Former USSR state making whiskey

ABC photo
The former Soviet Union republic of Azerbaijan is about to become the first whiskey producer in the Caucus region of Central Asia.

Naig Mammadhasanov (right), general director of the beverage company Tovuz-Baltia, told the Azerbajian Business Center's ABC news office that the company has just begun entering the market.

It plans to finish 15,000 bottles by the end of this year, and "the future will depend on market reaction to our new product. At the same time, German businessmen have already expressed interest in whiskey of our production. They say that there is demand for such output."

Tovuz-Baltia already exports 80% of its other output to European Union and and Commonwealth of Independent States markets in Europea and Asia. Only 20% is sold in-country.

The company was founded in December 1989 and focuses primarily on the cultivation of grapes and the production of wine and wine products such as cognac. However, Tovuz-Baltiya has recently introduced new technology and is producing fruit- and berry-based wines and spirits.

"We decided against bringing spirits from Ukraine, Iran and Russia and are producing vodka with our own raw materials. We have started the production of a new brand of alcohol from watermelon, quince, pomegranate and other fruits," Mammadhasanov said.

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