I have seen the future, and the future is Kröl. Distilled from Polish rye (in, um, Poland), Kröl isn’t exactly the sexiest name in spirits, but it’s a solid product that vodka lovers will want to check out.
Kröl comes in two forms (for now). I tried them both. First up is straight Kröl vodka, 80 proof and unflavored. As all rye vodkas, it’s heavy on the medicinal notes, but they surprisingly don’t overpower the drink. A light charcoal, woody undertone is more prominent, and there’s a sweetness here, too. It’s almost sugary on the finish, and that’s where that old-fashioned medicinal power actually comes in handy, cutting the sweetness nicely and balancing the drink. A-
Kröl also comes in a flavored version. Unique among vodkas, it has two flavors, lemon and raspberry. The flavoring is all natural, and very subtle. You can pick them out in straight sipping the vodka, but it’s not overpowering like most flavored vodkas are. I was expecting a lot more fruitiness from this vodka, but got very little. It’s not bad, and it works well in mixed drinks, but I actually liked the “plain” Kröl better due to its inherent nuance. B+
both $25 / krolvodka.com