November 26, 2008

Bols Genever

Photo provided

Holland's Lucas Bols, the world's oldest distilled spirits brand, has re-launced this classic genever in Holland and is targeting markets in the U.S. and UK. It is based on the recipe the company developed in 1820.

Bols Genever

Rather than being a gin -- which itself is a cousin of genever that was developed in England, genever begins as a quality maltwine. The distillate of corn, rye and wheat, made in copper pot stills and distilled three times, has a smooth, malty taste rather than the botanical mixes that dominate gin and its neutral grain alcohol base.

The final product is more than 50% maltwine, redestilled botanicals according to a proprietary recipe, and an optimum alcohol content of 42% abv (84 proof).

The grain base is immediately apparent in the first smell and taste of the genever, suggesting something that lies on an indeterminate line between beer and vodka. Some slight grassy notes stay on the tongue after the first sip, with suggestions of fresh-baked bread and then juniper berries. It is reminiscent of, although far more nuanced and pleasant than, the taste of distillers' beer created early in the whiskey-making process.

Suggested retail price: $38.95.

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