“ Brand: Bols „
I don't like Gin. So you can imagine that I was less than Over the Moon when I was presented with a bottle of Gin as a Thank You for a presentation that I have given at a seminar. Clearly it was thought to be a present I would welcome and I did make all the right noises. Given that I was at the time in Holland and the Gin was considered to be one of the best available, it seemed wise to do so. However, it was my intention to give it away to someone who would appreciate it.
Now, don't get me wrong, it isn't one of those irrational dislikes. I have tried Gin. I've tried several Gins. London Gin. Plymouth Gin. Even Bombay Gin. Somehow none of them have given me any cause to want to try any of them again. I've even tried them with mixers such as Tonic. It makes some improvement but not a lot. I prefer my Tonic with Vodka.
Anyway, I got home, late as it happened, after an arduous journey. Thankfully I didn't have to hang about in the airport for luggage; I was on a day-trip. By the time I got home I needed a drink. So, I thought, what the Hell, let's open the bottle and give it a try.
It was beautiful. Unlike your typical Gin, this was smooth and the overpowering aroma that is so typical of Gins such as Gordon's was relatively restrained. From that moment on I was hooked.
The problem, however, is that Dutch Gins are almost unobtainable in the UK. I am dependant on my occasional visits to Holland and on a Dutch colleague who comes over the UK fairly regularly, to bring a bottle with him when he does.
Actually, to call them Gin is incorrect. The correct description is Genever although most English speaking people call it Gin. The name, Genever, is the Dutch for Juniper. It is the berries of the Juniper that gives Gin/Genever its flavour and aroma.
I have tried several different Dutch Genevers since then but the one I like as a regular tipple is Jonge Bols. Bols do a variety of versions. There is Zeer Oude Genever and Corenwyn Genever. Zeer Oude (Very Old) Genever is so called because it is the oldest style of Genever, not because it has been matured for a long time. Corenwyn Genever is the highest quality Genever, matured in oak barrels. This is the type that is sold in tall cylindrical stone bottles that you may have seen.
Jonge Bols is the standard Genever sold by Bols but don't think for a moment that it is an inferior drink, far from it. As you will probably have guessed, the name means Young Bols. Jonge Bols is double distilled and is made from a 100% grain mash. No non-standard fermentation ingredients such as rice or maize find their way anywhere near this spirit. As well as the traditional juniper, 14 other flavourings are included to give Jonge Bols its unique character.
Jonge Bols is exceptionally smooth with the typical Genever aroma but without the often charateristic heady fumes. There is a slight sweetness that tempers the fierceness that is often found in other Gins. At 35% abv, rather than drink Jonge Bols with mixers it is best enjoyed on its own or On the Rocks. Bols recommends keeping the bottle in the refrigerator!
If you, like me, have a historic dislike of Gin, Jonge Bols may change your mind, as it did mine. Why not give it a try, if you can find it.
Brand: Bols / ABV: 35%