We are a gin blog. But to neglect Genever is like forgetting to call your parents on their birthdays. Its gin’s predecessor, the ancestral spirit from which modern day gin evolved.
What is Genever (quickly, in <100 words)
Genever is graded on a scale from jonge, to oude, all the way up to korenwijn by how much of the spirit is made up of malt wine and how much sweetening is legally allowed. In addition to sugars, distillers add botanicals (juniper chiefly) to create the drink’s unique flavor. Genever highlights the base spirit’s character and its primary flavor generally comes from that rather than the botanical mix.
About Filliers Oude Graanjenever (in <100 words)
Firstly, if a product bears the name graanjenever, it must have been distilled in Belgium, the Netherlands, or a couple small parts of Germany of France. The term is protected as a name based appellation. It also means that a spirit is distilled from only malt and grain. Secondly, this is an oude style of genever, which means that it contains at least 15% malt wine (think literally a distilled beer, about 100+ proof) by volume. Its been aged for 5 years in American Oak, but that fact has nothing to do with the word Oude.
Genever is complex stuff, especially for those new to it. But let’s get down to business:
The nose is slightly whiskey like with grain, and the heat/sharpness of cinnamon (think without the sweetness, or with the sweetness toned down). Grain and wood notes in the mids with a dusty, faintly, spicy assortment of low notes. Very rich, warming, and quite inviting.
On the palate, we have a generally mild start. At first, hints of oak, revealing some nutmeg, brown sugar, sweet corn and orange. As the mid notes fade, rye toast, burnt oak, and warming baking spice. Delightfully warming, very bright with a great deal of complexity. Rich, warm texture. Quite nice.
Price: $48 / 700 mL
Availability: Europe, and Master of Malt online.
Rating: A top notch genever and spirit in its own right. If you’re looking for a gateway into the world of genever, I think this is truer to the style, and more accessible than many other offerings out there. I recommend. Not just because it’s good to get to know your parents. But you know, because once you’re grown up you realize they’re actually pretty cool people. [Rating:4/5]
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