Qvevri-distilled Whisky – Unique technology registered by Sakpatenti. Aleko Kvernadze unveils details to the Business Morning program.
Mr. Aleko, how does your technology distill whisky?
We have been developing this innovation for two years. Initially, our efforts were of experimental character and we were interested in the results. Our goal was not to make distillation in Qvevri (clay pitcher). The clay of which a Qvevri is made represents a strong catalyst and it purifies spirits in big technologies.
What time has passed to receive these results?
The experiment has brought serious results. The distilled product turned out absolutely free of raw brandy oils and the taste is wonderful.
We are famous for our Qvevri wines worldwide. What unique characteristics make the Qvevri whisky a special product?
Its unique character consists in its purity and the spirits embraces high taste characteristics. Qvevri provides maximum filtration and the vessel adds unique character to this product. We have not conducted research works in this respect, but I think the forms of Qvevri is also very important.
Nobody has applied this technology before, because Qvevri is a Georgian phenomenon. Its nature and goods was famous only in Georgia. We just conducted an experiment at the first stage to learn what results could be received from the clay and how it would work as a catalyst to receive high-quality product.
Have you taken serious expenditures?
Naturally, we have to take costs, because the distillation equipment is very expensive, because it is made of high-quality copper and costs several thousands of USD. We have found an additional direction for use of Qvevri and this is very interesting.
What volume of whisky do you make?
Currently, we do not have a big volume, because this is a family distiller and I stress family distillers have multiplied worldwide over the last years. They are very popular in the USA, Europe, Britain and even Scotland, where there are big whisky manufacturing plants. Small distillers produce high-quality whisky too. We have recently appeared on the market and we want to be competitive in relation to vodka that is a mixture of water and spirits and nothing more. Whisky is also made of grain vodka and then it is aged in oak barrels.
Do you plan to buy white oak barrels?
We want to buy them, because white oak is used for aging whisky in the USA. We use corn and this product also comes from the USA. We want to get developed in the direction of bourbon and we want to age our whisky in white oak. We will wait for the results. We will start the experiment in the near future.
Besides whisky, you also distill vodka under different technologies. What special technologies do you use?
-Vodka is a white material, in practice, of which whisky is made. Wу have restored traditions of the Georgian highland. Vine does not grow in mountains and our ancestors used to make vodka from cereals. If our ancestors had aged their Jipitauri (a sort of vodka in eastern highland of Georgia), they would receive whisky.