There is no consensus as to which country made the first vodka, Poland or Russia. The answer may turn out to be neither. Located on the border of Poland is the country of Slovakia and the picturesque city of Stará L'ubovna. In the heart of the town is L'ubovna Castle and the oldest preserved distillery underneath. Evidence suggests that as far back as 650-years ago it was producing a grain-based distillate similar in description to vodka.
Some six and a half centuries later, Master Distiller Ján Krak of the Gas-Familia Distillery in Stará L'ubovna relied on that original recipe discovered in the distillery as inspiration to create the world-class spirit, Goral Master Vodka. "I have dedicated my entire life to perfecting the distillation process and producing the smoothest, cleanest and most timeless tasting vodka yet. I think in this vodka I've created that," states Krak.
Goral Master Vodka is indeed something special. It is crafted using select, late harvest Durum wheat and mineral-enriched water sourced from the underground springs high in the Tetra Mountains. The wheat is milled, mixed with water and a proprietary strain of yeast is used to precipitate fermentation. The mash is then distilled in Gas-Familia's sophisticated 7-column still. Prior to being rendered to 40% alcohol (80 proof), the vodka is refined using an elaborate, 7-pass micro-filtration process through a special mixture of natural substances and activated carbon.
Be prepared to be seriously impressed. Goral has ideal clarity and a shimmery appearance. The vodka is lushly textured with delightful notes of fresh berries, mocha and floral. Its aromatic signature is both enticing and engaging. Goral raises absolutely no heat on the palate, a sure sign of expert distilling. The lingering finish is dry, clean and sophisticated.
North American General Manager Jeff Johnson thinks the sheer beauty of Stará L'ubovna contributes to Goral Master Vodka's elegance. "The setting is absolutely breathtaking. You couldn't find a more beautiful place to make a pristine spirit like Goral. Gas-Familia is an impressive distiller and it's easy to appreciate how they could make such a sterling vodka. I think I'm most taken by the vodka's full body and long, smooth finish."
An artisanal vodka is especially unforgiving. Any flaws or missteps are immediately apparent in the glass. Yet when made really well, an imported vodka like Goral Master Vodka is a sublime treat for the senses.