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Wednesday
Oct202010

The Dutch DO Gin!

We all know that the dutch love their gin.  Genevier (Jenever, Genevieve, Dutch or Hollands Gin) is one of the oldest ways to get your drink on.  The true difference in terms of production between London Dry and the Hollands Gin is the use of malt wine.  This is essentially a malted barley mash (think whisky) distilled with juniper berries, which makes the drink much earthier and well, maltier.  The Dutch are renowned for this style of gin and its production is regulated by EU law.  One of the top producers of Hollands Gin is the Nolet Distillery in Scheidam.  The Nolet Family began distilling in 1691 and helped make Scheidam a worldwide capital of distillation.  They are renowned for the creation and subsequent sale of the uber popular Ketel One brand of vodka.  While the family gave up some control of the Ketel One brand, they still control their historic distillery in Scheidam.

The patriarch of the Nolet Family, C.J. Nolet Sr., has been working on his Dry Gin recipe for over four decades.  A departure from the standard Dutch style gin, Nolet's Reserve Gin 750ml is in a class of its own.   I maybe one of the few people to have actually tried this stuff and I will say its good.  By good, I mean GREAT!  This is truly a really special concoction and this one had to deliver.  The main flavor profile is derived from two ingredients, saffron and verbena.  The savory spice of the saffron works wonders next to the sweet herbal aromas of of the verbena.  Each of its many components (lots of other stuff goes into the Reserve) are the individually macerated and distilled in small copper pot stills, then blended and rested to achieve incredible depth and balance. It is bottled at a hefty 52.6%

This is definitely a whisky drinkers gin - it is meant to be sipped at room temparture or on the rocks.  If you own a Bentley you may want to consider mixing some drinks with this stuff.  At $625 a bottle the Reserve gin is definitely the world's most expensive gin.  It begs the question, who will actually buy this stuff?  Of course the laws of supply and demand should inevitably lead to the sale of this outrageous product, I've only been allocated one bottle and no more than a case made it into California.  From what I can tell only one other store in the US is currently selling any. 

For those who can't afford the outrageous price of the Reserve, the kind gentlemen of Scheidam have created the Nolet's Silver Dry Gin 750ml.  This is a collaboration between C.J. Nolet and his two son's, Bob and Carl Jr.  More typically what we expect from a Dry Gin, Nolet will certainly become a favorite of pros behind the bar.  This takes the Modern London Dry and gives it an extra little something something.  Intensely fruit forward, the Nolets add white peach and fresh raspberry to a classic list of botanicals.  Turkish Rose rounds out the list of unusual ingredients and it's bottled at a satisfying 47.6%.  While this is still an expensive gin at $50, I truly believe it to be one of the best available.  Any serious cocktail junky/gin drinker will be very pleased with the purchase of this unusual potion. 

What's the most you'd ever pay for a bottle of gin?   If something isn't aged for 40 years can a price tag like Nolet's Reserve ever be justified?  Have you seen the price of saffron recently?  Is even $50 to much to spend on a GREAT gin?  Let us know...

Nolet's Reserve Gin 750ml - $625

Nolet's Silver Dry Gin 750ml - $50

-David Girard

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