Did you know that in the 19th century the average Belgian drank 9,5 litres of jenever every year? And jenever still remains popular to this day! With the yearly jenever festival and a local jenever museum, Hasselt still has a special bond with this local product.
Jenever exists in multiple forms, ranging from grain jenever to fruit jenever, cream jenever or jenever-fueled cocktails: this is a living and growing product.
Young jenever has a neutral taste, like wodka, with a slight aroma of juniper and malt wine. Old jenever has a smoother, very aromatic taste with malty flavours. Old jenever is sometimes aged in wood; its malty, woody and smoky flavours resemble whisky. Different grains used in the production process – such as barley, wheat, spelt and rye – produce different flavoured jenevers. The taste is sometimes enhanced by adopting barrels previously used for American whiskey.
While in Hasselt, definitely take the time to have a jenever (or two)!