Amsterdam Sights
A. van Wees

Proeflokaal A. van Wees

genever and liqueur tasting room of a distillery that makes traditional Old Dutch and Amsterdam spirits and liqueurs

Proeflokaal 'De Admiraal' is the official tasting room of Van Wees Distillery De Ooievaar and is located on Herengracht, not far from Dam Square.

All 17 genevas and 62 liqueurs of distiller A. van Wees can be tasted Proeflokaal 'De Admiraal' on the Herengracht in Amsterdam.

The bar staff, often members of the Van Wees family, provide expert information about the distellery's home-produced geneva and liqueurs.


Tasting room 'De Admiraal' was named after a former genever distillery in the same building on the Herengracht. Its logo is a drawing of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter. Under his command, the Dutch fleet sailed upon the Thames, via Chatham and broke the chains. An original figurehead from a Dutch VOC ship adorns the facade of the tasting room.

Proeflokaal De Admiraal on Herengracht


'De Admiraal' has an old Dutch ambiance and is one of the most beautiful, authentic decorated tasting rooms in Amsterdam. It is located in a former stable of a rich patrician on the Herengracht in the Canal Belt of Amsterdam. The tiles on the floor are still reminders of that time. The tall, green cabinet - where now liquor and genever bottles are on display - was used for storing the saddles and harness. And going to the toilet means, entering a huge, oak barrel of 10,000 litres!

admiraal admiraal

The rare 'broekpomp' (trouser pump) behind the bar, was used during the distillation process for the supply and drainage of cooling water from the canals. It was made in 1868 and is one of the two only remaining pumps in the Netherlands.


Genever is an age-old Dutch product, distilled from malt wine with juniper berries (Juniperus). These berries were stoked together with the distillate: on the one hand to broaden the taste, but also for alleged medicinal qualities of the juniper berries. Originally genever was mostly drunk as a medicine.

In the Golden Age, Amsterdam was an important European transit port. Amsterdam distillers were the first who produced malt wines from grain. On that basis they distilled genever. With new ingredients they made the spirits better and better. Genever became a popular drink in the 17th century.

Until the Second World War Amsterdam had at least 40 distilleries. Distiller A. van Wees is nowadays the last remaining one in Amsterdam. It was founded in 1782, and is still family run to this day.

Distillery 'De Ooievaar'

A. van Wees distilleerderij De Ooievaar has its premises in the middle of a residential area in the northern corner of the Jordaan. At Driehoekstraat 10 it also runs its own genever and liquor store where you can buy their products. The store is open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 17:00.

de ooievaarBoilers at distillery De Ooievaar

From genever to gin

When William III of Orange (1650-1702) held sway over England, gin became popular there, too. English distillers tried to copy the spirits but they lacked the correct recipe. Therefore, they developed their own version of genever, which was known as gin.

How to get there?

bus1, 2, 5 - stop Spui

 click on image to enlarge map

Proeflokaal A. van Wees - De Admiraal

Herengracht 319
Amsterdam (Canal Belt)

+31 20 6254334

official website

Opening hours

Sun closed
Mon 16:30 - 24:00
Tue 16:30 - 24:00
Wed 16:30 - 24:00
Thu 16:30 - 24:00
Fri 16:30 - 24:00
Sat 17:00 - 24:00

de admiraal

Did you know that ...

.. the Dutch invented gin or jenever as the Dutch call it?

Geneva and liquor store De Ooievaar

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