Brandy as a liquor has not gained much popularity in the Indian liquor market, partly because of non-availability of enough options in the market. Looking at this opportunity, Lucas Bols – the Dutch liquor giant, launched its brandy into the Indian market earlier this year. Recognizing that South India is a huge market, Bols chose Bangalore to be the first city to taste this spirit. Here is my review.

Brandy has been around for quite a long time, but we push our arms around it only when we are nursing a bad cold or a sore throat. It is yet to be perceived in the larger spectrum of drinking community across India as a regular drink and not just for its medicinal value. Amongst other reasons like no great branding as such for this 12th century spirit, we can hardly ignore the scarcity of good brandy in the market as a logical reason. We only have entry level Brandy`s around Rs.300 or premium range Cognacs at Rs.1500 to 1800 price points.

Enter Bols Brandy. Priced at Rs 525 for a 750 ml bottle, it’s quite a relief for people in Karnataka looking for some change from Mansion House. This is a good mid market price range between base brandy’s and premium Cognacs. Do not confuse your wits between Brandy and Cognac. Both are essentially the same, made with grapes, but Cognac comes only from the Cognac region in France, but brandy can come from any winemaking region of the world.

The base for brandy traditionally is wine or you could very well say fermented grapes. Bols ferments genuine grapes into wine and then distills it in pot stills to produce its brandy. The golden brown glow of the drink is very close to caramel colour. It is much smoother in taste as well. This is because of the three-year aging that Bols does to its distilled spirit in matured oak casks. The fruity aroma and sweeter tones to the spirit come from the other fruits that go in at the fermenting stage. Piet van Leijenhorst, the master distiller from the House of Bols, Amsterdam is said to have made the recipe and personally supervises the production of the brandy.

Bols Brandy contains 42% alcohol by volume. Though fashionable as an after dinner drink, it also makes a great aperitif. Lot of people in India prefer their Brandy with something tangy like a Limca. Bols with tonic water is a great combination too. My personal suggestion is to try 60 ml of Bols with equal parts of Tonic water and Ginger ale with lot of ice and a few mint springs. If you are a classic cocktails sucker, try the Sidecars with Bols Brandy. Shake 45 ml of Bols, 15 ml limejuice and 15 ml sugar syrup on ice and serve straight up in a Martini glass. Great for a hot afternoon.

This brandy has not done major promotional work as yet. Mostly soft launches and soft promotions. They are at the stage of promoting the spirit itself right now by educating customers at various drinking establishments about a good genuine brandy. Eventually they intend to do image building though signature cocktails and other ways.

This brandy into India is courtesy a Joint Venture between Lucas Bols and Kyndal India Pvt ltd, a spirits importer and distributer Company based in Delhi. This venture bottles bulk brandy imported from the Amsterdam at their Konigal Distillery in Karnataka. In this sense it is almost an imported product available at domestic prices. Yet another bottling unit will start churning out more brandy from Tamil Nadu soon. In addition to distribution and marketing of these brands is also done by this joint venture. Lucas Bols will lend its expertise of blending, distilling and their 400 years of heritage in the brandy business and Kyndal will head the marketing exercise to ensure Bols Brandy is a success in India.


3 Responses to "Bols"

blinded blue teddy said... January 28, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Rock on! :P

Shiv said... September 23, 2011 at 2:23 AM

Hey..its very smooth and stable brandy i ever had....nice brand


Anonymous said... March 29, 2015 at 11:52 PM

Quite impressive Brandy, I’ll definitely try it.

liquor prices in Bangalore

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About Shank

Shank is a cocktail enthusiast & a self-proclaimed mixologist. He likes to experiment with spirits. He has traveled around a bit visiting hundreds of bars and tasting the buzziest of alcohols, cocktails and shooters.

Shank spent early years of his dizziness in Mumbai. He has lived in Hyderabad for long and for the past few years is chilling his glass in Bangalore.

He is currently busy spreading his love for spirits through this blog - Cocktail Nirvana.

This blog is part of his ongoing quest for fine spirits, creative cocktails and classic mixology. These online journals will capture his cocktail inventions, adventures with alcohol, trips to bars, meeting with ace mixologists, lessons in the art of drinking and much more.

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