Czech Republic

Hanacka vodka

the scare

This is a review of Hanacka vodka from the Czech Republic. I sampled it in Germany in 2015. It’s clear, 37.5% alcohol, produced by Palirna, and I found it mild and a bit sweet.

This vodka was the second part of Karel’s gift – two bottles, one of Rudolf Jelinek Plum and one of this one, which was called Hanacka vodka.

I took it home and opened it ceremoniously, pouring a shot glass and cutting some bread to go along with it. Then I looked it up online and got a bit scared.

the news

The first thing I did was go back to the website of Palirna, the distillery that produced Blend 42 vodka. And it turned out that they also made Hanacka vodka. The product page claimed that Hanacka vodka was the oldest vodka in the world, dating back to 1518. I wondered how Legend Of Kremlin felt about that.

Hanacka vodka had an official website as well, but they didn’t seem to dwell too much on the history of the product. Instead they seemed to be all about partying. There were dancing people everywhere, and they offered some cocktail recipes. It was basically the same on their Facebook page.

One thing that struck me was how the bottle had been completely redesigned. The one I had looked like a remnant from the Soviet Union, yet what they showed on the website was a frosted glass bottle with a slick blue design.

This is when it got scary. The next thing I found was a German Spiegel magazine article from 2012 that said that the German government advised people not to drink several Czech vodka brands. People had died from them. And Hanacka was one of them.


[online search from April 5th 2022]

I looked at my shot glass. It was already empty.

Hanacka vodka is a bit sweet

I decided not to worry. Karel knew what he was doing. Everything would be okay. I took another shot to make sure I got the taste right.

Hanacka vodka was mild and a bit sweet. Not bad for something that I was secretly suspecting of causing me to go blind. The aftertaste was nothing special, though. It warmed me up a bit, but there was no lasting aroma.

I searched for the price of this vodka, just for evaluation purposes: it was apparently around 8€ for 700ml. The bottle design was mediocre, maybe even a tad below mediocre. I would have liked to see the new rebranded bottle, though.

All in all, Hanacka vodka was okay. And it didn’t kill me.