The FINANCIAL — Sarajishvili Spirits’ history spans three centuries starting from the 19th century with David Sarajishvili. The company was later confiscated by the Soviet regime, operating under the label “Tbilisi Brandy Factory”. In 1994, the company was privatized again and readopted its original name.
Sarajishvili classify their products in three categories: Classic, within which the aggregate age of spirits is between 3 and 20 years; Vintage – coming from spirits produced from years between 1940 and 1980; and finally, the Unique line – which is the most expensive and comes in limited editions.
Trilogy is part of the Unique line of Sarajishvili – three different spirits are mixed in the composition, coming from three different centuries and regions of Georgia. “The initial phase of cognac tasting is evaluating the colour of the brandy, which sets up expectations before we commence with the later stages. The colour of Trilogy is a rich brownish, going into dark yellow-brown near the peripheries. The next step is to smell the drink. High quality brandies like Trilogy have the specific scent of flowers, fruit and oak aromas being the first notes. Then, gradually, comes the delightful smell of vanilla and chocolate. It is easy to tell apart good cognac brandy from low quality ones in this phase – mediocre cognac tends to simultaneously give away the smell of both fruits & flowers and heavier elements like vanilla and chocolate. Next up, we take a small sip from the glass and keep it in the mouth as long as possible. This way, the aroma stays with the person for a longer time, which means they get to experience different tonalities of the drink, just like happens with perfumes,” said Dato Abzianidze, Chief Technologist at Sarajishvili.
“It is recommended to warm cognac before consuming it. As Trilogy has a high concentration of tannin, the alcohol gets absorbed by the body even before the drink has made its way to the stomach. This has a warming effect on the body. Then, the alcohol reaches the brain, where it has a relaxing effect on blood vessels. Good cognac has a great effect on mood, reduces irritability and calms a person down.”
Zurab Bubuteishvili, CEO of Sarajishvili, explained that only 1000 bottles of Trilogy will be produced. At the moment, 22 of them are already sold, with 19 of them having been purchased by foreigners. Trilogy bottles will be available at Sarajishvili stores only. Currently, there is only one store open in Tbilisi, at Sarajishvili St. 4. However, the company plans to add an additional one in the city centre.
“Sarajishvili is trying to change the standards of Georgian entrepreneurship. Currently, you will notice that none of our bottles try to market traditional Georgian symbolism on the cover of our products. This is no accident. We are not trying to be attractive to potential customers through gimmicky marketing. Sarajishvili wants to be distinguished and chosen for its quality and taste. We use international standards to classify the type of our drinks – VS, VSOP, XO, etc.
We participate in various international exhibitions and in the one held in Chicago, our XO brandy a received golden award, EXTRA received silver, and VSOP got the gold medal as well.
Our export target countries have changed as well. The Russian embargo in 2006 made it apparent that we would have to become popular outside the post-Soviet area too. Sarajishvili is currently available in over 20 countries, including Japan and Singapore.
Our Unique line is a testament to our company’s ambition. We want to prove that Georgian companies are capable of producing luxury products and do so with success.
When it comes to our future plans, besides the release and marketing of Trilogy, we have a surprise for Sarajishvili enthusiasts on the occasion of the 100-year anniversary of Georgian Independence: in 2018, we will release a new product from the Unique line. A total of 1918 will be produced, with spirits dating back to 1918 and the price being 1918 as well.