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Blacklisted Brandy makes debut

Woman-founded Blacklisted, which utilises Serbian brandy-distilling techniques, has launched in the US.

The groundwork for Blacklisted began when Culic had an ‘aha moment’ touring brandy distilleries in Serbia

Blacklisted was founded by Draga Culic, who was born and raised in Highland, Indiana, near Chicago, and has Serbian heritage.

Blacklisted launched with four fruit-forward flavours – Heirloom Apricot, Heirloom Pear, Heirloom Quince, and Aged Heirloom Plum – each distilled in Belgrade, Serbia, made from only two ingredients: purified water and 100% Serbian heirloom fruit.

On launching Blacklisted Brandy, Culic said: “After more than two decades spent in the liquor industry watching liquor categories fade in and out of popularity, I knew that consumers had a misconception about brandy and desired more transparency from liquor brands.

“This emboldened me to create a brand that focuses on sustainable practices and gives rise to the Serbian style of making brandy without the use of grapes – that way Americans can experience just how versatile the brandy category is.”

The brandies are all additive-free and twice-distilled. The production process starts with more than 30lbs of heirloom fruit.

From there, the fruit is fermented and distilled in column and copper pot stills. The unaged spirit is then rested in stainless steel vats for a minimum of six months, which the brand said ‘allows the flavour of each fruit-forward spirit to balance out through a natural oxidation process’ – in turn giving it a clear, transparent look.

The plum expression is the sole aged brandy in the opening range, matured for 18 months up to seven years in Serbian oak barrels. The decision to age the plum is said to give the spirit a ‘beautiful deep amber colour’, while the wood ‘provides a new depth of plum flavour’.

Apricot, pear and quince all have an ABV of 40% and retail for US$59.99 per bottle, while plum features a higher ABV (50%) and is available for US$69.99.

Last week, we chatted with some of the spirits industry’s leading and up-and-coming women to mark International Women’s Day (8 March).

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