Monday, January 13, 2014

My first encounter with Dutch whisky...

This was originally written in Perfect Whisky Match in July 2012. My intent is to repost all those entries in Whisky Lassie....   

Femke was one of the first whisky people I got to know on twitter and facebook. She and I plan on meeting in June 2014, very excited!!!!

From my mother's generation and grade 11 world history I know that the Dutch love Canadians. In 1942, during the second world war, Canada sheltered Princess Julianna and her daughters for three years during the occupation of the Netherlands. One of her daughters was born in Ottawa. The Canadian government had the maternity ward of the hospital officially declared international territory so that she could be born in "no country" and retain her Dutch citizenship from her mother. Every year since, The Netherlands sends over 10,000 tulip bulbs as their eternal thank you for that gesture and of course, we have a tulip festival. How Canadian?! hehehe. Fast forward to 2012. My goodness, what a time to be living in, don't you agree? After all, as I sit here in my little office area typing away on my laptop listening to tunes on my cellphone, I am reminded yet again of how small and geographically close the #whiskyfabric has become for me. I only started blogging about 3 months ago but quickly made wonderful connections with other bloggers from around the world. After getting to know a  few a bit better, we began ascertaining the idea of trading samples from each's personal collection. So let me back up the blog for a second here. One of the first people who welcomed me with open arms on the "twitter sphere" was Femke. A lovely whisky imbiber who lives in the Netherlands and has been blogging for about as long as I have. We have alot in common. Our "twitter" friends tell us we are both saucy, we have a great sense of humor AND both seem fearless in our new whisky adventures. I, for those of you that don't know, am also a female whisky blogger (no surprise...) who lives in eastern Canada (no, not Toronto) and although I've been drinking whisky for a while, have only recently started to take it very seriously as a hobby, ok...  obsession. I'll be honest.

The cool part of this story (yes, I'm going somewhere...) is that at some point, her and I decided to send each other a whisky sample from our respective countries. I sent her a "mystery" Canadian sample, with an envelope containing all the information she needed, only to be opened after she imbibed.  She in turn, was lovely enough to send me a Dutch whisky!  A what??  Yes, a Dutch rye whisky?! SO FREAKING COOL... I sent her Forty Creek Confederation Oak, one of my favorite Canadian whiskies and I love to share it with anyone who would like to try it (just saying...) So, I'll go back to my first paragraph of this blog and will state again: As I sit here in my little office area typing out my blog in Canada about a Dutch Whisky I just nosed/tasted, Femke is getting ready for bed or is fast asleep in the Netherlands on the other side of the world. How can you not smile at that fact? I certainly do. I am in awe of this wonderful whiskyfabric and all the doors it continues to open before me. I would have never thought even at the beginning of my own whisky adventure that this type of opportunity would/could have taken place. Ok, maybe somewhere down the road in about 5-10 years from now I might have been able to get a Dutch whisky here in Canada... Oh hell, who am I kidding!?  The technology for men to have babies will happen before that??  Sigh...

Here's to you Femke! I can't thank you enough for my 1st Dutch Whisky. I dedicate this blog to you, my 1st international whisky trade. Hope our whisky adventures cross paths at some point down the road. I certainly can't wait to walk beside you.

Check out her blog please, it's different:  Her style of writing alone will draw you in and make you smile. She's on a whisky journey and I am just as excited to follow hers as I am to be on my own.

Zuidam Distillers was started in 1975 by Fred van Zuidam. His dream was to start a small exclusive products distillery. After 10 years and some help from his wife with packaging, his products really took off and his reputation for being the finest Dutch distillery soared. Although Fred and his wife still keep a watchful eye over the distiller, their two sons Patrick and Gilbert run the distillery today. They make a few different whisky products: The rye, a single malt as well as a peated single malt. Their Rye Whisky is from a pure pot still made in small batches and aged five years. Interesting fact: Zuidam uses traditional windmills to mill the grains it uses to make their products. The traditional way causes almost no increase in temperature which means the grain retains more aroma and flavor. It's a great example of how Dutch heritage is preserved.

Zuidam Dutch Rye Whisky, 5 years old, 40% AVB

Color:  Deep golden yellow. Legs are plentiful but not very viscous.  

Nose:  I had no idea what to expect when I poured the whisky into my glass.  I was perplexed because I felt like I had smelled this before somewhere?  I started comparing it to other ryes I have in my collection and never did put my finger on it?  However, I really liked the nose on this.  Rich, fruity and fresh in nature. Alot of spice - hints of cardomom and cloves. This may sound odd but a really ripe banana!? Nice and oaky on the hands.

Palate:  Mouthwatering feel, a bit of burn and bitter but followed by sweet.  Like when you bite into a juicy grape, astringent then sweet. A bit of spice again, reminds me of cinnamon bark. 

Finish: Very short finish, and like most ryes for me (strangely enough) a bit of heartburn type sensation. Still a bit spicy, but not peppery.

Empty glass:  Couldn't find it at all last night, but big VANILLA in the morning. (Oh and a fruit fly enjoyed it's last meal in there as well, who knew they liked rye? hehe)    

I really enjoyed this great little rye and put it above some of the Canadian ones on the market. If you can get a bottle for your collection, if only as something completely different to have, I would recommend it!

A Dutch - Canadian project well done! Here's to the whisky trail and wherever you are on yours!


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