Liquor Review: Shitty K (Kamchatka)
By: Baggy J
Kamchatka: this is a vodka that nearly every college student has come across at some point. It’s practically a tradition to get hammered off your ass on a bottle of it at some point in your collegiate career. You can find a bottle of this dumpster vodka in just about any college town gas station, liquor store, market or freshman dorm room.
So what makes this brand so special anyway? Is it the taste that I can only describe as what hand sanitizer smells like? Or is it the “42 Proof Alcohol Content” sticker plastered on the front of the bottle, barely even qualifying it as a hard liquor? Or maybe it’s the famous nickname, “Shitty K”, rightfully given to it by anyone who’s ever experienced the drink? While all of these are unique traits of Kamchatka, the driving factor to its popularity is its price.
Price: You can (and I have, many times) walk into your local BP or Shell gas station with only a $10 bill and a joke of a fake ID claiming you’re 21 and leave with 1.75 Liters of this magnificent drink; don’t worry, you’ll still have change in your pocket for drunk food later. This economic efficiency, rivaled only by few other hard drinks such as Four Loko and other knock-off Kamchatka brands like La Salle and Smirnoff, creates a seemingly unbreakable magnetic attraction between Shitty K and your typical broke college student.
Taste: While some (perhaps more civilized) cheap alcohol connoisseurs look towards cheap, piss water beers like Keystone and Natty Light, those beers cannot get the job done for me every night. I often find myself in a situation where I want to get really drunk really fast. And while mixers are always an option for Kamchatka, foregoing them is equally as viable. A good old fashioned, 10 second, straight-out-of-the-plastic-bottle chug followed by a 2-3 minute waiting period is a guaranteed way to get the night started. Repeat this process until you’re sufficiently hammered or until you’ve vomited up your dinner in the closest alleyway.
If I were to recommend a mixer, however, I’d say go with whatever your heart desires. Kamchatka, being a vodka, means you can mix it with literally anything, from soft drinks, to coffee, to even other alcoholic beverages. Hell, I’ve even used Kamchatka as a substitute for water while baking a microwave cake in my room as it was the only liquid I had.
Strength: I specifically recommend the 42 proof, 1.75 liter plastic Kamchatka bottle: it has a measuring system built right into it. The 1.75 liter bottle was engineered to contain precisely 2 servings of the drink. Whether that’s one for you and one for a friend, or one for the morning and one for the evening, a half of this bottle is the perfect amount to drink before heading out if you wish to remain just barely functional. While 42 proof is only about half the strength of most hard liquors, I guarantee you’ll have no problem getting sloshed when there’s 1.75 liters all to yourself.
While pure Kamchatka is fucking awful, I find the feeling of chugging this vodka straight strangely addicting. I know how bad it will taste / feel every time I hold the bottle up to my mouth, yet I find myself craving it every night. For those of you who aren’t into chugging vodka straight, you still have the advantage that vodka can taste good with just about any mixer.
As explained earlier, the economic efficiency of Kamchatka is second to no other liquor, costing under $5 to get fucked up.
Strength, to me, is far more than just the 42 proof (or 60 proof, depending on which bottle of K you purchase) sticker posted on the bottle. Given how easy it is to drink this vodka, I’ve found that Kamchatka will fuck you up more times than not. Don’t let the lower proof fool you: this is still a liquor and will get you plastered.
FINAL VERDICT: 7/10
When simply averaging the three previous ratings, you’ll find that the overall rating should equal 6. This is, however, one classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Getting absolutely shitfaced on straight Kamchatka is an experience that no man should die without being familiar with. A night with Shitty K has a vibe to it that magically blends the feeling of “How the hell did I get this fucked up?” with “I need to drink more of this NOW!”, a truly dangerous yet lively feeling that will give any man who was fortunate enough to spend their late teen years hooked on this drink a bittersweet sense of nostalgia.
“I have a punishing workout regimen. Every day I do three minutes on a treadmill, then I lie down, drink a glass of vodka and smoke a cigarette.” – Anthony Hopkins