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Savoring the Legacy of the Nolet Legacy

Forgoing traditional marketing, the family decided to take the door-to-door salesman approach.

“Ketel One vodka was specially created by Mr. Nolet, the 10th generation family distiller, with this drink in mind. It’s freshness on the nose, the mouth feel and long finish with subtle flavors is what sets Ketel One vodka apart from all the others,” explains Dennis Tamse, the Hollandbased distillery ambassador.

>> Nolet Family Distillery 325th Anniversary Bottle by Ketel One Vodka.

Fast forward to 2001 and it’s obvious that this personal touch paid off. Ketel One had become a million-case selling business in America. In 2008, they partnered with Diageo to handle the worldwide marketing and distribution in a $900 million dollar 50/50 joint venture. Ask Carl Jr. what his greatest accomplishment is and he’ll tell you: “the fact that my father trusted me enough, to send me to the United States of America with $27,500 and 26 years later, I’m still sitting in the US with a good return on the investment.”



Back in Schiedam, the Nolet distillery is both a step back-in-time and a modern marvel to visit. The visitor center is housed in a historical building with a windmill that is connected with a multimillion-dollar underwater tunnel that allows them to keep up with the demands of distribution, which helps in maintaining the tranquil ambiance of the village. Next door to the distillery is modern art gallery, also run by family, which mounts exhibitions featuring prestigious Dutch and international artists.

Ingredients 1.5 oz. Ketel One® Vodka

Preperation Stir with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a rocks glass over one large ice cube or a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. Note: Can be tailored to personal taste with the addition of olive brine, specialty olives and/or ¼ ounce of dry vermouth (If adding vermouth, decrease Ketel One Vodka by ¼ ounce.)

So, this begs the question. Even after 11 generations of not only making a family business survive but thrive, is it time to cash in and live life in blissful peace on their own island in the Caribbean? “Would we sell it? Ready…one, two three,” as the oldest brother looks to the younger brother Bob. “NO!” they answer together in resounding enthusiasm. And nearly a half-century later, Carl Sr. is still building the family legacy. He, with the help of Bob, recently launched Nolet’s Reserve gin—an exquisite gin with an intensely intricate flavor profile infused with a bevy of botanicals. “He wanted to show off his skills—50 years in the business! He’s the type of distiller that you don’t come across often. Instead of aging in beautiful oak, he used a whole different process of distilling with saffron and verbena—and there’s a heck of a lot more in there, there’s major secret ingredients in there. He wanted to leave something behind that’s unbelievable,” explains Carl Jr. It’s safe to say that he has—in more ways than one. Ketel One fans, let’s all take a moment of silence and gratitude in honor of Corry, Carl Sr.’s wife. As the saying goes, ‘behind a good man is an even better woman’. And Carl Jr. concurs, “Our success wasn’t just what my dad did but how my mom took care of us and the sacrifices she made.” Cheers to the Nolet family for their 325-year dedication to producing fine spirits, including Ketel One, The World’s Best Vodka.

>> Ketel One Vodka Ultimate Martini. Photo by Ketel One Vodka.


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