The high time of Russian vodka began in 1765 under the reign of Catherine the Great. It allowed the production of vodka for the state distilleries on the one hand, and the landed gentry for their own use and their peasantry on the other. The nobility - where money was not an issue - burned the best grain while the peasants had to be satisfied with inferior grain for their daily bread. The first taste experiments with various herbs and fruits were carried out and even small quantities were exported.
Despite the strict rules of production, vodka, in rather poor quality, was also distilled black. In combination with cheaply produced spirits from abroad, Russian producers had to lower their prices, and vodka quality suffered as a result. The state reacted to this unfortunate situation in 1890 with a renewed monopoly on the production of spirits. A "Vodka Committee" was founded to ensure the state vodka quality and standardized production processes were introduced.
Surplus rye was used for a long time for the production of Russian vodka, but those times are long gone. A soft and round taste is characteristic for vodka made from rye.
All that remains is to say: На здоровье! Cheers!