TONS OF CHARCOAL
The final step – and some would say the most critical – is the filtration. Charcoal is the key.
Most vodka makers use charcoal dust, which has massive surface area and hurries up the process, much like oak chips in wine vs. barrels. But this dust also bleaches away any character the vodka had, which is mostly on purpose, in an ill-conceived attempt to dampen any flavor in the vodka. They then pass it through 5 -10 four foot columns of charcoal, containing 50-100kg of charcoal.
We do the exact opposite. We try to preserve every ounce of flavour and character in the vodka. We pass our vodka through massive two-and-a-half story columns of birch charcoal, with 300kg each – under low pressure which is just enough to overcome gravity. This allows the vodka to be purified without ripping away the flavour. We use quartz in between to filter out the charcoal bits. This preservation of flavour passes on to cocktails and martinis. Instead of souring a juice, Slava enhances it, balances it and improves the flavour. The difference is staggering.
Filtration is the source of all sorts of marketing jabber and mirth. The most common one these days is “Diamond filtration”. It does not take a genius to figure out that you can’t pass a liquid through the hardest substance on earth. The marketing department thinks that it sounds exotic and alluring – and expect you to buy it.
You’re in the know now. Be smarter than that.