Ararat is the legendary Armenian brandy, but there are also several other brandy distilleries in the country. Ararat Valley (Great Valley) has also given its name to this distillery, which was founded by Tigran Arzakantsyanom in 1998. Brandy is made from local grape varieties Voskehat and Garandmak, both of which are grown in the Ararat Valley. For the production of brandy, the grapes are harvested very late, only in October, so that their sugar content would be as high as possible. The finished distillate has been matured in a barrel made of Armenian oak for about five years. A 50 cl bottle cost €11.95 in Latvia.
Brandy with a dark brown color has a strong raisin aroma. Already from the nose, you can feel that the grapes used in the wine have been slightly overripe. The taste is sweet, but on the sharp side. 42% strength is felt and it is much more than the 36% that is so common with brandy nowadays. The taste has raisin, caramelized fruits and a bit of dark chocolate. In the aftertaste, you can feel the sting of ethanol and a slightly bitter woody aroma. The burning of the alcohol steals too much of the flavor and Great Valley is not very nice to sip on its own. A glass is fine, especially with tea or coffee, but after that the sharpness of the distillate starts to bother. The taste is also a bit monotonous, raisin and the aroma of overripe grapes is too dominant. The Russian texts on the slightly faded label and the cloudy bottle are not very attractive, but the cheap price probably attracts buyers more than the appearance.