Irkutsk, Russia

  • Date
  • 10 August 1999

Our vodka factory tour concluded with a vodka tasting in a dining room, where a long table, covered with meats, cheeses, breads, caviar, smoked fish, fruits and vegetables, held three numbered glasses of vodka to the right of each place setting. Before sampling, we were told the traits to taste, smell and see: no overpowering aroma, almost tasteless flavor and clear color. Our group voted Baik Vodka, exported to the Western market only, as top choice. I also tried the delicious Starka Vodka, laced with cognac. We departed without finishing all the vodka, even though our hosts kept insisting we drink more. Neither Jim or I, nor his parents visiting from Alabama, thought it possible to walk away after sampling all that alcohol!