Zubrowka ZU Bison Grass Vodka 500mL

It has been a lot longer than we thought since we reviewed a Bison Grass vodka. Bak’s was way so long ago back in 2011, a time before so many things went wrong. While that was creamy and mixed rather well, here we get less bison grass, and more – grass? Okay it’s not a perfect metaphor, but in short this has some earthy ‘ness’ to it, but that’s not really a good thing.

This came to us via a duty-free store in Japan as a gift, so considering it started from Poland, it’s damn near circled the globe. The intention of the gift was because as you likely know our core reviewer is called The Buffalo, so it made sense to purchase. While we won’t look the gift bison in the mouth, we do have some things to say, first though let’s see what they say,


What they Say: ahh….

This is because as mentioned this was a gift from a duty-free store, in Japan. However looking at context, and a translate image – this is mostly a government warning. There is some text thankfully in English on the cap.

“The flavour of bison grass from the Bialowieza Forest has inspired a unique vodka, Zubrowka – the original singular spirit of smoothness and unparalleled freshness from Poland.”


Taste: 6.5 – A bit sugary sweet, and you can already taste the wheat like flavor.

Aftertaste: 3.5 – That tastes green. Honestly it tastes like alcohol with grass in i- oh we’ve seen what they’ve done. There is something else though a more dirt nearly chocolate type flavor as it lingers. The problem is that while distinctive, it’s not ideal.

Burn/Smooth: 3.0 – This taste issue is further compounded because rather than being a little creamy or overall smooth this is not. That choco backend has some kick to it like if a buffalo was lightly shitting, and aimed a kick at your face. (but mostly missed)

Aroma: 6.0 – I have driven past fields. Fields from farms filled with cows, corn, and other endeavors (some light manure). The smell of this is the sweetened smell of what you would expect here. It gets a point off for how ‘obvious’ it smells, but it is nice if you like that sort of thing.

Honesty: 7.0 – Overall they do say little, and freshness is probably actually true. However smoothness is a lie. Having an actual piece of grass and a picture of a Buffalo has biased the main reviewer though – so gravy points where they’re due. We also have a soft spot for Bison Grass Vodka as we are Americans, and buffalos are the original American animal. (Since we killed nearly all the beavers)

Mixability: 5.167

Vodka Tonic: 4.5 – A subpar vodka tonic.

Vodka Martini: 5.0 – This is not a martini vodka.

White Russian: 6.0 – You get a bit of that bison grass flavoring as a lingering aftertaste, and it is otherwise a perfectly good white russian.

Value: 2.0 – This is near as makes no difference the same price as Bak’s Bison Grass. However that is in almost every single way worse. As a vodka it fails, and even as a gimmick it fails. This was a gift to the lounge and as such has not soured our feelings on it, but had it been a purchase we’d have been furious.

Google Shop Average: $25

Website: http://www.zubrowka.com/ (Warning this links to a Facebook)


Reviewer Scores:

BuffaloJern: 3.5

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Metric Score: 33.17/70 |+| Metric Average: 4.74 |+| Reviewer Average: 3.5

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Final Thoughts: We should try to make sure it’s not nearly another 6 years before we review another Bison grass vodka, and hope that next time it’s much better. Poland often gets the short stick in comparison for vodka to the mother Russian, but with this style they can maybe overcome that.


I am the Buffalo editor and curator of Honest Booze Reviews

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