I've heard that Damrak is really genever even though they call it gin on the bottle (here we go again). What's the consensus on it (ie whether it's good and whether it is in fact representative of genever--I don't care about what it should be called)?
Not at all a genever: Bols has one of those already. As far as I can tell, Bols is marketing it as a substitute for Plymouth, and in the mouth it does lean more Plymouth than London, but ymmv.
Square One are entirely to be applauded, IMHO, for throwing away that marketing crutch and calling their entry "Botanical Spirit." I wish we could get everyone else to adopt a similar label, but that ain't gonna happen. So gin it is.
I've been thinking a lot about Bluecoat as a "botanical spirit" since reading this, and last night at work, spying some very good looking kirby cucumbers, I threw together this Kirby Smash for the night's special, based on DeGroff's Whiskey Peach Smash, based on Jerry Thomas's, based on...
1/2 kirby cuke, diced
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 oz Bluecoat
3/4 oz lemon
-1/2 oz simple
5-6 drops Angostura
Muddle cuke and thyme; shake; fine strain. Lemon twist.
Following a Negroni, I sold it to a big Tanqueray fan as drink #2 to go with her fried hake. "Damned refreshing," she says, "But that isn't gin." I shrugged.