Brandy is strong spirit drink being undoubtedly the aristocrat in the family of grape based spirits.
We use the word “Cognac” in Ukraine but we should understand that cognac is only a drink produced and bottled in France, in Charante region. In rest of the world, this product is generally called “brandy” or have specific name of the region. Nevertheless, on Ukrainian market, according to legislative norms, brandy is called “Cognac of Ukraine” or brandy.
French classification of brandy is developed and established by National Inter-professional Brandy Bureau. Taking as an example the brandy of the company “Shabo”:
-V.S. (Very Special) – brandy aged in barrels for at least 2,5 years. Brandy “Shabo” V.S. is integral part of Shabo brandy line which based on spirits aged for at least 3 years.
- V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale) – excellent, old, light; brandy aged in a barrel for at least 4 years. Brandy “Shabo” V.S.O.P. is aged in oak barrel and based on brandy spirits of 5 years old.
- X.O. (Extra Old) – extra old, aged for at least 6 years. The “Shabo” Company produces two types of Х.О. series brandy – aged for 10 and 15 years.
- RESERVE is brandy aged for at least 15 years. The “Shabo” company is proud of its aged brandy “Shabo” Reserve with average 20 years age of brandy spirits.
Few people know that the tradition to mark brandy with “stars” was formed in USSR. These stars correspond to time of brandy spirits aging. We use this abbreviation for our brandy too:
- “Three stars” brandy – aging of brandy spirits in barrel at least 3 years (e.g. “Shabsky cognac” three stars)
- “Four stars” brandy – aging of brandy spirits in barrel at least 4 years (e.g. “Shabsky cognac” four stars)
- “Five stars” brandy – aging of brandy spirits in barrel at least 5 years (e.g. “Shabsky cognac” five stars)