Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin Review

By Timo Torner / Last updated on August 8, 2023

Our in-depth review of Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin.
Bobby's Gin bottle and ingredients

Based on a recipe from Jacobus "Bobby" Alfons, Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin is inspired by two worlds: South-East Asia and Europe. In 2012 Sebastian and David van Bokkel found the recipe, and after only two years of testing, they released Bobby's Gin with the help of Herman Jansen Distillery, located in Schiedam.

Bobby's has a complex bouquet with many layers. An exotic aroma profile led by lemongrass, cinnamon, and rose hip. On the palate, these exotic spices blend with coriander, juniper, and cloves to create an invigorating spirit best served in a Gin and Tonic

It's a fantastic gin of excellent quality that brings Asian flavors together with a European spirit. Read our review to find out more about Bobby's.

Bobby's Gin Review Summary

  • Produced By: Bobby's Gin
  • Owned By: Sebastiaan van Bokkel, David van Bokkel
  • Product Websiteto product website
  • Production Location: Schiedam, Netherlands
  • Classification: New Western Dry Gin
  • Known botanicals: Juniper, rose hip, cinnamon, coriander seeds, lemongrass, cloves, fennel, cubeb pepper
  • Base Spirit: Neutral grain spirit
  • Aging: No Age Statement (NAS)
  • Proof: 84, 42% ABV
  • Price: $35 / 750 ml
  • Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Tasting notes

Once you open the bottle, you can smell the fresh and fragrant aroma of Bobby's Gin. The nose of the Schiedam Dry Gin is very floral, with notes of rose hip mixed with lemongrass and cinnamon. In the background, you can also detect spicy notes from cloves and fennel. 

By swirling it in the glass, you will notice the unusually high viscosity, which strongly reminds me of Genever. That only makes sense because the Jansen Distillery has been famous for distilling Genever for generations. 

On the palate, you get more rosehip and fresh and intense citrus notes from lemongrass that dominate the gin. Strong notes of cloves and fennel come through as well as piney juniper flavors. Overall, all the flavors are quite pronounced and bold. -That's unusual, but I like it.

The finish is also not subtle at all. It's very long with spicy and peppery notes of cubeb pepper and hints of basil. 

On ice

Serve chilled or on ice, the floral rose hip notes fade slightly. That happens for all flavors because, in general, aromas and flavors develop better at warmer temperatures.

The profile shifts slightly and an exotic combination of lemongrass and cinnamon comes through. For sipping, I recommend trying both neat and on ice. Personally, though, I prefer the fuller, more complex flavors when served neat.

Cocktails

That's how Bobby's performs in three of the best Gin Cocktails:

Gin and Tonic

Bobby's Gin is far up on our list of the best gins for a Gin and Tonic. It's particularly great when you look for less junipery options. While the official recommendation for tonic water is Fever Tree Indian Tonic, I prefer Mediterranean Tonic Water. 

Garnished with freshly sliced orange peel, I'm sure this highball will blow your socks off. So here's my suggestion for the perfect serving. I prefer a ratio of 1:3 of gin to tonic water, but sometimes I also reduce the amount of tonic to 1:2 to let the spirit shine.  

Negroni 

The combination of Campari, sweet vermouth, and Bobby's Gin also works nicely. The bold flavors are strong enough to shine through the bittersweet combination of vermouth and Italian red bitter. 

As much as I like Negronis and Bobby's, I have to say that the Gin & Tonic was much better. In other words, Bobby's is a good option for a Negroni but not the best.

Gin Fizz

I was curious to taste Bobby's in a Gin Fizz and wasn't disappointed. The bold and exotic flavors paired nicely with fresh lemon juice and sugar syrup. However, I liked it even more when using spiced syrup instead of regular simple syrup.

Lemongrass, rose hip, cinnamon, and lemon create a wonderful summer-inspired flavor. The refreshing carbonation from chilled soda water made it even more refreshing.

Bottle design

The brown and grey smoked glass used for Bobby's Gin is a modern interpretation of the original genever bottle. The printed pattern on the bottle, a so-called ikat, symbolizes a traditional Indonesian weaving technique used for Sarongs.

The bottle stopper is quite large and made of natural wood. The bottle is closed with a blue band that fixes the wooden lid on the bottle.

On the label is the slogan: "Best of both worlds, east and west". A reference to the origin of its recipe in honor of the grandfather of the founders.

Botanicals

The botanical selection in Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin is special. Yet, the list of plants and herbs used doesn't look overly experimental at first sight. The spirit is flavored with the following botanicals:

  • Juniper
  • Rosehip
  • Cinnamon
  • Coriander seeds
  • Lemongrass
  • Cloves
  • Fennel
  • Cubeb pepper

Brand

Bobby's Gin is named after the grandfather of the guys that brought the gin to life. Bobby was born and raised in Indonesia and grew up with the vibrant spices typical for South-East Asia. When he fell in love with Genever, he started pairing traditional Indonesian spices with this Dutch spirit. 

In 2012, Sebastian van Bokkel and David van Bokkel discovered the old Pinang Raci (Engl. spice mixture) recipe their grandfather used to infuse spirits. Intrigued, they decided to turn this spice mix into a product with the help of the famed Genever producer at Herman Jansen Distillery in Schiedam.

After two years of testing and tweaking recipes, they released Bobby's Gin in 2014. Since then, the unconventional flavors gained a loyal fan base. Merely two years later, they released a second product: a real Genever (or Jenever).

After experimenting with the different spices in the Pinang Raci of their grandfather, the two brothers and master distiller Ad van der Lee came up with a variety of special products that re-interpret the spice mix. The first one was released in 2022 and is called "Pinang Raci Spice Blend No.1".

Where is it produced?

Bobby's Gin is produced at Herman Jansen Distillery in Schiedam, Netherlands. The Jansen family makes Genever in the 8th generation, and they know exactly how to work with juniper-based spirits.

The city of Schiedam, often referred to as the capital of Genever, has been the focal point of the juniper distillate since the 18th century. Therefore it's also the birthplace of gin as we know it today. 

Herman Jansen and his family were at the forefront with their distillery "De Tweelingh". If you have the chance to visit Schiedam, take a short detour to the Genever museum. It offers extensive insight into the production of Genever and explains the difference to gin.

How is Bobby's Gin produced?

Bobby's is produced by distilling each of the eight botanicals separately using 300l and 600l copper stills. The resulting spirits are then blended and ultimately reduced to 42% ABV.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High-quality spirit
  • Exotic flavor profile
  • Great neat and in drinks like a Gin & Tonic

Cons

  • Non-traditional taste that lacks dominating juniper notes

Conclusion

Bobby's Dry Gin is as far from the classic London Dry flavors as possible. It has a distinct aroma, bold flavors, and, overall, an unique flavor profile. It truly pushes the boundaries. So, if you're a fan of traditional, juniper-forward products, this one is not for you. For everyone else, Bobby's Gin is one of the most refreshing gins I have ever tasted. 

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Bobby's Gin FAQs

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