Putinka is distilled with juniper and cedar tree nuts and is produced by the state-owned Moscow Distillery Crystal company that was founded in 1901. During the Second World War the distillery made Molotov's Cocktails that were packaged in Vodka and Wine bottles for the war effort.
Since the reign of Vladmir Putin began the Crystal company have made the most of the similarity between the name of the vodka and that of the premier.* Putinka was named "Superbrand of 2004" and "National Product of the Year in 2006".
A slight graininess, less smooth than many vodka although there is a certain cleanliness in the warmth it has. It is only 40% but tastes stronger. It has quite a lot of flavour but is not for the faint-hearted. I get a little nuttiness and a touch of bitterness (could be from the Juniper?).
Mellows slight but still quite fierce, still clean with a hint of grain and incredibly warming.
Very clean at the beginning with a distinctive hint of bitterness near the end followed by the vermouth. Still pleasantly clean but with a light sweet nuttiness on the finish. Pretty good and a little unusual.
* I'm not sure how well Brown's Brandy, Obama Ouzo or Cameron's Cream Liqueur would go down.