Terra Incognita: Byzantian Blue Slivovitz

From time to time I like to draw your attention to some pearls that we find, and the pearls were not promoted enough. Terra incognita. One of them is Byzantian Blue Slivovitz, a masterpiece of plum brandy aged for 12 years.

Suppliers and producers of brandy in Serbia are sometimes too eloquent, too suggestive, too loud. I deal with commercial business people every day, and so far I’ve learned to distract very few facts that can be interesting to us, and not to pay attention to a whole bunch of needless information that they use to impress you. This is the instrument of my self-deffence, developed over decades in commercial business.

What attracted my attention at Byzantian Blue Plum Brandy was- silence. No self advertising, no aggression, no „if-you-buy-1000000-we-shall…“…Nothing of it. The product obviously was supposed to speak for itself. When I met a guy, Zoran Skerlic, the owner and the bearer of the family business of Skerlic Distillery, he just confirmed my intuition.

The Byzantian Blue Slivovitz was designed very ambitiously, but also discretely as well. No one asked about its name. And name itself discovers a lot. Master Byzantian painters managed to gain a special tone of blue that was used for icons and monastery and church frescoes. The tone is known as „Byzantian Blue“ nowadays. It is very stable and long-lasting colour that expresses the sky, the divine, the unreachable, the calmness, the commitment and the meekness. Can you imagine what this brandy is like now?

Being distilled of two types of prunes, „Cacanska rodna“ and „Cacanska lepotica“, these two fractions are left in oak to age for 5 years separately. That way each one of them develops the spcial attributes of its variete. After that, they are blended in certain ratio and left for another 7 years to age together. Why? No idea. I just believe Zoran knows what he is doing. And he is a master.

Just as a message and the appearance of this Slivovitz is complex, so as the Slivovitz itself. A notes of coffee, vanilla, vinegar and roses splash your palate at the same time. You can’t drink it too fast, but slowly, you must feel every step it makes in your body: from nose, through mouth and palate, through esophagus all the way down to your stomach. And there you feel the erruption: after few moments you feel warmth is spreading all over your body, your veins pulsating, heart accelerates. Just like Zoran said: „We make the brandy that warms the body“.

Byzantian Blue gained a Grand Gold Medal at the Novi sad Fair 2010 (avg. 18.73 points). And it’s apricot sister Harmony is even better, so say the people that tasted it. Apricot Brandy Harmony won the name „Champion of the Gold Medal group“ at the Slivovitz of Sumadija contest in Kragujevac in 2018.

Well done, Zoran. Just keep going. And we’ll support you.