Argali Premium


a smile and a frown

[40%, sampled in Kazakhstan]

This was number three of my four bottles of Kazakh vodka. I was trying them one after the other while updating my travel blog. The first one, Kristall White, had been terrible, while the second one, Khaoma Original, had turned out to be really good. I was curious about the other two.

So here it goes.

premium ibexes

On the label of this one it said Argali Premium, but I’m not sure if Premium is part of the name or not. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m just going to call it Argali Premium anyway. I tried to look it up on the internet, but the only thing I could come up with was a Mongolian vodka of the name Argali.

Curiously, my search also yielded a bunch of photos of animals that looked like ibexes – just like the one on the label.

uninspiring design

Okay, so how about this stuff? The price was 1200 Tenge for 500ml, which puts it at around 5€ for 700ml. A top rating, but then what else can we expect from Central Asian brands. That is, as long as you bought them in Central Asia. The famous Snow Queen, also from Kazakhstan, was being sold for five times as much in Europe.

The bottle design of Argali Premium is rather uninspired. I don’t mind standard bottle shapes at all, but the overall design has to be interesting. Take Partisan or Kalinovaya, for example. Simple bottles, great design. But this one looked just generic and boring.

Argali Premium starts out well

The taste was surprisingly good. Sure, Argali Premium smelled stronger than it should have. And it wasn’t extremely smooth to drink, either. But it went down semi-easily, and it had a certain bitter sweetness to it, a taste that I found both interesting and pleasant.

The aftertaste wasn’t so good, though. It was dry, and it had a note of something that reminded me of petrol. I found that a bit disturbing. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good, either.

Overall, this is an okay vodka at best.