Named after the Polish presidential palace in Warsaw, Poland, Belvedere produces one of the world’s most popular vodkas, and one that helped to establish the super premium vodka category. While the distillery that produces Belvedere was built in 1910, located in Polmos Żyrardów in the south west of the country, production began in 1993. After years of steady growth in both domestic and international markets, luxury goods group LVMH acquired 40% of the company, rising to 100% in 2005. This purchase allowed the brand to grow to the point at which Belvedere became synonymous with luxury.
Belvedere is made entirely from Polska Rye, a special heritage grain cultivated for its resiliency to the oft-harsh conditions in this part of the country. Sourced from eight farmers in land close to the distillery itself, once the rye is mashed and fermented, it undergoes distillation in stills powered by fire—a traditional practice often disregarded by current-day distillers in favour of more gentle methods. Distillation takes place four times, removing impurities while still retaining the natural flavour of the grain. The spirit is then cut down with purified water, to leave a spicy, clean and pure tasting vodka.