This well aged Armenian brandy takes its name from the capital of the Bagratuni Kingdom, Ani, founded sometime in the 5th century, growing to be one of the biggest cities in the world during its time. Following war and natural disaster it was eventually abandoned in the 1600s. Ani is now known for its ancient ruins and cathedral. The city’s ruins are found on the boundary between modern day Armenia and Turkey.
This brandy has been made with local grapes, some of which no longer produced outside of Armenia. These grapes are carefully crushed in horizontal presses that prevent the grapes’ seeds from being crushed and influencing the flavour of the fruit. The spirit is double distilled for purity, and then aged in Armenian oak for 6 years. Armenian oak has a tighter grain than American, and produces an intensely flavoured spirit.
The final result is a rich, chocolaty brandy with some beautiful floral flavours of honeysuckle, oak and vanilla, sultanas, white grapes, toffee, peach, plums, brown sugar, and wine tannins.
A fine brandy which is as good as many of its more expensive Cognac cousins. Excellent stuff from Ararat.