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Review

Beefeater 24 Gin

Distillery

James Burrough Ltd (Pernod-Ricard Group), Montford Place Distillery, Kennington, London, England, UK.

Website

Beefeater 24 Gin and Pernod Ricard.

History

Beefeater Gin started at the Chelsea Distillery (established 1820) in the late 1870’s by pharmacist and tea merchant James Burrough, it was originally known as Burrough’s Gin. The Burrough’s family sold the company to Whitbread in 1987; Whitbread sold the Beefeater brand to Allied Domeqq in 1991; and Allied Domeqq were purchased by Pernod Ricard in 2005.

Launched in 2008 (2009 in the USA), Beefeater 24 is the offspring of the standard Beefeater Gin, containing an additional 3 botanicals – most notably, Tea! James Burrough, like his father before him, had been a tea merchant and this background was with Master Distiller Desmond Payne when he visited Japan. It was here he discovered the Japanese do not permit the use of quinine in tonic water and so they use tea to mix with their Gin instead. This inspired 18 months of experimentation with tea and other botanicals, before they finally produced Beefeater 24.

Production

The spirit is based on maize and barley grain, and the production techniques used for the Beefeater Gin are the same for making Beefeater 24. They steep the botanicals for 24 hours, before slowly redistilling inefficiently in copper pot stills, this labor-intensive method taking about 7 - 8 hours for each final distillation. One difference in production is the higher percentage of tops and tails from the distillation taken out, resulting in a smoother gin. It is bottled and bonded in Scotland – the bottles have a pressed floral design (think arts and craft movement) on all sides of its rectangular shape, plus a small red colored area of glass in the base – the punt - which creates a visual effect when lit from underneath.

We are informed the Beefeater distillery is due to open its doors in 2013, with a visitor’s center for the general public.

Category

London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

45% (90 Proof).

Price Range

$$ - $$$.

Botanicals

The Botanicals are the standard Beefeater 9 of: angelica roots and seeds, coriander seeds, juniper berries, liquorice, orris root, Seville orange peel, Spanish almonds and Spanish lemon peel: plus an additional 3: Chinese green tea, grapefruit peel, and Japanese sencha tea.

Name

Please note: despite the name there are no animal based products in this; or used in the production there of; it is completely vegetarian and vegan friendly (as confirmed by Beefeater Gin themselves)!

The name Beefeater is used to associate itself with the Yeomanry Guard and Warders of the Tower of London, and thus emphasise its London roots. The yeomanry were created in 1485 from experienced military personnel, to guard prisoners and the crown jewels held in the tower. No one is sure where the nickname originated but one belief is they were permitted to eat the King’s beef (possibly as part payment for their services).

The “24” part of the name comes from the standard Beefeater period of 24 hours for the botanicals to steep before redistillation; plus is indicative of London’s 24 hour lifestyle.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is juniper and strong citrus (grapefruit and orange). On the palate the citrus and juniper follow through from the aroma, and is met with notes of tea and liquorice. This follows with a finish where the astringency of the tannin lingers delightfully on all your taste buds. Do not think of this as tea flavored Gin, the normal Beefeater Gin notes are still in the front, the tea just adds an additional complexity to the overall effect!

This is still a Gin to match with tonic, make a Martini or whatever your tipple of choice happens to be – the enjoyment is finding those additional complexities from the tea. There have been a few mixologist’s who have used this in tea based cocktails to good effect, the bergamot in Earl Grey for instance, works particularly well. Our only real recommendation here is: experiment and enjoy (as if you needed to be told that!).

The overall strength of the Gin has been toned down a little by comparison to the standard Beefeater, as the quantities of original 9 botanicals have been adjusted slightly (e.g. less juniper). The slightly softer (and smoother) Gin has been given a pleasant botanical quirk and alluring bottle design – which points to marketing the drink to a trendy, modern, new Gin crowd. However, it manages to be both new and traditional, so that even die-hards should enjoy this - it will certainly shake you out of any Gin rut you might find yourself in. Beefeater 24 is priced and styled to fit alongside many of the artisan micro distillery productions we can find today. Our congratulations go to Beefeater for this addition to their range.

Awards & Accolades

95 Points, Wine Enthusiast.

Gold Medal, Gin Masters, 2015.

Silver Medal, Gin Masters, 2013.

Silver Medal, International Spirits Challenge, 2013.

Bronze Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2013.

Silver Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2012.

Silver Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2011.

Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2010.

Bronze Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2009.



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