Bols is one of the oldest established firms in the Netherlands, having been founded by the Bols family as a distillery in 1575. Lucas Bols, after whom the company is named, was born in 1652. Under his chairmanship during the Dutch Golden Age, the company grew to become a global player. Lucas was also a major shareholder in the Dutch East India Trading Company (VOC), giving his firm easy access to the exotic herbs and spices needed to make distilled spirits. From these beginnings, he created 300 different liqueur recipes. Lucas Bols died in 1719, but his example continues to inspire the company.
Looking closely at the company logo, you’ll see it contains two crossed arrows. “In the old High German dialect, the word for arrows was ‘Bulten’. This is expressed by the arrows in their logo, since in sixteenth century German the name ‘Bols’ was written as ‘Bultius’. Their coat of arms was actually designed by a member of the Bols family: by Alexander Benjamin Bols in around 1750.” The arrows in fact symbolise the importance of trademark protection. During the nineteenth century, Bols underwent strong worldwide growth, as a result of which more and more imitations began to appear on the market. The brand therefore needed protection. So, in 1884, the company had its trademark – including the logo with the two crossed arrows – legally registered.