Beckett’s gin is a rarity in that it is made with English juniper berries handpicked from the National Trust at Box Hill in Surrey.
Price: ~ £30
Sweet orange peel
I nabbed this gin from a local Aldi a while ago. It was the last bottle and I’ve never seen it since, though you can buy it from some of the usual places online. I was particularly drawn to the fact that mint is one of the botanicals as it is rarely used, being a somewhat notoriously difficult and temperamental addition. The mint comes from Kingson Upon Thames, though other botanicals are sourced from farther afield.
To their credit, Beckett’s are also undertaking a conservation project in conjunction with the National Trust & Forestry Commission with the aim of creating a new population of juniper trees/shrubs on Juniper Top in Surrey where ironically it no longer grows.
Oh and no, I have no idea what the 1097 is in reference to!
The bottle is a clean and sharp square design that’s akin to a sturdy decanter. The labels are elegant and floral, with a pleasant swirling green motif that instills a sense of freshness. On the back a nice description of the gin and its provenance is given, along with the usual information. It’s understated, but elegant, and for that I really like it.
Fresh citrus rises up along with the juniper. It’s light and crisp with little burn and no earthiness of pungency to speak of. The lime is at the forefront, fresh and green, and at the very end, very subtle, is a tang of menthol. It’s not very bold, but it’s lovely and clean smelling.
Neat there’s a good hit of juniper at the front, clean and sharp, followed by a slightly sour citrus. After that, greener, more herbal notes begin to come through from the coriander, and things begin to deepen to more earthy tones. It’s not a bold gin, but it’s pleasantly fresh and light.
A splash of water brings out some more sour flavours, and things are definitely getting more earthy and a little bitter. The flavours are much the same, there’s not a lot of development, but it’s still quite light and citrusy.
Finally, I tried it in a G&T (2:1 Schweppes 1783 Indian Tonic) with a sprig of mint fresh from the garden, as recommended. It’s absolutely lovely! The mint, which I have prodded a couple of times with my straw just to tease a little flavour from, makes this a delightfully refreshing drink. This absolutely shines as a G&T, there’s everything I’d expect in there, but the mint is really working well which I don’t think would be the case with a lot of other gins (to be fair I’ve never tried, though for that reason). I’m very impressed.
Beckett’s Type 1097 is a perfectly good gin, but that is also where it falters. It’s just… fine. There’s nothing about it that stands out, and indeed I’d go so far as to argue it’s a little lacking in boldness, though some might like it’s subtelty. To be fair, the G&T was excellent and I will be most likely finishing the bottle exclusively using that serve, but beyond that, I don’t think there’s quite enough to it to give it a higher score, especially considering the price.
Awarded a bonus half feather for the G&T being so good!
Beckett’s Type 1097 is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.