Belvedere brings terroir to vodka

Terroir – a notion inextricably linked to wine – has been brought to vodka by Belvedere with the launch of the Single Estate Rye Series.

Smogóry Forest is made entirely from Dankowskie Diamond Rye grown at a single small estate deep in western Poland

Unveiling officially in the UK today at London Cocktail Week, the new series features two vodkas, Smogóry Forest and Lake Bartężek, each named after the village of their respective estates in Poland, and crafted to capture the distinctive character of these particular terroirs.

“Terroir is not simply a notional concept, it really does shine through in our food and drink and enables us to experience the history and traditions of a place through our palate and senses,” said Claire Smith-Warner, head of spirits education for Moët Hennessy, the group that owns Belvedere.

Continuing she said about the new vodkas, “We hope this innovation will leave people with a better understanding of terroir and a fresh perspective on vodka and its potential to be much more than a neutral spirit.”

Writing in the September edition of the drinks business, James Lawrence, exploring the concept of terroir in vodka making and marketing, stressed that the depth of the conversation concerning the relationship between vodka’s character and the terroir of the base ingredient must move forward as the discussion surrounding vodka provenance intensifies.

Indeed, within his article, Smith-Warner commented, “In the beginning, our messages centred on communicating what made Polish rye so unique and characterful compared with other styles, but now, especially as Poland is the only nation with a vodka appellation, it’s time to explore the different sub-regions and terroirs within Poland, and the resulting differences in style and character.”

Meanwhile, commenting this week on the launch of the Single Estate Rye Series, Rodney Williams, president of Belvedere Vodka, said, “Our new single estate vodkas represent a very special innovation for Belvedere. It is the next phase of our quest to show that there is refinement, discernment and extraordinary quality in vodka. It also reflects our commitment to exceed expectations, both in the use of bakers-grade Dankowskie Diamond Rye and our ability to draw out nuanced flavours.”

Lake Bartężek is crafted from Dankowskie Diamond Rye grown at a single farm in northern Poland’s Mazury lake district

For more information on the new vodkas, see the information below from Belvedere:

Smogóry Forest is made entirely from Dankowskie Diamond Rye grown at a single small estate deep in western Poland. The pastoral region is known for its vast forests, short, continental weather fronts, mild winters and fertile soils. This lush, forested terroir is reflected in the new distinctive vodka. With notes of salted caramel, a touch of honey and white pepper, the liquid boasts a bold and savory finish.

Lake Bartężek is crafted from Dankowskie Diamond Rye grown at a single farm in northern Poland’s Mazury lake district, a region renowned for its crystal-clear glacial lakes, weather shaped by Baltic winds and long, snowy winters.

In fact, the rye in this region spends over 80 winter days buried in snow, conditions that add to its character and greatly impact the liquid’s flavor profile. The name Bartężek comes from Lake Bartężek, which runs along the estate’s eastern edge.

It is this lakeside terroir that is reflected in this distinctive vodka. With notes of black pepper, toasted nuts and cream, the liquid finishes with a delicate, fresh flavoor.

The Belvedere Single Estate Rye Series features new packaging designed to reflect the distinctive vodka contained within each bottle. The new bottles have a unique square base that gradually transitions to a round top and a shorter neck borrows cues from high-end dark spirits. Smogóry Forest is a smoky grey and Lake Bartężek’s is a deep blue, each featuring a slow, elegant resolve from dark to nearly translucent.

According to the brand owner, Belvedere Smogóry Forest and Lake Bartężek should be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. If enjoyed in a cocktail, the brand encourages using them as a characterful alternative in classic rye whisky cocktails.

Belvedere Smogóry Forest and Lake Bartężek debuts in the UK today at London Cocktail week and be available in select international markets including the US, France, Australia and others in early 2018. Both expressions cost £49.

For more on the increasing importance of terroir in the production of vodka, click here.

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