I had wanted to go to the House of Bols almost since we arrived in Amsterdam. Having said that though, it obviously wasn’t overly high on my list, as I hadn’t been there yet. All that has now changed.
The House of Bols was founded in 1575 and is one of the oldest distilled spirits companies in the world. It is here that they make genever. Genever is the juniper-flavored and strongly alcoholic traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Belgium, from which gin evolved.
I attempted to go a few weeks earlier when I was being a tour guide, but when it was explained to us that you had to do a tour before being allowed one cocktail and some “tasting” shots, we passed on the idea.
At the time we just wanted somewhere quiet to sit, drink and talk.
I’m really quite glad we made that decision.
In part because there was nowhere to sit.
Though it was a wonderful way to waste some time, and it was good value for money, it is also a tourist trap for the over 18s.
There were still interesting historical titbits.
Like the fact that Rembrandt (a neighbour) couldn’t afford to pay his genever bill and was known to pay in paintings …
But mostly it was all geared towards getting you to drink their range.
And the range is quite spectacularly diverse! (And the bartenders who are trained internally are very skilled!)
There are interesting things to see, like the ballerina bottle.
The Hole-In-One-Club wall was also impressive. (And has some infamous members!)
The club was founded in 1929 to recognise golfers who have hit a Hole-In-One. It is established throughout the world, and has over 16.000 members. The chance of hitting a Hole-In-One is about 1 in 33.000.
There is a gentleman on the wall who has hit 14 Hole-In-Ones and counting.
All in all, object achieved. We exited through the gift store and purchased bottles from their range. They are tasty!