I’ve been given a great honor, to run through a tasting of Bols Genever. Lucas Bols has brought a historic spirit back to Holland Amsterdam in the name of Bols Genever. Genever or Jenever is the spirit from which gin evolved, the parent of the spirit we’ve all grown to love. Now, it’s time to rebuild the long lost history of Genever.
Much like its child, gin, the genever is as clear as water but radiates much more power in its scent. The nose of genever is herbal yet sweet and earthy. It is as if genever is the essence of a chocolate marriage with juniper. The bouquet is slightly confusing for the typical gin drinker as it brings many of the same impact in juniper berry without the orange peel and pines I’d find in a London Dry or American Dry variant. I want to call it a ‘gin’ but yet I know it stands alone on its own with its maltwine component. I’m almost at a loss for words on its descriptive nose.
The taste is soft and silky, seductive in many ways while remaining round and pure on the palate. My lips tingle quickly as does the tongue but I get very little alcohol burn, only subtle hints. I get a light juniper attack with juniper berry notes all rounded out with a malty mid-palate transition which reminds me of a rich brown ale.
The finish of Bols Genever is that of a dark non-sweet chocolate with very short juniper tastes as the finish fades. On ice, I get a bit more organic flavors and, oddly enough, a more sour taste with green organic herbal chocolates. I’m finding that Bols Genever tastes a bit more subtle and seductive when sipped neat at room temperature but everyones palate is different so I encourage you to try both variations.
The suggested retail price of Bols Genever 750ml bottle is roughly $38. I suggest this to those looking to really bring something new to their bar, expand their tasting palate and to those that are looking for a subtle gin style play without the floral notes offered in some of the French gins. To avid gin drinkers, keep an open mind, as this drink brings many of the genetic roots of a gin with a more ancient style that makes it stand on its own as unique.