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absinthist
I have got these today:

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For me, these labels look old enough and the colours as well as calligraphy are reminiscent of Polish liquor labels I possess from similar times and both use "absynth" word we have started discussing with Habu in here:

http://absinthe-review.net/forums/showthre…id=2534#pid2534

I have also got that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3TNlLBn7kk

Your thoughts? Habu? Anyone?

Jaded Prole
Probably toxic. het.gif
Absomphe
DarthVader2.gif
Shabba53
May I ask where you got them? I received the same pdfs from a gentleman about 3 months ago. I'm wondering if it's the same guy.
Tibro
Any verifiable evidence that these labels were actually in production and the exact period they date from?
absinthist
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Sep 21 2009, 03:29 PM) *

May I ask where you got them? I received the same pdfs from a gentleman about 3 months ago. I'm wondering if it's the same guy.

So, why haven't you posted them, then? Or at TARN when our thread commenced?

Do not know the person, either and the address doesn't say a lot. I see it for the first time in my life and still don't get the youtube viddie's connection.

Tim, if there is a label, a product is in-it is not like that COLA and TTB crap, first the label, then the product. I have some speculation as regards the period, yet I must check with my labels to compare and contrast and be sure about it. So, later on. At first glance, the paper type, the calligraphy and colour are reminiscent of "Kordjał" distillery in Kraków.

And where is Habu when we need him?
Habu
Sorry I'm late! Too much work. sleepy.gif

Anyway those labels are really something! I never though Palírna u Zeleného stromu was involved in absynth in those days. Don't have much time now to do some research, but one thing is for sure, the abbreviation z.s.s.r.o. was used for the "Limited liability company" in Czech from 1906 until 1950. Now we use simple "s.r.o." or "spol. s r.o.". So this really could be evidence that Bohemian absinth was produced before WWII and probably even before WWI.

I'll contact Palírna u zeleného stromu right after I'll have some time. It was probably fake absinthe anyway, hence the spelling with "y". Although the orthography was changing very rapidly in those days, because of the separation from Austria-Hungary, czech folks were trying to make as much their own words as possible.

By the way, was there something like a legal definition of absinthe before WWI? Or was it like today; put some green into alcohol, label it as absint/h/e, sell it and no one will say a word?

And one more thing, Boggy and/or Shabba53, where the hell did you get them? evill.gif
martin.zufanek
Nice find Boggy! This is the first time I see czech vintage "absinthe" labels.
Shabba53
QUOTE(absinthist @ Sep 22 2009, 04:27 AM) *
So, why haven't you posted them, then? Or at TARN when our thread commenced?
Because they were sent to me in PDF version and they were too big to post. Read my post on TARN.

QUOTE
Do not know the person, either and the address doesn't say a lot.
So they came to you anonymously?

QUOTE
And one more thing, Boggy and/or Shabba53, where the hell did you get them? evill.gif

My copies came from the global brand ambassador for Stromu.

He still has yet to verify whether they were actually ever affixed to any bottles or whether they were just proofs. Nor has he commented on whether they have any existing bottles or what the recipe was composed of.
Alan
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Sep 22 2009, 01:51 AM) *
Nor has he commented on whether they have any existing bottles.

Oxy's next offering?
absinthist

QUOTE
1906 until 1950.

Comparing them to these labels below, they might hail from 1935 onward.

IPB Image

Three labels from contemporary Poland, 2 by "Kordjał", one by "Haberbusch and Schiele" distilleries. The colours, print, paper type and quality (rough), calligraphy are very akin.
As regards "absynth(e)" it might be a remain from Austro-Hungarian times. Cut "h" and "e" and we arrive at Polish "absynt" word from the same period, meaning the same, from what I have checked, from a lexical point of view, the word "absint" is more proper Czech spelling and that one we find in earlier Gessler's portfolio.
QUOTE
Because they were sent to me in PDF version and they were too big to post. Read my post on TARN.

I got them in PDF yesterday not three months ago what has not prevented me from converting them to jpg format using Smart PDF Converter Pro, why did you hesitate? I have seen your post and thought you would post them, although I had no idea yours would be the same I have got.
QUOTE
So they came to you anonymously?

If Amanda Brown gives you any hint. For me, it is not much of a clue.
Habu
Next step, find the vintage czechsinth! IPB Image
absinthist
I am awaiting your results, Habu!
Shabba53
QUOTE(absinthist @ Sep 22 2009, 06:34 AM) *
I got them in PDF yesterday not three months ago what has not prevented me from converting them to jpg format using Smart PDF Converter Pro, why did you hesitate?
Hesitation implies that I had a reason why I wouldn't want to post them. That's not the case. I didn't know about that program. In the meantime, I've shared them with many people.

QUOTE
If Amanda Brown gives you any hint. For me, it is not much of a clue.

So, who would know your address and know they should send them to you and not tell you they were sending them?
absinthist
Is my address hidden anywhere or proprietary and confidential? Everyone knows it and everyone can use it, you know two of my addresses as a matter of fact.
Shabba53
There's no need to get defensive. I just asked who gave them to you because I was wondering if it's the same person who gave them to me.

Normally, when someone sends something to me, they either tell me that it's on the way, or include a missive. If this person didn't, it's odd, but it's no big deal.

Relax.
absinthist
I am not, so get back on the track-the discussion concerns something else. It is not important if the same person was sending the pdfs to the chosen people (who else apart from Shabba and me got it? Anyone else?) but what has been sent and that we should focus on and await Habu's findings in a friendly atmosphere.
Shabba53
What makes me wonder, is why they are sent to us as pdf files instead of higher quality pics.
absinthist
Regarding quality pics I have got these, but Habu and Martin will be more than welcome shedding more light on what is written and/or what might be written on these herbs' "tanks":

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As something interesting I have that Polish label undoubtedly from 1934 of slivovitz made by "Rektyfikacja Warszawska" and imported to the US:

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Shabba53
I posted those pics on the WS about a month ago. It seems pretty obvious that the same person is disseminating this info, trying to build credibility for Stromu. They did say they were from the Stromu distillery, right?
absinthist
They are supposed to have been taken in Palírna u Zeleného stromu. The last pic is from my friend's archives. He is collecting vintage Polish spirits' bottles just as I am collecting the labels.
Tibro
I'm repeatedly miffed by links to pics at that other Society function that don't function unless you're a member of Society. Kind of a closed society thing, I guess.

Iris root may have some bearing on the discussion, but oak bark and juniper berries don't seem all that relevant.

And just what the side-tracking what-ja-ma-callit is that copper bomb-shell without any obvious heat source supposed to be anyway? Certainly not water-tight. Or vapor sealed.
Shabba53
No worries. The link I posted was showing the same pics as above.
Zman
QUOTE(Tibro @ Sep 22 2009, 11:25 AM) *

And just what the side-tracking what-ja-ma-callit is that copper bomb-shell without any obvious heat source supposed to be anyway? Certainly not water-tight. Or vapor sealed.


Most likely (look at the bottom of the still) it has internal steam coils for the heating.
FWIW, those pdf scans of the "absynth" labels look photochopped to me. I agree it looks like someone is trying to build credibility.
Chris
QUOTE(Tibro @ Sep 22 2009, 11:25 AM) *

And just what the side-tracking what-ja-ma-callit is that copper bomb-shell without any obvious heat source supposed to be anyway? Certainly not water-tight. Or vapor sealed.


It appears to be a "double bottom" alambic (looks a lot like the one at the Matter distillery), which is heated by steam that is piped into a chamber along the bottom between the outer copper you see and the actual chaudičre.


Edit: Zman got in just before me.
Alan
QUOTE(Zman @ Sep 22 2009, 12:00 PM) *

FWIW, those pdf scans of the "absynth" labels look photochopped to me. I agree it looks like someone is trying to build credibility.

Zman, I share your scepticism (even if you prefer that with a "k"). However I would like to know what makes you think they look photochopped? FWIW, absinthist said they looked "old enough." Assuming Stromu have the originals, we could suggest that they get them carbon-dated (or whatever) independently. If these are the Turin Shroud of Czech absinthe, I don't think that's not too much to ask for.
Tibro
I appreciate the information about the still. Would it be correct to guess that the steam heat and shape might make it particularly adaptable to distilling absinthe? That is if we go with a double wall and not the suggestion of internal coils which I'd think would make cleaning it out a bear. Any guesses on the likelihood of finding such a design in the Czech Republic? All things being possible, of course. Any guess when it would date from and origin of manufacture?
absinthist
Alan's right. Since the distillery has a museum (many distilleries do), these labels might be found there. If it is true and Habu can confirm it, it would be good to know what kind of product was made under these very labels back in a day and how does it compare to its descendant*, so the stromu we know very well and in most of the cases have one, read: negative opinion thereof. And which "absint" and/or "absynth" was Gessler having in their offer, was it their own brand, domestic brand or imported brand?

It is not about giving credibility to anyone, but about some facts to surface.

*as analogy, take the situation of Polish Krupnik. Back in a day, so pre-WWI, it was a notable Polish liquor (the best brand being produced by Potocki in Łańcut, having a nickname "Nectar of Łańcut") distilled, flavoured with genuine and expensive roots/spices, sweetened with genuine bee honey, aged in oak for 2-3 years and left at the historical 45%. After WWII, Krupnik has re-appeared, yet from its colour alone, we could easily say it was not the real deal, and at 40%.

Nowadays, Krupnik is 38%, is pale as slivovitz, smells of artficial honey and is made from essences, no distillation, I doubt the proper maceration or aging at all. And such 'krupnik" has no right to be called Krupnik whatsoever. Situation regarding such products is repeatable sadly all over Europe (maybe Ricard alone stayed the same crap it had been).
Shabba53
QUOTE(Alan @ Sep 23 2009, 01:14 AM) *
However I would like to know what makes you think they look photochopped?


One of the concerns is that there's no apparent reason for them to convert them to pdfs as opposed to simply sending them as a regular jpeg or bmp. Converting them to pdf opens up the possibility that they were edited in some way using photoshop.

QUOTE
FWIW, absinthist said they looked "old enough."

Agreed. Looking at the pdf, they look old. 80 or 90 years old? Sure. But that really doesn't mean much without actually being able to examine the original, since pictures can easily be edited.

It would be really great if we can get someone in that area like Habu, Martin, Pan Buh, whoever to see if they can tour the distillery and look at the old stuff.
Tibro
Hey, Shabba, I got a question for you, since you always seem to be close such things. If it turns out there's a documented, historical precedent for shitsinth are those folks who are trying to wrangle a legal definition, and seem to want to defer to historical precedent, going to have to throw up their arms and say anything goes? Or can we expect a move to accept Tits' idea that any definition needs to be based on quality first, since that's what really matters?
Shabba53
I would guess that the definition of absinthe in the states (in the hypothetical situation you've posited) should be defined along style lines first. There would be different production qualifications and product characteristics for each definition. This shouldn't be as hard to do as once was thought, since so many Czech/Bohemian products are now trying to distinguish themselves as a different product. The brand reps I've spoken to from those brands seem to be in favor of the distinction as well.

While I am fully in favor of a definition based on quality (I always have been), the realist in me says that it would be practically impossible to implement, since few if any spirits have those classifications in the US currently. There are shitty gins. There are shitty whiskies. There are shitty versions of every spirit.

I'd love to see a quality distinction, like what was used in France before the ban. I just don't see it happening.
Chris
QUOTE(Tibro @ Sep 23 2009, 01:06 AM) *

I appreciate the information about the still. Would it be correct to guess that the steam heat and shape might make it particularly adaptable to distilling absinthe?


I don't think it would make it "particularly adaptable to distilling absinthe", these double bottom alambics can be and have been used for all types of distillation (Benedictine, eau de vies, etc.) but with that being said, they absolutely can be used for absinthe (the alambics at Combier are double bottom, both the Egrots and the Renauds). In regards to the shape… I don't know, it seems weird, and it's definitely not as common as the more widely used cylindrical shape.

QUOTE

Any guesses on the likelihood of finding such a design in the Czech Republic? All things being possible, of course. Any guess when it would date from and origin of manufacture?


Like you said, anything is possible, I don't see why not. As for the age and maker… I can't say.
Habu
Since time is not on my side recently, I can't fully focus on the research, but hang in there, I'll try to contact the "Palírna u zeleného stromu" or even take a trip with my camera to that place.
absinthist

QUOTE
While I am fully in favor of a definition based on quality (I always have been)

Really? Your realm doesn't follow the suit. For the information of others, according to WS standard, Absinth Strong is absinthe, Bud Light is beer, but that has been talked ad nauseum, so leave it.

QUOTE
There are shitty gins. There are shitty whiskies. There are shitty versions of every spirit.


I have been telling and warning you about it for a long time, nothing has been done in the US to prevent all those NV's, Dragons, Korunas, raspberry sinthes, God knows what (Alan knows and keeps us updated on and it sends shivers down my spine) from coming and being accepted on the shelves.

As a matter of fact, If I were American and had no possibility of getting Pacifique, Walton waters, Vieux Carre, Clandestine or any other legitimate and genuine absinthe that is really in minority now, I would simply switch to either being an Artist or get in touch with the Artists of the American soil to get their stuff.

Man, get it once and for all, there are products that have NO right to be called what they claim to be. You want to know how many vodkas there are in the US, the genuine vodkas following the rules set up by Smirnoff, Baczewski, what not? I can count them on one hand and you are fully aware I am right. How many gins there are, you ask? Is there anything that excellent as Voyager is, there are some brands that are good, I say good, so let's add them to the list.

And thus a conscious professional, gourmet, drinker, imbiber, happy rake should know what constitutes a spirit they seek or not™. Base it on quality and you win, base it on "standards", divisions-(there is absinthe or there is no absinthe, there is vodka or there is no vodka, there is ad infinitum-there are no divisions: shitty stuff I don't drink and won't drink, I may give it a try but never agree it being what it can't be), and you perish.

Habu, you are the bestest! Carry on!


Provenance
Why should the government do anything to prevent people from drinking crap? Given that it keeps selling, there are plenty of people who like drinking crap. Ban crap and next there'll be folks trying to get absinthe banned.
absinthist
Indeed!™. Who drinks that black likkerish crap™, anyway? evill.gif
Shabba53
Boggy, you just don't get it.

There is idealism, and then there is reality. Speak to ANY beverage attorney in the DC area and they will tell you the same thing: If you try to get a definition that distinguishes by quality, like what was done in the past, it will never pass. It's asking for too much too quickly.

Why would the fed agree to base a legal definition on quality in regards to absinthe (a very obscure spirit in the grand scheme of things) and not do so with other spirits? It would open a huge can of worms that they probably don't want to deal with.

It's better to get at least some semblance of a definition legally passed first, then push for further specificity after the fact than to doom yourself to failure from the beginning.

QUOTE
Bud Light is beer
Boggy, don't you recall that everyone, including all of your friends who spoke up, completely disagreed with you on this?

In your reality, some of the best beers in the world wouldn't be considered beer. In your reality, it isn't beer unless it's over 7% abv. In your reality, people can't get drunk by drinking beer.

That's not reality. That is your belief based on preference.

I'd prefer it if there weren't any idiot drivers in DC, but that doesn't mean there won't be. I can say that they aren't drivers until I'm blue in the face, but it won't mean anything. They'll still be driving. But they'll be considered low quality drivers.
Shabba53
QUOTE(absinthist @ Sep 23 2009, 04:42 PM) *
how many vodkas there are in the US, the genuine vodkas following the rules set up by Smirnoff, Baczewski, what not? I can count them on one hand and you are fully aware I am right.

The only thing you're right about is that there's only a handful of GOOD vodkas on the market. But there are HUNDREDS of vodkas on the market. Just because they aren't of good quality doesn't mean they aren't vodka. Same with gin. Same with beer. Same with Cheese. Same with bread. Same with pretty much any consumer product on the market.

Is a fake Rolex not a watch? No, it's still a watch. It's just not a Rolex.
absinthist
QUOTE

It would open a huge can of worms

Why not, maybe the world needs a shocking, tremendous CHANGE?

QUOTE
don't you recall that everyone, including all of your friends who spoke up, completely disagreed with you on this?

All? Bud, Miller, these are not beers. That is quality. Crap stays crap.

QUOTE
people can't get drunk by drinking beer.
]
Of course, since beer is for eating, alcohol is for drinking, waer™ sometimes.

QUOTE

The only thing you're right about is that there's only a handful of GOOD vodkas on the market. But there are HUNDREDS of vodkas on the market. Just because they aren't of good quality doesn't mean they aren't vodka. Same with gin. Same with beer. Same with Cheese. Same with bread. Same with pretty much any consumer product on the market.


You are nuts, read again the story about Krupnik. There are few vodkas on the market that might be called so, there are few gins on the market that might be called so, and so on and so forth. The consumer decides if one is CONSCIOUS what is bought and how genuine it is. The crap market exists, I agree, but it is high time to get rid of it.

QUOTE

Is a fake Rolex not a watch? No, it's still a watch. It's just not a Rolex.


Wrong comparison, assuming Rolex is a good watch, fake Rolex is not a good watch, so if Rolex is one of equivalents of "watch", then fake Rolex is not definitely a watch. Division is not the right approach, we do not have products that are good and genuine and products that are fake and bad, we have only good products and the rest. This is quality, this is a standard, maybe a fookin' idealist Boggy's drunk one, but it is. Let crap stay crap, do not touch it, otherwise you will smell the same.

And we drift again from what should be the most interesting, i.e. Habu's research's outcomes and more.

I wish I had a choice of walking thru the shop and seeing all the famous brands of various spirits from the heyday, so I could have a choice not resort to recreating them since those are unavailable. Some time ago I have talked with an Artist brewer here in Rzeszów, he told me he had not bought commercial beer for a long, long time. He brought some of his Art to the meeting and these were the beers. Maybe it is idealism, maybe it is snobbery, maybe it is natural born selection, but it is the truth: the market offers 5-10% of genuine stuff and the rest has no right to exist or be labelled such and such. After drinking mead made by another Artist I have sworn I would never drink commercial mead again-why? it resembles mead, but it not one.

Standard Deviant brought one wine to Boveresse, that type of wine is not available in CO realm, why- I dunno, yet as regards that particular style, it was one of the nicest beverages of that kind I have had. SD knows me-if I hadn't liked it, I would have said so, but I haven't and really appreciated that glass.
Shabba53
QUOTE(absinthist @ Sep 23 2009, 07:52 PM) *

And we drift again from what should be the most interesting, i.e. Habu's research's outcomes and more.

Hey man, all I did was answer Tim's question.

I agree with you that crap stays crap. But it's still categorized the same as the top quality stuff. Crappy vodka still says 'vodka' on the label. Crappy scotch still says 'scotch' on the label.
QUOTE(absinthist @ Sep 23 2009, 07:52 PM) *

The crap market exists, I agree, but it is high time to get rid of it.

ide·al·ist : one guided by ideals; especially : one that places ideals before practical considerations


I have no wish to continue this same argument that has been hashed out a dozen times across three forums and Facebook. We'll just have to agree to disagree. I applaud your zeal and enthusiasm, that's for sure.
Tibro
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Sep 23 2009, 04:46 PM) *

I would guess that the definition of absinthe in the states (in the hypothetical situation you've posited) should be defined along style lines first.

You have in the past made the argument that the exclusion of fennel in a particular product's herb-bill should not be sufficient cause to exclude that product from a legal definition of the absinthe category, based on historical precedent. Now you're willing to accept products that contain no ansie? And because you have informal confirmation that some brand reps support an anise-free absinthe style you're okay with it, too? I guess that's what you call being a realist then?
absinthist
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Sep 23 2009, 03:59 PM) *

Crappy vodka still says 'vodka' on the label. Crappy scotch still says 'scotch' on the label.

Despite what the label says, and these in most of the cases are either lying or hiding some facts, (Finlandia Fusion range-nowhere on the label you will find those are artificially-flavoured, but they are, none of these vodkas have seen any fruit), do you, as a conscious consumer, consider it vodka? And what has been done to prevent them from being called they are not? Make a definition, set the rules, enforce it and voila.

Some people have done it before by using AOC, label designation (Echt Rum vs. Verschnitt Rum), etc, etc and these methods are applicable to all spirits, liqueurs, what not. But one has to take action, not moan how hard the reality is.


Shabba53
QUOTE(Tibro @ Sep 24 2009, 03:24 AM) *

You have in the past made the argument that the exclusion of fennel in a particular product's herb-bill should not be sufficient cause to exclude that product from a legal definition of the absinthe category, based on historical precedent.
I'm sure you've seen the same information I have.

QUOTE
Now you're willing to accept products that contain no anise?
I'd much rather not, obviously. But the biggest problem I see is that the anise free products are already in circulation. And not just in the states, mind you. The legal battle that would ensue if people tried to now kick them back out would be tremendous.

My thoughts are more forward thinking. If they succeed in making the legal distinction between them, then that is a huge step in educating the consumer. It's setting the Czechsinthe brands up to fail on their own merit.

It may not be absolutely impossible to remove product that is already on the shelves, but it sure is a daunting task for any lawyer looking to take on the case.

Obviously, I don't consider anise free products absinthe. I think every argument I've made states as much. The fact that some distributors use the WS reviews and categorizations to deny sales of certain products is a great thing in my mind. But it's not us that make the policy. We can try to influence it as much as possible (which many people already are doing), but who's got the money to back a lengthy and arduous legal battle? Are you willing to chip in?

QUOTE
And because you have informal confirmation that some brand reps support an anise-free absinthe style you're okay with it, too? I guess that's what you call being a realist then?
You misunderstood. What I'm saying is that they are giving us the perfect opportunity to get them off of the coattails of real absinthe, and let them sink their own ship by making shitty product.
Shabba53
QUOTE(absinthist @ Sep 24 2009, 04:04 AM) *

Make a definition, set the rules, enforce it and voila.

Yes. Voila. It's that easy. Have you made any inroads in getting your standards approved in your own country?

Maybe if we set some European laws about production standards, we won't have to worry about it being imported into the US.
Absomphe
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Sep 23 2009, 04:59 PM) *

Crappy scotch still says 'scotch' on the label.


Hey, Sheep Dip™ is more honest than that, even. poop.gif
absinthist
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Sep 24 2009, 04:35 AM) *

QUOTE(absinthist @ Sep 24 2009, 04:04 AM) *

Make a definition, set the rules, enforce it and voila.

Yes. Voila. It's that easy. Have you made any inroads in getting your standards approved in your own country?

Maybe if we set some European laws about production standards, we won't have to worry about it being imported into the US.

Thus far, there is an absinthe shop in Warsaw, that offers accessories and real deal extraits from all over the world, having the biggest selection of all the Polish shops that either carry crap or do not carry absinthe at all. People come there, grab Clandestine or Duplais, get enlightened and it pays back.

Some spirits have already these standards set in Europe, żubrówka is protected, Polish vodka is protected, slivovitz has clear rules and three type division, kirsch is very well protected (especially in Switzerland) and so on. A lot has been done in that matter actually.
Tibro
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Sep 24 2009, 02:33 PM) *

It may not be absolutely impossible to remove product that is already on the shelves, but it sure is a daunting task for any lawyer looking to take on the case.

I wouldn't begin to ask that inferior products be removed from the shelves. I don't want to touch them, why should anybody else? And banning them would upset the gov't getting their tax take of the goods. But I thought we were merely discussing labeling issues.

QUOTE
Are you willing to chip in?

Personally, I don't really care what's written on any label. I'm willing to do some homework and consume what I approve of personally. YMMV.
Shabba53
So you don't want to get rid of products that don't contain anise?

I think the homework issue is exactly what we're trying to encourage right now.
Shabba53
QUOTE(absinthist @ Sep 24 2009, 09:29 AM) *
Thus far, there is an absinthe shop in Warsaw, that offers accessories and real deal extraits from all over the world, having the biggest selection of all the Polish shops that either carry crap or do not carry absinthe at all.

That's great to hear. But what does that have to do with legal definitions and regulations? Are you telling me that there aren't any low quality vodkas sold in Poland?

There are shops like that in the US too (carrying US legal brands, of course). Joe Riley runs one of them. So what?
absinthist
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Sep 24 2009, 05:46 AM) *

That's great to hear. But what does that have to do with legal definitions and regulations? Are you telling me that there aren't any low quality vodkas sold in Poland?

Everything, the selection in that shop is very strict-it is one of its kind and although one, it is a good start. There are some low quality vodkas sold in Poland, but they are the minority of all the vodkas that are being offered in a shop, supermarket, off-licence.
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