Mariinsk Distillery crafts line of ultra-premium vodkas
Resting periods of 30 to 90 days bring out spirits’ rounded, velvety taste
With nearly 120 years of crafting spirits using pure artesian waters, Siberian-based Mariinsk Distillery in connection with Moscow-based Synergy Group, created the first batch of its ultra-premium Beluga Noble Vodka in 2002. As American interest in the rich, refined taste of the malt spirit grew, the first cases of Beluga Vodka were distributed in the United States in 2009 — and two years later, Beluga North America opened its doors in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
“When we gave birth to the first batch of 38 bottles of Beluga Noble Vodka in 2002, … customers were excited,” Beluga North America Chief Executive Officer Yegor Proskuryakov says. “… We use a malt spirit created through a natural process of fermentation of 100 percent wheat grain. It gives Beluga Vodka a uniquely fresh and wheat taste with a lasting finish.”
The distillery uses artesian water sourced from its 850-foot-deep well in Siberia and lets Beluga Noble rest 30 days before bottling to produce a balanced and complex palate featuring a rounded and velvety structure that is unlike any other vodka, Proskuryakov says.
In addition to its flagship Beluga Noble Vodka, the Mariinsk Distillery manufactures four SKUs: Beluga Transatlantic Racing, Beluga Allure, Beluga Gold Line and Beluga Celebration, which is a special edition of Beluga Noble that was released in 2015 in celebration of the 115th anniversary of the Mariinsk Distillery.
“Our most recently released SKU is Beluga Celebration, an exclusive collection dedicated to the anniversary of Mariinsk Distillery, [which was] established in 1900,” Proskuryakov says. “The Celebration edition is our tribute to the master distillers who have produced such fine spirits for generations.”
From the ingredient selection to the resting period, considerable care and attention is employed during the entire production and packaging process for the “exceptional and unique” Beluga Vodkas, Proskuryakov says.
For example, the company manually selects the 100 percent naturally malted wheat grain using sprouted wheat without yeast, which then is naturally fermented in specific temperature and humidity conditions. A multiple-filtration process through quartz sand and a silver-enriched charcoal filter occurs before the vodkas rest for 30 to 90 days in special steel tanks that blend the spirit and artesian water to achieve its balance and taste, the company says.
“Beluga Vodkas are fresh-tasting with a subtly sweet aftertaste and a rounded velvety structure,” Proskuryakov says. “… The care and attention of the resting period that we give Beluga Vodka is a major reason for its success. Through long experience we know that letting Beluga rest, in the way we do, allows the structure to become thicker, smoother and oilier. Beluga Noble rests for 30 days, Beluga Transatlantic rests for 45 days, Beluga Allure rests for 60 days and Beluga Gold Line rests for 90 days.”
The Noble Vodka
The 40 percent alcohol-by-volume vodkas also receive special attention when it comes to their packaging in 750-ml glass bottles, which prominently display the company’s tag line: The Noble Vodka.
“Our brand’s symbol of uncompromising quality is the Beluga sturgeon fish. The sturgeon produces the most exquisite and expensive caviar in the world,” Proskuryakov says. “We apply the image of the Beluga sturgeon, shaped in tin, by hand on every bottle.
“Each type of Beluga Vodka is inspired by luxurious or other special experiences,” he continues. “Beluga Transatlantic Racing is a tribute to the noble sport of yachting, and Beluga Allure pays homage to the noble sport of polo. Beluga Gold Line is a gastronomic vodka and its beaded tag should remind you to drink it ritually with the most exquisite caviar in the world, also named Beluga. Our Beluga Gold Line has a serving ceremony, which is an art form. Each bottle is secured with a special sealing wax that should be broken only with the special hammer, which comes with every bottle.”
Available in 80 countries around the globe, Beluga Vodkas also are sold in more than 30 states in the United States and can be found in 220 airports. The company has experienced double-digit growth every year for the past seven years, Proskuryakov says.
He highlights that Beluga Vodkas are designed to be consumed neat or on the rocks and paired with a haute cuisine appetizer like caviar, turkey or salmon, but they also make a perfect foundation for cocktails due to their complex, deep and smooth taste.
Beluga Vodka continues to build on its ultra-premium offerings with the introduction of its brown spirit liquors, Beluga Hunting Herbal and Beluga Hunting Berry. Introduced in 2015, the liquors have become “hugely popular” in Russia and will be more widely distributed in the near future, the company says.
The company will continue the fine craftsmanship of Beluga Vodka while building distribution and brand awareness globally, particularly in the United States, Proskuryakov says. “We actively seek to be served in the finest bars, restaurants and hotels,” he says. “Our ultimate goal is to build a truly international brand recognized by vodka connoisseurs around the world.” BI