||This article needs more links to other articles to help integrate it into the encyclopedia. (November 2012)|
Monopolowa is a vodka currently made in Austria (although it originated from Poland.) It is distilled from potatoes, and it is produced under the brand of the pre-war Polish spirits producer J. A. Baczewski.
Monopolowa is a Polish language generic adjective referring to state monopoly. Nevertheless, this name refers to a privilege of the nobility. In the mid-17th century, a monopoly was granted to the szlachta on producing and selling vodka in their territories. (see History of the vodka in Poland)
Monopolowa was produced by J. A. Baczewski until World War II. After the war, the Austrian Gessler company bought the licence and the rights to production. After Poland became a democratic country in 1989, the Starogard Gdański based branch of the Polmos company started to produce several of J.A. Baczewski's products under license from Altvater Gessler - J.A. Baczewski International (USA) Inc. However, in the late 1990s, the license was terminated and production in Poland was halted.
Monopolowa has consistently scored top marks in awards and is attractive for consumers looking for a high quality product with a low price. It scored a 94 at the 2003 International Review of Spirits, the highest score, tying with Stolichnaya, from Russia. In 2008, the independent Beverage Testing Institute gave Monopolowa a rating of 93/100, calling the vodka "exceptional".
Taste tests from the Beverage Testing Institute describe the vodka as "clear, [with] mild aromas of buttercream, candied citrus peel and anise follow through on a round, silky entry to a dryish medium body with notes of banana taffy and minerals. Finishes with long, very smooth fade. A pristine, poised vodka for sipping neat or in martinis." Vodka Monopolowa is suited for usage in mixed drinks of all kinds, and is sometimes served with a squeeze of lemon juice to "further enhance the flavour and texture."
In head-to-head competitions against some of the world’s most recognized vodkas and gins, Monopolowa has repeatedly won gold medals and has been rated "exceptional", "best spirit" and "best value".
- Top 10th Percentile Vodka: Proof66.com 
- 2010 The Beverage Testing Institute International Review of Spirits Award: Gold Medal. Rated: 93 points (Exceptional) & Best Buy
- 2009 The International Wine and Spirit Competition: Silver Medal
- 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition: Silver Medal
- 2008 The Beverage Testing Institute International Review of Spirits Award: Gold Medal. Rated: 92 points (Exceptional)
- http://www.proof66.com/vodka/monopolowa-vodka.html Proof66 Ratings Page for Monopolowa Vodka
Media related to Monopolowa vodka at Wikimedia Commons