Tag Archives: barrel

Why Is Slivovitz Considered A Noble Brandy?

Slivovitz or Slivovica or Sliwowitz or Sljivovica is a common name for plum brandy. „Sliva“ is a Slavic name for plum. Good Slivovitz is made of the plums of various species that were femented for 3 weeks before the distillation. So the alcohol that we dring in a Slivovitz is actually crafted from ripe fermented fruit. Unlike other spirits like Gin, Vodka or even Whiskey, Slivovitz or Plum Brandy originates from fruit and bears all the advantages and disadvantages of fruity origin. The main disadvatage is its price, because usually 10 kg of ripe fruit is needed to craft 1 litre of Slivovitz. So it cannot be any cheaper.

But advtanages are numerous on the other hand.

COMPLEXITY. As every beverage made from fruit, like wine, its aroma and content is not simple nor dymensional. Fruit is a very vivid raw material and, if not burned down, its aroma, fragrance, colour (and destiny) must be granted to its brandy. It is complex enough that each year a slightly different slivovitz is made from the same orchards and fruits.

AFTERSMELL. When you have a sip, the fragrance is retained on your palate for a long time. Unlike simple artificial spirits, you feel its complexity on your palate. And after a while, you feel it is your stomach.

AGING. As Slivovitz is made of fruit containing tannins in its skin, its first sign on your palate can be harsh. Some people, especially those who have it for the first time and are not prepared to it, even said it was burning. The effect of harshness is lost over time, if Slivovitz is aged in an oak barrels for 3-5 years, and sometimes even longer. This is the reason why aged Slivovitz is appreciated.

BARREL. Every alcoholic beverage, if not artificial, is colourless when it is produced. So as Slivovitz. The colourless and hot liquid Slivovitz flows from the distillation pot. Its tawny and amber colour is gained over time, due to the contact with the oak barrel. Lately the producers use barrique oak barrels volume of 225 l. Then its colour is more beautiful and its aroma is more complex.

DENSITY. Hot liquid from the distillation pot is poured into the barrels and is left to age for years. It is gaining density over time. Some people say it reminds of oil after few years. You can judge its density on the glass: the tears must show up if it was aged properly.

Why It’s Better to Use Wooden Barrels in Brandy Production

Why It’s Better to Use Wooden Barrels in Brandy Production

This practice is normal when it comes to wine and hard liquors. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that some distilleries are switching to cheaper barrels, in order to save money in the production. Also, what makes them so positive about this is the amount of space they can save. In addition, with some modern techniques, anyone can fake the wood scent, feel, and color to the drink. When it comes to brandy, I can’t agree with using shortcuts at all. These are some features that can’t be masked, at least not from someone with a vast knowledge and respect towards this type of spirit.


The first thing anyone feels right upon the opening. If the brandy was not in a wooden barrel for some time, its nature won’t allow it to have that well-balanced smell. One side of the drink will take over, and usually, that’s alcohol. If your brandy reeks of alcohol it won’t be pleasant for drinking for sure.


You can notice this right from the bottle. Brandy which is kept inside of a glass or metal container can’t adopt that rich amber color. Even with the oak stick trick the drink can’t soak enough like from the whole wooden barrel.


Once it’s poured into the glass, you can notice that the stream is too transparent, or even worse, water-like. When brandy spends enough time inside of the wooden barrel, it becomes honey-like. You can clearly see the way liquid mixed with the sugar. This is what makes the brandy perfect!


The container where the brandy lies before it’s bottled affects the taste in a similar way it affects its smell. The drink simply gets that sterile taste, or in some cases, it takes the taste of the container. This way, the whole point of the drink is lost, and the whole process of making goes down the drain. It is almost impossible to feel the fruit from the brandy.


One of the main factors to a good overall of one brandy is in its age. When the drink spends enough time in a nice oak barrel, each fragment of it can rest and express itself fully. Last, but not least, maturation process gives that specific note which classifies and marks that drink as THE ONE.