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Episode 35: Monopolowa Vodka
Episode 3511th December 2020 • Liquor and Liqueur Connoisseur • Matt Birchard
00:00:00 00:18:00

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Episode 35 features Vodka Monopolowa by J.A. Baczewski. A potato vodka, it's award winning and my go-to for unflavored vodkas. Available in all common commercially available sizes, for this episode I featured a 1 liter bottle that retails for $20. It's 40% ABV, or 80 proof.

Enjoy this episode with Monopolowa neat or on the rocks, mix it in a cocktail if you prefer!

Monopolowa has two official websites, depending upon if it's the parent brand of US vodka brand: or

Brief Historical Timeline:

  • 1782 - Original distillery is founded
  • 1810 - Leopold Maksymilian Baczewski opens a distillery on the outskirts of Lviv, in modern day Ukraine
  • 1834 - Coffey stills, or two column stills, are installed and produce superior products
  • 1856 - Józef Adam (J.A.) Baczewski joins the family business and begins to upgrade and innovate, packaging export products in clear glass decanters
  • 1876 - J.A. Baczewski receives the honor of "Purveyor to the Imperial Royal Court" and display this and the Imperial Eagle Emblem on their bottles
  • 1911 - J.A. Baczewski dies, his sons Leopold and Henryk take over
  • 1920s - The business expands with new generations of Baczewski's joining the family business
  • 1930s - Baczewski products are available on two prestigious Polish transatlantic ocean lines
  • 1930s - Offices opened in Paris, Prague, and Vienna, and they begin using airplanes for routine deliveries
  • 1939 - Lviv distillery is bombed by the Germans during WWII
  • 1940 - Adam and Stefan Baczewski, current owners, are killed by the Soviets
  • Post WWII - Relative, Eduard Gessler acquires the J.A. Baczewski mark and merges it with his own distilling business to create Altvater Gessler - J.A. Baczewski
  • 1958 - Monopolowa is launched and introduced to the United States
  • 1980 - A US subsidiary is formed
  • 2011 - J.A. Baczewski products are imported to Poland, returning the famous products to their homeland

Key Cocktails:

It's unflavored vodka, so Monopolowa goes great with anything!

Try it neat, or on the rocks, but avoid freezing it.


Wikipedia article on Monopolowa

Wikipedia article on J.A. Baczewski

Wikipedia article on Galicia

Wikipedia article on the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria

Wikipedia article on the Coffey Still

YouTube Video on J.A. Baczewski history 

Altvater Gessler - J.A. Baczewski website article referencing "Monopoly"

Alcademics Blog Post on Potato Vodka

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Twitter: @LLConnoisseur