Can you tell us a bit about the history of Nemiroff Vodka Company?
Officially Nemiroff has a 150-year legacy of making high-quality vodka. However, written records for the distillery go back to 1752. Nemyriv distillery was the preferred supplier of the imperial houses. In 1872, after the distillery was renovated, Countess Maria Sherbatova perfected a recipe of Ukrainian vodka that was based on wheat spirit instead of traditional potato. Since then its smoothness became legendary. Today available in more than 80 countries globally, Nemiroff is ranked # 3 among all vodka brands in the Duty-Free Category.
How did you find your way into the world of spirit production?
I started in the spirits industry 21 years ago, at the Legal Department and for the past eight years, I have been the CEO at Nemiroff. Through my tenure we’ve taken the brand from a local producer to the number three vodka in the duty-free and travel retail market, as well as one of the top 10 vodkas sold globally. I embrace the beverage category and this position allows me to use all of the skills I’ve acquired to bring a laser-sharp focus to the Nemiroff brand.
What do you most enjoy about working as a distiller in the drinks business?
What I consider to be the greatest thing about work, is the team’s desire and the ability to promote the historical value of the quality of our product, which has been working on in Nemyriv for almost two centuries. At the same time, we are constantly working on finding the golden mean between the traditional recipe and the improvement of production processes, the preservation of authentic tastes, and the use of the latest technologies.
What do you think was one of the biggest surprises or lessons you learned along the way?
The biggest surprise for me was the process of making the product as such. The mystery that occurs when mixing alcohol with water and adding quality ingredients. How the same ingredients, as it may seem, affect the product in different ways; how the product lives on. This suggests the need for constant and proper monitoring and, most importantly, for the right people who do their work professionally and with loving care. Everyone knows that vodka is one of the simplest products in production, but when you make delicious vodka, it is very important always to remember this and to treat the process and the product with love and respect. Thanks to our team, we achieve unique tastes and quality of each product. This is no longer a surprise, but a quality standard.
Water plays a big role in Nemiroff’s taste and its distilling process – tell us more about this…
The area where our plant is located is called the land of 1000 lakes and artesian springs. Water used for Nemiroff vodka undergoes natural mineral filtration and remains pure during the entire production process. This is the basis for the perfect taste of Nemiroff products. Nemiroff vodka uses artesian water, filtered by minerals that are more than 540 million years old. 100% pure spring water we use for distilling process is one of the secrets of an ideal product.
Tell us why using all-natural ingredients is so important to Nemiroff and why this sets Nemiroff’s vodkas apart from others…
Industrial perfection and crafted touch is our doctrine: we use only natural herbs and spice, handcrafted flourishing and pure artesian water in all our products. At a time of globalization and automatization, it is not easy to adhere to such standards, but this is the uniqueness of our brand.
Tell us more about the distilling process, how it works and what technology is involved?
Like any distiller of unique spirits, we have our own production secrets, and, of course, I cannot disclose them. To meet the high standards, our product undergoes 11 stages of filtration, including unique filters, the secret of which is known only for our team. At Nemiroff we’ve built up capacity and are making big thrusts of innovation. The equipment at the factory has been developed for us by the leader in this field – the German manufacturer Krones; all our products pass laboratory safety inspections. We use only 100% natural ingredients and aromatics (honey, fresh herbs and botanicals). Almost all of them are grown in Ukraine. We constantly implement innovations, while experimenting with technologies and taste, renovate old and create new recipes.
What are Nemiroff’s inspirations and passions behind distilling – and their goal?
At a time when everyone is trying to erase gender differences, we are distilling vodka for a true Man. In the world of dynamic changes, – demographic, political, cultural, gender and of mass digitalization – the Man wants to control his life, take responsibility for his fate and his choice. He is fiercely independent and refuses to compromise. This Man wants a drink in his hand that aligns with his spirit. Our product is namely for such a Man – and He is Nemiroff’s inspiration.
In your opinion, what makes the Nemiroff spirits so special?
Through Nemiroff’s entire history, we’ve remained unflinching; keeping an eye on the trends of the spirits industry, we stayed true to our recipe. And today we are known as the world’s best tasting vodka: unique design, premium-class grain alcohol, pure natural water, natural ingredients, 11 stages of filtration and extraordinaire recipes. This is enough to become a competitive player in the spirits market.
Tell us about some of the awards Nemiroff has won thus far…
The brand continues to make inroads in terms of sales, distribution and development. Recent accolades include Tastings.com, the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the most recently, being named as The World’s Best Vodka by World Vodka Award 2018. During the last 15 years, Nemiroff received over 70 prestigious international awards, including Chicago Beverage Tasting Institute, The Vodka Masters, The Superior Taste Awards, International Spirits Challenge, The London Spirits Competition, The Fifty Best etc. We are proud that all our products launched to the world market have gained acclaim from international experts and got the highest appreciation by international awards. It inspires us for new projects and conquest of new markets.
Which of these awards do you feel is the biggest achievement or is the dearest to you and why?
Each of the awards is equally important and precious to us for they are testimonial and recognition of our hard work, unique expertise and passion to deliver the world’s top-quality premium products. However, the best award is the recognition of our quality from consumers around the world.
Tell us more about your latest release, the Barrel Crafted Vodka?
Nemiroff Barrel Crafted Vodka is aged in oak barrels to enhance its character, aromatics, and flavor. The result is a spirit that is spicy, astringent with rich aromas of oak. This product is certainly a new one in keeping with category trends. Consumers demand from brands to deliver products with character, taste, and value. Our Barrel Crafted Vodka is exactly like that.
Which of the Nemiroff vodka/vodkas is/are your favorite(s) and why?
All the products of our brand are unique. However, my favorite is our stand-alone product Honey Pepper, which is made following the ancient recipes of our region. We infuse real, estate-harvested honey and peppers. The result is a carefully balanced blend of sweet-and-heat. Many of our competitors tried to repeat this unique formula in their products, however unsuccessfully.
What’s next for Nemiroff?
We are confident that we will extend our global distribution and we are receptive to building new partnerships. We are planning launches of innovative flavours and formats such as vodka rested in barrels and flavoured vodka. All of these efforts will strengthen our brand equity.
To find out more about Nemiroff, visit their website.