Nemiroff horilka from Ukraine
Horilka is a neutral Ukrainian base spirit similar to vodka - etymologically, vodka is a diminutive of the slavic word for water (in the same way that whisky comes from "uisge beatha" - water of life), whereas horilka is a reference to "burning" or distillation.
Distinct from vodka or whisky, there are traditions of flavouring horilka with berries, honey or chilies. These Nemoriff horilkas are flavoured with various additions; the base spirit is well-made and the flavours add further interest.
Original bitter, spirity nose but quite smooth, warming and relatively easy for a strong spirit, warming finish; neutral but pleasant.
Birch adds a pleasant, floral birch aroma to the nose with a sweetness on the palate and pleasantly sappy finish; subtle, elegant and well-balanced. Good.
Honey pepper pale golden colour, more neutral nose; compared to Original, less perceptibly bitter, rather than actively sweet, on the palate with a gentle but persistent warming pepperiness developing. Good.
Rye Honey almost clearless, with just a hint of pale sandy yellow; the honey adds an elusive hint of savoury beeswax and sweetness on the palate, the finish is warming and spirity.
Cranberry liqueur pale bright red, smells a little confected; sweet cranberry flavour, again a little confected but nicely balanced and a pleasant-enough sipper.
Ukrainian Food and Wine Evening