rid yourself of the bitterness

[40%, sampled in Uzbekistan]

More Uzbek vodka? Why not. This one is called Grelochka (Грелочка), and I bought it in a liquor store next to a supermarket in Tashkent. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen any alcohol for sale in Uzbek supermarkets – only in specialized liquor stores, just like in the US.

But then I’ve never seen anyone in Uzbekistan run around with a brown paper bag hiding their alcohol, so I guess open container laws are different there?

But anyway. Here’s some of that Grelochka.

Russian or Uzbek?

When I looked up “Грелочка” online, I stumbled upon a Russian vodka brand of the same name. It was a bit confusing. Which brand was there first? Were both maybe one and the same brand, and they only came in a different packaging? I failed to find out.

birds and flowers

It goes without saying that the price was awesome. This 500ml bottle of Grelochka cost about 4€. Vodka is so cheap in these countries that you have to wonder if maybe taxing it a bit more heavily could keep some people from becoming alcoholics?

When I raised this point with friends from Kyrgyzstan I was advised that making alcohol more expensive would only lead to people distilling their own stuff.

But let’s talk about the bottle design: I liked the ground glass, the birds, and the flowers. It reminded me of Kalinovaya, though it wasn’t quite as perfect. Anyway, it was sweet.

Grelochka is balmy, but…

When I opened the bottle, there was only a faint smell, which was a good sign. I like drinking my vodka neat and at room temperature, and I like to have a little bit of food with it. Some pickles, some salami, or even some cheese. Grelochka vodka tasted sweet, almost balmy, and it went down easily. A good vodka.

The aftertaste wasn’t as great, though. It was slightly bitter, maybe even a bit sour. I don’t think it was terrible, but it wasn’t exactly great, either.

All in all, Grelochka is a promising vodka that needs a bit of work.