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Otenba the new gin genever hybrid on the block

By February 27, 2020

I was lucky to be invited to the early tasting sessions of this interesting spirit by the founder and creator of Otenba, master distiller Monique ten Kortenaar. The spirit will be launching soon and to get it off the ground Monique has launched a crowdfunding campaign. I'm proud to say I'm a big supporter.

Otenba's concept is that it is a bridge between two spirits; gin and genever. It has qualities that encompass both, having the aromatics and fragrance of gin whilst maintaining the depth and body of genever. 

Monique certainly knows her spirits having honed her skills as a distiller with Bols and Wynand Fockink. Otenba is a nod to her perfumer grandfather who spent a lot of his time in Japan, so the drink contains nods to the orient in both nose and palate. 

The word Otenba refers to a "spirited girl who has mannish character. It has been used since the Edo period, and there are various theories about its etymology. The most famous one is a theory that it comes from the Dutch "ontembaar," which means "indomitable" or "irrepressible." This spirit certainly encompasses the rebellious nature of it's name.  

Otenba is fresh, warm & fragrant. It has an initial aromatic nose of juniper and refreshing citrus, followed by a spiciness from the underlying botanicals.  It also has expressive notes of vanilla and exotic fruits followed by hints of florals with a pleasant biscuity aroma.

On the palate it is well balanced, smooth, crisp and layered with a long finish.
It has notes of pandan, juniper and orange. The finish is dry with a warm maltiness and hints of pepper.
Ideal sipped on it's own, with a mixer or in a cocktail, it is a versatile drink that will appeal to many, bartenders and consumers alike.

To find out more about the spirit and the crowd funding go to https://crowdaboutnow.nl/campagnes/otenba/investeer or https://www.otenba.amsterdam/

All photos courtesy of Monique Ten Kortenaar

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