I was delighted to read about a Slovakian vodka coming to the British market in April. Indeed, Goral Vodka will be the first Slovakian vodka ever available in the UK. I’ve been to Slovakia a few times, hiking in the Tatra Mountains, and it’s a beautiful country. I still remember staying in a mountain town called Starý Smokovec, waking early one morning and going for a walk in the woods on one of the many hiking trails that criss-cross the area.
I was enjoying the peace of the woods, the clean, crisp air, and the bird songs. Unfortunately I then remembered a story one of the hotel staff had told me the day before, of how she had recently seen a bear walking across the main street, a mother bear with a cub. Gulp. When you go for a walk in the woods in Britain you certainly don’t have to worry about bears. I carried on walking, rather more loudly than before, but with eyes and ears open for any sign of anything bigger than me.
Then I heard it, a kind of snorting sound somewhere in the distance, in the thick of the woods. I decided maybe it was a good idea to head back to the hotel. I described the sound later to a guy at the hotel who knew his wildlife and he told me it was just a deer. Phew. It would have been the perfect time for a quick shot of vodka!
Goral Vodka also comes from the Tatra Mountains, from the Gas Familia Distillery in Stará Ľubovňa, only about 35 miles northeast of where I’d been hiking. It’s a small, pretty and historic town which dates back to at least the 13th century, with a long tradition of distilling. It would be nice to say that the Gas Familia Distillery is almost as old, but it was only founded in 1994, although since then this family-run business has become the second-largest producer of alcohol in Slovakia, exporting to 25 countries.
Goral Vodka is made by the company’s Master Distiller, Jan Krak, who uses durum wheat, Tatra Mountain spring water and a 7-column filtration process to produce what he believes, after years of experimenting, is a ‘smooth, clean and timeless-tasting vodka.’
I’ll certainly be keen to try it myself when it goes on sale next month at a recommended price of £30 for a 40%ABV 700ml bottle.
To get more information visit the website of the UK Distributors,
Karla & Co Spirits