Vodka 'Gorbatschow' launched

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Mumbai, July 11: Germany's premium vodka ''Gorbatschow'' was launched here on Friday, July 11.

Produced under a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between original producer Weisbaden based Henkell&Sohnlein and Kishore Chhabria prromoted Allied Blenders&Distillers (ABD), the vodka will be produced in ABD's plant in Aurangabad which has a capacity of 100,000 cases a year.''We will not use the usually lifestyle and entertainment platform usually associated with the drink, but on its purity,'' said Henkell&Sohnlein Chairman Dr Hans Henning Weigmann at the launch. He said production of the 87-year-old brand followed a strict filteration process including a minus 12 degrees Celcius filteration and double-filteration over charcoal.

''The quality of a vodka is in its lack of taste, and not the blends and flavours,'' he added.

The launch in Mumbai-Pune will be followed by launches in Delhi and Kolkata in August followed by Bangalore that would cover 60 per cent of the affluent Indian consumers in the country.

Describing the Indian market as huge and attractive, but ''not an easy one'', Dr Weigmann said the partnership with ABD was an investment with long-term goals.

Flavoured varieties of ''Gorbatschow'' vodka are expected be launched later with ADB planning to capture 10 per cent of the 750,000-cases-a-year domestic premium vodka market in 12-18 months.

''The issue of exporting the vodka is not in the cards right now, we'll focus on building the brand here first,'' said ADB Chairman Kishore Chhabria.

UNI

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