Articles Tagged: Belgium

Gin Reviews

Buss No. 509 Raspberry Gin

Buss No 509 Raspberry

We’ve reviewed some Gins from Buss Spirits before. This past June we took a look at their White Rain Gin (), but the Raspberry was the flagship entry in their Author Collection. Founder Serge Buss, best known for founding Bar Bounce in Antwerp, has since expanded the product range to include the aforementioned White Rain, but also a Peach variation as well. Bottled at a relatively low 37.5 ABV, first impressions have me thinking to expect a spirit with some liqueur like sweetness. The color is vivid, dark rose, with red hues that evoke the simultaneously the notions of fruit punch, but also [and unsurprisingly] raspberries. Let’s get past this book’s cover and get down to bussiness (ha! get it?)

Impressions

Tart berry, cucumber, and faint intimations of banana as well in the background.

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Gin Reviews

Filliers Dry Gin 28, Pine Blossom

filliers_28_pine_blossom_gin

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Behold the Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris). Growing across Europe, it can be found in the Mountains in Southern Europe, and in lower regions as you go further north. Distinctive in its own right, forests can be found of this majestic blue-green needle bearing tree across the continent. The folks at Filliers Distillery in Belgium, best known for their Genevers,  have taken their Dry Gin 28 (also quite excellent, but you’ll have to check out my forthcoming book for that review**) and added the buds of the Scots Pine to create an absolutely splendid gin that earns the badge “piney.”

Tasting Notes

The nose is (as you might have guessed we would say) piney.

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Gin Reviews

Buss No. 509 White Rain Gin

buss-no-509-white-rain-gin

Hailing from Antwerp, the folks at Buss Spirits began somewhat backwards as far as gin might go. They started with their Raspberry version and only later released their White Rain variation, which is herbal and more traditional with an emphasis on Belgian botanicals. In short, these guys specialize in flavored gin. Their base spirit is 100% grain and this gin contains juniper, coriander, licorice, angelica, vanilla, cardamom, iris, citrus, lemon verbena, and Marjoram. Yep, Marjoram. While indigenous to the Middle East, it’s been a part of European food culture for centuries. And gin culture since at least last summer when White Rain was released.

Impressions

On the nose, lovely rich classic gin aroma. I’m enamored with it, especially because just underneath the fresh herbal juniper and slightly citrus and heady coriander lift, there’s some green notes and rich spice in the under-story. Cardamom surely comes to mind at first but hints of iris and nutty vanilla as well, and leafy green, herbaceous intimations even below that.  Quite nice. It gets more contemporary as it warms, unraveling the complexities therein. Quite nice.

On the palate, it is most definitely contemporary in character.

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Gin Reviews

Filliers Oude Graanjenever (5 years)

Filliers Oude Graanjenever

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.

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Gin Reviews

Filliers Barrel Aged Gin

Filliers Barrel Aged Gin

Barrel Aged Gins are slowly becoming popular on both sides of the ocean. No longer is the domain of barrel aging a product, one not normally barreled, the exclusive domain of American distillers experimenting with their future whiskey barrels. Though it does still seem to be more common among distillers who also dabble in the dark spirits.

In our own < 100 Words

The Filliers family can trace their distillery’s origin back to a member of the family who distilled a Genever back in the 1700s. Enter today, the family name is still carrying the banner high. The Filliers’ distillery, in addition to the family Genever, also produces whiskey, and their namesake “28” gin, so named for the other 28 botanicals which are added to compliment the juniper. Like all families with multiple trades, the barrel aged gin puts the best of their gin world (28) with the best of their whiskey world (the barrel) and produces a wholly new product.

Tasting Notes

The color of the spirit is somewhat blonde, or champagne colored. It has only a faint yellow hue to it, remarkably lighter than other aged gins we’ve tried here.

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