Apr
15
2010

Yes We Can: Black Russian

No, I am not talking about Russians electing this guy (I’m pretty sure they didn’t). I am talking about a new series in which I review Russia’s canned alcohol goods, because while the country doesn’t have a lot of black people, they certainly have a lot of booze in cans.

Up this week, the “Black Russian.” Most of you probably know the Black Russian to be a cocktail consisting of vodka and some sort of coffee liqueur, often Kahlua, and a relation of the White Russian, which adds milk or cream to the whole mix.

But this is Russia and they don’t give a fuck about what you “know.”

The tag on the can is in English on one side, Russian on the other, and while close, their translation doesn’t fully line up. The English side labels the drink, “natural cognac with almond flavor,” while the Russian calls it, “real cognac.” But that’s just what we call marketing: the hippies shopping at Whole Foods (or are you guys still boycotting that?) buy it cause its natural, and the Russian bydlos buy it cause it’s real.

The Black Russian. 8.7% alcohol, retails for around a $1.

The can lists a bunch of those weird chemicals you find in every soda, with the addition of cognac (I guess real, but unspecified whether natural), and almond flavor titled, “Almond Special Advantages.”

I opened the can and poured half into a glass to let it open up and allow me to really judge the bouquet. It looked like Diet Coke (not sure if that actually looks different than regular Coke), with a rather singular bouquet (more like a flower), and smelled like an almond cookie (maybe a macaroon).

As the nose seemed rather set, I took a big swig, holding the carbonated beverage in my mouth, drawing air slowly over it in order to bring out all its subtleties. It was nutty, buttery, and candylike—as in, it tasted like candy. To be more precise, it tasted like that Tootsie Roll in the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop; not quite as good as a normal Tootsie Roll, but more satisfying because you had to work for it.

The aftertaste was slight, and the light bodied beverage did not linger much on the tongue. Overall, the drink was rather thin and singular in flavor, but, by tasting like candy, it really brought up memories of childhood, and anything that brings together drinking and children is okay by me.

Be sure to check out their amazing and beautiful website. Click the Да on the left to enter: http://black-ru.ru/

Next time, “Hooch,” which I think has blackberries in it.

 
—Hardie
Reporting from Russia