How can fire turn to chocolate turn to metal, and is that something we want in a vodka?

I told the store clerk that I wanted something local, but he shook his head and mumbled something that sounded like there wasn’t any. Then he handed me this bottle. When I went to the cash register, though, the lady there told me that I was too late. They weren’t going to sell any alcohol after a certain time, it was the law. Then she took another look at me, paused, and decided to sell me the bottle…


Tau Brilliant

Is this vodka trying too hard to appear upscale?

It was in the winter of 2016, and I was in the south of Kazakhstan, in a small town that had an awesome burger joint called Soul Food. My hotel room wasn’t very warm, so I wrapped a blanket around my body and nipped on some vodka when I…



How do manufacturers choose which animal they name their vodka after?

There’s a deer-like animal on the label, and indeed, Wikipedia says that Kabarga means Siberian musk deer, which is a hilarious (albeit tragically endangered) deer with long fangs, not unlike those of a saber-tooth cat. Apparently, some of these Kabargas live in the northeastern…



Is a vodka still acceptable if the aftertaste is bad?

This one was called Argali, though on the label it said Argali Premium, but I think the Premium is probably not part of the name. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m just going to call it Argali. I tried a…


Khaoma Original

Will Khaoma be the savior of Kazakhstan’s vodka market?

Right on the label it said that this was no ordinary stuff. This was a so-called “ecovodka”. I found an explanation underneath: “Distilled and bottled in ecologically pure region.” Interestingly enough, all of this was in…


Kristall White

Does a vodka taste better if the bottle looks nice?

I had a bunch of blog posts to write, so I sat down, poured a glass of the first bottle, which was called Kristall White (Кристалл Водка White) and started going through my pictures. Then I took a sip. The smell should have been a…

Snow Queen vodka

Snow Queen

With a bottle looking so much like Belvedere or the Goose, will this one be of the same immaculate quality?