History of Armenian cognac
There are legends about Armenian cognac, it is considered to be one of the best noble drinks, is presented to dear guests, served at weddings, anniversaries and other celebrations. An elite drink with an amazing taste and exquisite aroma becomes an excellent gift for any holiday and a significant event or a great gift when you just want to make something pleasant to a friend, a dear and close person.
A romantic dinner, a business lunch, a good deal, meeting with old friends, the arrival of relatives, a festive event - everywhere Armenian cognac will be a desires drink which will help to create an appropriate atmosphere and have a wonderful time.
In order to enjoy its noble taste, even a special occasion is not needed. In the evening, after a tiring and busy day, it is so nice to watch favorite movie and relax with a glass of aromatic drink. The perfect combination will be fascinating Armenian TV series and magnificent Armenian cognac, after which a very pleasant aftertaste remains.
Everybody heard about the Armenian cognac, its unique taste and value - from connoisseurs of expensive, elite alcoholic drinks, to people who drink alcohol only on holidays. Therefore, everyone will be interested to know the history of this peculiar symbol of Armenia.
The rapid success of the Armenian brandy
At the end of the 19th century, an industrialist Tairov began producing cognac alcoholic drink in a factory in Armenia which distilled vodka, wine and boiled grape juices. He immediately acquired his admirers, so soon there appeared cognac factories opened by large breeders Sarajev, Afrikyan, Gezalyan.
The well-known Russian businessman Nikolai Shustov was quickly able to appreciate what fate awaits an amazing drink with a special taste, amazing color and unique aroma. Therefore, in 1899, he bought several cognac factories in Armenia and began active production of cognac, without which it is now impossible to imagine a solemn event, or a social gathering, or relaxing with friends, or watching an Armenian series with a loved one.
The success of the Armenian cognac was truly rapid and very quickly, already at the beginning of the 20th century, everybody knew about it far beyond the borders of the Russian Empire. Europe appreciated the excellent cognac drink after Shustov incognito sent samples of Armenian cognac to the famous Paris exhibition. The products of the unknown winemaker impressed the sophisticated jury so much that it was unanimously awarded the grand prix.
Only after announcing their verdict the jury knew that the entrepreneur was not French, but cognac was produced in Armenia, which was still unknown to them. Shustov was the first foreign manufacturer to be allowed to write “cognac” on labels, and they found out about Armenia in Europe and around the world as the birthplace of a special brandy - Armenian. It is noteworthy that in the entire history of cognac production only Shustov was awarded such an honor, the remaining manufacturers did not have the right to write “cognac” on bottles, they were allowed to indicate “brandy”.
After in 1912, Emperor Nicholas II tried and appreciated the cognac made in Armenia at the factories of Shustov, he began to give preference to this amazing drink. Regular deliveries were needed to the Russian imperial court and Shustov, having received the next privileges, was appointed the only supplier.
Armenian brandy after the revolution
After the revolution, the history of Armenian cognac was continued. Shustov's factories, like all of his property, were nationalized and became the Ararat Brandy Trust. But the quality and taste of the drink did not become worse from that, it was further produced according to the traditional recipe, continuing to have a great demand abroad. And, despite nationalization and renaming, it continued to be associated with the name of Shustov.
So Churchill, who was a huge admirer and connoisseur of Armenian cognac, constantly ordered it and at the same time called it “Shustov’s” all the time. Every year they sent him at least 400 bottles of cognac product from a separate barrel, which was still filled under Shustov. At the same time, in all the accompanying documentation, cognac was called "former Shustov’s."
The huge popularity of the noble drink around the world necessitated an increase in production and capacity. Therefore, in 1953, cognac production was launched at the new factory, which was equipped with the best, modern and high-performance equipment. The famous brandy “Ararat”, which is one of the peculiar symbols of Armenia, has been produced at this enterprise till our time. Also, over time, other cognac brands «Arame», «Sayat Nova», «Hayasi» and others were appeared.
Features of the production of the Armenian brandy
Real Armenian cognac is made from special grape varieties that grow only in the Ararat Valley. Production using the patented double distillation method helps to preserve all the features of endemic grapes, its taste and aroma in cognac alcohol. Cognacs which are made using this technology, have the highest price. But fans of elite drinks are ready to pay for such a pleasure. There are cognacs which are made using simpler technologies, they do not reduce their quality, and also do not allow to achive the perfect grape taste. But they also give taste pleasure and have all the valuable features, just have a lower price.
Cognac products are aged in special barrels made of Caucasian oak wood growing in Armenia. The use of just such a tree for the production of containers allows endowing drinks with delicious flavors of chocolate, dried fruit or vanilla. It is the combination of spirits from a special grape that grows only in Armenia, with oak wood, that creates the legendary “Shustov's” taste.
Classification of the Armenian brandy
By fortress, aging and some other properties, all Armenian cognacs are divided into three main categories and can be
• ordinary - on the label of such drinks are drown stars, the number of which is equal to aging in oak barrels and can be from 3 or more;
• vintage - such cognacs, in their turn, are divided into 3 types: KV - refer to aged cognacs, KVVK - to aged cognacs of the highest quality, KS - to old cognacs;
• collectible - such cognacs are the most expensive, elite, very often bought for collections that are proudly shown to guests or friends, as well as expensive gifts for significant dates or events. Collection varieties are obtained by additional aging of branded drinks in oak barrels.
Tips for choosing Armenian brandy
Unfortunately, there are fakes, because of the huge popularity of the drink, sometimes so skillful that even for an experienced connoisseur of cognac is hard to make the right choice. Therefore, before you buy an Armenian cognac, you need to try to determine its authenticity with the help of simple actions
1. The bottle of drink must be turned upside down. Real cognac has a high density, so it will not flow smoothly, but will sharply separate from the bottom. If the container is transparent, then you still need to observe the bubbles. First, larger ones should come up, then smaller ones, which confirms the necessary density of the drink.
2. It is also necessary to evaluate the appearance of the bottle, attaching great importance to it, because a real drink has perfect packaging, without the slightest defects. The bottle itself should be pleasant to the touch, the logo and sticker with a hologram must be present on the cap. The brand name should be stamped at the bottom.
3. Another indicator is the label, which should also be in excellent condition and neatly glued, with the name of the manufacturer and all the necessary information about the cognac, indicated, necessarily, in Armenian and Russian.
Before buying Armenian cognac, you need to examine carefully not only the bottle, but also the packaging and labeling. Manufacturers highly value their reputation they do not allow negligence, carelessness, so even the packaging has an ideal, expensive appearance.
Tasting of the Armenian brandy
After purchasing, cognac can also be tasted to finally make sure of its high quality and authenticity.
• It is better to take a tulip glass for tasting into which you need to pour the drink slowly so that it flows down the edge. In this case, the temperature of the tasted cognac product should not be more than 20 degrees, but not very cold;
• you need to press your finger slightly to the back of the glass and look at the print through the cognac, if it differs well, then the likelihood of a fake is minimal;
• Then you need to tilt the glass slightly and start gently, slowly turning it around its axis, watching the dripping. In real cognac, they flow slowly, leaving even traces with single small droplets.
To avoid getting a fake one, you can buy real Armenian cognac in a company store or at the factory.
Armenian brandy is a drink that is ideal for any dish, will be appropriate at any time of the year and will be the best complement to any feast. But it is not necessary to wait for an occasion to enjoy amazing taste of it and feel how the body and brain relax after a busy day or a hard week. You can simply spend the perfect evening with a glass of Armenian brandy watching the wonderful Armenian series yourself or alone with your loved one.
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