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Producers see genever's potential in UK

Published:  05 July, 2013

Following the UK's thirst for gin, companies have started to import its forerunner, genever, and the popularity of rum also shows no signs of slowing, with a plethora of new launches at Imbibe Live.


Master of Malt has launched Filliers genever in the UK and Distillnation has also introduced Boompjes genever to "top bars and retailers". Until now, Bols Genever was the only brand widely available in the UK.


Marketing manager Johan Kersten from the Onder de Boompjes distillery said many bartenders are fans of the category.


"We know bartenders are looking for genever and we think there is a place in the market for a product like this."


Kersten said the perception of genever in the UK is that it's "expensive" compared with the perception in its native markets of Holland and Belgium, and the distillery is still working with Distillnation to understand the right price point for its young and old genevers. The products will officially launch in mid July.


In the rum camp, Berry Bros & Rudd Spirits has introduced an "older brother" to its Mauritian rum Pink Pigeon. Penny Blue XO is between five and seven years old, and is also made at the Medine distillery in Mauritius. It doesn't have the infusion of vanilla that gives its younger sibling Pink Pigeon its distinctive taste, instead the focus is on aged gold rum. Only 3,400 bottles will be available from mid-July in "key markets" - of which the UK is one. It will retail for around £40 a bottle.


Elements 8 rum, which is now distributed by Mangrove, has added a Criollo Cacao infusion to its range. The 40%-abv rum makes use of cacao from its native St Lucia - which is also the home of chocolate company Hotel Chocolat.


Co-owner Carl Stephenson said he has been working on the project for two years. "We had the technique because we made the spice infusion a couple of years ago and we wanted to explore more St Lucian flavours.


"There is a ready-made palate for this type of product in the UK, with the popularity of things like coffee and chocolate. It's a subtle rum and it opens up new cocktail arenas - like Espresso Martinis and Mulata Daiquiris."