This is a review of Snow Queen vodka from Kazakhstan. I sampled it in Germany in 2011. It’s clear, 40% alcohol, and I thought the aftertaste was fuckin A.
Kazakhstan. Yes, Borat, great success, blabla. I remember seeing Kazakhstan once from the border of China. It was right there behind the customs building, and it felt both scary and intriguing at once.
a complete makeover
It’s 2021 now, and I’ve been to Kazakhstan myself. In fact I’ve walked through it, and I’ve tried a bunch of Kazakh vodka brands on the way. But never have I seen Snow Queen vodka on the shelves in Kazakhstan, be it in Almaty or Astana, in Taraz or Shymkent. So I went to snowqueenvodka.com, a website that looks quite fancy:
WORTHY OF LEGENDS, huh? Hmmmkaay.
Just like the website of any other premium vodka brand, this place is all about cocktail recipes and company lore. It says the brand was established in Kazakhstan in 1996:
So far so good. But it seems as though Snow Queen vodka has undergone a major rebrand. The original edition I was having appears to have been replaced by Snow Queen Organic vodka and Snow Queen Enigma Edition vodka:
So I guess I’m going to have to try those, too. But first I have a question.
how Kazakh is Snow Queen vodka really?
I don’t know if this also applies to the original Snow Queen vodka that I’m having, but on the website it says a few interesting things:
- The wheat is harvested in the EU.
- The water is sourced in the Pyrenees.
- The vodka is bottled in France.
- The brand belongs to Ellustria, a company from the UK.
So here I am asking myself: how Kazakh is this Snow Queen vodka really?
Aaaaaanyway, we’re here to review vodka, no matter where it’s from. Looking at the frozen glass of this bottle, I couldn’t help but think of brands like Belvedere or Grey Goose. I don’t know who was inspired by whom in this case, but they all seemed pretty similar.
Maybe the bottle design of Snow Queen vodka was a bit less refined, but along with the price of 25€ for 700ml it seemed to be aiming for the top shelf.
But let’s talk about what really counts. You know how I am always obsessing about the smoothness of vodka? Well, this one didn’t really have it.
There was a rough quality in the taste of Snow Queen vodka. It wasn’t bad, I even found myself liking it somehow. But it wasn’t smooth at all. It burned on its way down the throat, immediately creating a strong warmth in the stomach. Then the aftertaste kicked in, and it was aromatic and a bit sweet. I really enjoyed the aftertaste.
All in all, this was a very interesting vodka. And with that aftertaste it could be a monster in mixed drinks.