Hooghoudt is a big producer of spirits in The Netherlands. Not just genevers, but also bitters and liqueurs. They’ve been around since the late 19th century, and released their first ever genever in the 1920s. Looking at the history section of their website, one text really stands out to me. It is the one about Hooghoudt Jonge Dubbele Graanjenever.
When Hooghoudt released their Jonge Dubbele Graanjenever in 1968, this was seen as quite an innovative jump. So much so that the corporate website calls it cutting edge, and claims that its release put the Dutch genever market on its head. Okay, that last part might be true from a sales perspective, but why is it innovative exactly?
Well, at the time, according to Hooghoudt it was quite an anomaly to make your genever with grain alcohol, instead of alcohol from molasses. That might be true, but nevertheless, making genever from grain was hardly breaking new ground.
Genever is traditionally a grain-based drink. How then is it innovative to go back the course and do something that was done literally centuries ago? To Hooghoudt, the launch of their Jonge Dubbele Graanjenever is one of the highlights in their history. Which is probably right from a commercial point of view, but I find it hard to believe the Jonge Dubbele Graanjenever was a wonder of innovation.
Anyway, the product is still made to this day, so I guess it is only right to taste it, since it does represents an essential moment in genever history…
Hooghoudt Jonge Dubbele Graanjenever (35%)
Nose: Just the tiniest hint of grain and juniper, maybe a sliver of orange, as well as just the smallest amount of chocolate. You guessed it: this is very neutral and clean. Taste: A light, sweet arrival, followed by… indeed, by what? Somewhat peppery, and maybe there’s some juniper in there somewhere. Otherwise this is very simple. Finish: Grassy and herbal. Short.
Well, this’ll be the last jonge genever I review on here. Or, what I mean is, I will never again review such a neutral spirit again. I might as well start a vodka blog. Maybe there’s a more interesting and rich jonge genever out there, which I’ll share with you if I taste it. But for now, this is it.