In 2013, Swedish taste nerd, chef and visionary Claes Stenmark introduced Virtuous, an organic, handcrafted, unfiltered rye vodka. His quest was to create a spirit that would have the same high quality and exceptional taste as the products he used in his kitchen. He wanted a vodka that would reflect what Nordic food is all about—unfiltered, real flavor. Most of all, he wanted to make a vodka that would taste amazing.
Claes tested various ingredients until he found what he was looking for in the unique character of rye, a grain that provides wonderful bready, peppery and sweet notes. He experimented with different methods and decided to use continuous distillation to make the distilled rye spirits—and to only use the very core of the rye spirits.
When developing his flavored vodkas, Claes knew he wanted to incorporate real organic fruits and botanicals and use a completely natural production process. He set up a lab in his kitchen and started testing different flavors he liked. He used a traditional method of flavoring called maceration, which involves steeping the organic fruits and botanicals in spirits to release their flavors. This is not how most flavored vodkas are made, but it was Claes’s chosen method for Virtuous. No shortcuts—just real authentic ingredients, patience and skill.