MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
In the USA they have a movie called “Dumb and Dumber”, but they also have a situation which is best described as “Dumb and Dumber”.
The craze for Vodka has made the industry dumb, or is it the ‘dumb customers’ who have made the industry ‘dumber’. I think I know.
Consumers have an irresistible appeal for ‘too good to be true’ types of situation such as cheap booze. So they look for them all the time. Businesses are seeking opportunities to make higher margins from products which consumers want.
So why not make something which is in fact really cheap based on ‘dirt nothing’ and present it as great so that they think they are getting a lot more. Hence, the creation of the Vodka mass produced business model from fermented grains. After a while everyone one likes it because it is all over the place and it looks popular so no one dare to criticize the origin of it and now prices go up, way up. I have seen $50 vodka. This makes no sense!
With these high prices and mass-appeal comes high competitions and now everyone start improving the vodka to the point it is not really vodka anymore such as making vodka from the distillation of grape wines. Is this really vodka? No.
Heck a vodka made from grape wines is going to taste better than made from grains but it is not a vodka it is a brandy!
Now, the second interesting part: if it is a brandy so why don’t they call it a brandy, and why they call it a vodka?
Because people do not know and do not ask, they just want their booze to be called ‘vodka’.
Gin is about the same story but this time instead of ‘tasting nothing’ like a vodka is supposed to be, they had flavorings of say ‘plant stuffs’ and now they call it a gin.
Really! Aren’t people adult enough to call a spade a spade? No, they aren’t, they are weak organisms who do what they are told!
Now, things are even getting worse: Neutral Brandy (aka Vodka) and Botanical Brandy (aka Gin)..
Here what I have read today on some companies communication.
“You will notice that we do not sell vodka and gin on this website. That is for good reason. Due to California regulations, a spirits manufacturer is unable to both produce and sell spirits directly to the consumer. Rather, spirits must be sold through the 3-tier distribution system. However, because we are also a winery, we are able to craft and sell brandy. So, simply stated, our Neutral Brandy and our Botanical Brandy are our Distillery’s version of vodka and gin, respectively. The difference is in the distillation process and is small and technical. We craft these specialty brandies in order to sell our spirits directly to our consumers.
Our Distillery’s Neutral Brandy is essentially a vodka. Vodka, by definition, is a spirit that can be distilled from any base material (potato, grain, grapes, etc.), and is distilled to 95% alcohol (the alcohol is usually adjusted to 40% prior to bottling). Whereas a brandy, by definition, is a spirit that must be derived from grapes and distilled to no more than 94.9% alcohol. That’s right, the difference is small and technical, but extremely important. Our Neutral Brandy is derived from the free-run juice of ripe, red wine grapes, is distilled to just below 95%, and then is adjusted down to 40% alcohol, or 80 proof, prior to bottling.
Our Distillery’s Botanical Brandy is essentially a gin. Again, due to the above regulations, we are prohibited from both manufacturing and selling gin directly to consumers, so instead we craft Botanical Brandy. The base alcohol that we start with is our Neutral Brandy. Then we add, through a vapor pass process, a proprietary blend of botanicals.”
N.B. source left anonymous as I am only using this for education purpose and certainly not picking on anyone in particular.
Essentially, this type of situation makes things more complicated and more confusing … and ‘DUMBER’.
Thankfully, there are many companies now embracing the quality brandy phenomenon which is just starting and they are not scared to lead by just calling their products “BRANDY”. For instance: Copper & Kings Brandy (www.copperandkings.com).
K&L Wines in their email newsletter of November 18th 2015, calls this “The Biggest Spirits Discovery of 2015” is basically the revival of craft brandy. Let’s see …