Beefeater 24 is the ‘superior’ offering of Beefeater gin, and infuses the botanicals for 24 hours before distillation.
Price: ~ £25
Chinese green tea
Seville orange peel
Made by the legendary Desmond Payne and with three additional botanicals to the regular offering (grapefruit, sencha, and green tea), Beefeater 24 comes packaged to appeal to a more discerning boozer. From what I can gather, this gin is also made using a more particular cut, which likely reduces the batch quantities, and of course it’s bottled at a higher ABV than standard Beefeater gin.
The bottle is the same shape, but that’s where the similarity ends, with the glass coloured a striking, deep red and embossed with a lovely flowing floral design (visible in the image) on the front and sides. An elegant label adorns the front of the bottle, with the name of the gin and a watermark of the Beefeater himself. On the back is a blurb from Desmond about the brand, and the usual information. The old style bottle was clear, but with a red base, which I think was popular, but in my opinion this is far more striking and stands out nicely. Smart, sophisticated, but with presence, thanks to that colour. I like it a lot, and it sits at the front of one of my shelves.
On the nose, the gin is smooth and with a very classic juniper-forward profile. There’s plenty of pine, which is nice and mellow and it’s followed by a wave of citrus that never takes on a harsh quality, given how much is present. I think the almond, liquorice and orris do a lot to hold back any of the more acerbic notes, and allow you to delve deeper in search of the teas, which are there but very subtle. Sitting at the very fringes of the aroma, I can discern that bitter, tannic presence of the tea, providing a bit of body. Overall it’s a lovely, classic aroma.
Neat, there’s juniper, but the citrus is evident right at the fore, with all three washing against each other, blending and separating, but never harsh or overly zesty. Following that, more savoury, earthy notes appear with the angelica coming through nicely along with a touch of almond too. There’s quite a lot going on and the flavour is bright and crisp, and definitely citrus-forward. The teas, for me remain elusive, present only as fleeting hints of familiar flavours. There’s a fair amount of burn after a few sips, but it’s a nice, fresh gin.
A dash of water mellows that harshness tremendously, and allows the flavours to expand and sweeten. The liquorice and orris really come though nicely here, with an almost floral presence which plays beautifully off the citrus, of which I think the orange comes through best. Beyond that, it is much the same as before, and much improved, though again the teas are more of a suggestion in terms of specific flavours.
Finally, a G&T (3:1 Lamb & Watt Original Tonic) with a little dried lemon peel and dried orange slices to garnish (I didn’t have a fresh grapefruit, as recommended!). The result is a lovely drink that I honestly am not sure how to describe. There’s a heck of a lot going on here, with a beautiful sweetness that’s countered by some real savoury flavours. It’s surprisingly rich, with lovely sweet earthy flavours. I honestly am really struggling to put this into words! It’s sweet, savoury, bitter, rich, fruity… but more. It’s an experience as much as a flavour. That’s the best I can say, other than I’m really enjoying it!
Beefeater 24 is definitely a gin for cocktails, which I believe is what it’s marketed for. Neat it has a wonderful flavour, but it’s a little harsh. The G&T was superb, but difficult to describe (sorry, I know that’s what I’m here to do!) but most definitely in a good way! So overall I think it’s a pretty great gin. It has a very classic profile, but adds a few extra elements that push that profile in a good direction. It’s a gin worth trying, especially as you can no doubt find it on sale somewhere for an excellent price!
Beefeater 24 is available in some shops and online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.