Starka vodka

no reason to call this a vodka

This is a review of Starka vodka from Poland. I sampled it in Germany in 2011. It’s a dark, aged, and infused, 40% alcohol, and I don’t think we should call it a vodka.

So I decided to try something new the other day: Starka vodka. It’s a Polish brand that has apparently been infused with apple tree leaves and then aged 10 years in an oak barrel. Kind of looked like whiskey to me, and I thought to myself: “Well, this is going to be nice!”

But was my optimism really justifiable? Or was I being naive?

websites are down

So I tried looking up Starka vodka online, and it’s a bit of a mess.

As it turns out, Starka is the name of a kind of beverage, not the name of a brand. In Poland it used to be exclusively produced by a state-owned company called Polmos. That company has since been privatized and split up. The Polmos Szczecin part that went on to produce Starka has a defunct website that shows some generic items:

Polmos Szczecin website

There is another site called, but sadly, as of October 2021 it is under construction:

Starka vodka website

So basically what this means is that I don’t know what I’m drinking.

disappointment all around

Okay, back to our review of Starka vodka then. It turns out that my optimism wasn’t justifiable. This stuff wasn’t nice. It smelled weird, and it tasted very bad. It wasn’t vodka, and it wasn’t whiskey, either. I mean, infused vodka still tastes like vodka. But this was something else entirely.

Starka vodka didn’t have the smooth freshness you’d expect from a good vodka. It was vile on its way down. And it didn’t have that round, aromatic aftertaste of a good whiskey either.

Overall it was just very rough to deal with. I am wondering what to mix this with to make it bearable, and honestly, I have no clue. The design of the bottle looked okay at best, and the price of 25€ for 700ml wasn’t exactly affordable either.

Can anybody tell me what to do with this to make it enjoyable?