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Tasting Zuidam 5 yo Dutch Rye Whisky

21 June 2011 Written by:

A Dutch Rye Whisky? Well, Yes!

A few months ago, my good whisky buddy Sjoerd from NL, had arranged a bottle share of American whiskies (i have yet to post my notes!, wow. i am way back). anyways, he was kind enough as to add a wee sample of this very nice rye by a Dutch distillery by the name of Zuidam.

Zuidam distillery goes back to 1975 when it was set up by Fred van Zuidam. His idea was to build a small artisanal distillery, and He built a small distillery of 300 square meters with 1 small copper still and 1 small production line. Today Zuidam is a family run business ran by the sons of Fred Patrick and Gilbert , and the distillery is much bigger  : 3600 square meters with 4 brand new copper stills, over 1000 oak barrels,  4 production lines and a modern tank storage.

In addition to producing whisky Zuidam distillery also produces liqueurs , Gin,Genever,Korenwijn etc. You can find more information in Sjoerd’s excellent Blog post written after he visited the distillery.

Zuidam Rye whisky 5 yo , 40% ABV , £47

Nose: Vanilla, Definitely big rye notes here, You could have fooled me this was an American Rye whisky! Spices galore too, cinnamon,cardamom,cloves, Banana peel.
Palate: Bitter sweet, with vanilla, bitter oak, Rye notes, Banana again, spices and wet inside of a barrel.
Finish : Spicy,bitter and quite short. it’s Bang, then it’s gone.
A nice seeping whisky on a summer day, one cube of ice won’t hurt methinks.

Bottom Line:

This is a nice whisky, It could have fooled me for an American rye. Nice nose, and palate, and a little short on the finish. Excellent sipping whisky for a summer day. An ice cube would come in handy . As for the price, It’s not cheap, but it’s unique.

Score: 80/100

Again, many thanks to Sjoerd DH for this lovely sample.


  • Sjoerd de Haan said:

    Great review! I agree with your marks 100%. The finish is a bit too short, and its a nice drinker. Dangerously tasty 😉

  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael) said:

     indeed a lovely dram the Dutch know their work ….

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