Hooghoudt PX vs. Peated

Usually on Whisky Wednesday I do review from one of the samples in my cupboard. But today I thought I’d change things up a bit and have a “Genever Wednesday” instead. I got these samples from Noortje from whiskylifestyle.com. Noortje writes an amazing blog (be sure to check it out!) and I’m very thankful that she shared these samples of Hooghoudt PX and Peated finished Genevers with me.

A couple of weeks ago during a live tasting of the Drambuddies with Confessions of a Whisky Freak, Robbert poured a Wynand Fockink Genever that blew my mind! That particular Genever was a 5-year-old limited edition with a PX-finish. Today I’m reviewing the Hooghoudt 7-year-old limited edition with a PX-finish. And as a bonus I’m throwing in a review about the 3-year-old Hooghoudt Peated Cask Aged Genever as well!

As a malternative I think (especially for us Dutchies) Genever can be a very interesting option, especially these cask aged editions. So, without further ado, let’s delve in and find out what kind of flavours you might be getting from these drams.

Tasting Notes: Hooghoudt Limited Edition PX 7 Years
Stats:

ABV: 56,9% (113,8 proof)

Age: 7 years

Distillery: Hooghoudt

Cask Type: PX-sherry

Category: Cask Aged Genever

Nose:

On the nose you might very well be mistaking this Hooghoudt PX for Whisky. I’m finding notes of date, raisin, chocolate and granola bars. Notes I often enough find in a whisky as well. There is a herbal quality to the dram as well though, that reminds me a bit of fresh cut fennel. And that’s a note that in the end does decidedly sets this Genever apart from whisky for me. I will be honest, it’s the herbal qualities that usually put me of Genever (but before Robbert his tasting I was really only used to the “cheaper” variants my grandparents used to drink), but this nose I’m finding very pleasant, like I’m about to delve into an indulgent treat.

Palate:

This took me by complete surprise. The high ABV is much more noticeable than I usually get from whiskies around this percentage. But the flavours are what really blows me away. I’m getting peach, strawberry lemonade, apricot, and red grapes. And those are just the fruity notes. There’s also plenty of crushed black peppercorn, thick and heavy molasses, and liquorice root. There’s just so much complexity here, while retaining a sweet influence throughout. The mouthfeel is very creamy, and it almost makes me feel like I’m drinking liquid candy. I like this very much!

Finish:

The finish is very long. The bite of the alcohol wears of slowly and as it goes the flavours softly fade away into the background as well. It loses a lot of complexity very fast sadly enough, but what lingers is a strawberry cheesecake note that I’m totally digging. Not a bad note to linger on for a while at all!

Verdict:

Once again, I’m extremely surprised by just how much I like this dram. Perhaps I really need to start trying more Genevers! This is just such an indulgent little treat. Like sipping a (very) alcoholic dessert. I think I’m going to get myself a bottle of this to pair with a bowl of strawberry ice cream sometime. My compliments to Hooghoudt for this one! I’m finding it online for right about 55 euro. And personally I think it’s well worth that amount. This is unlike any other Genever I’ve had before.

Rating:

89/100

Value:

B+

Don’t just take my word for it, read what others have to say about this Genever as well:

Tasting Notes: Hooghoudt Peated 3 Years
Stats:

ABV: 40% (80 proof)

Age: 3 years

Distillery: Hooghoudt

Cask Type: Peated

Category: Cask Aged Genever

Nose:

I’m barely finding any peat at all and with this one and it’s immediately clear that we’re not dealing with a whisky. There are clear notes of lemongrass, candied lemon peel, and a couple of vegetal notes like moss and bracken. While this does have a nice fresh zing to it, and I thus might consider this a nice drink for summer, the overall nose of this dram doesn’t really appeal to me. I think (but I’m not sure) that it’s in fact the genever berry that I’m picking up that makes me less fond of this one, as that note was far less noticeable in the PX-finished dram.

Palate:

The last episode of the Drambuddies was hosted by Tim (singlemaltsnob.com) and he provided some “funky” drams for us to taste. Well, this one would have fitted that liveshow perfectly. This is one of the weirdest drams I’ve ever experienced. First, there is nothing. It’s just so watery and I found myself wondering if it was a much lower ABV than the 40% it is. But then suddenly your hit with a wave of citrus zest, like sucking on the pit of a lemon. And once that starts to fade there’s suddenly a whisp of smoke. Almost giving a savoury hint to this dram, but mainly making me think of salted maple syrup.

Finish:

The finish is a lot shorter here than on the previous dram (which is to be expected considering the lower ABV to be honest). It’s mainly the lemon zest that lingers a bit here. Like when you accidently drink the pit from the slice of lemon in your cola. In fact, I’m finding a cola flavour as well, but perhaps that’s just the power of imagination.

Verdict:

This one comes much closer to the idea of Genever that I originally had. Nonetheless, I do like it and if you would have told me I liked Genever a decade ago I probably wouldn’t have believed you. On their own website Hooghoudt state that this dram goes well in a cold glass of cola, and I’m fully on board with that idea. That’s something that I’d love to try some day. Neat, I much prefer other things in my glass. But it was very fun I got to try this dram. And since you can buy this bottle for around 25 euro, I truly do believe it can be a well priced addition to your cocktail bar.

Rating:

72/100

Value:

B

Dramble on!

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