Stolichnaya Elit Producer: JSC Latvӱas Balzams Vodka: Wheat based Region: Tambov, Russia ABV: 40%
“Since 1938, Stoli® has held the bar high for quality vodka, combining innovation, creativity, and daring with century-old traditions to create something both refreshingly modern and exceptionally classic. It’s the kind of belief that turns ideas into icons.” -Stoli.com
elit® Vodka by Stoli is one of the best known ultra-luxe spirits and enven comes with a limited edition subset of vodkas. The elit® itself is a single estate vodka from Tambov, Russia. It is distilled three times, after which it is blended with artesian well water from Riga Latvia. The spirit is twice filtered through quartz sand and then through a birch wood filter. Most especially though, it is put through a signature sub-freezing filtration process before being hand bottled.
I went off the beaten path and chose it based on the book I was reading, The Bear and The Nightingale, which is set in medieval Russia. With the hope of not overpowering the spirit, I drank it paired with the mild Oliva Connecticut Reserve. I found that the cigar did, in fact, wash out some of the taste, so I tried drinking it alone as well.
The bottle is tall and skinny but elegant. It holds the registered Stolichnaya name across the front with a logo and simple, stylized name to announce its elit ulta-luxe tier. The aroma is so subtle, that even without the cigar, I had difficulty detecting its light floral scent.
Instead of the burn that can often afflict vodka, this one was dangerously like drinking flavored water. It offers a creamy sensation more than an oily one. The feel of it was cool and refreshing, with an understated taste of spice and citrus. The finish has a hint of black pepper that contrasts and compliments the sweet mildness of the body, with only the slightest bite of alcohol. It is definitely a neutral sip and is subtle in sneaking up on you because it is so easy to drink.
With the cigar Oliva Connecticut Reserve’s already creamy flavor, the creaminess is only enhanced in the drink. The baking spices and citrus notes were less easy to find but still present. Served chilled, it is still a stimulating spirit. Overall, I would not mind drinking it with a mild cigar again despite it being so delicately flavored. I would definitely keep a bottle for reading through the night about the beautiful folklore of Russia.