Zuidam is one of the few distilleries in The Netherlands that also produce whisky. Recently there have been some new start ups but so far, to me, Zuidam is the only one that counts.
Apart from them there is one in Friesland, but for some reason they have been distilling for over a decade but only release wine finished 3 year old stuff (I wanted to write crap, but decided against it).
Anyway, this one is from their rye series. They released the Dutch Rye 5 year old a couple of years ago and that is a rather good rye whisky, albeit short on the finish. Since then there have been more single malts (peated, unpeated, sherried) and some limited editions and private releases, even one by Millroy’s in Soho. This rye is the ‘100’.
The ‘100’ is present in multiple aspects of this whisky:
- 100 proof (50% abv)
- 100% rye
- 100 months in the barrel
Let’s see how this turns out!
Rye and chocolate, right away. The chocolate isn’t something I have often found in American ryes. 100 months is a very decent age since it isn’t spirity at all. Warm, ‘young’-ish, pepper and spices. Also a bit grassy. A really thick scent is coming from the glass, lovely. There is a bit of a bourbon style sweetness in it which I usually associate with the corn used, but this has to be from the rye and/or the cask.
The palate is spicy with toasted oak, cinnamon and pepper. Full and creamy too with sweet rye.
The finish continues in the same direction but gets even more spicy without getting really sharp. I also get some acidity and freshness.
The palate isn’t the most complex, but it is utterly delicious. This can, from my point of view, compete with any American rye! I wonder if the type of rye has anything to do with the chocolaty sweetness on the nose, but I guess I have to ask the guys at Zuidam.
This is defintely high on my ever-growing wishlist because it’s Dutch and I want to support local businesses, but even if they were from Russia I’d put it on there since this is an absolutely gorgeous dram!
Millstone 100 Rye, 50%, Zuidam Distillers. It’s available in the better whisky shops throughout The Netherlands for about € 45 to € 50.