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One of the most prestigious and rare brandies in the world.

 

 

Ararat: The Legendary Armenian Brandy

By J.M. Towers


Brandy is the best-known spirit from the Republic of Armenia, a country located in the Caucasus, bordering Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran. It is believed that brandy was already distilled in these lands at the time of the Babylonians, long before the 14th century when it became popular in Europe.

Ararat is currently the most famous brandy from Armenia.  It is produced by the firm Yerevan Brandy Company, which monopolized its production during the Soviet era becoming the heir to a great industry that emerged in 1887 in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

During its golden years, this company supplied Armenian brandy to the court of Czar Nicholas II. Since then, their products have been praised by the public and connoisseurs—even Cognac producers—and has earned several medals at World Expos.

The brandy takes its name from Mount Ararat, regarded as a sacred place. According to the Bible, Noah planted the first vine on its slopes after leaving his ark. It is a symbol of identity and pride for Armenians. 

The only grapes used for the preparation of this spirit are local varieties that have unique properties thanks to the microclimate of the Ararat Valley. The method of double distillation retains the flavor and aroma of the grapes, which are transferred to the brandy. The aging is done exclusively in Armenian oak barrels that confer the brandy exquisite aromas and flavors reminiscent of nuts, spices, dark chocolate and vanilla.



 
Each of the seven spirits included in the Ararat line: 3 stars, five stars, Ani, Otborny, Akhtamar, Vaspurakan and Nairi, have unique identities marked by different nuances.

In 1998, the Yerevan Brandy Company became part of Pernod Ricard Group, the world leader in wines and premium spirits. Thanks to the cooperation with this international group, the legendary Ararat brand has positioned itself as one of the most prestigious and rare brandies in the world.

In 2011, the firm launched a selection called Exclusive Collection, which includes the most exclusive products of Ararat range: Armenia, and Dvin.

The latter is a select ten-year-old brandy especially, which became a favorite of Sir Winston Churchill after Stalin chose it to toast for the historic Yalta Conference in 1945, which united the allied powers in the fight against Nazi Germany.

Meanwhile, the Armenia brandy is a limited edition of 10,000 bottles, created to commemorate the independence of the country, which took place on September 21, 1991. The spirits used for this precious mixture were aged in oak barrels from 1991 until they went on sale in 2011.


 
The Yerevan Brandy Company has prepared the Peace Barrel, which will be opened and put on sale when the 100-year old conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan—for the control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region—finally comes to an end. ■


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© azureazure.com | 2016

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