taste like metal

[40%, sampled in Turkmenistan]

Going to Turkmenistan isn’t easy. So when I finally got there in September 2017, I wanted to make sure that I bought some vodka, if only for testing purposes.

Sadly I was on a tight walking schedule (500+ kilometers in 15 days), so I didn’t have much time to enjoy the finer things in life. But I managed to try three vodka brands on my last night in the country, right before I was about to enter Iran.

from the capital

This one was called Arassa, and it was from Ashgabat, the Turkmen capital.

I got it 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.

Turkmen prices are (also) low

The price was pretty similar to other places in Central Asia. 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€ for 700ml and therefore a perfect ten 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.

Arassa is violent

And now on to the most important part: the taste and the aftertaste.

When I opened the bottle there was a strong smell of alcohol. It reminded me of something you would kill germs with. This wasn’t a very good sign, but I poured a shot anyway. And what can I say, the taste was a pretty close match to the smell – it made for a violent, burning sensation, and it didn’t seem very refined.

The aftertaste continued in this fashion, as it burned in the throat and in the stomach, actually hurting a little. There was a strange note of metal in the aroma that I found particularly unpleasant.

Overall, this was a bad vodka that had only been saved by its low price.


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