Going to Turkmenistan isn’t easy. So when I finally got to go there in September 2017, I wanted to make sure that I bought some local vodka, if only for testing purposes.
Sadly I was on a tight walking schedule (500+ kilometers in 15 days), so I did not have much time to enjoy the finer things in life, aka the testing of the V. But this one I did test, along with two others, on my last night in the country, right before I was about to enter Iran.
This one was called Arassa, and it was from Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan.
Why is Arassa allowed to taste like metal, and not in a good way?
I got this one in a licensed liquor store near the bazaar of Turkmenabat. The selection of vodka brands was small, and everything seemed to be produced in Turkmenistan, so I pointed around and asked for a few brands that were supposed to be “good”.
One of them was Arassa.
The price (as always in Central Asia) was just great. I got this 0,5 liter bottle for 20 Manat, which translates into about 5 Euros (depending on your exchange rate). So it was a super affordable 8€/700ml and therefore a 10/10 on the pricing scale.
The bottle design was okay. I liked the shape of the glass, and it had a built-in dispenser, but the label design seemed a bit sloppy. I’d give it a 5/10.
And now on to the most important part – the taste and the aftertaste. Upon opening there was a strong smell of alcoholic spirits. It smelled like something you would kill germs with. The taste itself had a violent burning sensation, and it didn’t seem very refined (5/10).
The aftertaste was particularly interesting, as it continued to burn in the throat and in the stomach, actually hurting a little. There was even a strange note of metal in the aftertaste that was rather unpleasant (3/10).
Overall, this was a bad vodka that had only been saved by its low price (which was more due to the general pricing environment than anything else). A not very recommendable 5.75