Ketel One Launches Limited Edition Bottle To Honor 325 Years Of Distilling

KOV 325 US-GenEx.To commemorate 325 years of family distilling excellence at the Nolet Distillery, where Carl Nolet Sr., 10th generation Master Distiller, first created Ketel One Vodka, a beautiful, new limited-edition bottle is being launched. Portraying the family’s history in an exclusive and elaborate design, the striking copper bottle will be available to buy from Harvey Nichols from mid-March.

Dressed in copper matte plating as a nod to the important role copper pot distillation plays in creating Ketel One Vodka, the commemorative bottle draws inspiration from traditional Dutch spirit bottles. Eleven coins decorate the bottle, representing each of the 11 generations of Nolet distillers. In addition, and for the first time, 11th generation distillers Carl Nolet Jr. and Bob Nolet will have their signatures featured on the back of the bottle.

Bob Nolet, 11th Generation of the Nolet Distillery, which produces Ketel One Vodka, said: “Ketel One Vodka is a marriage of old world pot still craft and modern distilling techniques. We wanted to reflect this and commemorate 325 years of our family’s dedication to distilling excellence in this special and limited edition bottle.

“The design of the bottle honours the Nolet family’s unique distilling heritage, from the colour and the coins to the artwork and – of course – the Nolet family crest. We’re incredibly proud of our dedication to distilling excellence, which has been carefully passed down through 11 generations of the Nolet family over the past 325 years and inspired my father to create Ketel One vodka. Even now we personally taste each and every single production of Ketel One Vodka before it’s bottled, ensuring perfection every time. Here’s to the next 325 years!”

Additional features on the limited edition bottle include the ironwork-inspired design featured across the front and back of the bottle, which signifies the real-life ironwork design featured above the main entrance of the distillery and the Nolet family crest, which symbolises the values and characteristics, including courage, authenticity and wisdom, that each generation has displayed in building the family’s distilling business over the last 325 years.

In true Nolet tradition, the family will be celebrating the distillery’s 325th anniversary on May 14th 2016, with a large party at the distillery in Schiedam, and is inviting customers from across the globe to join in and send a ‘Proost’ photo to the Ketel One Facebook page at 3.25pm in Holland (2.25pm in the UK) to help celebrate the moment.

The Ketel One Vodka limited edition bottle will be available exclusively at Harvey Nichols nationwide for £45.


Ketel One Tasting Notes

Ketel One

The Nolet Distillery in Schiedam, Holland has been producing quality spirits for ten generations. ‘The who?’ I bet your asking. The Nolet Distillery is home to Ketel One vodka, a brand that you may see in many a bar in the UK and indeed the world, but from a country that predominantly creates genever, vodka isn’t its calling card. But Ketel One must be doing something good to be well-known that a drinks giant like Diageo would pick it up to continue its success. So what made it so attractive to them?

In 1691, a gentleman named Joannes Nolet founded a distillery in Schiedam, Holland after perfecting his unique distillation method. Four generations later, 1794 saw the distillery under the control of Jacobus Nolet. His family members built the Nolet Distillery windmill, known as ‘The Whale and in 1867, the family acquired an interest in shipping and began focusing on exporting its spirits. The turn of the Century saw the Nolet family open a distillery in Maryland, USA but later withdrew from the American market during Prohibition. However in 1983 they were back in the US with the launch of Ketel One by Carolus Nolet, Sr.

With the momentum created by the popularity of Ketel One in the US, Nolet Spirits USA was founded in 1991. It was during this year that Carl Nolet, Jr. made the decision to move to the United States, dedicating himself to the growth of the company. The new Millennium saw the release of its first flavoured vodka, Ketel One Citroen, and the next year saw sales annual sales reach 1,000,000 cases even though advertising was done by word-of-mouth. 2010 saw the next flavour come into force – Ketel One Oranje.

So with success mounting off word-of-mouth, how is something like this developed?

It all begins with the selection of European wheat that, once harvested, it is ground and blended with water to form a mash, then allowed to ferment. After fermentation, the mash goes through the column distillation process. A part of the wheat spirit is re-distilled in small batch copper pot stills, including the original coal-fired Distilleerketel #1 or Pot Still Number 1. After discarding the heads and tails of the pot still distillate, the remaining hearts, including those from Pot Still Number 1, are individually filtered to create a Master Pot Still Blend. The Master Distiller oversees the marrying of a portion of the Master Pot Still Blend, a portion of the ultra wheat spirit and water to create the final product. Each final production run is approved by a member of the Nolet family.

So how does this family owned brand fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on some of the range –

Ketel One – 40%

Slight citrus aromas on the nose leading to a smooth offering of wheat with a slight sweetness following. A developing hint of spice near the end creates a long, crisp finish.

Ketel One Citroen – 40%

A nose of fresh citrus aromas with a slight sweetness following. The freshness follows onto the palate with hints of honey dicing through the sharp finish.

As mentioned, there is also an orange variant to try too, but before you do, how about enjoying one of these –

Old Fashioned
Old Fashioned

Ketel One Old Fashioned

Glass –


Ingredients –

50ml Ketel One Vodka
1 sugar cube
Few dashes of orange bitters
Garnish with orange zest

Method –

Soak the sugar cube in the orange bitters and crush. Take a measure vodka and slowly add, while stirring so the dilution happens slowly. Add a little more ice as you are adding the vodka. Once the sugar has mostly dissolved garnish with the orange zest.

You won’t find many Old Fashioned cocktails with vodka as its base ingredient, but just give this one a go, and definitely one to make at home.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.