For the first time ever on this blog, but certainly not the last, I’ll be reviewing a Korenwijn. Or Corenwyn, if you want to give it a more international feel. This one is from Bols, which is, as we discussed before, the largest Genever brand in the world.
Korenwijn is a very specific subset of Genever. It has to contain at least 51 percent of malt wine, which is a triple distilled grain spirit from pot stills. The rest can be neutral spirit from column stills, but there are examples of Korenwijn that consists of 100 percent malt wine. Because of this high percentage of malt wine, it is a flavoursome product that usually relies less on botanicals than other types of Genever.
This is also where it gets a bit confusing, as there are also Oude Genevers that are fully made from malt wine. When a Genever reaches that magical threshold of 51 percent malt wine, it seems as though it is up to the whims of the producer whether or not they call it Korenwijn or Oude Genever. That’s kind of strange, as the latter only has to contain 15 percent malt wine.
A higher malt wine content usually is synonymous to a higher quality. Not in all cases of course, but just work with me for the sake of this argument. Why then call a product, which is technically allowed to be called a Korenwijn, an Oude Genever?
The only reason I can think of, is that Korenwijn is a lesser known Genever category, and therefore it makes sense commercially to not call it that. If anyone else knows of another reason, please let me know. Whatever the case is, today’s Korenwijn by Bols is also aged for 6 years. That is a proper amount of time. It has spent its time in two types of casks: French Limousin and American Oak.
Bols 6 Years Old Corenwyn (40%)
Nose: For a product that has spent a considerable amount in oak casks, this is surprisingly fresh and vibrant. There’s room to shine for the coriander and juniper, but there’s hints of licorice, cloves and vanilla too. Taste: The palate is grassy, has a vanilla sweetness, and notes of dill and juniper too. A nice balance is achieved between the sweetness of the oak and the influence of the botanicals. Finish: The grassiness lingers for a little while. Finally some star anise.
Great easy sipping stuff, extremely quaffable. Depending on where you live, this is available for less than 30 euro. A steal if you ask me.