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Wenneker Goblet Young Genever Gin (500ml)
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- ABV 35%
Gin is a juniper berry-flavored grain spirit . The word is an English shortening of Genever, the Dutch word for juniper. The origins of Gin are rather murky. In the late 1580s a juniper-flavored spirit of some sort was found in Holland by British troops who were fighting against the Spanish in the Dutch War of Independence. They gratefully drank it to give them what they soon came to call "Dutch courage" in battle. The Dutch themselves were encouraged by their government to favour such grain spirits over imported wine and brandy by lack of excise taxes on such local drinks.
A clearer beginning was a few decades later in the 1600s when a Dr. Franciscus de la Boë in the university town of Leiden created a juniper and spice-flavored medicinal spirit that he promoted as a diuretic. Genever soon found favor across the English Channel; first as a medicine (Samuel Pepys wrote in 1660 of curing a case of "colic" with a dose of "strong water made with juniper") and then as a beverage.
When the Dutch Protestant William of Orange and his English wife Mary became co-rulers of England after the "Glorious Revolution" drove James II from the throne, he moved to discourage the importation of brandy from the Catholic wine-making countries by setting high tariffs. As a replacement he promoted the production of grain spirits ("corn brandy" as it was known at the time) by abolishing taxes and licensing fees for the manufacture of such local products as Gin. History has shown that prohibition never works, but unfettered production of alcohol has its problems too. By the 1720s it was estimated that a quarter of the households in London were used for the production or sale of Gin. Mass drunkenness became a serious problem. The cartoonist Hogarth’s famous depiction of such behavior in "Gin Lane" shows a sign above a Gin shop that states, "Drunk for a penny/Dead drunk for twopence/Clean straw for Nothing." Panicky attempts by the government to prohibit Gin production, such as the Gin Act of 1736, resulted in massive illicit distilling and the cynical marketing of "medicinal" spirits with such fanciful names as "Cuckold’s Comfort" and "My Lady’s Eye Water. "
Although 'Genever' style Gin is largely unknown to most Australians, it has in fact been in and out of the country for some time. (The first recorded Genever for sale in Australia was in August 22nd, 1811.)
This example from Wenneker is decidedly different in taste than that of the more familiar London Dry Gins – fuller and riper, although similar botanicals are used in its manufacture only in different proportions. The chief point of difference is the spirit base used in Dutch Gin which, unlike its New World counterparts, is not a completely tasteless neutral grain spirit. Rather, it is distilled in a pot still from a mash containing a large proportion of malt, which on distillation produces some congeners normally associated with whisky. Dutch Gins are also generally distilled at a lower alcoholic strength than New World types. Wenneker's Young "Genever" is a lighter example of the genre and is not unlike vodka, making an excellent base for cocktails as it mixes so well and smoothly "disappears" in combinations. No tasting notes available.
Click here to learn more about Gin.