Firstly, if a product bears the name graanjenever like Filliers Oude 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.
The Filliers Distillery has been making spirits since 1792 when the first Fillier family member became a distiller. Though they plied their trade early on with genever, fans of gin will recognize their name from several excellent gins including Filliers Pine Blossom and Filliers 28 Barrel Aged Gin.
The nose of Filliers Oude Graanjenever 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.
Overall, Filliers Oude Graanjenever
Filliers Oude Graanjenever is top notch genever and spirit in its own right— and a top notch Graanjenever. 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.