Mernaya Honey Pepper

Ukraine

Mernaya Honey Pepper vodka

too much and not enough

This is a review of Mernaya Honey Pepper vodka from Ukraine. I sampled it in Germany in 2014. It’s a golden infusion with a few peppers in the bottle, it’s 40% alcohol, and I thought it could have been better.

This one is called Mernaya Honey Pepper vodka, and it’s from Crimea. Which is where a few problems arise right away. First of all I am not sure if I’m getting the Ukrainian spelling right: Мърная Медовая З Перцем? Or Мерная Медовая З Перцем?

The second problem I have is that fucking Putin took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, right after I wrote up this review. That piece of shit.

dead or alive?

Remembering my review of Mernaya Tradition from a while ago, I went to mernaya.ua to see what was going on with Mernaya Honey Pepper vodka. But there was no mention of it:

No mention of Mernaya Honey Pepper vodka whatsoever. What it did say was that the Mernaya brand belonged to the Eastern Drink Company Ukraine (EDC), but their website edc-group.com.ua pointed to Medoff, yet another vodka brand from Crimea.

What a mess.

the color

So anyway, let’s get back to our review of Mernaya Honey Pepper vodka. I thought it had a nice golden color, and I wanted to show it to you, but I got the camera out too late, and so all you can see is the empty bottle.

You should be able to make out a few yellow peppers at the bottom, though. Just like Dębowa Polska, Żubrówka Bison Grass, or Kłosówka, this bottle contains a visible indicator of the infusion.

my hopes

I felt excited to try Mernaya Honey Pepper vodka. Not only was I remembering that clear blue evening in Vladivostok with the not-so-shabby Mernaya Tradition, but there was also the example of Nemiroff Honey Pepper, where the flavoring with honey and pepper had managed to turn a good vodka into an awesome one.

So my hopes were high for this one.

Mernaya Honey Pepper vodka disappoints

One problem was that the vodka itself didn’t seem to be that good. Mernaya Honey Pepper vodka tasted much more rough than the original Mernaya Tradition, which I thought was probably due to the pepper part of the infusion.

But then what about the honey? Shouldn’t it have made for a nice aftertaste, some sort of balmy, soothing aroma? Well, there wasn’t much of that. Mernaya Honey Pepper vodka had a vaguely sweet aroma in the aftertaste, yes. But that was it.

The bottle design looked okay at best. The price of 15€ for 700ml was very good, though.

what I want from this kind of infusion

If a vodka is infused with something spicy (pepper) and something sweet (honey), I want those two tastes to come out at different times. Ideally, the initial taste could be a bit hot, irritating your tongue, and the aftertaste could be all the more gentle and balmy. Mernaya Honey Pepper vodka was too hot and not balmy enough.

Better to get Nemiroff Honey Pepper instead of this one.