Kalashnikov vodka

guns out

This is a review of Kalashnikov vodka from Russia. I sampled it in Russia in 2010. It’s 40% alcohol, and the taste could have been better.

Look at that name: Kalashnikov. Yes, it sounds just like the gun manufacturer that made the AK-47. This stuff is apparently from the same company. I’m not very interested in guns, but the bottle looked intriguing.

And so when I was watching my good friend Sergey open the bottle and pour the stuff into two shot glasses, I was excited: would it be smooth like the bottle design suggested? Or powerful like an assault rifle?

a serious brand or a gimmick?

First some background information, though: I managed to find an official Kalashnikov vodka website – though for some reason it was only for the Australian market. They seemed to have changed the bottle design a bit, and they were even offering a special bottle that was shaped like an AK. Apart from that, it all looked like a weird mix of gun fetish and bar culture:

Kalashnikov vodka site
from kalashnikovvodka.com.au on September 24th 2021

It left me wondering why Kalashnikov vodka didn’t have an international brand presence. Weren’t they serious about their product?

Kalashnikov vodka isn’t bad

Let’s talk about the vodka, though. I liked the bottle design, and the price of about 20€ per 700ml seemed to suggest that this was going to be an upscale smooth vodka brand.

But the initial taste turned out to be a bit underwhelming. Kalashnikov vodka had a hot, fiery taste, as though they had wanted this to be a drink for manly men. Something that makes you stick out your tongue and gasp for air. The aftertaste was a bit better. It was faintly sweet and almost charming.

guns and tigers

Overall I think Kalashnikov vodka is okay for mixed drinks. It’s not great if you want to enjoy it neat, and it’s a bit overpriced. I guess you pay for the name as well. It seems like the perfect gift for someone who is into manly stuff, though: guns, bears, tigers, martial arts.

It’s for the macho in you.