There aren’t many gins on the market that can boast to having been around for just shy of 200 years, but Beefeater is one of them.
A fitting first review for The Raven I think!
Price: ~ £17
It’s hard to imagine anyone who drinks gin not having heard of Beefeater, but less so to imagine they’ve never tried it. In fact I was one of those people until this very week!
Beefeater is one of those brands I never tried, and by the time I was into gin I confess I was turning my nose up at the kind of bottle you could get anywhere and for cheap. It was, to my mind, bargain basement, back-of-the-cupboard-for-when-nan-comes-around gin.
Then, a gin connoisseur I follow on Twitter recently mentioned it was in her top 5. I was intrigued and did a little reading and it turned out I’d been rather too quick to dismiss this gin. When I saw it locally for a magnificent £15 I decided it was worth a try!
In this crowded market, bottle design is the latest way to get your gin noticed, which is why I’m including it in my reviews.
The Beefeater bottle has had a few facelifts over the years, but the bottle itself has remained much the same. It’s pleasantly solid, clean and simple, and the current design with the illustration of London on the inside of the back label really makes it pleasant to look at up close. The embossed glass with ‘MADE IN’ up the left side and ‘LONDON’ up the right (with a small ‘1820’ on the front tapered edge) is a nice addition. It’s not as eye-catching as some, but it’s still very nice.
Clean and crisp, with juniper rising on a bed of lemon peel. There’s coriander too, but almost an afterthought. There’s no astringency, it’s just a simple gin’s gin.
Neat, Beefeater comes over very clean with the lemon peel soothed by the orange, but taking more of a back seat to the juniper and coriander. It’s clean, with next to no burn and an ever so slight floral pungency at the end.
With water, the orange comes through along with a hint of liquorice, but the overall taste is a little more bitter.
Finally, it works as a subtle G&T, holding up well but with no noticeable stand-out flavours against the tonic. If anything there’s an earthiness with the slightest hint of spice that wasn’t there before which is nice.
It’s a classic for a reason, and by no means do I regret buying a bottle, but while there’s nothing wrong with it, for me it’s lacking in depth and complexity.
Beefeater is available to buy online and in supermarkets
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.