Articles Tagged: Netherlands

Gin Reviews

Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin


Proclaimed on the bottle as the “best of both worlds, east and west,” Bobby’s Gin is based on a recipe of Jacobus, better known as Bobby, Alfons. Eight botanicals are each distilled on their own before being blended together to create his namesake gin.

But Jacobus’s story is an interesting one. An immigrant, he was born in Indonesia. Raised on the vibrant spices which once drove the Dutch to the Indies during the 17th and 18th century spice trade, he fell in love with Genever and began playing around with infusions, pairing the spices of his youth with Dutch spirits, just as the Dutch did long ago.

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Gin Reviews

Zuidam Dutch Courage


So the name, “Dutch Courage,” is attributed to a possibly apocryphal story about the origin of gin in England. Supposedly when the English were fighting alongside the Dutch in the 20 years war, the Dutch took a swig of a spirit before rushing into battle. This spirit made them bold! Made them powerful! Made them courageous. Hence the name “Dutch Courage.” The stuff they were drinking? Genever. The ancestral spirit which led to the development of gin.

Truth be told, the term probably didn’t exist until much later. But nevertheless, good story right?


The nose has juniper, lemon, and a lovely Bombay-Sapphireesqeue note of exotic coriander. The nose is well-rounded with a lovely citrusy undertone. Quite nicely balanced and quite classic. The palate is citrusy at first, but with a rich spicy character, with notes of violet, anise, and pine-note accentuated juniper. Hints of walnut and nutmeg in the late palate, leading into the finish. Moderate in length with a dry clean finish, this is easy drinking, well-balanced classic gin.

Seems like a good mixing gin at a good strength as well. I’d try it in a French 75 or Tom Collins.

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Gin Reviews

Sylvius Gin

Sylvius Gin Bottle

This is the first of what will be a new type of Gin Review here on the Gin is In. Impressions are abbreviated gin reviews for when we don’t always have a full size bottle to put it through our rigorous battery of cocktail tests. We’ll take these reviews as far as the samples allow us, but often they might only contain some tasting notes and some general thoughts. We’ll still score the gins, but the number can be raised or lowered based on the score we give it after trying a full bottle.

Sound good? Let’s get into the gin.

In < 100 Words

Dr. Franciscus Sylvius was, in an oft-repeated, and just as oft-debunked, narrative the person who invented gin. He did his work in the 17th century, at least a couple centuries after the first juniper berries were distilled with a grain spirit. Doesn’t matter, we won’t hold it against this gin which bears his name.

Distilled at the Onder de Boompjes Distillery in the Netherlands, the gin draws its inspiration from Justus Walup’s considerable expertise in Genever and malt-wine. The base spirit is wheat, but the overall flavor profile is botanical driven rather than base-driven.

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Gin Reviews

Nolet Reserve


Special thanks to David over at Summer Fruit Cup who obtained me this sample of this rather rare, expensive, and unique gin. Without him, I’m not sure my travels would have ever taken me across this gin.So thanks again David!

The Story This is the “private reserve,” not to be confused with Nolet’s Silver offering, a rather floral, bright, and somewhat expensive [~$50/750mL] contemporary style gin. This gin is slightly golden and is the result of a myriad of botanicals, each separately distilled or macerated [depending on the ingredient] and then mixed together by hand, and personally tested by Carolus Nolet Sr. to ensure it being of the highest quality. Among the disclosed botanicals are  Verbena and Saffron [likely the source of the golden hue].

I only had a small tasting. So of course in this one case, I’m not going to be able to talk about cocktails. But when you spend $700 on a gin, this is surely a gin designed to be tasted neat and not mixed. So please forgive the omission in this one instance.

Tasting Rose Petals, honeysuckle and bright pungent floral aromas on the nose. A hint of juniper in the background, a touch of alcohol [104 proof, so not unexpected].

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Other Thoughts

Final Thoughts, Origin Series Batch 1

We’ve reviewed all eight of the gins from the initial batch of Origin gins from Master of Malt. It was a lot of fun to try this range of gins from four very different places and I hope that they will keep me in mind when they come out with future batches including Kosovo, Croatia and Macedonia*. And better yet, perhaps I can claim the 100 pound bounty if my mom’s juniper patch ever yields 10kg of juniper**.

But we’ve covered a lot of ground here. And the origin series is a little expensive. 35 pounds for a 700 mL bottle, and for my American readers, Master of Malt does ship to the states, but expect to pay upwards of $60 for a bottle of the Origin gins. So say you want to buy a couple of bottles, or just get acquainted with the series. Let’s do a recap of where we’ve been:

If you are just getting into gin… Make sure that you get the Bulgaria one. Easily I’d recommend this to anyone, because this gin is shocking that this flavor is possible to come just from cold distilled juniper berries alone.

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Gin Reviews

Origin: The Netherlands

Origin: The Netherlands

Where are we Today? We are in Meppel in the Netherlands. While we’ve mostly been in Southern Europe, the Netherlands probably represents are single biggest geographic change in the initial series of Origin gins. Meppel has been a city since 1644, and today has a population of just over 30,000. Of all of the places that gave their juniper to the initial series, this one has perhaps my favorite story of the place.

An old folk story of the region suggests that the people are called Meppeler Muggen, which translates to the “mosquitos/gnats from Meppel.” An old folk tale says that one day people of the city thought their church steeple was on fire. They rushed to its rescue….and then they realized it was just a bunch of mosquitos. Or gnats.

Okay, so the story is probably not true. But one thing is clear, Meppel is a very different place than the previous three entrants into the Origin series.

Tasting Notes

Assertive and juniper-like, but not too bracing. It starts slow and thin before quickly building. Wet and piney, with a little bit of fire, but quickly fading. It leaves a sensation of little sharp prickles on your tongue, fading flavor-wise faster but leaving a little bit of heat in the back of your throat.

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Gin Reviews

Bols Genever

bols genever

Way back before this American Dry/London Dry business, there was Dutch Genever. and things were good. Genever is truly a throwback in gins, with Bols’ recipe going back to one created in 1820.

Genever is a legally protected name, so alike real champagne, the origins are certain. As a protected name it implies its origins in Belgium, Netherlands, or a couple provinces of Germany or France. Bols is from the Netherlands where it has operated at the center of the Dutch distilling industry since the early 17th century.

On to the drink. I’ve read many descriptions of Genever, but the one that makes the most sense to me is the comparison of Bols Genever to that of a white whiskey. It is malty, thick, and complex. That complexity is due to the combination of botanicals. Juniper is present but just another flavor. The drink is simultaneously spicy and earthy, the taste has hints of fresh pine forest (or for those of you who haven’t spent time in the woods, maybe a Christmas tree stand and nutmeg.) It feels smoky without that overwhelming dark peat flavor of scotches. This is a tough gin to review, because the closest parallels for reviewing are in the whiskey family.

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