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The Polish culture of distillates: beyond the raw material, the value of tradition

Heritage 176 is the new rye malt distillate presented by Belvedere, created by drawing on the Polish tradition that used the malting and roasting of rye to reveal its aromas

Heritage 176 is the new rye malt distillate presented by Belvedere. Already in 2018, the Polish Maison produced and distributed by LVMH launched the Single Estate Rye, applying a concept of terroir – nature and territory: two key concepts that amplify the value of the raw material, the Polska Rye. The result of a process deriving from the Polish tradition – which used the malting and roasting of rye to reveal its deepest aromas – the new Heritage 176 blend can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, but also mixed.

In the early days of Polish vodka production, malting the rye, then heating it in the oven, was the technique by which the very first rye distillers activated enzymes in cereals, starting the process of transforming starch into sugar before fermentation. This firing process enhanced the characteristics of the rye that would otherwise have remained hidden or buried. A forgotten production method for centuries, while beer and whiskey producers have continued to use it in their recipes.

Heritage, because of the malting of rye as the base of the distillate is a process that was used in ancient times in Poland to produce vodka; 176, due to the temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit) reached by the ovens in the last part of the malting process: the kilning. Tasting Notes. Nose: intense baked rye, bread and walnuts, enriched with notes of caramel, shortcrust pastry and spices; palate: a rich and velvety texture opens with a mix of toasted rye, macadamia nut and honey, accompanied by creaminess and hints of sweet spices; finish: layers of sweetness and soft spices, balancing the natural sweetness of the rye. Heritage 176 is distributed starting September 1st in selected Italian cocktail bars, wine shops and e-commerce platforms.

The drinking culture has a long history in Poland. According to one of the customs of old Polish hospitality, court guests were greeted with a glass of vodka. The distillate production technology was mastered at the beginning of the fifth century, when the Arabs used it as a medicine. It came to Europe during the Crusades, based on fruit. One variation is the Italian grappa, made from cake and grape seeds. In Poland, the cereal-based drink began to be produced in the fourteenth century. They called it the ‘water of life’, believing in its healing properties and giving it the gift of prolonging life.

BELVEDERE HERITAGE 176. FROM THE PRESENTATION AT LÙBAR, MILANO
BELVEDERE HERITAGE 176. FROM THE PRESENTATION AT LÙBAR, MILANO

In Milan, Heritage 176 was presented in a tasting session in the LùBar garden, next to the Museum of Contemporary Art and in front of the Indro Montanelli gardens. On the patio set up for tasting, guests experienced – smelling and drinking – the particularities of the blends made by Belvedere. First the tasting of it neat, then mixed, with the cocktails Belvedere B and Heritage Style prepared on the spot, of which the recipes are reported below, for even an amateur replication.


Belvedere B

  • 30 ml Heritage 176
  • 22.5 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 15 ml Honey Mix
  • Garnish: lemon zest
  • Procedure: shake & double strain, serve in a martini glass, garnish with lemon zest

Heritage Style

  • 45 ml Heritage 176
  • 22.5 ml honey mix
  • 2 drops Chocolate Bitters
  • Procedure: Stir on the rocks, serve in low Tumblr, garnish with Orange zest

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