Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bols Barrel Aged Genever

Established in 1575, Lucas Bols is one of the world's oldest distilled spirits brands, and the first registered company in Holland. The Bols family first began distilling liqueurs in an Amsterdam workshop called "t Lootsje", meaning "The Shed". The business greatly expanded during the Golden Age because Lucas Bols, the head of the company at that time, had a majority stake in the Dutch East India Trading Company. This gave him access to wide variety of exotic herbs and spices returning from the colonies in Indonesia, South American and the Caribbean. Using these ingredients, Bols was able to create 300 different liqueur recipes in the 18th century alone.

In 1664, Lucas Bols began distilling genever - a triple distillate of rye, wheat and corn (what the Dutch call malt wine), which is then blended with a botanical and juniper berry distillate, resulting in a balanced, full flavored spirit. The original Bols Genever recipe was an immediate success and was quickly transported throughout the world by the sailors of the Dutch East India Trading Company. However in 1820, Bols introduced a revolutionary new genever recipe with a better balance of malt wine, neutral grain alcohol and botanicals. It resulted in a smoother, more subtle spirit which gained immense popularity during the rising cocktail craze in the US. By 1875, the import of genever into the US is six times larger than that of gin. In recent years there has been a renewed interest in cocktail culture, and Bols Genever's authentic 1820 recipe allows bartenders to recreate the true classics as they were meant to taste, as well as invent new, interesting combinations.

The 1820 Bols Genever recipe.

However, Master Distiller Piet Van Leijenhorst, is always looking for new ways to enhance the genever experience. Bols has recently announced the release of the new Bols Barrel Aged Genever, a new expression of the spirit designed with bourbon connoisseurs in mind. Bols Barrel Aged Genever is produced according to an authentic recipe created by the company in the 19th Century - different from the recipe used for Bols Genever 1820. This recipe is aged in French Limousin oak barrels for at least 18 months, lending the spirit a pale golden color and adding complex notes of wood and spice to the herbaceous, juniper flavors of the original Bols Genever.

For centuries, Bols Genever has been bottled and shipped around the world in brown clay jugs that can still be found in old shipwrecks or during archaeological digs. In honor of this tradition, Bols Barrel Aged Genever is bottled in grey earthenware jugs from the German Westerwald region.

Antique bottles of Bols Genever.
Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

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