Rijswijk – Van Der Boog
The next stop on our whisky tour of the Netherlands took my wife and I to the town of Rijswijk. Essentially a suburb of our home base of The Hague, we made the journey via foot power in a little under an hour to mark to occasion of World Whisky Day. Much like De Druiventuin in Leiden, Wine and Whisky Specialist van der Boog is tucked away discreetly in a strip mall, far off the beaten path for your average tourist.
Also not unlike De Druiventuin, Van Der Boog is equipped with a dynamite online outlet, namely the incredibly well put together passionforwhisky.com. Named after owner Stefan van der Boog, the shop itself hosts a healthy mix of new and old bottlings, both official and independent, including some indies under van der Boog’s own aptly named Boogieman Import label.
Serving as both a regular retail shop and buyer and seller of private collections and bottles, Van Der Boog boasts an ever-changing and fascinating selection of rarities, oddities, and nostalgia pieces. Stepping through the doors is akin to entering the worlds classiest pawn shop.
The other area in which the shop excels is the bottling and selling of 50ml sample bottles of a good number of the whiskies found on the shelf at any given time. Mrs. Whiskymafia and I ended up snagging an 18yr cask strength Jack Wieber’s bottling of Glenlossie (fast becoming one of the wife’s favourite distilleries), along with an 8yr undisclosed Islay (word around the campfire is it’s Caol Ila), cask strength as well and bottled by Sansibar for the Dutch Whisky Association. Each miniature was carefully and clearly labelled, and thoughtfully topped with vacuum-sealed plastic for long-term storage (ours likely won’t last that long).
Van Der Boog also has a wonderful selection of rums (including a fairly extensive selection of Samaroli rum bottlings), along with other fine spirits, and quite a lot of wine if you’re into that sort of thing. A friendly and relaxed atmosphere, plenty of amazing old and new bottles to gawk at, and some truly decent prices lead me to give Van Der Boog a hearty and enthusiastic thumbs up.