Whisky Magazine Issue 116
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In search of some elusive Polish Whisky
Manager Dorota Krol nervously slips me a couple of whisky labels while passing me. We're in the memory room, as she calls it. Around me I see an enormous collection of Vodkas, working tools from very early times and other post war memorabilia stocked in a huge oval showcase reaching from floor to ceiling.
On my right I recognise the labels Dorota gave me. Behind the locked glass doors I see what I was looking for: my Polish whisky.
I feel a Cold War breeze when I am entering the vast empty lobby of the Wyborowa Company (formerly known as V&S Luksusowa Zielona Góra S. A.) in Zielona Gora, Poland. After having hit the bell on the counter I hear the sound of boots coming down the stairs. A girl with a friendly smile dressed in a navy blue outfit gestures me to follow. “I have been trying to get in touch with you….”.
I notice that she does not really feel at ease with my English. She leads me to the empty chair next to the coffee machine and says: “You sit, you wait, I go.” Nothing Polish in that, so I obey. She positions herself two metres away from me. Standing in some sort of soldier's mode with her hands behind her back looking straight at me.
I could do with a wee dram now. Then there is the factory bell. It's harsh and sharp and a flock of working people leave their offices in silence.
Good old George Orwell must have got some of his 1984 ideas from here.
Another female manager, answering to the wonderful name of Agnieszka Baranowska, comes up to me too clo...