Ayu Taiga


Ayu Vodka

both good and bad

This is a review of Ayu Taiga vodka from Kyrgyzstan. I sampled it in Kyrgyzstan in 2014. It’s clear, 40% alcohol, produced by Ayu, and I found the aftertaste rather regrettable.

Ayu Taiga vodka (Аю Таежная) is from Kyrgyzstan. There are three editions of this brand. Taiga comes in a green bottle, Jubilee (Юбилейная) in a white bottle with a red label, and Siberia (Сибирская) in a white bottle with a blue label.

I didn’t choose the Taiga one because it was named after the Taiga, the forests of the north, but because I figured that the bear on the label would be most happy being surrounded by green.

a minor rebranding

I didn’t find any trace of Ayu Taiga vodka online, but I did find it on an informational PDF from Ayu, the company that produced it.

I didn’t learn much from this, though. It seemed as though the red label Jubilee edition had been rebranded as Classic (Классическая). And that was it.

I drank this vodka on the roof of an old sanatorium on the shores of Issyk-kul in Kyrgyzstan.

there’s something wrong with Ayu Taiga vodka

I had paid 120 Som for this 420ml bottle (a bit more than 3€/700ml). It felt almost unimaginably cheap. The design looked a bit clumsy, but I thought the bear was kinda cute.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a vodka for this price. But it turned out that the taste was actually pretty good. It was a bit sweet, not too harsh, and I would even say it seemed a bit refined.

Sadly, the aftertaste was disappointing. It wasn’t as if there was no aroma at all, no. It was worse: the aroma was slightly disgusting. I didn’t know what it was, but there was something in the aroma that just didn’t feel right. Something bitter and unpleasant.


All in all, Ayu Taiga vodka was drinkable. The aftertaste was regrettable, but at least it didn’t burn on the way down. I had two or three swigs, then I put the bottle down and looked at the lake. A storm was brewing. I saw it roll across the sky from the north, and it was troubling the water.

My hand was looking for the bottle.