In an effort to change the conversation in the vodka category, Belvedere has launched the Single Estate Rye Series, which celebrates terroir.
The first product in the collection, Bevledere Smogóry Forest, is a rebranding of the Belvedere Unfiltered range that was first launched in 2012, made from Polish Dankowskie Diamond Rye in the forested region of western Poland. ‘We wanted to better tell the provenance and rye story,’ explains Claire Warner-Smith, head of spirits education for Moët Hennessy, the group that owns the vodka brand. ‘We hadn’t gone far enough to explain what was so important about this region – and really we only understood what that was when we started growing grain in the Lake Bartężek region.’
This growing experiment led to Belvedere Lake Bartężek, which uses the same rye but is grown in a northern region known for its snowy winters. When compared to Smogóry Forest, there is a clear difference in the taste of the Lake Bartężek, which is crisper, with delicate floral notes, while Smogóry Forest has a much earthier, robust flavour. For Warner-Smith the experiment is a way to highlight the grain and re-appreciate vodka, a category that has become oversaturated with synthetic flavour profiles.
Spirits brands are increasingly exploring how terroir affects their raw ingredients, much like wine-makers have traditionally done. For more, see our Terroir Spirits microtrend.