A well-known face in the Dutch Spirit drinks industry took a big leap last year when he surprised his friends and colleagues by quitting his job, leaving everyone flabbergasted with a “see you soon” note. After trying for a while what it would feel like to sleep in, his inner Duracell rabbit was fully recharged and decided it was time.
Time to launch BEEK.
BEEK is the result of a long overdue dream of Jan Beek, to launch his own independent bottling line. Not only imported whisky from Scotland but a complete range of different quality spirits. Small batches of pure craftsmanship resulting in honest products.
During 2017 he started the search for the right casks and a place to blend and distil quality spirits following his own recipes and philosophies. He found a partner in Zuidam Distillers, who gave him the opportunity to use their distillery for both disciplines, and without much ado, his previous employer Van Wees proved to be a trustworthy connection he could use for acquiring casks internationally and, not the least important, distributing his finished products. With this network, he has a great base to make his dreams come true.
Now, end of March 2018, BEEK is ready to release the first expressions in his new line. A line that will be growing over the years to come with different sort of spirits. The first range consists of a traditional Dutch bitter (with a twist), a blended rum, a surprisingly fresh gin made with rooibos, a proper oude genever, a korenwijn leaning on a healthy portion of cinnamon, a blended whisky where all single malts used are from Dutch distilleries and, to top things off, a single malt Scotch whisky, undoubtedly the first of a long line of the BEEK Vintage Series. And this is just the beginning…
BEEK starts this range with these seven spirits, each with their distinct coloured label, with substantial plans to grow to twelve different types. It is not very hard to pick up the enthusiasm Jan radiates when he presents the audience with his new plans. He speaks proudly of his new adventure, getting help from almost his entire family to realise the start of such brave endeavour in an already saturated market such as we have here in the Netherlands.
While we are tasting the Dutch Premium Blended Whisky – as far as we know a never before explored whisky category, we learn that all participating distillers were happy to be part of this project, possibly marking the start of a new cooperation between Dutch distillers who have nothing to prove on their own, but can all grow in strength when they would work together promoting the beautiful products our little country has to offer. A side project we may see more of in the near future.
Next in line in the BEEK line could be a fine Cognac or Armagnac, an (aged) Grappa or Calvados. At the same time, Jan may already have found a Dutch Eau de Vie, or a product us simpletons are not yet thinking of or even does not exist yet.
There is nothing much that can stop BEEK…
More detailed information can be found on the BEEK website
Thomas & Ansgar