You’ve likely heard the word terroir thrown around in conversations about spirits and know that it refers to the ways in which a region affects taste and character. But you need an example to really understand the concept. And there’s none better than the Belvedere Single Estate Rye Series.
Scientists in a lab couldn’t have created a better case study of terroir in vodka. Belvedere has launched the series with two expressions, both made with the same Polish Dankowskie Diamond rye and expert craftsmanship you expect from Belvedere. The only difference is the farms where the rye is grown: Smogóry Forest and Lake Bartężek.
As you can guess based on the names, one comes from a forested area, while the other comes from a lakeside farm. The terroir of each farm, which includes everything from the climate to the soil, influences all aspects of these expressions.
Smogóry is a tiny village in rural western Poland. It’s surrounded by the region’s vast and pristine forests. The unspoiled nature of the area gives Smogóry Forest vodka a pure taste and rich character.
The subtly sweet flavor of Smogóry Forest really shines through in cocktails.
The unique terroir of Smogóry Forest leads to a flavor profile that’s almost sweet. There are hints of salted caramel and honey that are strikingly different than what you get from Lake Bartężek.
Belvedere Single Estate from Lake Bartężek takes on a character consistent with snowy, cold winters that stress the rye grown in the region. The more extreme conditions lead to a more delicate, refined vodka.
Rye from Lake Bartężek leads to a more floral vodka. You will pick up hints of spearmint, followed by a clean and crisp finish with notes of menthol.
Uniquely delicate rye is grown near beautiful Lake Bartężek.
To put it simply, Smogóry Forest is full-bodied and rich, and Lake Bartężek is lighter and more refreshing. But for all of the differences between the two expressions, they can be enjoyed in similar ways.
Both vodkas are excellent when used as an alternative spirit in a traditional rye whiskey cocktail like the Manhattan. But when you first pick up a bottle of Smogóry Forest and Lake Bartężek, try sipping them straight.
Whether you have them neat or on the rocks, Belvedere’s Single Estate Series is a mouthwatering crash course in terroir.