Diep 9 Old Genever starts from rye, wheat, and of course malted barley— all locally grown in East Flanders. It’s distilled along with the 9 botanicals in a copper pot still in a fairly traditional manner. In this case, the Old on the label could also describe the oude style as Diep 9 Old Genever has 40% malt wine. It is then aged in French Oak for two years. Typical of other genevers, its also sweetened and bottled at 35% ABV. After
Hailing from the birthplace of the style, Flanders, Belgium (which may even be stretches to say Diep 9 Old Genever hails from the ancestral birthplace of gin), Genever is a protected category under European Union law.
Gin drinkers should note that although genever has much in common with gin, even though we review genevers, Diep 9 Old Genever is not technically a gin and thus those who buy it expecting the former, will probably be quite disappointed. I wouldn’t suggest mixing it with tonic. But, I digress. Let’s get into the tasting…
The spirit has a pronounced sunny yellow hue when poured.
The nose is incredibly malty. It’s rich all of the aromas of a distillery or brewery. Hints of yeasty grain— suggestively beer-y. Underneath, you get a slight suggestion of herbal aromas coming from the botanicals. As a genever should be, Diep 9 Old Genever is all about the grain.
The palate is a bit more complex. Firstly, it’s quite smooth on the palate with very little sweetness. It’s quiet at first. Slightly fruit, with citrus, leafy greens, smoothly seguing into a slightly malty, slightly peppery, slightly leathery mid-palate which has notes of sherry wine and young rye whiskey. The finish is slightly sour, with a palate cleansing dryness.
Unlike other genevers, in particular many of the more Dutch styles, juniper is dialed back. It’s more part of a choir than the lead. I have to really look for it in here, and even then, I only get the slightest hint of it. Don’t come to Diep 9 Old Genever looking for it. It’s here, but it’s really about the grain.
Again, Genever shouldn’t be treated like a gin, and especially not when it comes to cocktails. Though I’ll give a pass on the Negroni. It lacks the fortitude of one with gin, but the flavor is nice, if a bit too gentle and almost sweet. I personally prefer doing it Old Fashioned style, though I’d also suggest that those who insist on mixing will find that the Improved Holland Gin Cocktail also works.
I prefer sipping my genever just as is. Neat or on the rocks work the best for me.
Genever is about the malt and the grain. Diep 9 Old Genever delivers, with only a slight hint of sweetness. Fans of genever and malty spirits will appreciate the balance on the palate, while providing an accessible entry point for those new to the style.
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