Zuidam Rogge Genever is a rather unusual Genever made from 100% Rye grain as opposed to the normal equal corn / rye / malted barley blend that Zuidam use for their other Genevers. Not only is it unusual because it is made from 100% rye but it is also unusual in the way that it is is made. Essentially Zuidam make a rye whisky that they age for 5 years in barrel prior to addition of the botanical and ageing for another year prior to bottling. Although the spirit is 6 years old, it can only be labelled as an unaged genever. Zuidam is a traditional, family owned distillery and all of their spirits (whiskies and genevers) are truly hand-crafted. All of the grain used to make Zuidam spirits, included the rye for this Genever, is milled in traditional windmills – this way of milling causes almost no increase in the temperature of the grain and thus helps preserve the wonderful aromas of the grain. After milling the rye is made into the mash which the addition of hot water which helps to release sugars from the grain. The mash bill is all rye, 50% malted and 50% unmalted, and after about 8 hours the mash is cooled to about 20c and fermentation is started with the addition of yeast. The fermentation takes place in small batches at low temperatures for about 5 days, much longer than other producers, it is this that gives Zuidam Genever is fruit characteristics and allow delicate flavours to develop. The fermented mash is then triple distilled in small, hand-crafted copper pot stills producing a clean and fruity distillate, a basic rye spirit. It is then aged for 5 years in new 200 litre American oak barrels. After 5 years barrel ageing the 45% abv rye spirit is combined with the genever botanicals (in the case juniper, aniseed and liquorice for another year ageing prior to bottling when it is reduced in strength to 35%. The bottles are finished with a ribbon and wax seal and the cask numbers used in the blend are hand-written.