In early 2002, New Holland Brewing co-founder, Brett VanderKamp visited the Caribbean with the intention of enjoying sun, sand and waves. Instead, a lifelong obsession with fine craft spirits was born, having discovered world-class rum on a surfing trip to Puerto Rico. He returned to Holland, MI with a mission; to create spirits that reflect an artful way of life and to share them with the world.
Knickerbocker Gin is a spirit twice distilled and infused with flavors from more than a dozen herbs and spices. Generous amounts of juniper-berries contribute a bright citrus and evergreen body, before a clean, dry finish.
Knickerbocker Barrel Gin, conditioned in spent New Holland Artisan Spirits barrels, has toasty notes from the spirit-soaked wood which accentuate the juniper character and provide a deep and smooth contrast to the lively aromatics.
Blue Haven Gin showcases the local agriculture of Michigan, featuring blueberries from between The Havens on the west coast, the blueberry capital of the United States. Juniper and citrus-forward gin is steeped with blueberries, adding delicate berry notes, and a slight, nuanced sweetness.
New Holland Knickerbocker Gin (85 proof)
Visual: Perfectly clear.
Nose: Highly spiced with lemon citrus and juniper blend. mouth-watering and luscious.
Taste: Dry, yet sweet with a lot of lemon notes. Almost a lemon vodka with an echo of juniper.
Finish: Lingering essence of dry lemonade and vodka. Pleasant, but less herbal than most gins.
Overall: Quite mixable, and in the mould of new world artisanal gins.
GSN Rating: B+
Knickerbocker Barrel Gin (80 proof)
Visual: Mild gold.
Nose: Dusky orange/juniper blend. Refreshing.
Taste: There’s a lot of orange peel and an antique, turn of the century flavor to this gin. The juniper pops through now and again, but the citrus dominates. The barrel aging mellows the high notes out and creates a smooth character.
Finish: Medium-long with pleasant citrus tones acting as a palate cleanser.
Overall: Not what I expected, but another excellent product from New Holland. They are definitely one of the better distillers in the north mid-west.
GSN Rating: B+
Blue Haven (80 proof)
Visual: Clear (surprisingly!)
Nose: Yes, it smells like blueberries.
Taste: Elegant, fruity, well-balanced, Victorian. Simply put, outstanding. One of the best gins I’ve ever had and that’s saying a lot. This took creativity, ingenuity and a dash of insanity to craft.
Finish: Medium long with a goodly dose of the blueberry fruitiness still making itself known.
Overall: A gin that stands well above many New World, 21st century gins. This is excellent on its own, or used in a Dry Martini (make sure to add a lemon twist for the full effect). Kudos to New Holland for a new favorite on the GSN backbar!
GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: New Holland Brew