From the bartender’s corner – Gin #37: Beefeater
This is one of the most staple Gins in USA. Most all bars carry this. In the 60s, 2 out of every 3 gin bottle imported was this gin. Because of its ubiquitousness, I had decided to try this towards the end of the series of gin tastings.
The story of the distillery goes back to 1860 in the city of London and is one of the rare big distilleries that is still in the middle of a big city (Kensington). Beefeater refers to the Yeoman Warders who are the guards with the elaborate uniform at the front of the Tower of London. The picture on the bottle shows one of those guardsmen.
One of the notable fact about this gin is that most of it has remained unchanged throughout the years. The formulation of the gin can be seen documented way back in the 1880s and is still done with the same nine botanicals – juniper, angelica root, angelica seeds, coriander seeds, liquorice, almonds, orris root, Seville oranges and lemon peel.
The gin is made from neutral grain spirits. One twist in the distillation process is that the botanicals are macerated for about 24 hours before it is put in the 8-hour distillation process. Because of this, it tends to extract more flavors from the botanicals. There are two versions of this 80-proof and 94-proof. The 94-proof is the preferred one (and that is what I am featuring here).
In terms of taste – this is as traditional a London Dry gin can get. Clear in color. Juniper forward with lots of hints of citrus.
The nose is strongly juniper with a little citrus coming towards the end. The palate is citrusy and of course there is the juniper. The finish is on the shorter side…