Kara Jorgo


Kara Shorgo vodka

make you dance

This is a review of Kara Jorgo vodka from Kyrgyzstan. I sampled it in Kyrgyzstan in 2014. It’s clear, 40% alcohol, and I thought it was alright.

This one is called Kara Jorgo vodka (Кара Жорго) – thanks to Kubat for clearing this up in the comments.

In the Kyrgyz language, Kara means “black”, and Jorgo means a certain kind of “pacer” horse, so that would make it a “black horse”. I thought this was a fine name for a spirit. Also, there was a black horse on the label.

But I am told that there is more to this word, since it’s also the name of a Kyrgyz national dance. So maybe this vodka is supposed to get you in the mood for dancing?

the dance

Alas, I was unable to find even the tiniest bit of information about this vodka. There were some mentions of a Kazakh brand called Kara Jorga, and that was it.

What I did find, however, was a Radio Free Europe article about the Kara Jorgo dance from 2014. It said that the dance was becoming popular again in Kyrgyzstan.

The article called it the “Black Stallion” dance. It seemed to involve a lot of swirling of the arms.

travellers in small villages

Anyway, I had this bottle of Kara Jorgo vodka in a small village called Tamga located on the southern shores of Issyk-kul. I was staying in a guesthouse there. Summer had already passed, and there were not many other tourists around.

Luckily, I was able to find a Japanese traveler to have a drink with. His name was Hide, and he was a runner and a musician. Hide had a little bluetooth speaker, and he put on some classical music. He liked Bach.

Kara Jorgo vodka is alright

We toasted our way through the bottle. It had cost 100 Som for 0.48l (500ml/3€) and was thus among the most affordable spirits I had ever tried. The bottle looked good. I liked the horse and the simplicity of the design.

The taste was good, too. There was a hint of sweetness in it. The aftertaste was okay, slightly better than average, but not great.

In the end, we agreed that the vodka was good, but it didn’t make us dance.