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Genever (Holland Gin)


slkinsey
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Attended the press event for the West Coast launch of Bols' new Genever yesterday.

My, it is a very nice gin!

I'll post a more detailed writeup in the future, but it will be really interesting to compare the Bols Genever with the Anchor Genevieve.

My initial response is that the Bols is much less botanically intense than the Genevieve and on the whole smoother.

Can't wait to compare Improved Holland Gin Cocktails made with the two.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Couple notes on the differences between the Bols Genever and Genevieve.

The Malt Wine spirit of the Bols Genever is distilled twice in a continuous still and then twice in a pot still.

It is then rested and blended (Bols Genever is 51% Malt Wine Spirit) with flavored Grain Neutral Spirits before being diluted to 42% ABV and bottled.

This is how Anchor describes its gin:

To be sure, juniper berries and other botanicals are used in both styles, but 17th-century “genever” gin was distilled in primitive pot stills from a grain mash. Genevieve is our attempt to re-create this ancient and mysterious gin style. We use a grain mash of wheat, barley, and rye malts, which is distilled in a traditional copper pot still with the same botanicals we use in our modern “distilled dry gin,” Junípero Gin.

It sounds like the fermented mash for the Genevieve is distilled once in a pot still with the same spices as they use to flavor their Junipero Gin.

To me this doesn't quite make sense. I would think you would be more likely to distill the mash once to get the low wines. Then steep with spices and distill again. I will try to confirm this with them.

In any case, to the best of my knowledge the distillate for Anchor's Genevieve is not blended with Grain Neutral Spirits. It is 100% grain distillate. Also, instead of using flavor essences, the spices go, "in the soup," to quote Fritz Maytag. It is bottled at around 47% ABV, a bit higher than the Bols Genever.

While the Bols Genever is certainly more pleasant to drink straight, I have to admit I'm partial to the intensity of the Anchor Genevieve when mixing certain cocktails, especially the Improved Holland Gin Cocktail.

Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Couple notes on the differences between the Bols Genever and Genevieve.

The Malt Wine spirit of the Bols Genever is distilled twice in a continuous still and then twice in a pot still.

It is then rested and blended (Bols Genever is 51% Malt Wine Spirit) with flavored Grain Neutral Spirits before being diluted to 42% ABV and bottled.

This is how Anchor describes its gin:

To be sure, juniper berries and other botanicals are used in both styles, but 17th-century “genever” gin was distilled in primitive pot stills from a grain mash. Genevieve is our attempt to re-create this ancient and mysterious gin style. We use a grain mash of wheat, barley, and rye malts, which is distilled in a traditional copper pot still with the same botanicals we use in our modern “distilled dry gin,” Junípero Gin.

It sounds like the fermented mash for the Genevieve is distilled once in a pot still with the same spices as they use to flavor their Junipero Gin.

To me this doesn't quite make sense. I would think you would be more likely to distill the mash once to get the low wines. Then steep with spices and distill again. I will try to confirm this with them.

In any case, to the best of my knowledge the distillate for Anchor's Genevieve is not blended with Grain Neutral Spirits. It is 100% grain distillate. Also, instead of using flavor essences, the spices go, "in the soup," to quote Fritz Maytag. It is bottled at around 47% ABV, a bit higher than the Bols Genever.

While the Bols Genever is certainly more pleasant to drink straight, I have to admit I'm partial to the intensity of the Anchor Genevieve when mixing certain cocktails, especially the Improved Holland Gin Cocktail.

seems like bols is retooling modern production processes to add the malty character while anchor is truely making something in an traditional style with artistic constraints...

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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I will enjoy sitting down later and reading this thread in a leisurely way. Might be fun to try jenever in some cocktails---in Holland I don't think I ever remember anyone drinking jenever any way but 'straight.' I could be wrong, but I think you would get a funny look if you ordered jenever in some kind of cocktail--but correct me as maybe I am wrong about that. Still, doesn't make it incorrect--could be very good.

My favourite jenever brands are Ketel Een (Ketel One) and another whose name I'm blocking on (starts with a 'V.')

I just looked and see I have run out of jenever except for a bottle of oude jenever. Also saw a bottle of Koren Wijn---anyone try Koren Wijn?

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Couple notes on the differences between the Bols Genever and Genevieve.

The Malt Wine spirit of the Bols Genever is distilled twice in a continuous still and then twice in a pot still.

It is then rested and blended (Bols Genever is 51% Malt Wine Spirit) with flavored Grain Neutral Spirits before being diluted to 42% ABV and bottled.

A couple of corrections and observations:

The moutwijn for the Bols G. is a three-grain mash (rye, wheat and corn) fermented for 5 days (long) and distilled once in a column still to under 50% abv and then twice more in pot stills, both times to a quite low proof (I can't recall the actual figure, having lost the notebook where I had all this stuff written down while on a pub crawl in Amsterdam; occupational hazard). This is then rested in steel tanks and then blended with grain spirits and flavoring "wines"--spirits distilled with juniper and with various botanicals. The total is close to 60% moutwijn, though.

The Dutch were always blenders and complicated distillers, and certainly were early adopters of column still technology (the Bols Genever recipe dates from 1820). The Genevieve, in other words, could not be considered an accurate analogue of 19th century imported genevers. It is, however, a fairly accurate analogue of American country gin, as described in early (i.e., pre-1830) distillers' manuals, although even some of those call for additional flitration and rectification, as a way of matching the smoothness of the Dutch product.

aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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seems like bols is retooling modern production processes to add the malty character while anchor is truely making something in an traditional style with artistic constraints...

In some ways both companies are making modern interpretations of classic gins.

The area where Anchor departs most from a traditional Genever (probably pre-1800) is in their bill of botanicals. Most Genevers are far more subtly spiced than the Genevieve. Few depart much from juniper and a couple adjuncts. With the Junipero and Genevieve I always seem to get some other interesting dark anise type flavors. The reason I like mixing with both gins is that they combine so interestingly with things like Absinthe and bitters.

The gin recipe for the Bols Genver is based on one of the company's recipes from around 1820 with few departures. It is a very traditional Dutch gin. They did mention using a couple botanicals that were not available to distillers in the early 19th Century.

Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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A couple of corrections and observations:

The moutwijn for the Bols G. is a three-grain mash (rye, wheat and corn) fermented for 5 days (long) and distilled once in a column still to under 50% abv and then twice more in pot stills, both times to a quite low proof...The total is close to 60% moutwijn, though.

The Dutch were always blenders and complicated distillers, and certainly were early adopters of column still technology[...]

Thanks for the corrections. I did remember that they were distilling to very low proof at all stages and thought of adding it to the post, but couldn't figure out a way to do it. I didn't mean to imply that there was some sort of vodka-like multiple distillation thing going on. This is about as far from vodka as you can get. There is a lot of delicious round malt wine character in the Bols, and some interesting smoky stuff that seemed to show up, especially when it was drunk with food (I'm remembering that this was the herring!)

Nor did I mean to address the gins comparative historical accuracy, if such a thing is even worth quantifying.

I was just trying to point out some of the reasons for the gins' contrasting characters.

One of the areas where Bols is really succeeding, it seems to me, is getting the word out and playing up the recipes where this gin is mixable. Not to mention all the education they are doing. It is really admirable.

Anchor did not do this at all and it resulted in a lot of people trying to make regular dry gin recipes and having bad experiences. A lot of people I know were swearing that Genevieve was an unmixable gin.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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seems like bols is retooling modern production processes to add the malty character while anchor is truely making something in an traditional style with artistic constraints...

In some ways both companies are making modern interpretations of classic gins.

The area where Anchor departs most from a traditional Genever (probably pre-1800) is in their bill of botanicals. Most Genevers are far more subtly spiced than the Genevieve. Few depart much from juniper and a couple adjuncts. With the Junipero and Genevieve I always seem to get some other interesting dark anise type flavors. The reason I like mixing with both gins is that they combine so interestingly with things like Absinthe and bitters.

The gin recipe for the Bols Genver is based on one of the company's recipes from around 1820 with few departures. It is a very traditional Dutch gin. They did mention using a couple botanicals that were not available to distillers in the early 19th Century.

interesting. this is tricky stuff. i just wish the products were priced at a more accessible level. and i don't really like the idea of the subtly spiced. i need more contrast. i really do love the way the genevers react in drinks producing new nuances other gins weren't able to turn up...

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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And if you use Clement Creole Shrubb instead of simple with Angostura orange bitters, you can doll it up by pulling one of those cherries out of the bittered brandy in which you've been steeping 'em and letting it sit at the bottom of the glass until, having enjoyed the remarkable libation you've made, you savor the genever-soaked stone fruit dessert.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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My favourite jenever brands are Ketel Een (Ketel One) and another whose name I'm blocking on (starts with a 'V.')

+1 on the Ketel One. I can't help you with the one starting with V - the closest I can think of is Wees.

A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to be part of a small group of bartenders who had a personal tour of the Ketel One distillery from Bob Nolet. Top bloke, even travelled to Amsterdam afterwards to join us in a few drinks. He also taught me one of my favourite words - Kopstoot. It's what you call a jenever when consumed as a chaser to a lager, it literally translates to "Headbutt"!

I've been playing round with the Ketel One Graanjenever tonight in the improved Holland cocktail, it makes a FINE drink. I found it was more to my taste if I got rid of the simple syrup completely and slightly increased the Maraschino (Luxardo in this case). I also used 2 dashes Peychaud bitters AND 2 dashes Angostura orange bitters, garnished with a lemon twist. The nose is floral and citrusy, initially the palette is wonderfully complex with definite floral notes, then out of nowhere a strong and long chocolatey finish. My new favourite drink I think!

I've just been doing a little research into the nomenclature of jenever, it seems that Graanjenever is a category to itself. Effectively it's a subset of Jonge, but whereas Jonge is typically made with 85%+ grain, Graanjenever MUST be 100% grain.

Oh, and this is my first post! From reading this forum it seems a remarkable combination of strong knowledge combined with good manners, which is virtually unheard of on internet forums these days! I hope my presence will help maintain this... :unsure:

Cheers, Cin Cin, Na zdrowie, Iechyd da and of course Proost!

Matt

(edit to correct a couple of typos)

Edited by Mattmvb (log)
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This Friday I'll be in possession of a bottle of Bols Genever. I've never had genever before, but I'm definitely going to try it in an Improved Holland Cock-Tail and a gin julep. Are there any other drinks that will really highlight the qualities of genever?

And welcome to eG, Matt.

nunc est bibendum...

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This Friday I'll be in possession of a bottle of Bols Genever. I've never had genever before, but I'm definitely going to try it in an Improved Holland Cock-Tail and a gin julep. Are there any other drinks that will really highlight the qualities of genever?

And welcome to eG, Matt.

i want a genever julep...! must have that by the end of the week.

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Welcome Matt!

In fact, "graanjenever" in terms of genever is a bit like "100% blue agave" in terms of tequila. To use the designation "graanjenever" on the label, the genever must be made from 100% grain, which means the malt wine as well as the neutral spirits. Malt wine is always made from grain anyway, but in cheaper brands the neutral spirits may be molasses, or sugarbeet-molasses based.

For a cocktail, one of signature cocktail I developed for Bols Genever was the Sherry-Netherland. It demands an oude genever or a Corenwijn, though: a jonge like Ketel 1 won't stand up to the PX.

The Sherry-Netherland.

Glass: A small pre-chilled martini-cocktail glass.

Ingredients:

1¼ shots of oude genever

1¼ shots of Pedro Ximenez sherry

¼ shot of orange curacao liqueur

2 dashes orange bitters

Enough raisins to cover the bottom of the mixing glass.

Technique: Muddle the raisins, add the other ingredients, shake with ice and double-strain into the glass.

Garnish: Four speared raisins.

An ode to the original Martinez, this cocktail is named for one of old New York’s most prestigious hotels and inspired by the Dutch “boerenjongens” (farmer boy) tradition of infusing genever with raisins and drinking it on special occasions.

My favourite jenever brands are Ketel Een (Ketel One) and another whose name I'm blocking on (starts with a 'V.')

+1 on the Ketel One. I can't help you with the one starting with V - the closest I can think of is Wees.

A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to be part of a small group of bartenders who had a personal tour of the Ketel One distillery from Bob Nolet. Top bloke, even travelled to Amsterdam afterwards to join us in a few drinks. He also taught me one of my favourite words - Kopstoot. It's what you call a jenever when consumed as a chaser to a lager, it literally translates to "Headbutt"!

I've been playing round with the Ketel One Graanjenever tonight in the improved Holland cocktail, it makes a FINE drink. I found it was more to my taste if I got rid of the simple syrup completely and slightly increased the Maraschino (Luxardo in this case). I also used 2 dashes Peychaud bitters AND 2 dashes Angostura orange bitters, garnished with a lemon twist. The nose is floral and citrusy, initially the palette is wonderfully complex with definite floral notes, then out of nowhere a strong and long chocolatey finish. My new favourite drink I think!

I've just been doing a little research into the nomenclature of jenever, it seems that Graanjenever is a category to itself. Effectively it's a subset of Jonge, but whereas Jonge is typically made with 85%+ grain, Graanjenever MUST be 100% grain.

Oh, and this is my first post! From reading this forum it seems a remarkable combination of strong knowledge combined with good manners, which is virtually unheard of on internet forums these days! I hope my presence will help maintain this... :unsure:

Cheers, Cin Cin, Na zdrowie, Iechyd da and of course Proost!

Matt

(edit to correct a couple of typos)

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  • 2 months later...

Took delivery of a bottle of Genevieve tonight. I just had a taste neat as I'm not in the mood for a genever cocktail this evening. I was immediately struck by very prominent tequila-like notes in the nose and in the taste. Oddly enough, I recall getting the same exact thing from a tasting of one of Anchor's ryes (don't recall which one, sadly). Is anyone else with me? Not meant to be a gripe at all, in fact just the opposite. I can't wait to give it some more play tomorrow.

An aside for those in the bay area, Beltramo's has Genevieve and Junipero in stock for $29, which in my price shopping memory seems to be a damned fine deal. Free shipping in CA for orders over $150, too.

 

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Well, yes. And most French people would drink Cognac "neat" and not in a cocktail.

Nevertheless, there is a strong American tradition of very long standing of making cocktails with both Cognac and genever.

--

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Amen to that, while in Holland this summer I would drink a shot of Genever with a beer.

When I came home to the states with a bottle under each arm, I now use the genever strictly for cocktails (to hard to come by at the time.) Even though I still almost only use the Genever for cocktails I still love to take a nip of that lovely yeasty elixer if I happen to be sipping on a Duvel.

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1.5 oz. gordon's gin redistilled with malta goya

Can you explain this ingredient?

a ratio of affordable london dry gin contrasted with carribean malt soda to create a new back ground for the gin... simply redistilled to maintain the same alcohol content. malta goya has a really similar shade of "malt" character as what i've tasted in genevars. (but my experience with them also isn't that big). certain beers do awesome things with the various shades of malt. good flavor genre.

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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