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The family tree

Eleven generations that have looked to the future and innovated.

Anchored in tradition, but with an eye to the future

At the head of the Nolet family is Carel Nolet (1941), the Nolet Distillery’s ‘s current owner. In the early 1980s, Carel expanded the family business to create a modern distillery with buildings on both sides of Schiedam’s Buitenhaven. In 2005, the family unveiled Molen De Nolet, an unmissable Schiedam landmark and the world’s tallest tower mill, an icon of the Dutch Distillers District.

In the tradition of his forefathers, Carel Nolet Snr put the distillery on the world map. In 1977, he presented his smooth and pure KETEL 1 Original and, in 1983, he introduced the now world-famous Ketel One Vodka in the United States. Carel Nolet Snr has now shared his craftsmanship, his love of the profession and the family recipes with his sons Carel Jnr and Bob: the eleventh generation of Nolets. In 2010, Carel Nolet Snr and his sons together launched NOLET’S gins, followed by KETEL 1 Mature in 2014 (since 2023 called Signature Blend).

The Nolet House

The Nolet House on the Lange Haven was built in 1804 by Cornelis Nolet, distiller and later Mayor of Schiedam. From 1908 until the early 21st century, the Schiedam subdistrict court and part of the Rotterdam District Court were housed in the building. In 1969, it was declared a national monument. In 2013, the building came back into the hands of the Nolet family. Over the years, the family has renovated the building extensively, returning all the original features to their former glory. The renovation was completed in 2021 and the building has since mainly been used for the company’s business events.

Molen De Nolet

In 2005, Molen De Nolet, the world’s tallest tower mill, was built next to the distillery in Schiedam.  Standing 43 metres tall, this tower mill does not mill grain, but produces wind energy and is a local landmark. Knowledge about windmill construction has been lost over the centuries, but thanks to the scientific input of Delft University of Technology and the Schiedam Restoration Workshop Foundation (Stichting Restauratiewerkplaats Schiedam), this structure combines modern technology and age-old techniques. Molen De Nolet has a reception area, a theatre and various meeting rooms, and offers beautiful views of the six other windmills in Schiedam, the Rotterdam skyline and the Nieuwe Maas river.