There is something to be said for artful simplicity in all things, the masterful use of the fewest resources to produce the best result. An economy of materials. A bold move that relies as much on the skill of the craft as on the quality of ingredients. When it is done well, the end result can be remarkable, and Belvedere Vodka has certainly done it well. A Polish spirit made from only Dankowski gold rye and water from the distillery’s own artesian well, Belvedere is a masterclass in how to make a high-quality spirit with only the barest of natural ingredients. The 100% rye mash bill does impart a bit of heat to the nose and spice on the palate—think soft notes of white pepper corn and a mellowed vanilla sweetness that bring you to a dry, grassy rye-spice finish. Belvedere is a perfect expression of the possibilities inherent in a quality grain. To borrow from Poland’s own Nobel Prize winning poet Wislawa Szymborska, “What a loss when you think how much effort was spent / perfecting this petal, this pistil, this scent / for the one-time appearance, which is all they're allowed, / so aloofly precise and so fragilely proud.” There is no such loss of character with the rye in this vodka, and the result is an exceptional spirit that honors the perfection of the grain itself.