Bols is a Dutch company with a long history, specialising in liqueurs and jenevers. Find out more about them in this Bols brand profile.
Bols Brand Profile: History
Bols started off as a family business under the name of t Lootsje in 1575 in Amsterdam. It became very successful in the 17th century under the leadership Lucas Bols. At that time, Amsterdam was a major trading port and thus gave Bols access to all kinds of fruits, herbs and spices. In fact, Lucas Bols was a major shareholder of the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (Dutch East India Company).
In 1815, the last heir of the Bols family died. After that, the company was sold and bought over and over again and also moved in and out of Amsterdam. It was bought by Rémy Cointreau in 2000, and is now, after a management buy-out in 2006, an independent, private company located in Amsterdam, again.
The company is famous for their liqueurs and jenevers. They also own, amongst others, Galliano.
Production of Bols Liqueurs
Bols produces liqueurs of 38 different aromas, and they divide their range into six flavour camps: indulgent, citrus, orchard, tropical, herbs & botanicals and berries.
There is no unified production method for all the different liqueurs. Some are extract the flavour from natural ingredients by maceration, distillation or percolation, some just use cold compounding with flavour concentrates.
For all the Bols liqueurs I have tasted so far, the same characteristics hold true: They capture the respective flavour really well; it is usually far more intense than other brands. Their taste is very upfront, with little complexity, no finish and feature an extreme sweetness.
You don’t want to drink them on their own, but they are very suitable products if you need the respective flavour to cut through other intense ingredients.