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Review

Beefeater Wet Gin

(Discontinued)

Distillery

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

Website

Beefeater Gin and Pernod Ricard.

History

Beefeater Gin was first produced 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. 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.

Beefeater Wet was released primarily on the USA market in 1999, and unbeknown at the time, was part of a first flush of softer gins - with less of an emphasis on Juniper. Perhaps it was too early of an adopter or perhaps sales were disappointing – we are only guessing – whatever the reason, it was discontinued in the mid to late 00’s.

Production

The old family-held base recipe is used, with the key base spirit of maize and barley grain. The same production techniques of the standard Beefeater Gin are followed, made by steeping 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.

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)

37.5% (75 Proof).

Price Range

$$ - $$$.

Botanicals

The classic 9 Beefeater Botanicals are used: angelica roots and seeds, coriander seeds, juniper berries, liquorice, orris root, Seville orange peel, Spanish almonds and Spanish lemon peel; plus an additional one – pear.

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)!

It changed its name from Burrough’s Gin to Beefeater’s Gin, 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 “Wet” part of the name refers to the re-hydration the spirit undergoes after its final redistillation.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is the standard Beefeater with perhaps a little more citrus. On the palate is lightly sweet citrus and fruity, spicy pear (perhaps with notes of apple and banana), with a long peppery finish.

This is a fairly unique and unusual Gin, especially for it’s time, and it has a hard time being placed in mixed drinks. We find this odd, in the nicest possible way, in a Martini and different but well utilized in a Gin and Tonic. The taste profile is unfamiliar and thus takes some getting used to, perhaps best in longer drinks  - it’s a shame to see it go.

Awards & Accolades

89 Points, Wine Enthusiast.



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