needs some tweaking

[40%, sampled in Kazakhstan]

I got this in the summer of 2018 when I was in Aktau in Western Kazakhstan waiting for a visa for Azerbaijan. There wasn’t much to do, so I ended up going to the mall sometimes. On one of these occasions I decided to buy a bottle of vodka.

no liquor after ten?

I told the store clerk that I wanted something from the region, but he shook his head and mumbled something that sounded like there wasn’t any. Then he handed me this bottle. It was called Zerno, and it was from somewhere else in Kazakhstan.

When I went to the cash register, the lady there told me that I was too late. They weren’t allowed to sell alcohol after a certain time. It was the law. Then she took another look at me, sighed, and decided to go ahead and sell me the bottle. Maybe I looked like a really needed it?

polished retro

I paid 1500 Tenge for this half-liter bottle of Zerno. This meant a fantastic price of about 5€ for a 700ml bottle. But then vodka in Central Asia is generally very affordable.

The bottle design was nice and simple, simultaneously conveying a certain retro-charm and polished sophistication. I liked it.

Zerno is made from wheat, right?

There was a tractor on the label, and the word Zerno meant “grain”. I took from this that this vodka was made from wheat. When I opened the bottle, there was only a very faint smell that seemed to be promising good things.

The taste of Zerno was smooth, warm, and satisfying at first, and I was happy with it. But then it became a bit fiery, and it burned on its way down the throat. It could have gotten a high rating, but the burning was a bit too much.

metallic chocolate

The aftertaste was a mixed bag as well. At first there was something chocolaty to it, and I quite liked it. But then the aroma turned from chocolate to metal, and it became dryish. And I didn’t like it as much anymore.

Overall, Zerno still needs a bit of work. But if you don’t mind your vodka being a bit feisty, then you can give this one a try.