The project of the Union – Russian Whisky is in progress! GOST “Grain distillate” (2015-07-31)

Barley, Malt, Hops & Beer Union together with a partner Grain Producers’ Union have been exploring the issue of emerging of alternative alcohol drinks in the RF – grain distillates, like whisky, different kinds of schnapps and samogon (home-brew).

One of the key purposes was import phase-out, because in our country there were no legal basis for production of mentioned spirits as well as raw materials for whisky. So, all alternative alcohol drinks were imported. The second purpose was increasing of Russian raw material ratio.

In our article “Green light to Russian whisky”, we’ve already informed you about introduction of the necessary barley variety for whisky production in Russia (

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*Sale and consumption of whisky in the RF


It bears noting that GOST 55799-2013 “Grain distillate” (refer to the GOST) became operative from July 1, 2015: technical requirements legalizing production of any distilled grain drinks. Though, whisky and home-brew were widely-used in Russia, there were no government technical requirements for legal production. And introduction of GOST was unexpected for participants of alcohol market and as for us – a scheduled result of our activity.

Today, whisky in Russia is almost imported (there is only one example of whisky production in Russia, JSC “Praskoveyskoye”, the Krasnodar Territory; it bears noting that permission was got in 2009, even before establishment of the Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation) and samogon can be home-made or foreign (there are examples of industrial production of samogon by Russian companies abroad). For example, the company “Rodionov and sons” (brands “Polugar”, “Krivach” etc) makes grain distillates in Poland and the company “Russian original beverages” (brand “Village samogon”) in Lithuania.

Strong beverages are made of spirits that can be got by two ways: rectification and distillation. Rectification gives pure spirit; it is used for vodka production. Distillation gives less plain spirit, but is keeps flavor of source raw materials. So it is good for whisky, cognac, rum, samogon etc.

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Until the present, there were only GOST for production of distillates from grape in Russia – cognac and brandy. There were no government technical requirements for grain distillate production.

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What next? Unfortunately, we’ll observe Russian whisky no sooner than 2019 – according to new GOST, whisky shall be kept at least three years in oak casts.

Nevertheless, we consider the market of alternative alcohol beverages based on grain distillates to be promising and officially produced beverages, firstly, various types of schnapps can press low quality home brew with a ratio of 150-170 million litres.

According to the estimates of Russian brewers, sometimes experimenting and playing with production of beer schnapps, the cost of production will not be above 80-100 rub./l. and in total, with an excise tax, the price will not exceed vodka and this beverage will be highly competitive in the market.

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