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Jul 27, 2006 05:05 PM

Is there a difference between Dutch and British Gin?

Yes I know the dutch were first but it does seem in this country at least the English have won the war. Have never tried a gin made in Holland. Could someone try to explain the differences in taste between the two. Then if possible make a recommendation of a gin made in Holland that I am enjoy. As to my tastes, I do prefer the older gins with alot of the juniper taste. My favorite at this point is Tanqueray. Others I have tried and enjoyed were Plymouth and T 10 was ok but was some what turned off by the extra citrus. Would love to try Junipero but have not been able to find it. One that I will never buy again is Beefeater's Wet. Miller's is OK but could have more juniper taste for me. When I am having to stretch to the end of the month an American Gin by the name of McCormick is not bad.

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  1. There are diffierences between Dutch and British Gins, as well between different syles of British Gins, London or Plymouth. Also, newer gins made mostly by the "London"-style distillers are different than traditional London Gin.

    London Gin is highly distilled and has a relatviely high alcohol percentage. It's mainly used a as the alcohol to mix with something else. It is normally distiled once, has botanicals added, then is redistilled.

    Dutch Gin is generally not as distilled as London Gin. Instead of using column stills, the Dutch use pot stills. One would normally drinks Dutch Gin, neat and chilled. It should have a stronger malt flavor.

    Plymouth Gin is stronger flavored than London Gin and made from wheat. It has only one distiller, in Plymouth, England.

    Newer styles are trying differnet mixes of flavors, adding different botanicals. Juniper seems to the only requried one, but see:

    4 Replies
    1. re: Captain

      Thank you both Captain and JMF for the information. In the last few months I have been trying to buy a 750 ml a month of the top shelf gins. I have been displeased with the lack of taste of junipter. I wonder if it is a change in my taste buds or have products like Tanqueray actually dumbed down there taste due to the vodka revolution. The steinhager sounds interesting JMF do you know a brand name by chance and is it available in this country? Thank you both for all this info just another reason why virtual drinking is almost as good as the real thing.

      1. re: 1 wiener hound

        There are a few steinhagers available. You may have to special order on the internet. Schlichte Steinhager Gin is probably the most seen, it comes in a ceramic bottle. Here's an internet source but any decent local lisuor store should be able to order it for you.

        Also try Anchor's Junipero Gin for a nice junipery gin, made by the folks at Anchor Brewery in CA. As the name suggests it has a juniper focus.

        1. re: JMF

          JMF: Thanks for the additional info. I have tried to find Junipero in my area and have not been able to find it. I went to and they said they could not ship to SC. I know I can have beer and wine shipped from VA to SC. Do you know of other Spirit merchants that ship by FedEX, UPS etc.

          1. re: 1 wiener hound

            I don't know about shipping, but I was able to find a store that carries Junipero by contacting the Junipero/Anchor Steam people (there should be a phone number on their web site). They gave me the name of an area distributor, who was able to tell me the liquor stores in my area that carried it.

            I've been enjoying my Junipero with tonic and radish slices instead of lime.

    2. First there are actually three main gin styles. Dry Gin, German Gin also called Steinhager, and Dutch/Holland Gin also called Genever

      Dry Gin / English Dry Gin / London Dry Gin. This style is made from neutral grain spirits as a base. English Dry Gin as a style is much dryer / less sweet than Genever and more complex than Steinhager. Plymouth Gin was once a distinctive type but has come to be classified under London Dry because of its similarity. Although Plymouth Gin is the only gin that can use the name Plymouth or Plymouth style. This style uses anywhere from 3-4 to over 20 botanicals in addition to juniper. It can be very complex or very simple according to the amount and type of botanicals. As in its name it is a dry/not sweet, although some of the new gins are less dry than typical for the style.

      German Gin / Steinhager- This style is made from neutral grain spirits as a base. This is a unique style because under German law it can only be flavored with juniper and no other botanicals. This is a dry style but not as complex as London Dry or Genever because of the lack of botanicals that are used in those styles.

      Dutch/Holland Gin aka Genever- There are only a few Dry Style gins made in Holland such as Leyden and Zuidam. The huge majority are Genevers which are thick, somewhat sweet, and at times overwhelming. These are more like the original gins created back in the md to late 1600's. They are made with malt liquor as a base not neutral grain spirits. They have a more robust flavor because of the malt spirit base. There are also several age classifications in Genever. The ones I know of are Jonge- which is unaged and Oude- aged at least one year in oak barrels. Genever is usually drunk straight, on the rocks or shaken, but with no mixer since it doesn't mix well.

      8 Replies
      1. re: JMF

        Thanks, that is fascinating. Where in NYC can you sample Holland gin/Genever?

        1. re: kenito799

          It is sold in many liquor stores and upscale bars sometimes have it.

          1. re: kenito799

            FWIW, Rémy Amerique imports Bols liqueurs into the United States, BUT . . .

            Bols Genever Gin is imported is imported by a different distributor. Contact them, and they should be able to tell you when you can find it in NYC . . .

            William Grant & Sons Inc
            130 Fieldcrest Avenue
            Edison, New Jersey

          2. re: JMF

            Zuidam also makes a genever gin that shouldn't be too hard to find in the US. Zuidam's London dry is very good but the genever is excellent. It's the only genever I've tried so I don't know if it's excellent of it's type but its certainly delicious.

            I recommend the Old Fashioned Gin Cocktail. There are a couple versions at the Esquire Drinks Database:

            I strongly prefer these with Peychaud's bitters. They're perfectly fine with Angostura but with Peychaud's they're absolutely fantastic. Also, the lemon twist is a must.

            1. re: JMF

              I used to drink wonderful oude genevers in the Netherlands that were not thick or syrupy at all, but more like scotch. There were some--and I preferred these--that had no juniper infusion at all. I have never seen these here in the US but I haven't tried very hard either. Now that I think of it, I may start looking.

              1. re: dbird

                I saw an oude genever at Lenelles in Brooklyn and at Astor in Manhattan. Your local liquor store may be able to order it for you.

              2. re: JMF

                You can now find Van Gogh gin in the US- I buy it at Total Wine. I used to drink Bols when I was in Holland- this is the next best thing.

                1. re: JMF

                  In the N.Y. Times of June 24th, in the food section, there was a nice spread on refreshing Summer drinks. Under "Julep" it said, "... These days it is almost always seen in the form of the bourbon-based mint julep, but in the 19th century Americans drank a julep made with genever, an aged gin that eventually vanished from stores. Now it's come back..."
                  I really want to try it because I really like both gin and mint, but haven't come across any genever yet. It's on my booze wish list (along with quite a few other things).

                2. Does anyone know where to find Leyden Gin in NYC (or in the US)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tomdash

                    I think I saw it a few weeks ago at Lenells in Redhook, Brooklyn. They had a nice bathtub display of unusual and hard to get gins.

                  2. Gin is my liquor of choice and my gin of choice is Boodles. Hard to find but oh, sooooo worth the effort. Can't drink anything else at home, although on the road I'll suffer through Sapphire.

                    1. If you want to try the top-of-the-line Dutch gin, go for kruiderwijn- Bols makes it along with some of the other distilleries. It has the most juniper taste.