Test: brandies

During the high season, the demand for hard beverages increases significantly. However, the reports of poor-quality alcohol, in particular the low quality of domestic brandies, have become more frequent.

To understand what the consumer can buy on the shelves of retail chains on the eve of the winter holidays, the experts of the Institute of Consumer Expertise from the capital city have decided to check the quality of the alcohol, which is currently the most widely represented in retail.

The study included ordinary brandies of 4 most well-known domestic brands (“Shustoff”, “Shabo”, “Koblevo”, and “Tavria”) with aging for up to five years, and the bottling range within three months.

In the laboratory.

Samples were exposed to a complex research of physical and chemical parameters to determine from which alcohol the tested drinks were made. The fact is that brandy, unlike vodka, should be produced exclusively from brandy spirit, which is distilled from dry white wines, with further aging in oak barrels. Besides, the classical technology must be fully observed, and deviations from it are fraught with serious deterioration of the beverage quality. The experts have conducted several studies to determine the mass concentration of higher alcohols, ethers, aldehydes and methanol. The result shows that all samples were manufactured in strict compliance with DSTU. Unfortunately, "Koblevo" fit in the specification with boundary indicators.

Tasting.

The most interesting part of the study of alcoholic beverages is tasting, i.e. determination of organoleptic properties (taste and bouquet, color and transparency). The brandy was tasted by members of a professional tasting panel, as well as probands from among ordinary consumers.

Tasting was conducted by two independent reputable laboratories, "Ukrmetrteststandart" and "UkrNIIspirtbioprod". Three panels were held, two professional and one made of the ordinary consumers.

In general, the brandies of Ukraine did not disappoint tasters. The results were good. Only one sample was scored low by tasters in terms of flavor and bouquet. "Koblevo" is a bluff and hot drink. Perhaps, this drink uses spirit of improper quality, since the flavor contains extraneous sharp artificial odor not inherent in the brandy.

Generally, the brandy should have a soft harmonious taste, be transparent, amber-golden color. The bouquet can be flavored with vanilla, possibly light resinous hues or tones of ripe fruit. The first place in the overall rating was taken by “Shustoff”, and the last by "Koblevo". This drink was scored low by both professionals and probands.

First laboratory indicators.

12327. Brandy, "Tavria"

Organoleptic indicators*

Indicator name Specification requirements Sample characteristics
Transparence Clear, with glitter, without foreign inclusions Clear, with glitter, without foreign inclusions
Color Ordinary - from light golden to light-brown with golden hint. Branded and collectors’ - from gold to dark amber. Amber
Taste and bouquet Typical for Ukrainian brandies of a particular brand name, without foreign tints. Slight fusel alcohol aroma, extractive taste.
Score Not below 7.4 points 6.8 points

12328. Brandy, "Shabo"Organoleptic indicators*
Indicator name Specification requirements Sample characteristics
Transparence Clear, with glitter, without foreign inclusions Clear, with glitter, without foreign inclusions
Color Ordinary - from light golden to light-brown with golden hint. Branded and collectors’ - from gold to dark amber. Light brown
Taste and bouquet Typical for Ukrainian brandies of a particular brand name, without foreign tints. Pronounced vanilla caramel flavor.
Score Not below 7.4 points 6.8 points

12329. Brandy, "Koblevo"Organoleptic indicators*
Indicator name Specification requirements Sample characteristics
Transparence Clear, with glitter, without foreign inclusions Clear, with glitter, without foreign inclusions
Color Ordinary - from light golden to light-brown with golden hint. Branded and collectors’ - from gold to dark amber. Brown
Taste and bouquet Typical for Ukrainian brandies of a particular brand name, without foreign tints. Pronounced vanilla caramel flavor, sharp, burning taste.
Score Not below 7.4 points 5 points

12330. Brandy, “Shustoff”Organoleptic indicators*
Indicator name Specification requirements Sample characteristics
Transparence Clear, with glitter, without foreign inclusions Clear, with glitter, without foreign inclusions
Color Ordinary - from light golden to light-brown with golden hint. Branded and collectors’ - from gold to dark amber. Light brown
Taste and bouquet Typical for Ukrainian brandies of a particular brand name, without foreign tints. Extractive, mature taste, without foreign tints, flavor with a slight resinous hint.
Score Not below 7.4 points 7.75 points

* Specification requirements according to DSTU 4700:2006 "Brandies of Ukraine. Specifications." Another laboratory indicators.

Sample number Color, transparency, typicality

"Shustoff 5 stars" ("SHUSTOFF")

Light amber

"Koblevo" ("KOBLEVO")

Light gold

"TAVRIA"

Light amber

"Shabo" ("SHABO")

Light amber

Sample number Flavor, bouquet

"Shustoff 5 stars" ("SHUSTOFF")

Complex, with light floral and fruit tones

"Koblevo" ("KOBLEVO")

With a touch of oak

"TAVRIA"

Coherent, with tones of aging, with a touch of vanilla

"Shabo" ("SHABO")

Coherent, with hints of fruit

Sample number Taste

"Shustoff 5 stars" ("SHUSTOFF")

Full, harmonious, saturated, with notes of chocolate

"Koblevo" ("KOBLEVO")

Harmonious, moderately hot, with fruit notes

"TAVRIA"

Full, harmonious, soft with notes of raisins

"Shabo" ("SHABO")

Full, harmonious, soft

alcohol

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