Premium Polish vodka brand Belvedere Vodka makes available its Single Estate Rye Series, a range of premium luxury vodkas that places a focus on where the rye is grown, in the Singapore market.
If you think the term terroir belongs solely to wine, well think again. Terroir may be a French concept generally used to describe the various environmental factors that affect the characteristics in wine, but the same idea can be applied to other alcoholic beverages that rely on any kind of agricultural crop. For example the Japanese for decades have crowed about the superiority of Yamada-nishiki rice grown – especially those grown in Hyogo prefecture – for the making of sake; in Scotch whisky the likes of Islay’s Bruichladdich and Springbank of Campbeltown have created expressions using barley grown in their locality.
Terroir in vodka is a lot less common, especially for large producers; they tend to source ingredients from all over and blend them into a homogenous whole to create consistency in batches. Smaller producers can source locally but may or may not label their product as so. Then there are the likes of Scotland’s Arbikie, which started as a farm growing their own potatoes to make their vodka.
LVMH-owned Belvedere Vodka looks to explore the concept of terroir in a big way with their new Single Estate Rye Series. The series (currently) consists of two vodkas – Smogóry Forest and Lake Bartężek, each named for the village of the estate. This series uses exactly the same Polish Dankowskie Diamond rye varietal, but grown in totally different regions in Poland, and produces vodkas that taste distinctly different.
Smogóry Forest is made entirely from rye grown at a single small estate deep in western Poland, a pastoral region is known for its vast forests, short, continental weather fronts, mild winters and fertile soils. Lake Bartężek on the other hand sees the rye grown at a single farm in northern Poland’s Mazury lake district, a region renowned for crystal-clear glacial lakes, weather shaped by Baltic winds and long, snowy winters. Smogóry Forest – the vodka, that is – is rife with notes of salted caramel, a touch of honey and white pepper, with a salty-sweet finish, while Lake Bartężek is rounder and mellower with hints of black pepper, toasted nuts and cream.
“Our new single estate vodkas represent a very special innovation for Belvedere,” says Rodney Williams, President of Belvedere Vodka. “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 flavors.”
“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,” adds Matt Pomeroy, Director of Global Education and Advocacy.
“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.”
Belvedere Smogóry Forest and Lake Bartężek are available exclusively at leading speakeasy and cocktail bars in Singapore.