Jonge Genever is probably the least interesting category of genever, as most of it is industrially produced, with not a whole lot of flavour. It is probably the genever equivalent of what cheap supermarket blends are to Scotch whisky. But please bare with me, as I simply want to try these genevers as well, since they are part of the family.
Henkes is one of the many Dutch genever brands that, while it has a long history, no longer has its own dedicated distillery. Founded in 1824 in Rotterdam, the distillery prospered and even won a medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867.
Nowadays Henkes is owned by (who else) Bols, the biggest brand name in genever. The distillery in Rotterdam is long gone, as is the distillery that Henkes used to have in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht from the 1960s onwards. The alcohol for Henkes is now sourced from other producers, as is the case with so many of the Dutch genever brands.
Henkes Jonge Jenever (35%)
Nose: Quite spirity (nail-polish remover) at first, but luckily those notes disappear after a little while. It is actually quite fresh, with very light notes of juniper, coriander, and pine needles. There’s a touch of rye bread and brown sugar. Taste: A rather oily mouthfeel, with some darker spices, such as cloves and nutmeg, and just a hint of juniper. A touch of aniseed too. Finish: Minty and fresh, with finally some light green fruits.
Balanced, fairly complex. Actually one of the better Jonge Genevers I’ve tasted so far, although this style never quite does it for me, not compared to the malty viscosity of a proper Oude Genever.