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In 2012 I tried my first Zuidam, a 5 Year Old Dutch Rye, which was quite pleasant. But since then, this Dutch distillery disappeared from my personal radar. Today, thanks to the Dutch Usquebaugh Society, I can change that. They bottled this virgin oak cask last year as their club bottling. As far as I know, they still have a few left for only 50 EUR.
It is immediately clear that rye is the main component and that it matured on virgin oak. Main component, what am I saying? This is 100% rye! It is feisty, spicy and herbal. Cumin, camphor, pepper and nutmeg, freshly sawn planks and some toasted brown bread. A bit of vanilla, hints of nuts and butterscotch and a floral touch. The nuts evolve towards marzipan. Quite creamy.
The body is a bit syrupy and a lot sweeter than the nose promised. Yes, vanilla, cherries, mint, oranges, baked apples and a truckload of caramel make it sweet indeed, while pepper and nutmeg take care of the spicy side. A good continuation of the nose.
Oh, yeah, in the medium long finish I suddenly get raspberries and walnuts. Nice!
This is cask strength, can you believe it? Well, Zuidam did a bit of an experiment by cutting the spirit to 46% before putting it to sleep in a virgin oak cask. Good stuff and still available.