A complex process, simplified
Genever is unlike any other distilled spirit, owing to both its distinctive flavor and its vast array of profiles that range from botanical to crisp and refreshing to full-bodied malt.
With so much variation, what makes a genever a genever, then? The first defining feature is a unique malt spirit that’s derived from a combination of pure grains—typically a blend of barley, corn, rye and wheat—that’s triple-distilled in a copper still up to around 50% alcohol by volume. This sets the complex, malty-yet-fruity base. The higher the malt spirit content, the richer and more robust the genever’s flavor will be.
Juniper berries are the second defining feature of genever. To heighten the flavor complexity and expand the options even further, they’re distilled along with a botanical mix. This botanical distillate is then blended with the malt spirit until the perfect balance is achieved. At this point, the master distiller will choose to either leave the product unaged or to age it in wooden barrels. Un-aged varieties are malty with crisp notes of botanicals whereas aged varieties are characterized by a rich and grainy flavor, plus additional notes absorbed from the barrel itself.