Issyk Kul

Is it a good sign when my notes are undecipherable?

More vodka from the lake. And this time, the brand is even named appropriately – it’s called Issyk Kul. Just like the lake itself. And there’s a little sailing boat on the label. I’m listening to Glenn Miller, and it’s a delight. Ever wondered…



Can someone tell me who designed this bottle?

More time spent on the lakeshore meant more time spent with the finer things in life. There was a period of a week or two when I got sick and started experimenting with “secret medicine”, one ingredient of which turned out to be vodka. Good times. This one was called Elixir, and it came in a bottle that was…


Kyrgyz Standard

How much would a vodka of this quality cost in Europe or America?

Remember when I was staying on the shores of lake Issyk-kul, waiting for my Turkmen visa to go through? Well, I ended up spending several weeks there, during which I ate a lot of watermelons and even more lagman. And I tried a bit more of that Kyrgyz vodka. This one is called Kyrgyz Standard, and I will tell you right now it’s…

Nano Platinum vodka

Nano Platinum

If the vodka itself is good, then why don’t you give it a better-looking bottle?

Kyrgyzstan. Sanatorium of Jeti Oguz. There was clean mountain air, and there was many a drink. This one was the last and final vodka brand that came after Kyrgyz Aragy, after Ular, and after Atanbaj. You could probably say that it was the straw that broke the…

Atanbaj vodka


Is taste or aftertaste more important when we are talking about vodka?

Атанбай – Atanbaj vodka. This one is – surprise, surprise – from Kyrgyzstan. And it was also part of the infamous drinking night of Jeti Oguz.
By the time we opened this bottle, we were four people, and our faces were red and our gestures uncertain. We were trying to balance the intake of vodka by drinking huge amounts of…

Ular vodka


Is there anything special about this vodka or is it just regular booze in a nice bottle?

Ular. Another vodka from Kyrgyzstan. This was the second bottle that graced our table during the “night of many drinks” in Jeti Oguz. Night had fallen outside, the horses were coming home from the pastures, and we had just finished dinner and a very good bottle of Kyrgyz Aragy. What were we going to do now? Go to our rooms and call it a night? Or…

Kyrgyz Aragy vodka

Kyrgyz Aragy

Just how awesome is high-class vodka from Kyrgyzstan really?

This one was the first upper segment vodka that I ever tried in the beautiful country of Kyrgyzstan. Does that mean it was expensive though? No. I paid around 300som for 700ml (about 4€), making this another 10/10 in terms of affordability. But what about the other factors that…

Kok Boru vodka

Kök Böru

Will the Kyrgyz alphabet save an otherwise mediocre vodka from oblivion?

Көк Бөру – Kök Böru vodka (or Kok Boru vodka, if you want). This one is from Kyrgyzstan (like the few others before it), and it even has specific Kyrgyz letters in its name: the “ө” is usually transliterated as “ö”. Awesöme!

Kara Shorgo vodka

Kara Jorgo

Is this vodka theme revolving around horses or around dances?

This one is called Кара Жорго – Kara Jorgo vodka. In the Kyrgyz language, kara means “black”, and jorgo means a certain “pacer” horse, so that would make it a “black horse” – what a fine name for…

Ayu Vodka


How important is good aftertaste in a vodka?

This is Аю – Ayu Vodka, and it’s from Kyrgyzstan. Actually, there are three brands of this vodka, one comes in a green bottle (таежная – Taigan), one in a white bottle with a red label (юбилейная – Jubilee) and one in a white bottle with a…

Zero vodka


Why would anyone advertise anything with the words “harmful impurities”?

Zero. In a world of corporate branding, this seemed like a pretty good name for a vodka: short, meaningful, easy to remember. “Hey, what have you been drinking?” “Zero.” I bought this half-liter for 150 som (less than 4€/700ml: 10/10) in a tiny…



What does the name Vivat have to do with the vodka, and will it be as good as Ozon?

This one is called Vivat, and it’s also from Kyrgyzstan. In fact, the next few vodka brands are ALL going to be from the Kyrg. I really should have updated the blog earlier, but…

Ozon vodka


Does oxygen-enriched vodka taste different, and would it be good for you if you drank a lot of it?

Hanging out at a hostel with a heavy cold, I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I went into this small shop somewhere and asked the guy…