I’ve already written a little more in-depth about Filliers and their history, so I won’t repeat myself here. This Belgium producer has an impressive array of Genevers, including a few vintage releases. That’s very rare for this type of spirit.
Today’s particular Genever was distilled in February 1997, before spending 18 years in casks made from American oak. It was distilled from rye, malt and corn, and bottled at an impressive (for a Genever at least) 43 percent alcohol by volume.
Interestingly, this is a 100% maltwine Genever, a relatively rare occurrence. That means this wasn’t diluted with neutral grain alcohol (or even worse, alcohol from molasses). The only botanical used are juniper berries, which again, is pretty rare. Usually at least a few others are included as well.
Only 2.500 bottles of this Genever have been released, but surprisingly it is still pretty easy to find.
Filliers 1997 Vintage Grain Genever (43%)
Nose: We’re in malt whisky territory here. Some light minty touches, as well as pine needles, accompanied by vanilla, oak and soft yellow fruits. Very good.
Taste: The palate is slightly creamy, which makes for a pleasant mouthfeel, with a spicy backbone and light touches of juniper and pine. Subtle lemon and some vanilla as well.
Finish: Drying, before returning to fruitier and grassy notes.
One of the most complex genevers I’ve had the pleasure of tasting, and certainly one to sip and savour neat. If you are a whisky drinker, but you’d also like to explore Genever, then this is a great place to start. Extremely close in flavour profile to a gentle Speysider, this’ll ease you into the category.
Photo: Master of Malt