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One of the first goals of our distillery was to produce an authentic Cypriot whiskey, which means a whiskey whose production process began and ended in Cyprus. Our production process does just that, it starts from the field where the barley and other cereals grow and ends with bottling.
We started our research, about 6 years ago, to discover and document the characteristics of all the local grains, a necessary process for the development of our recipes. It is then that we discovered a barley variety named “Kythrea”. A six-row barley variety stood out since all the other varieties are 2-row barleys. A local variety that is famous for its resilience to drought and its enzymatic power. Our emotional connection was two-fold. On the one hand the reference to our ancestral home, on the other the characteristics of a resilient barley, adapted to the adversities of the Cypriot nature and with special characteristics for whiskey production.
The symbolism was so strong that it left us with no other options. We had to use it! We bought the necessary initial quantities from the seed production center (SOPAZ area) and chose two areas to sow, the area of Mathiatis and Ais Giannis of Malounda. We approached some farmers with a simple proposition: “We will provide you the seed for free to sow and harvest, and in return, we will get back twice the volume only. The rest (triple the volume) is at the disposal of the farmer. An inviolable condition is the exclusive use of organic pesticides & insecticides”.
After harvesting and cleaning the barley came malting, a process that allows us to convert starch into sugar, and further processing to allow fermentation to follow. During fermentation and with the use of yeast, the sugars are converted into ethanol (alcohol). This is followed by distillation, during which we separate ethanol from water, followed by aging in oak barrels and finally bottling.
This is the brief history of “Kythrea” and there is an open invitation to visit us at the distillery for more information and tasting.
Lastly, we feel it’s necessary to convey the message that for us, Kythrea is much more than a reference to our occupied homes, the land of our ancestors. More importantly, it is a source of strength that allows us to transform our longing to return to our homeland into a promise for innovation, creativity, and dedication to achieving excellence. It is a promise that we will always put the Cypriot raw materials first and that we will always strive for excellence.
We hope to see you soon at the distillery
Aris & Marianna Aristidou