Dr. Franciscus Sylvius was, in an oft-repeated, and just as oft-debunked, narrative the person who invented gin. Sylvius Gin is named for this man. 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. If you can read Dutch, Jenever in de lage landen has the most thorough dismantling of the myth.
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. Distilled in small batches, less than 800L, the distillery describes it as a “Holland Gin.”
The nose begins with caraway, cinnamon and a hint of citrus. Anise-like notes, with grain and caraway, creating an illusory low note reminiscent of rye bread. The palate starts with a sharp caraway note, but considerable depth emerges: floral notes along with juniper come through in the mids. The finish has a lot of spice notes, as caraway comes through again, but this time with sweet licorice and fennel notes as well. Sylvius gin is a spice-forward contemporary style gin.
Nice on its own with bright caraway, anise and spice notes that don’t overwhelm. We’d look to try this in a Martini or Negroni.
Overall, Sylvius Gin
More a gin than a Genever, Sylvius Gin merges some of these best aspects of both. It’s nicely balanced, and perhaps worthy of a name of better stature in the gin community than Sylvius Gin.