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barturtle
07-26-2006, 17:21
While in Europe I got a chance to try this category of spirits. It was quite interesting. I had heard of the traditional jonge(young) and oude(old) versions and took pleasure in trying them and attempting to practice the traditional method of imbibing (a small chilled glass filled to overflowing with ice cold genever...spilling any is a no-no). However, The real magic came from discovering the flavored versions (so what if these are traditionally considered "women's drinks").

When one of the girls on the trip with me in Amsterdam said she wanted to try some as well, we walked up to the bar and ordered two of the oude genever, well the bartender said that women don't drink that and produced a bottled of black currant flavored genever and poured it for her and even told her she didn't have to shoot it. Upon shooting mine and her sipping and taking hers back to the table, the bartender than brought over several more bottles and glasses and proceeded to pour a full pour of each of the flavors he had in the house...about 6 drinks in all...on the house!!! Well we passed these around with the rest of the group and we all took a bit of a liking to them. These are not as strong as the regular genevers varying from 20 to 30% alcohol while still being full bodied and dry finished spirits as opposed to sweet liqueurs. I remember trying a lemon, an apple and a pear, but the rest escape me-though one of them had a corn flavor that reminded me of Georgia Moon, only fuller bodied.

Now a question: Does anyone know if the flavored genevers exist in the states? Or someplace with reasonable prices that will ship from overseas? I attempted to pick some up while in Amsterdam but the only liquor store I came across was closed for the season!

Edward_call_me_Ed
07-26-2006, 23:18
I can't help you with your question, but I have one for you. I saw two bottles of Genever in a store here. I didn't get them today. I was wondering if this is flavored with botonicals as is British Gin, or not. I seemed to recall that it is not, but couldn't be sure.
Ed

barturtle
07-27-2006, 06:13
Yes they are, however the base is quite different. Some are a blend of rye and malt others all malt. I'm assuming here they mean barley malt, but I guess it could mean rye malt. These are distilled to a low proof. Depending on the quality of the bottling some are distilled with the botanicals much like top flight London Dry gins. Others use the same low-end compounding methods used in bulk-style gins.

The differences between the young and old styles I'm a bit iffy on, there seem to be production differences other than just some aging, possibly there may be some use of neutral spirits in the young. Whatever it is the young version is quite effervecent and I found that much of the aroma even when shooting it finds its way to you nose(one of the guys in the group used so many hand motions to describe this it looked like he had a squid latched on to the front of his face LOL). The old is much more subtle and smooth, with flavors that just seem to match the ambiance of the traditional bruin(brown) bars of Amsterdam-these bars have no TV few have music and all have old tobacco stained walls.

One thing to note, they always keep both the bottle and the glassware for these in a freezer, yet the flavors still come through. I have no idea what they would be like at warmer temps, nor if they would mix well into type type of cocktail, though I think the flavored versions could be used quite successfully in some mixed drinks.

Gillman
07-27-2006, 07:38
Tim, the oude style (old) meant originally the kind of genever originally made, not a long-matured one (necessarily).

Oude genever (the term genever or geneva refers to juniper, not Switzerland) was distilled mostly from rye and malt. Sometimes rye, corn and malt were used. Some producers used wheat with or instead of corn. As you said, this was a low-proof (pot still, originally) distillate. Juniper berries were added, either distilled or compounded with the spirit, to mask the strong feinty taste of young rye spirit.

Later, this type of spirit was highly rectified in column stills and for that purpose any cereals were used (as for grain whisky in Scotland).

Oude genever later became a blending of the two types, as occured in Scotland with grain and malt whiskies.

The original oude is called by experts there "moutwijn" (maltwine). Little is sold straight: most is used for blending with high proof cereal or molasses-derived spirit. In the later 1800's, it was found rectified spirit could be made even more cheaply from molasses or sugar beet.

So there is a kind of gradation of quality (depending too how you define quality) from highest to lowest, as follows:

- the original heavy-bodied rye spirit often juniper-flavoured (although some wasn't juniper flavoured - other flavourings were used too, e.g., coriander, lemon, which inspired ultimately the flavoured types you referred to)

- cereal spirit highly rectified. A variant is called kornwijn or cornwijn, this means 100% cereal spirit with no addition of molasses spirit and no juniper taste (this from memory but I think I am right)

- the molasses/sugar beet spirits. These are cheapest of all to make and possibly the blandest to drink.

Most genever today is of the second and third kinds, i.e., GNS or MNS, basically. Some is flavoured and this is similar to flavoured vodka. Many have juniper added, e.g. the classic jonge de Kuyper. So jonge (young) means the later, highly rectified type of genever, not unaged genever - although most jonge genever is unaged.

Some genever, of high quality, has some maltwine blended in and this has a rye tang. Anyone who knows rye whiskey and Canadian whisky can see the connection.

Some maltwine is sold uncut. I am familiar with Fillier's brands in Belgium although they are somewhat neutral in taste and take considerable character from oak aging - these use no juniper. I would guess Filliers distills at between 160 and 190 proof but don't know for sure. In the Flemish corner of France, Wambrechies and Loos are two brands which offer amongst their range (or used to) the true uncut oude genever and those examples are very good. Houlle's is the third one; these three brands from the far north of France near the Belgian frontier are made by small independent companies. I should mention that Wambrechies and Loos merged a couple of years ago but the separate lines are continued.

I don't doubt that some flavoured genevers are good and this would derive from long local experience but all of those are 100% GNS or something quite similar as far as I know.

Anyone again who knows straight rye and Canadian can see numerous connections between them and the original oude genever. The Hotalings rye whiskey of Anchor, 11 years old aged in reused charred wood, has a juniper tang either from some addition of juniper (the house also makes gin) or just the natural effects of maturation of 100% low-proof rye malt spirit. In my view, the Hotalings is very close to one kind of genever made originally in Holland. I refer to Byrn's Practical Distilling book from the 1860's in Philadelphia which describes in detail the contemporary Dutch methods and their lineage. In fact if you want to make your own oude of the modern kind, add 10-20% Hotalings to a good rye vodka. That will remind you strongly of those brown bars and the best oude genever. If you want, add some lemon or a dash of Curacao; they did in the 1860's. Why, darned if I won't do that tonight. :)

Gary

barturtle
07-27-2006, 12:14
Thanks for the clarification Gary. Trying to learn this stuff after about six or so of the freshest Heineken you've ever tasted, is a bit of a challenge.

Is much genever available in your area? I've been doing a bit or research trying to find out who ships to the states and have notices a few ship to Canada that don't ship here. DyKuyper(who lists flavors amoung its portfolio) for example has a seperate USA site that mentions nothing about genever whereas its international site says Corby is its distibutor in Canada. Bols(who seems to have the better malt based original style) on the other hand lists Remy America in New York as its genever distibutor in the USA with another company handling its liqueurs. Oh well, at least it's a start. I did notice an Austrailian site (nicks) that sells the flavors, but that is more than a tad cost prohibitive.

Gillman
07-27-2006, 13:35
Well, here I have seen de Kuyper, the regular unflavoured one. There are other de Kuyper products available here which may in effect be flavored genevers, I'll take a look. de Kuyper has always been popular in Quebec and if I am not mistaken, the one we have is made under license in Quebec, possibly at the former Schenley plant in Valleyfield, Quebec now owned by Barton Brands.

Quebec was a heartland of the old geneva gin, ah yes. They called it "le gros gin". It was a survival of the old British Colonial days when geneva or Hollands or squareface as it was also called (after the bottle shape) was popular here. The taste for it may have come over to Quebec in the French era, possibly as ballast in ships (to be filled with furs and stones going home). (Michael Jackson makes this point in his first whisky book).

Today, of the 7-8 brands that existed in Quebec 30 years ago (all Dutch imports except for de Kuyper), only one is left: de Kuyper. It was an old drink regarded as rotgut (wrongly). No one cared about it. I used to explain all this to older people, French and other, and their eyes would glaze over. Who cares about some funny old drink my grandfather may have liked, hein?

I have a bottle which blends a few Dutch and Belgian genevers, de Kuyper from Quebec and some clean vodka and it rocks. "C'est la revanche d'un enthousiast, ou plutot un romantique, n'est-ce pas..?

Gary

barturtle
07-27-2006, 14:18
Well, lets hope that as consumers rediscover the spirits of their forefathers this one get revived as well. A short while ago real ale was basically dead, gin was relegated to the bottom shelf, rye was unheard of.

Thinking about it now, the Pama that everyone has raved about might be closer to the flavored genevers that I tasted in Amsterdam than it is to any other spirit on the market (I'm basing this on the taste decriptions that I have read, as I have yet to get around to trying any.)

TBoner
02-25-2007, 19:20
I'm resurrecting this because I've recently learned of Boomsma Genever, a brand sold stateside that I hope to be able to purchase soon. I'm wondering if anyone has any more input on genever in general or on this brand in particular. I'm definitely intrigued, as I think at the very least it'll make an interesting variation on my typical martini. Thing is, I don't know that I'll have enough money or room in my suitcase for both the jonge and oude versions. At any rate, input is appreciated.

Also, if anyone's interested (maybe I'm the last to know?), Boomsma is available from Binny's.

barturtle
02-25-2007, 20:14
Boomsma is also available at Specs, though I have yet to remember to put it on my list when I go. Also there is an importer of Breackman's Jenever in Connecticut (Brabo International), they get the flavored ones as well, but they only seem to distribute in NY and CT.

CrispyCritter
02-27-2007, 21:15
Well, that reminded me that I have a bottle of Boomsma Oude in my bunker - which I have just fetched and poured into my Glencairn at room temperature.

It seems more like a whiskey than a gin - think Irish whiskey with a whisper of juniper. I definitely like this! The label indicates wheat and malt spirits (but 100% neutral spirits, so it's obviously distilled at high proof), and at least one year of aging in oak (but not whether it's new or used cooperage - but I would expect used bourbon barrels).

With the first few sips, the finish was short, but it seems to grow as I drink more - sweet, with that hint of juniper hovering in the background. It's very different from Plymouth or London Dry gins.

I'll have to put the bottle in the freezer and try it in a more traditional manner as well - and maybe try a martini with it.

I don't have the Jonge, so I can't compare that with the Oude.

CrispyCritter
02-28-2007, 17:36
I've now had an opportunity to drink some Boomsma Oude at freezer temperature. The chilling brings out a stronger juniper note than I noticed when I sampled the room-temperature bottle. It is still quite a bit different from English gins.

I give it a definite thumbs-up. :drink:

Dangermonkey
03-19-2007, 09:17
There are a number of companies and shops that will ship.One favorite is Quinta near the Anne Frank House. He will ship anything you like.
Wijnwinkel Quinta
Nieuwe Leliestraat 4, 1015 SP Amsterdam
tel.: 020-4270226 fax: 020-6183336
If you don't mind a quick call that is the best way.
Also Van Wees makes about 20 different Genevers ( and 60 or so excellent liquers) http://www.de-ooievaar.nl/
and the National Gin Museum in Hasselt Belgium is not to be missed. No t-shirts or keychains in the gift shop but about 300 differnt Genevers - talk about one stop shopping ! http://www.hasselt.be/index.php?id=6&rO=1 and nearby is Rolland Wissels Distillery - Rolland is a role model/hero for me - I won't get into details but if you meet him you will understand.

Dangermonkey
03-19-2007, 22:09
Heres a map if you get to Amsterdam. Quinta is where you can buy almost anything. The Van Wees Distillery is in the Jordaan (not pictured) and their tasting room is at 314 Heerengracht if I remember correctly about 2 - 3 blocks from Quinta and across a canal.

TBoner
04-16-2007, 20:13
I've now had an opportunity to drink some Boomsma Oude at freezer temperature. The chilling brings out a stronger juniper note than I noticed when I sampled the room-temperature bottle. It is still quite a bit different from English gins.

I give it a definite thumbs-up. :drink:

Had some at room temperature tonight. Will try it chilled soon. I like the floral notes, and it's a very rounded pour. It's interesting you say that about the juniper when chilled. I don't know if I've ever had warm gin. Is the juniper stronger or weaker at room temperature in a dry gin?

Regardless, this is a great aperitif, and it may become part of a martini (though it may not be junipery enough) soon. I look forward to experimenting wtih neat sipping and cocktails alike.

TBoner
04-22-2007, 10:12
I did sample the Boomsma chilled this week, but it was in a pink gin. I thought that perhaps the added sweetness of the oude genever would make this a good after-dinner drink, and it didn't disappoint. I rinsed the inside of a chilled rocks glass with Peychaud's bitters, then poured in the chilled genever. An excellent interplay of anise from the Peychaud's, juniper, grainy sweetness, and soft herbal notes. A good bridge from dinner to a generous pour of WT Rye.

mier
05-26-2007, 11:58
Sorry but i can`t understand that you all appriciate Boomsma oude jenever so much is it a big brand in America or do you have not so many brands to choose from?In Holland Boomsma is looked at as a brand somewhere in the middle not that special, only their Beerenburg digestivebitter from jenever and herbs is good,somebody tried these kind of jenevers?Eric.

barturtle
05-26-2007, 13:35
Sorry but i can`t understand that you all appriciate Boomsma oude jenever so much is it a big brand in America or do you have not so many brands to choose from? Eric.

Basically, if you can even find genever you're lucky. And if there is both a young and old, you've done well. If there is more than one brand on the shelf, you've just won the lottery!

cowdery
05-27-2007, 19:46
Mier hasn't been here very long and doesn't understand that the people at this site are all crazy. Jenever is not big in America and never will be, but you can find a knot of people here who know about it and are interested in it, because it's a distilled spirits that is kind of like whiskey, but we are a long way from normal.

mier
05-28-2007, 01:35
Hi Chuck,over here we mostly drink it if we ran out of whiskey and it`s for us who don`t have a whiskyculture ,prefer the real stuff rather than jenever may be because it is our national drink we don`t see the quality anymore.For the rest im far from normal you know:grin: .Eric.

Gillman
05-28-2007, 08:18
Mier, who is the "typical" genever consumer today in The Netherlands? Is it regarded as an old-fashioned drink?

How do people choose their brands, is it essentially by price, or by style or brand? Are some people "de Kuyper people" for example, or do people tend to buy what is on sale?

When is genever consumed, is it before or after meals, on its own, with beer?

Gary

cowdery
05-28-2007, 16:06
I have had it in a bar in Amsterdam. I don't recall the brand but the bar had a couple of choices. They served it chilled in an aperitif glass.

mier
05-28-2007, 16:28
Gary a lot of people drinking it have passed 60 they buy mostly a local brand young or old ,youngsters ( 18+ in NL) mostly buy young and mix it with cola or so or on the rocks and you have a group that taste the diffrent types like corenwijn or woodstored jenevers.The flavored ones are drunk mainly by women, why i don`t know, there are some nice ones.You can drink it as a aperitif (mostly young)with some Dutch tapas the corenwijn types are very good as a digestive or in combination with the raw herring which makes a good combination! A way to drink it to put a jeneverglas in a beerglass and then slowly pour beer in the glass,with every sip you take it mixes but you can also take a beerglass and a jeneverglass in one hand and let the jenever fall in the beerglass while you are drinking ,a traditional way in the north.Also with some local cheeses it can be a very good companion(Leiden-Frisian or Beemstercheeses)and ofcourse we use the stuff to cook with it.It`s a easy drink which you can enjoy whenever you want.Leidse koffie, 1part Leiden young 3 parts black strong coffee,brown sugar to your taste pinch of cinnamon,stir,cover coffee with very tight whipped cream it`s very good on a winters day,enjoy! Eric.

barturtle
05-28-2007, 20:53
Gary a lot of people drinking it have passed 60 they buy mostly a local brand young or old ,youngsters ( 18+ in NL) mostly buy young and mix it with cola or so or on the rocks and you have a group that taste the diffrent types like corenwijn or woodstored jenevers.The flavored ones are drunk mainly by women, why i don`t know, there are some nice ones.

I'm not sure why either, but that's what the bartender at Café Karpershoek told me. I tried a variety of flavored ones there with some women I was traveling with and found them to be quite nice. So far I've located an importer, but they don't distribute where I am. Now to find a good excuse to drive to where they are.:cool:


You can drink it as a aperitif (mostly young)with some Dutch tapas the corenwijn types are very good as a digestive or in combination with the raw herring which makes a good combination! A way to drink it to put a jeneverglas in a beerglass and then slowly pour beer in the glass,with every sip you take it mixes but you can also take a beerglass and a jeneverglass in one hand and let the jenever fall in the beerglass while you are drinking ,a traditional way in the north.Also with some local cheeses it can be a very good companion(Leiden-Frisian or Beemstercheeses)and ofcourse we use the stuff to cook with it.It`s a easy drink which you can enjoy whenever you want.Leidse koffie, 1part Leiden young 3 parts black strong coffee,brown sugar to your taste pinch of cinnamon,stir,cover coffee with very tight whipped cream it`s very good on a winters day,enjoy! Eric.

Sounds like you use them for the same things we use whiskies for: Hot drinks, cold drinks, Boilermakers, shots, aperitifs, digestives, mixed drinks...all represented.

mier
05-29-2007, 01:17
True we use them in a way whisky gin or rum are used after all it`s our national drink.If you ever plan a trip over again let me know i`ll show you around some good "bruin"pubs that are guaranteed tourist free so you get small batch brands you might never heard of.Eric.