terroir | terˈwär | nounthe complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate. • (also goût de terroir | ɡo͞o də | ) the characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced. French, ‘land’, from medieval Latin terratorium.Terroir (as well as unique sub-varieties) in directly consumed items is a non-brainer. And wine is known to rely on terroir (I am doubting, that terroir is really as important as most people say - it is quite a lot of perception. But yeah - terroir has an influence).
But when it comes to spirit it becomes... complicated. There is the typical style for a specific regional focused spirit: e.g. the short, narrow & fat pot stills of Islay malts - and the characteristic use of peated barley malt. And there are definitely other regional influences a spirit can take - the hot summers and cold winters of Kentucky bourbons or the Island warehouses in Scotland, which are continuously “washed” with sea air. These things have for sure a rather recognizable influence in the taste of the respective spirit. More ambiguous are Cognacs which are made with unique grapes (e.g. Folle blanche instead of Ugne blanc). There is a slight difference - but the question is, how much is it the blenders craft to “tickle out” the difference - and how much is it really the unique grape characters.
But then there is vodka. I guess, the only difference is that this terroir Belvedere’s are based on a ferment of the unique rye varieties. The still is the same. The fermentation will be pretty much the same. And it is vodka, which is distilled in a patent still to at least 96% abv - even though, the vodkas are not filtered, they are still highly rectified.Are there differences? I didn’t tried the vodkas, but yes - I am sure that there are differences. However they will be still in the tight boundaries of common perception.Look, I am not against new products and against the widening of contemporary product categories - and I am not slashing those Belvedere’s vodkas here completely. But I still don’t get, why Belvedere is not producing a flavored vodka, which is more artisan. For example using roasted rye (and for example a bit of caraway, which perfectly accentuates rye) to flavor their vodka. This would definitely add a big differentiation to the normal vodkas - and would give us bartenders more room to play... a really “rye’y Bloody Mary - or a vodka caraway sour, would be definitely some unique drinks, which would benefit out of this direction (by the way, I still didn’t understood Belvedere’s idea to make a Bloody Mary flavored vodka - if a Bloody Mary would lack any “Bloody Mary flavors” - tztztz...
Well - having said this, I probably have to do it myself. Will come back soon with the results :)