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Artisanal Schiedam gin born from tradition

Launched in the UK at the Boutique Bar Show in London this week, Sylvius Gin is an artisanal gin, hand made in small batches at one of the oldest of Dutch distilleries - the Onder de Boompjes distillery in Schiedam which dates back to 1658.

It is described as being “a modern look on the botanicals of the Dutch golden era” and a tribute to the man who first registered a juniper-distillate named Genievre - the physician and scientist Franciscus de le Boë Sylvius.

Every step of the production is made at the distillery. The team members of Distillery Onder de Boompjes actually peel the oranges and cut the lemons themselves. The other botanicals are added alongside the fruits and macerated for four days in the finest wheat alcohol. This is copper distilled in small kettles to form the core esprit, then rested and married with mineral water from the Anl’eau well in Hunzedal until the alcohol volume of 45% is reached.

The botanicals distilled in this gin all contribute to the balanced flavour profile of Sylvius Gin. The orange peels, coriander seeds and fresh lemons create an in depth citrus character. There’s a large amount of juniper berries in the esprit, ensuring the old school gin taste, the way Franciscus Sylvius meant it to be (for he believed in the medicinal value of juniper berries). Cinnamon adds heat and spiciness to the flavour, and brings us back to the V.O.C.-days in the 17th century. As does the Angelica, Caraway and Liquorice. Angelica ‘glues’ all botanicals together, while Caraway acts like an equalizer, balancing all the flavours harmoniously. Lavender gives the gin it’s floral character, and star anise boosts the gin with an extra up front ‘liquorice’ feel. The high percentage of 45% ABV grabs all the flavours convincingly, and ensures a long and rewarding finish.

Sylvius Gin starts with an aroma reminiscent of traditional gin, with heavy juniper, angelica and citrus. The palette offers a balanced mix of powerful juniper and star anise, floral lavender and spicy cinnamon. The gin has a creamy texture and ends with a long lingering aftertaste. The distillery recommends tasting Sylvius in a gin and tonic as well to "witness the gin’s blue glow and anise-character come alive".

Sylvius Gin is distributed in The Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Distillery Onder de Boompjes produces Boompjes Premium Genever, Boompjes Old Dutch Genever, OSeven Vodka and Sylvius Gin. Onder de Boompjes distills its own fine ‘esprits’ for the genevers and gin, and even distills its own traditional malt wine for the genevers, which is hardly done anymore.

4 October 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor