Vodka producer Belvedere is expanding its portfolio with the launch of a new malted rye spirit drink – Belvedere Heritage 176.
Belvedere Heritage 176 is made by steeping, sprouting and heating the rye in kilns up to 176 degrees Farenheit. The vodka is made using only Polska rye and purified water, and is a blend of 98% vodka and 2% rye malted rye spirit.
Due to European law, Heritage 176 cannot be called ‘vodka’ because the malted rye spirit was distilled to 92% rather than the required 96% for vodka.
The new release aims to challenge neutrality in vodka and celebrate the technique of malting rye that was widely used by Polish rye vodka makers until the 1890s.
The brand’s master rye distillers experimented with different levels of malted rye in the final spirit and concluded that 2% delivered the ‘most complex flavour profile’.
Rodney Williams, president and CEO of Belvedere Vodka, said: “Belvedere remains committed to showcasing that rye can impart unexpected, authentic and nuanced taste.
“In 2018, our release of two different single estate rye vodkas based on the same strain of rye demonstrated that terroir plays a significant role in shaping rye flavours.
“Now with Heritage 176 we are continuing to display rye’s enormous potential for rich and bold flavours, this time by malting rye to bring out its depth of flavour. Heritage 176 is a new sipping vodka based [on] an old production technique.”
The packaging for Belvedere Heritage 176 has been designed to reflect the craftsmanship and traditions of malting rye through the golden-bronze colour palette, bottle shape and label.
Bottled at 40% ABV, Belvedere Heritage 176 will be available to purchase in the UK from 21 September via Amazon and clos19.com priced at RRP £42 (US$54) per 750ml bottle.
Mark Tracey, Belvedere UK brand ambassador, added: “Heritage 176 offers drinks enthusiasts a rye experience with a big different – it’s supremely rich on the palate with a flavour profile of sweet spice, honey and walnut that goes beyond what you’d expect from a white spirit.
“We feel it is best served over block ice with a lemon twist, but the versatility of this special new liquid also allows it to be stirred down into digestif cocktails or shaken with citrus and honey to be light, bright and refreshing.”