Owner Sebastiaan van Bokkel describes Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin as Dutch Courage mixed with Indonesian spice. We agree – Bobby’s is an exotic and contemporary Gin that is sure to have heads turning.
Launched in 2014, Bobby’s Gin was inspired by a family recipe that began its life many decades earlier. The story begins in the early 50’s when Jacobus Alfons, or Bobby to his family and friends, who was born in Naku, Ambon (Indonesia), migrated to the Netherlands and settled in Schiedam.
Bobby loved Dutch Genever but in his search for flavours reminiscent of home, he started infusing his Genever with familiar Indonesian spices and herbs. Unknowingly, he had created his own “home brewed gin” and laid the foundation for Bobby’s Gin…
Fast forward a few decades to 2012. Bobby’s grandson Sebastiaan discovered an old bottle at his mother’s house. Inspired by the story about his grandfather and his unique Indonesian recipe, he set about creating an equivalent for today’s market. It wasn’t all romance, innocent whimsy and naïve planning however. Having worked in the drinks industry, the notion of creating a spirit wasn’t a new revelation for Sebastiaan was and one he had been keen to pursue for a while. The historical legacy and family connection he had uncovered in his Grandfather’s recipe merely gave him a fixed point and a base off which to work from.
To create the gin, he partnered up with Herman Jansen Distillery, which now co-owns Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin alongside Sebastiaan. For those unfamiliar with the longstanding Dutch distillery – Herman Jansen is a family-owned distillery, located in Schiedam. They have been producing spirits since 1777, making them one of the oldest distillers in the world. For over seven generations the family have dedicated their lives to building a business based on quality and are rightly known as being incredibly experienced at making quality spirits.
Using the historic recipe as a starting point, they evolved the final botanical line up into something that combines traditional Indonesian ingredients and spices alongside the typical gin ingredients. Organic botanicals such as juniper, coriander seed, fennel and rosehips make Bobby’s a ‘Schiedam Dry Gin’ and create half of the balance between East and West. The “Eastern” part of the line up are cloves, lemongrass, cubeb pepper and cinnamon.
It took two years of trials, conversations and testing before they settled on a final method and a final gin, but it was definitely worth the wait. Interestingly, the team use a fractional distillation technique to produce their spirit, distilling the botanicals separately in either 600lt or 3000lt copper pot stills to achieve the required flavours. They then carefully blend together each distillate and bottle Bobby’s Gin at 42% ABV.
Bobby’s Gin to taste…
Bobby’s Gin is multilayered and soft on the nose – there is no spiritedness, yet it is incredibly fragrant. Lemongrass and rosehips burst on the nose in an intoxicatingly exotic mix. Complex clove and coriander seed flavours follow up these elements once tasted, with a refreshing zing from the lemongrass joining in. The juniper anchors the gin while cubebs linger long after the sip has disappeared.
The Gin works well in a Gin & Tonic (try a clove studded orange peel as a garnish) but is easy to imagine working well in a multitude of cocktails, especially, re-interpretations of classic Genever based punches.
Having created a beautiful hybrid of Indonesian spices and traditional gin flavours, they set about creating a modern interpretation of a classic jenever bottle. Taking the classic ‘kruik’ bottle so typical for Genever’s, they updated to the 21st century with a modern interpretation of its shape and use brown/grey smoked glass. While a seemingly minor addition at first – the impact of the screen-printed Ikat pattern (traditional Indonesian pattern) is a triumph. The combination of elements in both the design and the gin itself, gives Bobby’s a contemporary edge, yet remains respectful of the heritage of the spirit.
The gin is striking in its individuality, both the contents and the bottle resonate. It is unlike any others we have tasted to date and while this may sound like an unusual comment given one would assume everything would actively seek to be unique, in a saturated market, it’s not that easy to accomplish with such panache.
In doing so, Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin adds to the conversation about what a gin can be and pushes the category forward in a hugely positive way. It’s a small brand growing organically and focused around bartender advocacy so don’t expect it to become a frequent sighting overnight. However, with a slick look and feel, great taste and a really unique point of difference, it makes for a perfect gift for those seeking out something different. Bobby’s will undoubtedly become a fixed point on many gin fan’s shelves, as it seems to have already done here at Gin Foundry HQ.
For more information about Bobby’s Gin, visit their website: www.bobbysdrygin.com
Say hello on Social media:
Copyright © Gin Foundry