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Issue 85 - Dutch courage

Whisky Magazine Issue 85
January 2010

 

This article is 4 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Dutch courage

Dave Broom takes a trip to Holland to visit a very Dutch distillery – Millstone.

The sat nav was obviously confused. We had arrived in the village of Baarle- Nassau easily, but it was now forcing us to drive into a small industrial estate which, as any fool knows, is not where you find a distillery. Whisky distilleries are normally surrounded by fields, they are rural, they're also big, what they are not is plonked next to a car-dealership. Maybe the sat-nav wanted to turn itself in for a new model. It was, however, persistent.

“Turn left!” We went straight on and turned around heading back out, “Turn right!” I swear there was an exasperated note in its voice.

We stopped outside a modern grey building.

The door opens and Patrick van Zuidam walks out. “You found us OK, excellent!” We keep schtum.

He ushers us inside a spacious, airy, modern building that could pass for a trendy art galley. Built in 2002, it acts as reception and offices for the distillery next door, which was started by his father Fred in 1974. Around the walls are display cases of beautifully packaged genever, gin, liqueurs..

and the prime reason for the visit, Millstone single malt whisky. From a Scottish perspective the juxtaposition of gin, liqueurs and single malt whisky on the same small site would be unusual, but it is less so in Holland. The Dutch, after all, are among the greatest distillers in Europe, conceivably the first to bring some form of scientific and commercial control over spirits production, the first to innovate with new flavours and experiences. In s...

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