A. Mordovin: Green light for Russian whisky (2015-04-27)

According to agreements 2014 between the President of the Union A. Mordovin and the largest alcohol producers, they are studying the possibility of contractual whisky bottling using domestic capacities and building of the new whisky plant in the Russian Federation (information about these companies is confidential).

Rapid excise tax growth and Euro exchange rate force importers of strong alcohol to seek ways of cost saving; in 2014 import whisky volumes demonstrated a drop for the last five years and according to our estimates decline level of imported whisky can be over 50% in 2015, taking into account strong demand.

Today a unique product like whisky is not produced in Russia. One of the major reasons is lack of raw materials – malt for whisky production that is made of special malting barley varieties.

Whisky production at the territory of the RF will contribute to the development of import substitution system in agriculture and process industry and also will give an opportunity for job creation that is currently important now.  

Виски производство

With a view to creating of raw material base for whisky production, our Union supported a new barley variety: Odissey of Limagrain Company, created on the base of Concerto, was included in the State Register for Selection Achievements in 2015.

Concerto and a newcomer Odissey are the only spring barley varieties approved by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD), Association of Beer and Strong Alcohol Producers of Great Britain and Barley, Malt, Beer Committee (Comite Biere Malt Orge, CBMO) of France.

Odissey made by crossing of Concerto with Quench,  is of high crop yield (106%) and has a strong stem and high diseases resistance, attractive for Russian agricultural producers. Also these two varieties don’t produce glycosides and as known, today, according to the requirements of the Scotch market where barley firstly is used for whisky production, sprouted kernel must not contain cyanogenic glycosides. Presentation of Odissey variety is available here.    

Over 40 million of liters of whisky are annually delivered to Russia, very often it is a low quality product from the USA and EU countries, criticized by the Federal Service for Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare, for example:

– Kentucky Straight Bourbon of «Barton 1792 Distillery» (the USA) contains phthalate that can lead to organic changes in central and peripheral nervous system, endocrine system, cancer and male and female infertility;

– Jack Daniel Distillery contains aromatic alcohol used in the perfumery industry as a substitute of natural of rose attar and also benzyl-benzene carboxylate.

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It bears noting that lovers of unusual alcohol for Russia prefer whisky, while liqueur and vermouth consumption declined for the last five years. A share of consumers preferring whisky, rum, gin, absinth, tequila, liqueur, vermouth, has been increasing for the last five years – from 13% in 2009 to 17% in 2013. According to the results of 2014 this figure has dropped: only 16% of Russian people used one of unusual alcohol products. In Moscow this figure was 26% as in 2009 (against 29% in 2013).

Main lovers of unusual alcohol – young people up to 44 years old (18%), Russian people with a socioeconomic status (23%), Moscow citizens (26%) and cities with a million-plus population (20%). Older persons prefer vodka in Russia.

“Whisky becomes very popular – for the last five years, plus 11% to whisky lovers (now almost 50%)”. In 2009 the share was 36% and in 2014 – 47%.

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According to the request of Barley, Malt, Hops & Beer Union, whisky production in Russia was mentioned in submission letters of representatives of legislative and executive authorities and public organizations, addressed to the Government of the RF. Besides, in 2015-2016 the Union is planning to bring Beer Brandy, as it is called in Germany, to the Russian alcohol market.

Agricultural producers interested in a new variety Odissey and also representatives of malt production and Russian brewers turning onto whisky and beer brandy, including information about licensing procedure may get in touch with our CEO A. Rubtsov: http://barley-malt.ru/?page_id=98

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