The cult club brandy

Winiak Klubowy has always enjoyed great esteem and success since its production began in the 1960s. Over time, it became the flagship product of the Warsaw Vodka Factory “Koneser”.

And although after the fall of the People’s Republic of Poland, the imminent end of this cult liquor was predicted, which was poured at the beginning of the 21st century in Józefów, and then probably in Środa Wielkopolska, Winiak club eventually survived. And after a long journey, he finally returned to the Warsaw Koneser Vodka Factory.

The immortal Winiak Klubowy actually disappeared from the market for some time, which actually caused tears of genuine regret among its fans. It seemed that the end of Winiak Klubowy was a symbolic end of an era. I remember from my student days a serious seminar devoted to alternative culture, which, instead of being held in a cramped lecture hall, was held regularly at “At the Visual Artists” near the university, just at Winiak Klubowy. Because Winiak Klubowy retained its status of something better, a luxurious, native cognac longed for by gourmets and upstarts snobbering the Western lifestyle. And this Winiak Klubowy was really drinkable, although it really had little in common with real cognac at the time.

Winiak Klubowy was invented in the times of deep communism, because we had to have some cognac on the shelf. And since we had no wine to distill, and import was expensive and required foreign exchange, we had to invent it. In addition, it was supposed to be a cheap product, for the people, not for those who could afford Pewex cognacs. The task seemed breakneck, but why the Polish art of scheming, which sometimes allowed in those days to do something out of nothing. The recipe was therefore developed in Łódź. It was as simple as the proverbial construction of a flail: some imported wine distillate (only about 15%) was taken and mixed – in short – with vodka. To this, a tincture of dried grapes, plums, nuts, almonds, and other nuts and dried fruits was added to taste, and then the whole thing was seasoned with aged fortified wine. At the end, a little caramel was added for color, after which the mixture was aged for some time, so that everything “bited” properly. And now!

It seemed that when something like this was given the name brandy, the creator of this noble name, the pre-war vodka producer Józef Strzelczyk from Poznań, would turn over in his grave. The more so that this brandy-like drink was called Club, which is quite exclusive by definition. In the meantime, it turned out that this recipe worked. Such a wine-like product tasted quite good and actually became our native worker-peasant “cognac”, just in time for a bribe or for bridge meetings. For those crude times, Club Winiak was a product of the greatest craftsmanship. For such inventions and the ability to make something practically out of nothing, our spirits industry deserves a monument. Although the biggest monument is Winiak Klubowy itself, which not only survived hard times, but also underwent evolution and returned to its roots.

Today, in the “family home” of Winiak Klubowy, i.e. in the Warsaw Wytwórtnia Wodek Koneser, Winiak Klubowy is produced in three versions. This so-called “three-star” brand, which is most associated with the former Klubowy brand, thanks to the return to the traditional recipe for brandy production, far surpasses it. It has a deep, tart and even slightly spicy flavor with a noticeable aftertaste of dried plums. The aroma of cocoa beans. Winiak Klubowy owes its excellent taste to the composition of French wine spirit and aromatic macerates for plant materials and a natural dye – caramel. The original Winiak Klubowy is a quality vodka of the highest domestic quality aged in oak vats, thanks to which it owes an intense finish and a delicate smell and taste of oak. The version marked with five stars is aged for longer according to the requirements for Brandy. Club brandy in the Black version is an original, refined and dry flavored vodka made of excellent French wine distillate aged for 5 years in oak barrels.

In a word, Winiak Klubowy is no longer a substitute, but a real brandy – the best Polish brandy. Poland, because we have managed to preserve this native flair of inventiveness and our specificity, which today is an asset, not a substitute. Club rules in its class!

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