If you’ve ever heard the expression ‘Dutch Courage’, it refers to the dutch national spirit Genever, which the English soldiers would swig just before battle when fighting alongside the Dutch in the late 1500s.
Often dismissed as just an old version of Gin, Genever is actually a distilled malted spirit so is actually closer to an unaged Whiskey.
Genever is one of those spirits that could easily have been lost to history if it wasn’t for brands such as Old Duff that has revived two of the original recipes.
To understand more about this spirit, we talk to the founder of Old Duff Genever, Philip Duff, about the history of the spirit, what cocktails it works well in and why old Duff is worth having on your home bar.
[00:01:25] – Now if people aren’t sure or don’t really know what genever is, can you explain it?
[00:01:50] – When you say it’s the grandfather of whiskey and of gin, which side of the fence does it sit?
[00:02:49] – Now, I mean gin cannot be a gin without having juniper. Is that the same for genever, that genever can’t be genever without having juniper?
[00:03:28] – So if someone were to try genever, what sort of flavours are they getting? How does it taste in comparison?
[00:04:13] – I mean you said that Old Duff is done with rye. What other grains could it possibly? I mean, are we talking wheat and barley and …?
[00:05:02] – Now can you tell us a little bit about the history of the spirit and I suppose explain why it did go out of fashion?
[00:08:25] – When you were saying that it was still strong overseas outside of Europe, what countries was it being-?
[00:09:31] – Can you explain the seal of, and I’m probably going to get the pronunciation of this wrong, but Schiedam.
[00:10:47] – In a lot of ways, the up and down of genever is very similar to the fight of Irish whiskey. So I will say, how did an Irishman end up making genever?
[00:12:12] – What made you think that there was an opening in the market or a need for another one, another genever brand?
[00:14:04] – How difficult has it been actually trying to convince people, and especially bartenders – who’ve got so much on their back bars and are sceptical about everything – how difficult has it been to convince them that this is worth a try and worth pursuing?
[00:16:11] – Now did you as a brand come out with speciality cocktails when you launched, or are you just waiting to see what the bars are coming up with?
[00:16:58] – Let’s talk about the two expressions that you’ve got. What is the difference between the two of them?
[00:19:23] – Which one would be better for cocktails? Would it be the green one?
[00:19:40] – Now, if someone were to buy a bottle of the green and take it home, how would you recommend that they use it?
[00:20:28] – Now since the green one has a lot of botanicals in it, what other flavours do you think work well with it? So if someone were going to try and make a cocktail that was slightly more complicated, what other flavors sit well?
[00:21:48] – Now let’s talk about the bottle. They’re incredibly elegant … Are they meant to represent old genever bottles?
[00:23:00] – Now on the label, there is a goat. Do you want to explain why there is a goat?
[00:24:20] – Now with a spirit that has so much history behind it, is it difficult to innovate?
[00:25:46] – what will be the future for Old Duff?
[00:26:44] – What do you think is the biggest hurdle for the brand?
[00:27:33] – Is it mainly Gin cocktails that you can replace it in, or is it also whiskey ones as well?
[00:29:22] – All right, well if people want more information, I presume that go to the website?
[00:29:59] – Internationally?
If you’ve ever heard the expression diutch courage, it refers to the dutch national spirit Genever. Often dismissed as just an old version of Gin, Genever is actually a distilled malted spirit so is closer to an unaged Whiskey. Genever is one of those spirits that could easily have been lost to history if it wasn’t for brands such as Old Duff that has revived some of the original recipes. We talk to the founder of Old Duff Genever, Philip Duff about the history of the spirit, what cocktails it works well in and why old Duff is worth having on your home bar.
Thank you for joining us, Philip.
No, thanks for inviting me.
Now if people aren't sure or don't really know what genever is, can you explain it?
Yeah. genever was once the bestselling export spirit in the world. It's the great, great grandfather of whiskey and then much, much further down the line also of gin. It's the national spirit of Holland and the Netherlands, but also small parts of the adjoining countries of France and Germany, and it's delicious.
When you say it's the grandfather of whiskey and of gin, which side of the fence does it sit?
I will go on whiskey because it's delicious, typically unaged grain distillate with tiny amounts of botanicals including juniper added to it. No more than you'd add dashes of bitters to an old fashioned. It's much, much closer to being a whiskey, and indeed whiskeys contain botanicals until well into the 17 or even 1800s but genever never changed. Drink genever is living history. It's like going to the zoo and they have a living T-Rex there. Gin was sort of an attempt to make genever that went so far from the original that it created an entirely new product. Some people associate them and at one time in history, they were very, very close, but they've just kind of drifted very, very far apart. Which is great because genever is lovely and gin is lovely.
Now, I mean gin cannot be a gin without having juniper. Is that the same for genever, that genever can't be genever without having juniper?
Exactly, exactly. But it does not have to have a discernible flavor of juniper. Legally one juniper berry in the mash fulfills the requirement. The interesting thing is because genever is like unaged whiskey, more juniper typically does not make it better. More juniper typically makes gin better, but it doesn't work with genever. It's really masterful addition of a very small amount of a juniper botanical and maybe some other botanicals as well. You have to judge that really carefully.
So if someone were to try genever, what sort of flavors are they getting? How does it taste in comparison?
Old Duff Genever, for instance, has a lot of rye in it. The mash is two thirds rye, one third barley, five-day fermentation, three times through the pot still. So it's going to taste like an unaged rye whiskey. You're going to get lots of cracked black pepper, rye bread, sort of a doughy yeasty aroma, a slight fruitiness with the 100% malt distillate, the 100% malt wine. You're going to get a degree of sort of almost tropical funkiness from it as well. Of course those flavors will change depending on the dominant grains in the genever that you're drinking.
I mean you said that Old Duff is done with rye. What other grains could it possibly? I mean, are we talking wheat and barley and ...?
Yeah. Anything. All the bets are off. There's some brilliant experiments being done with things like spelt, but it is typically barley, corn and wheat.
It's typically in equal proportions. It doesn't have to be. It's just everybody kind of fits a little traditionally, Old Duff Genever in many ways is traditional. In many ways it isn't. They tend to just have equal parts mash, and they tend to make the malt wine the same way. You can add sugar to genever. Old Duff doesn't. Some producers like that. They like to smooth it out a little bit. So everybody within the parameters gets to make it the way that they like.
Now can you tell us a little bit about the history of the spirit and I suppose explain why it did go out of fashion?
Yeah, it's a really great question because it started off national spirit of the Netherlands back in the day. Every spirit was unaged. Every spirit had little amounts of botanicals in it, be it the flavorings that were added to vodka in Eastern Europe. The flavorings that were added to whiskey in Ireland. One of the first recorded recipes in writing for Irish Uisce beatha was [inaudible 00:04:21] in 1611 and that had, to every two gallons of Uisce beatha, add licorice and raisins. Right. Which does not sound like a whiskey recipe today, but that's what whiskey was. So genever kind of became codified by the end of the 1500s as grain-based, unaged, tiny amounts of juniper, maybe some other botanicals and as the Dutch East India company kind of roamed around the world colonizing the world, bring back spices, they began to idea in other different spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cassia, cloves. When the ships got faster towards the end of the 1800s, they'd put in orange peel, lemon peel because the ships could get lemons and oranges back quicker.
And it boomed. It boomed. It was a best seller in Australia, in Indonesia, in Argentina. Its biggest market was the US. In the 1850s, the high days of the first golden age of the cocktail, for every one bottle of gin or other spirit that was imported through the port of New York City, 450 bottles of genever were imported.
It was incredible. A few things killed it off. One thing was ironically dry vermouth. Dry vermouth was a total hit when it was launched at the end of the 1800s in the USA. It doesn't mix well with whiskey, and it doesn't mix well with things that are like whiskey like genever. So that was one thing. Another thing was the invention of the column still. The Dutch were a little slow to adopt it, and the English on the other hand were really quick to adopt it, especially with gin. That gave them a cost advantage. World War I, not great because it was largely conducted in the places where they make genever. American prohibition closed the tap on the biggest market.
Then World War II completely devastated the Netherlands. When they rebuilt and restarted the industry, the Dutch thought, "Well, you know what? All the bets are off. Let's try something different." They invented a style of genever that have almost no malt at all. Instead of having 100% or 70 or 50 or 20 it had like 10, five two, three, 1%. Essentially they invented a kind of vodka and they called it genever. Ironically, real genever died off in the Netherlands and it stayed alive abroad. 98% of genever sales in Holland now are that vodka like young genever, as they call it, which is nothing at all like what we tasted yesterday, for example.
It's only really coming back now because of the demand, because we're now the second cocktail golden age, everyone's gone back, dug up the books. They're packed to the gills with genever recipes. Like everywhere. The Savoy Cocktail Book, Jerry Thomas' book, Harry Craddock book. Unless it specifies an actual category of gin, everywhere it says gin meant genever. The Collins was a genever cocktail. The Martinez was a genever cocktail. There's even American craft producers trying to make their own kind of genever now. So time is right to make a legitimate version.
When you were saying that it was still strong overseas outside of Europe, what countries was it being-?
The biggest one, ironically, was Argentina. A load of Dutch people went there at the end of the 1800s, Bols, the big genever company, actually built a distillery there in 1935. Obviously Argentina was largely unaffected by World War II. In fact, it was the genever distilleries of Argentina that supplied the USA and indeed other countries during World War II. To this day, it's still massive there. Every bar you go to will have bottles of [eunabra 00:07:55] and completely normal to drink it. It's sort of like the cowboys drink in Argentina, believe it or not. genever outsold vodka in Quebec province in Canada until the end of the 1970s.
Even the neighbor of Holland, Belgium, they never got onboard with this vodka like young genever thing. To this day they still drink more real genever than the Netherlands do. Yeah. That's pretty interesting.
Can you explain the seal of, and I'm probably going to get the pronunciation of this wrong, but Schiedam.
Nope. Very good. Very good. Yeah. So the seed of Schiedam was a voluntary attempt to set up sort of a Scotch Malt Whisky Society among the credible genever producers of Schiedam, which is the genever city of Holland. Like at one stage, this little town of 20,000 people had 392 distilleries in it.
They kind of saw, "Oh God, we've left a bit too late." So they set up something that's the equivalent of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society saying, "Okay, to get the seal you have to make it from 100% malt wine, no sugar, no color. It has to be made in a distillery that just make anything else. We have to inspect it. It has to be between 43 and 48% alcohol." Brilliant legislation. But they made it voluntary, so it never really caught on. And from 1966 to 86, there was none. No 100% malt wine genever was made with the seal of Schiedam at all. So an entire category died out. Then one brand started up again in 1986, and then a second brand followed in around 1998, and then mine Old Duff Genever is the third one which only launched in 2017. So there's only three in the whole world, which is both sad and it fills me with hope for the future as well.
In a lot of ways the the up and down of genever is very similar to the fate of Irish whiskey. So I will say, how did an Irishman end up making genever?
It's a really good question and you're absolutely correct. Lots of the same factors like the World Wars, the reticence to adopt the column still, affected Irish whiskey exactly the same. But I was a young Irish bartender in London, and I had been asked to go to the Netherlands to help set up a bar and I turned it down because I was setting up a bar in the Caribbean. But I came back, they asked me again and I'm like, "Great, okay. I'll go and I'll do this, but only for three months." So I wound up staying for 17 years, learned fluent Dutch, bought a house, got a wife, started a bar. I really fell in love with genever because I lived right next door to Schiedam in Rotterdam. In learning Dutch, it meant I could do the research that hadn't been translated and learn about these forgotten categories and how it really should be made and go to the genever museum.
So it became a real passion. As a consultant, I was also hired to create what is currently the world's best selling brand, Bols genever . They launched what they called 1820 10 years ago and I was on the tasting panel, on the marketing team. I was even one of the copywriters helping to write the back label. That really gave me idea like, "Oh this is brilliant. I'd really love to do my own version of this, like a very credible alternative to this." And that's really what it was. Although ironically, now I live in New York.
How would you describe ... I mean you said that there are two other brands out there, there's also Bols. What made you think that there was an opening in the market or a need for another genever brand?
Yeah, it's again a great question. Most genever producers are heavily dependent on the domestic market that don't export. Like they don't know what's going on in London, let alone what's going on in New York or Sydney or Shanghai. I tend to travel to somewhere between 20 and 40 countries a year. So I can see that thirst. I can see the way that people have gone mad from mezcal. I thought, well look, if you make a really great genever and you make it legitimate. Maybe you have even a rarer form of it, the way we have the Old Duff 100% malt wine, and you tell people the story, they'll want it. For instance, compare it to all the other Dutch brands out there, Old Duff Genever is 100% milled, mashed, fermented, distilled and bottled in Holland. There's almost no other brand available internationally that is. That's a really nice thing.
We've got 100% malt wine with the seal of Schiedam, which is basically unavailable anywhere else in the world outside Holland. For our engagement, we just try to teach about the entire category. I've helped to create the genever category training module for the JERRY online educational program. I'll go to every bar show in the world if they'll let me and teach about genever. I'm going to be going to the Ukraine to give a genever category training. I'll be in Berlin. I'll be in ... Well, we're going to do another 10 cities on this tour. I'm going to go from here to Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong maybe, and then like seven cities in China. When people know about the category, they can make informed decisions. Only then does like marketing and trying to like push your own brand kick in.
How difficult has it been actually trying to convince people, and especially bartenders who've got so much on their back bars and are skeptical about everything? How difficult has it been to convince them that this is worth a try and worth pursuing?
Well, the strategy for my brand is that we just want to be in all the best bars. We want everyone to try it. We want them to put it in a cocktail and see the reception. Because if you come off the bat with something that nobody knows and you try to like sell it to chains of bottle shops and hotels, it's not going to work. The demand has kind of created the higher end, and then it trickles down.
Because people from hotels and bottle shops go to nice cocktail bars and look at it and look at the back bar and think, "Oh right, maybe we should get some of this." So that's the whole idea. Most of those people have heard of genever. Not many of them know the real story. Many of them haven't had more than like one or two types. So we're introducing the chance to do a tasting and taste different ones. Every good cocktail bartender tastes something new to them or not and they start to think about how they can use it in a cocktail.
With genever, it's very nice cause you have classic cocktails to fall back on like the Martinez and the Collins. We've only been around for a year and a half. But we're on the cocktail menu of every world's 50 best bar in New York.
Almost all of them in London. We launch at the end of October. People understand us. What I really like is when people make creative cocktails that I would never have dreamed of. Like the one at The NoMad hotel in New York, which is rye whiskey, Old Duff Genever 100% malt wine, Oloroso Sherry, a teaspoon of banana liqueur, Agricole rum and a brown butter fat washed falernum all like served old fashioned style. It's amazing. It's kind of going up the genever from the funky aspect.
Then the Savoy in London has a cocktail for two, sort of an old fashioned style of champagne cocktail with Bombay Sapphire, Old Duff Genever, and one of the products of an incredibly innovative distillery called Empirical Spirits in Copenhagen. It's served as a champagne cocktail. Again, I'm a good mixologist. I spent a couple of decades in the trenches, but even that is beyond what I could have thought of. I'm really happy when people do that.
Now did you as a brand come out with specialty cocktails when you launched, or are you just waiting to see what the bars are coming up with?
We pushed the Collins. We pushed the Martinez. I think they're remarkable. I always encourage people to have it in an Alexander, which is a creamy cocktail. Because I love creamy cocktails. I really advise people to have it as a Boilermaker. Oddly enough, I was in Boilermaker bar here in Melbourne last night. It was brilliant. It was my first time.
But beyond that, having been a cocktail bartender before we were called mixologists, brands come along, they've got a nice little shiny leaflet and all that. Even if the recipe is good, you tend to reject it to some degree. You want to kind of make it your own. You've got your own ideas. So we don't push it too much.
Let's talk about the two expressions that you've got. What is the difference between the two of them?
Right. There's a black bottle. That's the 100% malt wine genever, and that is the unicorn. There's only three like that in the whole world. That's what genever was until the 1870s or 1880s. So it's a mash of two thirds rye, one third barley, a five day fermentation, three times through the pot still. Then you take two little portions of that liquid to redistill a tiny amount of juniper, and the other one a tiny amount of English brambling hops. Then you combine those three distillates together, and you bottle it at 45% alcohol.
So that's like stepping back in time. It's marvelous stuff. I thought originally I would sell one bottle of that for every five bottles of the other one, but actually sales are like 50/50. Everybody loves it.
To a way that I was surprised. The other one, green bottle, which is called simply Old Duff Genever, and that is the black bottle, but instead of being a 100% malt, it's been diluted to 47% so it's like a luxury whiskey, if you will. The 47% is neutral column distilled wheat alcohol also from Holland. The botanicals are different too. It's still a tiny amount, but now there's six of them. So there's juniper, of course orange, lemon coriander. There's three citruses, and then star anise and licorice. That's more like the genever would have been between 1880 right up until prohibition 1919 or so. It's also for people both in Holland and outside Holland that would be recognizable to them, "Oh, that's genever. That's old style genever." Because 100% malt wine is so rare even the vast majority of Dutch people haven't had it.
The bestselling one before Old Duff launched was the one from the distillery which makes Old Duff called Notaris. It's beautiful 100% malt wine, and it sells around 1000 bottles a year. In the first year with Old Duff just in New York state, we sold 1,001 or something like that. So we are narrowly in the lead. The green bottle was also a little bit more attractively priced. They're both very attractively priced, but the green bottle enables bartenders to, without a second thought, put it in a cocktail menu and you put it in a speed rail, put it on a menu as a Boilermaker. I think they're both brilliant and in blind tastes, people really can't choose between them. When people can see them, they like the black bottle, which you saw yesterday because the packaging is a little sexier. But liquid wise, I think they're both brilliant.
Which one would be better for cocktails? Would it be the green one?
I honestly think it is. I think it's more versatile. It's the fact that it's a little bit lower in ABV. It lends itself better, but it can make everything with the black bottle to the 100% malt wine.
Now, if someone were to buy a bottle of the green and take it home, how would you recommend that they use it?
Well, I would have it with a beer, but I would also recommend absolutely without a shadow hesitation of doubt, have a Collins. Just squeeze some lemon juice, mix the genever with lemon juice, sugar syrup, ice and some sparkling water or soda water. That is a Collins. It's amazing. You could even just, if you don't fancy doing any of that, just mix it with lemonade. Because it's a delicious unaged whiskey effectively, you have all the flavor, but you don't have the vanilla and the tannins from the wood. So you get a very clear flavor. I know you and I had some yesterday and I think a Collins is better with genever than almost anything else. That would be the starter drink.
Now since the green one has a lot of botanicals in it, what other flavors do you think work well with it? So if someone were going to try and make a cocktail that was slightly more complicated, what other flavors sit well?
Yeah, again, it's good to err on the side of whiskey mixology. I was at the chef Jose Andres' new place in New York called Mercado and my friend the beverage director, is Spanish. He loves his highballs. He loves his giant gin and tonics and all that. He had the bartender make us a range of highballs. Probably the one I liked the best was with ginger ale. A simple buck, if you will. So ginger ale and a bit of a squeeze. It's very good with ginger beer. But the spiciness of a good biting ginger beer does tend to overwhelm the genever just a little bit. Mixology wise, I love putting it into old fashioneds, like endless combinations with the bitters that you use. You can tease out elements of flavor because again, it hasn't been softened by wood. It's got quite an assertive flavor, and there's interesting things you can pull out. The citrus particularly in the green bottle is really, really interesting. It lends itself well to sours, Rickeys, bucks, things like that. Like a genever sour is a marvelous drink.
Now let's talk about the bottle. They're incredibly elegant … Are they meant to represent old genever bottles?
They are. The style of the bottle, it's sort of wide shoulders tapering down to just like a narrower base, is the first ever glass genever bottle shape. So initially, genever and all spirits were packaging like earthen wear crocks, and you still see that today. But the first glass bottles were the ones in the shape of Old Duff Genever. I just adore them, which is why I picked them. They were made that way because you could get like a case of them, wrap them up in straw and you could unload at docks where there wasn't even a wharf or a ramp or anything to roll barrels down. Because genever was the world's number one export spirit. It had a raging trade in like West Africa, throughout the Caribbean, South America, all throughout Indonesia, Asia Pacific. Because everywhere that the Dutch people went, they equipped their sailors with genever. They traded with genever. They used it as a trading good. Yeah, you didn't always have the harbor facilities. They were called cellar bottles or case bottles. To me it is the, the iconic genever bottle, so I had to have it.
Now on the label, there is a goat.
There is a goat.
Do you want to explain why there is a goat?
Yeah. Well we went through a few different iterations of it, and not every label proposal even had a space for a goat. But typically the bottle, if you look at it, it's got slightly wider shoulders and it really lends itself having a circular medallion on the label. Once you have a medallion, you've got to put something in it. Historically, you always put animals in there because genever was being sold in places where people didn't necessarily speak English. You could communicate the brand values in animals. So if it was old and strong, you put elephants in there. If it's young and spicy, you'd have like a monkey or some kind of a bird or something.
My daughter really wanted to have a unicorn because she was 12, but that didn't fly. The village that I'm from in Ireland is called Skerries, and it's where the Saint Patrick used to live. He was a real person, and he had a goat. He went away one day goating, or sainting rather, and he comes back. My ancestors have stolen it, killed it, cooked it and eaten it. When he asked them about it, they lied about it. So he was mad and he took everyone's voice, and he replaced it with the bleating of a goat. So if you're from my village, you're nicknamed a goat, and I needed something to put in the label so it was a goat.
Fair enough. Now with a spirit that has so much history behind it, is it difficult to innovate?
No, I don't think so. Having said that we need to educate people about the whole category, I feel you've got to get your basics right. I'm really happy with the two that I have in my range. There's a little bit of a craft spirits boom going on in Holland at the moment and there's the large distilleries jumping out of the ground doing some really innovative stuff. One of them is even trying to do a non alcoholic genever. There's always been people trying to do like flavors because the concept of genever for a Dutch person is actually this vodka like stuff. There's loads of flavor in genever, but on a very small scale, I've seen distillers doing things like using spelt grains, doing various aging experiments, toasted barrels, peated… All that …I think is brilliant. I wouldn't rule out doing a line extension in a year or so. I might like to look at something like a barrel finish in which case it might be an Irish whiskey barrel finish or whatever or a cask strength one or both. Which I think is absolutely fantastic. But I'm conscious of not wanting to have too many different bottles. It causes logistical issues. When you have two, it's a really easy choice for people. Probably for the near future, we might add one but we're not going to be having a new one every year.
I was about to say what will be the future for Old Duff, but I suppose there are still enough markets out there that you need to explore and educate and introduce it to, that bringing out new expressions is not necessarily the primary focus.
No. I mean, I'd like to do a special edition every year or two and we have to sort it out with the distillery. They're a very, very traditional distillery and see how we can actually work that out because they don't ... It's such an old distillary. They don't use it all the time. They fire it up a couple of times a year to make their stuff or my stuff.
Yeah. Working out how to make that cost efficient to do a very small production run. And I've had people ask me, rather insistently that they want special edition of that or that. And I've got plenty of historical styles of Jenever that don't exist anymore that we can do a second run of, but at the moment, nothing's happening for the next three weeks because I'm going around Australia and Asia. It's gonna be a 2020 story, I think.
What do you think is the biggest hurdle for the brand?
Education. If you don't know it, you won't order it. I'm pretty happy selling Genever because it's a very easy to pronounce thing. Even if people say it wrong, they're happy enough to say it. It's much harder to sell products like Kishasa or things with names like [inaudible 00:02:06] or whatever or [inaudible 00:02:08]. I'm very happy about that, but the biggest hurdle is just getting the word out so that people know what Jenever is and what it tastes like. Once they know that, they're confident as bartenders to order it and mix with it, as consumers to choose off a menu. Right? Or maybe even to go in and ask for a cocktail themselves. It is 100% awareness and education.
Is it mainly Gin cocktails that you can replace it in, or is it also whiskey ones as well?
Yeah, I'm going to contradict myself now and say that in mixology terms, many of the oldest gin cocktails started out as Genever cocktails, or they work as Jenever cocktails, but then again, the same is true for whiskey. It's easier probably to point out the ones that don't work. For instance, a brilliant, one of my favorite gin cocktails is a Jasmine, which has Campari gin, orange curacao and lemon juice. Amazing cocktail. You make it with Genever, it's awful. It's really, really bad. Right?
Why? Why does it not work in those situations?
Yeah, because you're basically dropping whiskey in the form of Genever into a cocktail that works to a large degree because of the relative neutrality of the gin, and then another gin cocktail, like a Bramble, the famous Bramble. Gin, lemon juice, Creme de Mure, Blackberry liqueur. You drop Jenever in there, absolutely amazing. It's fantastic. Gin was the original ingredient of the Alexander cocktail. Drop Genever in, it's even far, far better. I wouldn't say it's a hard and fast rule and I don't like to get Genever mixed up with gin because the flavors are so far apart. It's a big mistake that many brands have made. They're like, Hey, do you like Gin? You should try Genever. You really should not. Unless you're a very adventurous drinker. The whiskey thing, whiskey is probably the safer bet. Every whiskey cocktail can be made with Genever and it'll be intriguing. But the ones that do cross over from Gin to Genever, they're pretty great.
All right, well if people want more information, I presume that go to the website?
They do, if well, I am very old fashioned myself, if you do need to go to website or you could go to any of the social media, be it LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and it's always like Old Duff Genever or indeed myself and Instagram. I'm Philip Duff, P-H-I-L-I-P Duff. And on Twitter it's just a plain old Phillip Duff without the S. There's somebody on Instagram who got Phillip Duff ahead of me. Contact you're happy local Proofing & company representative who are the important of distributors for Australia and the Asia Pacific region. That's actually the reason I'm here.
Okay. And whereabouts is it, internationally, whereabouts is it available?
New York state in the US, one bar in North Carolina, the Crunkleton, the United Kingdom, we just launched, I'm very happy about this, about six weeks ago in the Netherlands. It will never be a big market, but it is absolutely vital that it be available in the country where it is made.
Yeah. And then in the end of the next three weeks, it will be Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and all of mainland China, plus additional markets that I don't get to visit this time like New Zealand where proof and Co go and I'm going to tag on, because it's a mate's distributorship the Nordic, so Sweden, Denmark and Norway. We'll do some sort of a launch event, god knows when before the end of the year. and then that'll be it. Then I'm taking a breather for Christmas.
You sound like you've been very busy up till then.
It's really caught up on me.
Are you going to be tackling the rest of the States aside from New York state?
I am actually negotiating with somebody to take over all the USA for me because I just wanted to start in New York city and build a base there. It'll eventually go everywhere, but now my mates in the rest of America are getting actively pissed off that they can't get hold of it.
That's a good sign, right?
It is great. I mean the US is like, it's unalterably vast. It's like Australia but with people. It's so much work. Each state is another country and you need completely different paperwork and all that sort of thing. This partner, an old friend of mine who has USA wide distribution, as soon as we get the deal done, they will be able to roll it out to every single bar in the US, every good bar.
And that's what you're looking in the next six months?
Yeah, certainly have the agreement by the end of the year and then it would roll out slowly. Even the biggest companies in the world, the Diageo’s & pernod’s can't do a USA wide launch in one go. You have to permit the phrase, stagger it. And I want to be there to shake people's hands and do the launches. Right? People want to meet the founder, they want to hear the story. I would imagine it would be first California and then Texas, Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania because those five or six markets consume something like 60% of all the spirits in the USA.
Yeah. I know. Five hard drinking states. Five big states as well.
Anyway, thank you very much for joining us, Philip. And we'd encourage everyone to go out and grab a little Jenever.
Go and drink Jenever. Old Duff Jenever's in all the good bars. And if they don't have it, it's not a good bar. Ask the bartender to stock it. Thank you very much, Tiff. It's been marvelous.
For more information on Old Duff Genever go to oldduffgenever.com