Bobby's Gin

Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin Review

By Timo Torner / Last updated on April 25, 2022 
Based on a recipe of Jacobus "Bobby" Alfons, Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin is inspired by two worlds: Southeast Asia and Europe. And that's what makes it so good.

As the label on each bottle of Bobby's Schiedam Gin states, "best of both worlds, east and west", this Gin combines the Indonesian spices Bobby has been using all along with Western flavors. Here's my review on the Gin right out of the capital of Genever.

How Bobby's Gin came to life

Bobby, born and raised in Indonesia, 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. These experiments are the foundation of the delicious Bobby's Gin as we know it today.

In 2012 Bobby's Grandson Sebastian van Bokkel picked up the original recipe, tweaked it, and finally distilled the Gin with the help of Herman Jansen. Jansen's family produces Genever in the 8th generation, and they know exactly how to work with juniper-based spirits.

Schiedam the capital of Genever

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 right there 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 between Genever and Gin.

Bobby's Gin Ingredients & Design

In almost every part of Bobby's Gin, you can find influences from the Netherlands and Indonesia. The brown and grey smoked glass bottle 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.

When you look closer into the ingredients, you discover a vibrant mix of flavors. Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin contains eight botanicals, including the classics like juniper, coriander, and cubeb pepper. Those are combined with more exotic ingredients like lemongrass, cinnamon, fennel, rosehip, and cloves. And there's also one secret ingredient the producers didn't reveal yet.

The distillation process is rather unusual. Instead of distilling the botanicals together, each botanical gets distilled separately. For this, several copper stills between 300l and 600l are in use. Then results of the distillation process are blended, and the alcohol level is reduced to 42% vol.

Review of Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin

Here's my review on Bobby's Gin and a recommendation on my favorite tonic to go with it.

Tasting notes

Once you open the bottle, you can already smell the fresh aromas of Bobby's Gin. The nose of the Schiedam Dry Gin is very floral, with notes of rose mixed with lemongrass. It smells pretty strong and bold, almost like a fresh oil aroma. But there are also spicy notes coming from cloves and fennel. So overall, it is very complex and unusual.

By swirling the Gin in the glass, you will notice the unusual viscosity. It strongly reminds me of Genever. Which makes a lot of sense, keeping in mind the Jansen family has been famous for distilling Genever for generations. 

On the palate, fresh and intense citrus notes from lemongrass dominate the Gin. And traces of cloves and fennel are also coming through. The finish gives some hints of juniper, but it's very subtle considering it's a Gin.

The distinctive flavor profile of Bobby's can't be found in any other Gin I know. I would classify it as a "New Western Dry Gin", a pretty modern type of Gin. Personally, I like those modern, experimental Gins. And I also have to say that Bobby's is in my personal Top 3, and I keep recommending it to everyone who enjoys light, fresh, and unusual Gins.

Gin and Tonic recommendation

Drinking Bobby's pure is already a treat for the palate. But the real magic happens when using it in a G&T. While the official recommendation of tonic water is Fever Tree Indian Tonic, I prefer Mediterranean tonic water. Garnished with freshly sliced orange peel, I'm sure this Gin and Tonic will blow your socks off. So here's my suggestion for the perfect serving.

Bobby's Gin and Tonic

  • 1.5 oz Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin
  • 4.5 oz Fevertree Mediterranean tonic water
  • Slice of fresh orange peel

Instructions

Add ice to your glass and pour in approx 1.5 oz of tonic water.

Pour in the Gin, followed by the rest of the tonic water, and finally add the orange peel.

Conclusion

Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin is a unique and very bold blend of Indonesian spices and classic Gin ingredients. Fragrant on the nose, delicious when enjoyed neat, and an absolute winner in a Gin and Tonic.

As you can see in this review, it is not the perfect fit for people preferring classic juniper-forward Gins. However, for everybody else, Bobby's is an absolute must-try, especially in a refreshing summer G&T.

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