cute animals won’t save you

[40%, sampled in Kazakhstan]

Finally, the last one of the four Kazakh vodkas I was going to try on my free day in Almaty. I had liked Khaoma Original, and I had hated Kristall White, while Argali Premium had turned out to be mediocre. Now it was time for this stuff called Kabarga (Кабарга).

Would it be good, bad, or neither?

musk deers

There’s a deer-like animal on the label, and indeed, Wikipedia says that a Kabarga is a “Siberian musk deer”, which is a funny-looking (albeit tragically endangered) deer with long fangs, not unlike those of a saber-tooth cat. Apparently, some of these animals live in the northeastern corner of Kazakhstan, where the Altai stretches across Russia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan.

On the bottle it also says Таежная, which means “from the Taiga”. And under that it says (in English): 100% ORGANIC VODKA FOR EXPORT.

the pricing problem

Organic or not, I thought the bottle looked okay. There was a certain esoteric flair to it that reminded me of Samaani vodka from Finland. Not great, not bad, but okay.

And of course Kabarga was of course just as affordable as the other vodka brands in Kazakhstan. I got a half liter for 1244 Tenge, which puts it at about 5€ for 700ml. This means we have another perfect ten, which makes me think that I might have to reconsider the rating system that I’m applying here.

But anyway, let’s talk about some of the more important things: taste and aftertaste.

Kabarga smells worse than it tastes

Kabarga had a smell like a roundhouse kick to the face. This is usually a very bad sign. But actually the taste turned out to be quite alright. There was even a hint of sweetness in it, and it was semi-smooth in the throat.

Here comes the bad part, though: the aftertaste. Sure, Kabarga gives you that nice vodka-in-my-tummy feeling that is so warm and comforting, but it’s not very aromatic at all. It just burns.

Again, this one is a mediocre vodka.