Why Is There No Ukrainian Whiskey

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So Why Is There No Ukrainian Whiskey

As a reporter, you get pretty exasperated when you are searching for a relevant story of interest to your readers, and there is no material. The best material is always how current events affect your topic of choice. In particular, I got requests of “I would like to purchase Ukrainian Whiskey to show my support for Ukraine; how come I can’t find one?” I thought, great, let me research reach out to the companies, and share the info; win-win for everyone. 

I am sure that you can imagine the frustration when the article is sabotaged as I can’t find any whiskey distilleries even though Ukraine is the world’s breadbasket. The amount of grain grown in Ukraine provides the world with grains for every purpose, yet I can’t find a single company. 

Some more research brings us to the leftovers of the Soviet Union or the U.S.S.R., where everything was state-run. That includes alcohol, of course. 

As Ukraine was part of the USSR, alcohol production was state-run. 

In recent years, Ukraine has made significant moves toward developing its alcohol production market. The largest and only spirit distillery for a time since the fall of the USSR is Ukrspyrt, producing alcohol and alcohol-containing products,  at one point owning 41 production sites (all of which have been privatized are going privatized or going to be in the near future), with a combined production of 36 million decalitres of spirit per year.

In December 2019, Ukraine adopted a law abolishing the monopoly of Ukrspyrt Ukrainians state-owned alcohol producer, which as in all monopolies, was the sole legal production of, in this case, alcohol and whiskey. This permitted the opening of private distilleries to distill their own whiskey, or at least it should have.

On 15 September 2020, the Ukrainian State Property Fund launched the privatization of Ukrspyrt’s production sites by auctioning the Nemyrivske production site in the Vinnytsia region. Three other production sites (in addition to the Nemyrivske production site) have been put up for auction.

The Government worked to privatize Ukrspyrt’s production by utilizing several privatization auctions to avoid the monopoly over alcohol production in Ukraine. Thus, the Ukrspyrt privatization will fall within the small-scale privatization procedure and will be carried out via transparent online auctions. 

The privatization

 of Ukrspyrt was to be completed by 1 July 2021. Until that time, the only way to produce alcohol in Ukraine would have been to acquire an existing production site through one of the private auctions.

Unless you were wealthy enough to buy one to the tune of $150 million, while the distilleries don’t have a track record of being profitable.

We checked Ukrspyrt there is no reference to Whiskey or any alcohol aging, so that knocks out just about anything that may be genuinely aged, but can we find something?

So now we know that Ukrspyrt sold part of the company over two years until July 1, 2021.

After a lot more “Googling,” we did find a “whiskey.” AVIATOR Whiskey  I put whiskey in quotes as the definition of whiskey that most companies refer to is aged two years here; the whiskey cannot be more than nine months.

I emailed the company for info about their product and where I could get a bottle. Sadly I don’t believe I will get a response or gain access to a bottle as they are located near Bucha, where the recent atrocities occurred. 

Of course, if I receive any form of response from Aviator, I will let you know!



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