Kyrgyz Standard


setting its own standard

[40%, sampled in Kyrgyzstan]

Remember when I was staying on the shores of lake Issyk-kul, waiting for my Turkmen visa to go through?

Well, I ended up spending several weeks there, a time during which I ate a lot of watermelons and even more lagman. And I tried a bit more of that Kyrgyz vodka. This one is called Kyrgyz Standard, and I will tell you right now it’s a hot contestant for best vodka ever.

sophisticated, shmophisticated

Kyrgyz Standard was a bit less affordable than most other Kyrgyz brands. This seemed only logical, since it was fairly new, and it called itself “Standard”, just like one of my all-time favorite brands: Russian Standard. Anyway, I got this one for about 10€, which is rather expensive in Central Asia, but would still be very cheap in Western Europe.

I liked the bottle design. It reminded me of Kyrgyz Aragi with its angular ground glass and its red ornaments, but I thought Kyrgyz Standard had a more sophisticated feel to it. Oh, and the cap looked way better.

Kyrgyz Standard is almost perfect

Now that we’ve got this out of the way, let’s talk about the vodka itself. There was almost no smell at all. You know vodka means “little water” and not “the smell with which to burn your eyes”, so this was very promising. And rightly so. Kyrgyz Standard has a very cool and smart taste, and it goes down easily, almost like spring water from the mountains.

The aftertaste is almost perfect as well. It is surprisingly thick and lush. Try it by breathing out through your nose after you’ve taken a sip. Is that a hint of caramel? Or vanilla? Yes, that’s the aroma.

All in all, this one is just great. I wonder what price tag it would have on European or American shelves, but that’s another question. Kyrgyz Standard is awesome.