Vodka options in Tamilnadu (TASMAC) : My Top 3
Everybody who lives in Chennai and choosing to drink anywhere other than a Bar or a Pub would definitely acknowledge the fact that it’s is a TERRIBLE experience to buy liquor from the TASMAC shops. Terrible might not be the word which correctly conveys this experience (need a stronger word), especially when trying to buy on a Friday or a Saturday evening ,whew! Well, but anyways, people like me who, most times, prefer not to choose a Bar or a Pub have no other option than to buy it from TASMAC.
From the grand old days, since I started drinking, my poison of choice has always been Vodka. Clear, odour less- at least when compared with the other liquor , taste less and readily goes with anything from fruit juice to good old water, Vodka has been my first and mostly my only choice. This being the case I wanted to list down the Vodka available in our TASMAC shops in order of my preference.
My # 1 Magic Moments Vodka
This is by and far IMHO the best Vodka available in India. This is from the house of “Radico Khaitan” whose only high demand product, as far as I know is this. This vodka does not come cheap. The regular flavored one is Rs.110 / quarter and there is a apple flavored one which is Rs.130 / quarter. This vodka is exceptionally smooth, does not have an odour and definitely worth the price. One thing I noticed, probably it’s only with me, is that, Magic Moments Vodka may not have as much alcohol content in it as the other Vodkas even though the proof value is all the same. I never feel the buzz early with this stuff. This Vodka claims that it’s a pure grain vodka.This is the best Vodka, if you like me, prefer having Vodka with Soda or water.
My #2 Romonav Vodka
This may be #2 in the list, but otherwise as a regular drink this is always #1 choice. From India’s pride, UB group, this has been around for ages. But a few years ago, it just dropped out of the scene in Chennai, mainly due to the politico-distillery wars.During that time, Romanov was not stocked and other brands we’re brought in.
But now for the past 3-4 years, it has come back again and is available everywhere. But I really don’t know what the prefixes mean. Earlier it used to be just “Romanov” and then later it was “Crystal Romanov” and now it’s “Platimum Romanov”.
The full bottles look excellent. Thin, sleek and long and always my preferred size with this Vodka. Especially, since, the labels come off easily and the bottle is long with a short neck, I re-use these bottles for money plants.
Earlier the quarter bottles were the flat regular quarter bottle type, but now, they are the dwarf version of the full bottle. The full bottle comes for Rs.289 and the quarter for about Rs.72. Decent price for the decent stuff inside. For the past few months, there are “Apple thrill” and “Orange thrill” versions available with a green and orange labels for the same price. These flavored variants taste good too.
My #3 MGM Vodka
Certain things in life, you like it because you really like it. Other things, you are forced into it, get used to it, then ultimately tend to have a liking towards it. MGM Vodka is of the second kind. This vodka cropped up suddenly, during the time when Romanov was stopped or rather, Romanov was stopped because MGM Vodka was launched. This was during the big J’s ruling period and it’s romoured that J had a stake in MGM distilleries or something like that (who cares).
So at that time, Vodka favs like me, had no other option other than MGM vodka and all of us were forced to drink this. MGM Vodka does not have an non-flavored option. There are 3 flavored options, as far as I have seen. There is this “Apple” which is what is normally available everywhere. There is the “orange”, which is available sometimes and there is this “purpled labeled” one, which I think is some berry flavor which is rarely available. The first two, i.e the apple and orange are drinkable BUT the “purple labeled” one is a disgrace to vodka and tastes too much like a chemical.Pricing of this stuff is around Rs.72 per quarter.
But one thing, if you are a very “son of the soil” promoter types, you can be proud. This is a product form the MGM group of companies (MG. Muthu) , who own the Dizee world, inter city buses, hotels etc, who is Tamil Nadu based. But the distillery is in AP I guess.
If at sometime, by chance, anybody from MGM Vodka company sees this post, here are some feedback
- Change the bottle shape and presentation: Too old, too odd and out dated. Especially the full bottle is very odd and the label quality on the bottle gives it a cheap feel
- IMPORTANTLY : Ensure your bottle caps are open-able. It spins and spins and spins and never opens. Needs to be pried open (I became a specialist this, thanks to practice of opening your bottles) and ensure that the caps close back after being opened. All of us cannot gulp down a quarter in a session. None of the caps ever fit again in the bottle even when they are opened properly.
My #4 White Mischief
Sadly no longer available. This is a VERY good Vodka, I would rate it between Magic moments and Romanov, more closer to Romanov. Very interesting bottle and and brand attitude.
Other Vodka that have come and stayed for a week or two and disappeared
These are few vodka brands, which I have seen in TASMAC and bought it and tried or sometimes force to buy it since nothing else was available. These brands, I don’t know, if they do a pilot launch or something, I never seem them, the next time I go back.
Navigator Vodka : Was forced to drink it a couple of times. Got by my friend who lives near the OMR. It was never available in Anna Nagar area. It’s a vannilla flavored vodka. Tasted like as if I was drinking phenyl
Power Vodka: This was around for a while, was a clone of MGM vodka. Same bottle, same flavors and at par with MGM. It disappeared as suddenly as it appreared
Brisnoff Vodka: Not as bad as the navigator. Interesting “knock-off” name which reminds you of Smirnoff. Was available for a while and even now suddenly appears for a week or so.
Spice Vodka: Saw this a few weeks back. Was in a holographic/shiny box cartons (full), the guy in the TASMAC said it’s just “scene” and it was the Monitor of Vodkas, so did not bother to buy it.
Arizona Vodka: Same league as the navigator vodka, but apple flavor.
Blue Vodka: Looking forward to get my hands on it. It’s a whooping Rs.140, romoured to be from the house of Bacardi. I thought Eristoff was Bacardi’s vodka brand, god knows. The next time I went to buy it, it was not there. (as of December 2010) . It is infact the Eristoff Vodka. Full range of Bacardi products available NOW in tasmac.
WordPress says that the “Word count” of this post is 1270. WOW didn’t know that I could write so much about Vodka, that too, only about the ones available in TN. I will stop now. Any comments, additional info, feedback, welcome