Brandy is considered a noble drink, made from distillation and aging of wine, with alcohol content 35% - 60%.
The ‘name’ brandy comes from the Dutch 'brandewijn' which simply means 'burnt wine'.
Traditionally, brandy is served at room temperature in a ‘tulip’ shaped glass and connoisseurs usually ask to pre-heat the glass.
The increased temperature causes evaporation and emergence of the flavors of the beverage, and the narrow top shape of the glass, protects the aromas from being lost. Alternatively, similar temperature can be reached by holding the glass in the palm, in order the beverage to reach the desired human body temperature.
However, brandy has a pleasant aroma at low temperatures too, and many connoisseurs prefer to cool the noble beverage slightly, claiming that high temperatures make the drink ‘thinner’ while cooling, makes it more 'viscous'.
A cooled brandy is easier and smoother to drink reduces the "burning" feeling, but loses or makes it more difficult to reveal some of the special flavors.
The origins of brandy are clearly associated with the discovery and development of the art of distillation, from the historically wine producing countries. Brandy, as it is known today, first appeared in the 12th century and became widely known in the 14th century, when the first distillation was used as a method of preserving wine for transportation purposes. Later, distillation of wine was used as a means of reducing its volume, when taxation was imposed on the volume of wine. In this way, traders avoided taxation, by transporting easily the distilled drink to its final destinations and adding water before final consumption.
With the years, it was accidentally discovered that the long storage of this distilled wine in wooden or oak barrels, improved significantly the final product. This is how the noble drink that we know today, was discovered.
In the late 19th century, the traditional wine producing countries were the ones that acquired the expertise and leadership in the production of brandy. Western Europe was dominated by French and Spanish brandies, while Eastern Europe was dominated by Armenian brandies. At that time all brandies were called, ‘cognac’ which is the name of brandy produced in the Cognac region of France. After the establishment of the European Union, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, only the region of Cognac acquired the right to use this term, and all cognacs were established as a product of designated origin, from the Cognac region in France. All other regions that produce the noble drink, except the region of Cognac, even in France, are obliged to use the term brandy.
The vineyards of the Ararat valley ....
The valley of Mount Ararat is one of the oldest wine-producing regions of the world. The secret of wine was uncovered in this region during the 6th millennium BC. According to the Bible, after the great flood, Noah's Ark stood on top of Mount Ararat.
When the waters receded, Noah went down the Ararat Valley with his two sons and planted the first vine of the world. This is how viticulture started in the modern world.
The Ararat valley, is the same site where the legendary Armenian ArArAt brandy is produced today.
The Ararat valley has a unique microclimate. With more than 30 different types of soil, is located at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level and enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year.
The production of the ArArAt brandy is made exclusively from indigenous grape varieties, such as Voskehat, Banants, Kangun, Miskali and Garandmak.
The production of brandy in Armenia dates back to 1887, when the upper-class merchant Nerses Tairiants built the first combined winery-distillery of the country, in the region of the former fortress of Yerevan. The plant was equipped with two traditional type Charentais distillers and distillation took place according to the classic French technique. The plant had adequate facilities for appropriate aging of the fine brandy spirits when other factories in the area were still barns.
In 1899 the factory was taken over by "Shustov & Sons», the famous Russian family, who enjoyed the privilege to be the official food supplier of the Russian Court.
Early last century Armenian brandy acquired large number of medals and prizes at international exhibitions such as Paris and Brussels, and at the International Exhibition of Paris in 1900, the Armenian 'cognac' at that time, won the highest prize and the gold medal from the French competitors during a blind tasting contest.!
During the nationalization of all wineries in 1920, the Yerevan brandy factory was the first company that passed into the hands of the state. In 1953, it was transferred to the new monumental building and renamed as 'Yerevan Brandy Company'. The highly equipped factory continues to manufacture the legendary Armenian brandy ArArAt until our days.
The unique flavor of Armenia ...
The ArArAt factory has maintained its traditional brandy production since 1887. The production is made exclusively from local grape varieties to maintain the special properties that blend harmoniously with the Caucasian oak barrels, used for aging of the authentic Armenian brandy. The method of double distillation preserves the rare flavors and aromas of the raw material, the grapes, transferring them to the final product. Aging in oak barrels is done in the factory, where in 2002, built an in house modern barrel manufacturing facility of Caucasian oak.
The design ...
The ArArAt brandy is the undisputed leader in the premium brandies category. This is supported by the elegant design and the impressive glass bottle with its unique details. The luxurious packaging, reflects the characteristics of the spirit, and enhances the authenticity of the ArArAt brandies as a modern product that carries heavy and rich tradition.
The palette ... of the ArArAt brandies consists of 7 different types and two of exclusive collection.
The 7 products are divided into:
Simple brandies starred: 3 stars-years, 5 stars- years.
Premium bradies: Ani 6 years, Otborny 7 years, Akhtamar 10 years.
Super Premiun: Vaspurakan 15 years, Nairi 20 years.
Exclusive Collection: Dvin 10 years, Armenia 20 years.
ArArAt (3 stars/years old)
Mount Ararat is over 5.000 meters high and it towers over the meadows in the Ararat Valley dominating the horizon of the Armenian capital Yerevan. Shrouded in legends of love, friendship, generosity and courage, Ararat fascinates with its power and timeless beauty. As the national symbol of the nation, the legendary Ararat is proudly positioned in the center of the State Emblem of the Republic of Armenia.
Amber color with a touch of gold. Spicy, metallic flavor with fruit and flower overtones, with hints of fresh butter and oak. Strong and intense taste, slightly piquant at the onset. Refined sweetness is replaced by light dryness at the very end.
ArArAt (5 stars/years old)
According to the biblical tradition, Ararat is considered the cradle of mankind. In the 13th century the great explorer Marco Polo described Mount Ararat as an inaccessible mountain with ever-increasing snow-capped peaks. The first documented ascent to the Great Ararat is dated 27 September 1829, when Johann Jacob von Parrot, a 37-year- old German professor, reached the peak on his third attempt. A little later, in 1876, one of his followers, the English scientist and statesman James Bryce, looking at the Ararat Valley from the top of the mountain would say: “If in fact this is where man first set foot on land, you couldn’t imagine a more impressive center of the universe.”
Tender and refreshing plum, peach and dried fruit aroma with a touch of bitter chocolate. Refined and delicate taste: intensity of black currant with soft sweetish overtones.
ArArAt Ani 6 years old
The Mighty Ani, the capital of the Pakraduni Kingdom, has been mentioned by Armenian chroniclers in the 5 th century as the ‘ City of 1001 churches’ or ‘City of forty gates’. It was already the most important city of its time for the various caravans journeying along the Silk Road, with a population of 200.000 people. The capital of the Pakraduni Kingdom rivaled the greatest cities of that time Constantinople, Baghdad and Cairo. Its numerous temples, palaces and fortifications were amongst the most technologically and architecturally advanced in Europe. The main gate of the city that survived to this day depicts a leopard, the symbol of the city of Ani.
Amber color with a spark of chocolate. Bright, spicy and fresh aroma. Light overtones of orange and vanilla with a touch of almond in the bouquet. Intense and long lasting taste. Clearly expressed sweetness makes it more rounded. Transition to the shades of lemon and dried fig, slightly acidic aftertaste.
ArArAt Otborny 7 years old
Otborny was the first of the Armenian vintage brandies. Created in 1902 it was the vintage supplied to the table of His Imperial Majesty Nicholas II, in the early twentieth century and became the first and the only Armenian brandy to be awarded the highest honor, the Grand Prix at the exhibition in Paris.
Rich gold and amber color. Lively and fresh and fruity aroma. Slight sourness in the bouquet is complemented by tones of fresh orange peel and oak. Taste: Sustained flavor is full and intense. Fruity notes are balanced by notes of lemon, caramel and dried figs. Finishes with a note of bitter almond.
ArArAt Akhtamar 10 years old
During his reign in the 10th century King Kakig I of the Pakraduni dynasty, chose to build a luxurious royal residence on Akhtamar island, situated on Lake Van, in the heart of the medieval Greater Armenia. The spacious palace was surrounded by gardens and orchards. The name of the island was inspired by the legend of Princess Tamar and her love for a handsome young man, who drowned in the waters of Lake Van with his last words “Akh – Tamar”
Beautiful amber color with a touch of copper. Lively and elegant aroma. Beeswax, hazelnut and oak bark with traces of vanilla and dried plum dominate the bouquet. Rounded, hidden, sweetish taste unfolds gradually offering you a temptingly long aftertaste. Light dryness in the end is counter- balanced by shades of cinnamon.
ArArAt Vaspurakan 15 years old Vaspurakan in Armenian means “Noble Country” and was one of the historically dominant hegemonies of the Great Armenia in the 9th century, owing its prosperity to the dynasty of the Artzrouni. In antiquity Vaspurakan considered to be the Promised Land and paradise on earth. The kings of Vaspurakan were one of the greatest architects of that time. In a very short time, they built 10 cities, thousands acropolies, castles and churches.
Tasting notes: Bright orange with hints of "old gold." Bright, elegant and complex aroma with hints of spices, oak and dried fruits. Hints of balsamic at the end. Rich, complex, comprehensive, integrated and surprisingly mild taste. Light acidity at the end is delicately balanced and smoothed by sweet notes. Long and gentle aftertaste.
ArArAt Nairi 20 years old
The legendary Nairi people inhabited the Kingdom of Urartu that was located on the shores of Lake Van. The “Country of Rivers”, a rival of the Assyrian Empire, consisted of 23 affluent regions. One of the most powerful ones was the “Land of Nairi”, the precursor of today’s Armenia, renowned for its impregnable capital Tushpa. To ensure adequate supplies of fresh waters the city had a 70 kilometer long canal, which allowed it to withstand many long sieges.
Beautiful deep dark amber color. Pleasing glow and spotless transparency. Harmonious, silky, complex and refined texture. Balsamic fragrance and transition to cedar tones. Rich and complex taste, with a pleasant, log lasting aftertaste. Refined combination of fried bread and cloves is counterbalanced tinges of cinnamon and honey. The masterpiece of the ArArAt brandies.
ArArAt Dvin 10 years old
The delightful 10-year-old brandy Dvin is the first masterpiece of the ArArAt Exclusive Collection, created in 1945 by Markar Sedrakyan, master-blender of the Yerevan Brandy Company. In the course of its history, Dvin received numerous awards, including 13 gold medals won in international competitions. The 50% alcohol Dvin was a favourite drink of the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He first tried it during his meeting with Stalin and Roosevelt in Yalta. Thereafter, on Stalin’s orders, Churchill subsequently received a shipment of Dvin every month. Until the end of his days, the Prime Minister was a devoted admirer of this legendary Armenian brandy, since Dvin is a drink for real connoisseurs who can properly appreciate the unique qualities of a great brandy. In 2011, ArArAt is relaunching its masterpiece in new packaging. The legendary blend named after the legendary medieval capital of Armenia, Dvin is the embodiment of a new bright and modern image. The crown of the Arshakuni represents a new symbol, the reigning dynasty during Dvin’s most prosperous times. Merchant caravans were a reminder of several centuries when Dvin was an important trading center on the Great Silk Road, and one of the greatest cities in the Oriental world, known for its incredible luxury. The heritage and wealth of the medieval city is reflected in the magnificence and complexity of this unique brandy.
Thanks to extra-long aging in oak barrels, Tvin acquires a rich amber color with nuances of deep mahogany. The subtle aroma of cloves is ideally balanced by the notes of dried fruit, and the bright tinges of forest nuts reveal the spicy, rich flavor of the brandy.
ArArAt Armenia 20 years old
ArArAt Armenia is a Limited Edition brandy with only 10,000 bottles created specifically to commemorate Armenian Independence Day. On September 21, 1991, the Armenian people voted for free and independent Republic of Armenia. The successor to the ancient and medieval Armenian kingdoms, whose paths were marked by many triumphs throughout mankind’s history, the modern Republic of Armenia is the guarantor of the future of its people and its thousand-year cultural heritage, an important and unique part of human civilization. The Yerevan Brandy Company has launched Armenia, a 20-year-old ArArAt brandy. The brandy spirits used for this precious blend were aged in oak barrels since 1991, the year of Armenia’s independence. The ArArAt Armenia brandy is the quintessence of ArArAt’s philosophy, a reflection on its legendary traditions and at the same time, a new look at the Legend, as this unique blend was created in modern times. It makes Limited Edition 20-year-old ArArAt Armenia brandy a wonderful present for this anniversary.
Beautiful amber color, dark and warm, with a slight hint of mahogany. The drink has a captivating and rounded aroma with notes of chocolate and baked bread combined harmoniously with a delicate fragrance of citrus. A soft, pleasantly sweet taste with the specific texture of Armenian brandy is complemented by a long finish with notes of mocha.