Alexis Ohanian unveils Shakmat – Armenian Brandy, part from every sold bottle to go to Armenian Tree Project

“Armenpress”. Armenian-American entrepreneur, Reddit and Initialized Capital co-founder Alexis Ohanian has finally unveiled his ‘secret project’ after teasing about it online.

Turns out the new project is his own Armenian Brandy, called Shakmat – the Armenian word for chess.

“Today’s the day I share my new Armenian Brandy, Shakmat, with the world!

There are only 2,400 bottles in the first run, so head over to to get them while you can. This project couldn’t have happened without Flaviar and Elisabeth Garvin who did all the work to bring this one-of-a-kind 23 year Armenian tradition to the world”, he said on Facebook.

Shakmat is partnering with the Armenia Tree Project and will make donations from every sold bottle.

“Shakmat (or shakhmat) is the Armenian word for chess. But our Shakmat is so much more than a game. It is a symbol. A symbol of life, persistence, patience, and wisdom of a people that do not fall, even when held in check.

Shakmat 23 Year Old is a premium brandy originating from the birthplace of winemaking. It is an embodiment of Armenia’s two national treasures – Chess and Konyak”, says the description on the website.

And, more interestingly, turns out Ohanian visited Armenia this summer for this very purpose, to select the right type of flavors for his new project.

“The Flaviar crew and I went to Armenia, my paternal homeland, to find the right flavors for our new brandy, Shakmat,” Ohanian said.

“For Shakmat, we used red grape varieties (Kangun, Kakhet, Garan Dmak and Rkatsiteli). Shakmat is a 23 Year Old Brandy, aged in barrels made of localCaucasian oak. The terroir (both for grapes and oak barrels) is what gives it its distinctive flavor profile.

Shakmat offers an abundance of exciting flavors including dried fruits (plums, raisins), walnuts, cloves, tobacco, molasses, vanilla, oak, and a bit of black pepper.”

“Armenia was heavily deforested during the Soviet years and immediately after, throughout cold winters and economic hardship—leaving the country with less than 10% tree cover.

We’re partnering with the Armenia Tree Project to help reforest the country with every bottle of Shakmat we sell.

The Armenia Tree Project has already planted and restored over 5,500,000 trees, creating hundreds of jobs for Armenians through seasonal tree-related programs.

A portion of the proceeds from every sale will be donated to help this Armenian reforestation project continue.

After all, local Caucasian oak barrels are used to age Shakmat and are essential in its production — just one more reason to support this cause”, the website of Shakmat says.

“I’m proud of Shakmat. But I’m even more proud that this will be yours and many people’s first taste of Armenia. And it won’t be your last”, Alexis Ohanian said.