really de luxe?
This is a review of Belenkaya Luxe vodka from Russia. I sampled it in Kyrgyzstan in 2014. It’s clear, 40% alcohol, it’s produced by Alviz, and I found it very smooth.
Behold! This one is called Belenkaya Luxe vodka (водка Беленькая Люкс), and it isn’t from Kyrgyzstan, even though I bought it there. No, this one is from Russia.
This online search went a bit better than the previous ones. I actually managed to find something right away. The brand Belenkaya vodka has its own website. There didn’t seem to be any mention of Belenkaya Luxe vodka on it, but I did find a link to Alviz, a distillery in Arkhangelsk that produces it.
And not only did Alviz have a dedicated product page for Belenkaya Luxe vodka, they also said that this was the number one best-selling vodka brand in Russia from 2014 to 2017.
[online search on April 4th 2022]
Business seems to be going well.
the northern shore
I was in Cholpon-Ata when I tried Belenkaya Luxe vodka, at a beach resort on the northern shore of Issyk-kul. I walked around a lot, taking pictures and writing a lot. It felt good to be in Kyrgyzstan.
It was October, and it was cold outside. I went to the kitchen of the hostel where I was staying and prepared a large plate of vareniky (often also referred to as pierogi – a sort of dumpling that can be filled with a variety of things). They were filled with cottage cheese, and I had them with marmalade. When the water started boiling the windows of the kitchen steamed up, which was when I got out my vodka bottle and poured the first shot.
Belenkaya Luxe vodka is solid
I wasn’t sure what to expect of this. Many brands liked to throw words like “luxe” or “premium” around, and it often didn’t mean anything.
But Belenkaya Luxe vodka turned out to be good. The taste was smooth and cool, and there was a sweet aroma in the aftertaste. I wouldn’t call this an awesome vodka, but it was perfect for mixed drinks, and it performed well when consumed neat and at room temperature.
It cost a bit more than the other brands in Kyrgyzstan, about 300 Som for 500ml, making it 4€/700ml. The bottle looked nice, too. I particularly liked the cap.
I wouldn’t call this a true luxury vodka, but with a price tag like that it was still pretty awesome.