Like Russian Standard Imperia before it, Orzel is an old vodka brand which is invading America, with a huge marketing push targeted at the glossy magazines. I can’t turn a page without seeing another ad for Orzel, and I finally nabbed a bottle to give it a try.
Orzel tastes old. It’s old school vodka straight outta Polska, distilled from wheat, and featuring one of those scary birds molded into the gothic bottle. Like Imperia, Orzel is daunting, and not just because it has a Z in the name.
The flavor is a somewhat pleasant surprise. There’s a good burn on this vodka, as expected, lots of heat that burns your nostrils when you take a whiff, but the spirit is surprisingly smooth on the tongue, at least compared to the nose. Medicinal, to be sure, but with lemony notes and poppy black pepper. Pleasant, with a sharp, quick, and dry finish.
Pricey, but worth a taste.
B / $35 / orzelvodka.com