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Belvedere’s Heritage 176 Brings Back An Old Technique Of Malting And Helps Usher In The Brand’s New ‘Made By Nature’ Platform

In 2019, Belevdere was certified to produce organic products, and today it’s launching a new platform ‘Made By Nature’ to both promote that ability and provide education around not only how it makes its products, but how it treats the environment while it does. And it’s launching a new expression to boot.

“We think it’s an important platform to develop into the brand because it bring the philosophy of the brand to the forefront in the U.S.” Allison Varone, Belvedere’s US VP tells Forbes.

The platform includes social responsibility efforts such as green energy, organic products, and sustainable packaging as wells a new expression and a focus on promoting the natural philosophy behind the brand.

“A lot of people don’t know that out products are made with 100% Polska Rye and purified water. We’re then distilled by fire, and nothing else. Belvedere has no additives. Has no sugar. We’re truly all natural,” Varone says. “We’re really excited about launching the new platform because we really believe that this communication is really important in our new world. Consumers are making different choices and lifestyle changes and are really looking for natural products, and I think that Belvedere can be at the forefront of that trend.”

Sustainability is also a huge focus for the brand.

“Our distillery in Poland is actually on track to generate 100% renewable energy by 2015,” says Varone. “We received a grant in 2018, and we were the first distillery to receive a grant from Europe to go after an aggressive energy product, a project that will reduce our Co2 emissions by 80% in 2022, which is just two short years away.” 

Varone says organic products will also be a strategy for the brand in 2021, today; however it’s introducing a new expression, Heritage 176, that offers a bit of insight into vodka’s past.

“What’s very interesting about Heritage 176 is that we’re actually bringing back a centuries-old technique of malting, which a lot of consumers don’t expect out of spirits and certainly not out of a vodka house, Varone says.

The first written record of vodka is from 1405 and is written in Polish. 

Up until the 1890s, polish vodka makers used kiln-heating to malt the rye before distillation. It’s a process that allows the rich and distinctive flavors of the rye to come out. As vodka grew in popularity, the technique slowly faded away, aided by the public’s perception that vodka should be flavor neutral.

Heritage 176 revives that tradition. Rye is heated to 176 degrees giving the spirit a distinctive flavor and its name.

“I think the distillers really played with the production in terms of tricking the rye ti impart a certain flavor,” Varone says. “ They did a lot of testing [of temperatures] and 176 seemed to be the sweet spot. 

And sweet it is. Heritage 176 is rich and full-bodied with hints of walnut, honey, and allspice. The spirit is priced at $34.99 and is available via Drizly in TX, FL, NY, NoCAL, SoCAL, IL, GA, AZ, MO, and NJ.

“I think a lot of consumers don’t know that Belvedere is an all-natural product,” Varone says. “We think it’s great for the brand to really bring to forefront of our vision at the helm of what we’re doing and we think consumers are really looking for products these days that are all natural.”

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