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Beefeater 24 (London Dry Gin)

Review: Beefeater 24 (London Dry Gin) 92.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Posted On January 08, 2012
(Revisited May, 2014)

Beefeater London Dry Gin is currently produced in Kennington, a district of South East London, in the United Kingdom. The company has roots stretching back to 1820, when the Chelsea Distillery was constructed on Cale Street and served as the first home for Beefeater Gin. The founder of the company, James Burrough, was not born until 1835, and it was not until about 1876 that the Beefeater brand was created from gin produced at the Chelsea Distillery. Over time the brand has changed locations twice, first in 1908 to Hutton Road, and then in 1958 to its present location in Kennington.

Beefeater 24  is advertised as being handcrafted with 12 botanicals which include grapefruit, bitter almond, orris root, Seville orange peel, rare Japanese Sencha tea and Chinese green tea. This makes the new Beefeater gin more complex in construction than the previously reviewed Beefeater London Dry Gin which listed 9 ingredients. There are other differences as well, the Beefeater 24 is bottled at a higher proof (45 % alcohol by volume) which to me seems most welcome, and all of the ingredients are apparently steeped in grain alcohol for 24 hours prior to a 7 hour distillation where the master distiller makes an artisan cut by hand from the heart of the distillation run.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

The bottle presentation for the Beefeater 24 is shown to the left. The bottle has a tall rectangular shape with a small minimalistic label. The bottle itself is embossed with a design of some sort of leafy or flowering plant. This embossed design makes the bottle easier to grip when it is wet and adds a bit of class to the presentation. The back label of the bottle contains a bit of information about the gin, but unfortunately I could not read the small type without a magnifying glass. (I suspect my glasses subscription needs updating.)

In the Glass 9.5/10

When I poured the Beefeater 24 into my glass and brought it up to my nose, I was quite surprised. There is a ‘freshness’ rising out of the glass and I liken it to the scent of an alpine forest on a warm spring day when the snow is melt just beginning. The aroma of evergreen boughs and juniper jumps out of the glass pushed ahead by a crisp citrus-like aroma (grapefruit, orange and lemon in that order of dominance).

If I close my eyes above the glass I can imagine small ferns pushing out of the the slightly musty ground in the few places where the snow is gone, and drifting across those breezes is the faint smell of clumps of heather from nearby meadows. At times I think I can smell tea leaves deep in the glass; although this is probably a trick of my imagination, as sometimes we sense what we are told to sense, and I am not positive I could identify the tea leaves if I hadn’t have known they were part of the gin’s construction.

In the Mouth 56/60

This is so much better than the previously reviewed Beefeater London Dry Gin. Like the nose, the taste is fresh and clean upon the palate. There is a certain zestfulness to the mouth-feel which is most welcome. I taste the juniper first, but the crisp citrus flavours follow almost immediately. The light taste of heather is apparent, and deep in the bottom of the gin is a certain mustiness which seems to vanish as soon as I notice it. There is much more depth to the Beefeater 24 than I am able to describe. Fleeting flavours wander in and out of my perception, and I am fully impressed by both the depth displayed and the absence of any bitterness to detract from the experience.

I decided to construct two cocktails, a Gin and Tonic (See Recipe below), and a Lime Fizz. Probably the best way to sum up those experiences is to admit that I spent the next couple of days making more Gin and Tonics and more Lime Fizzes with the Beefeater 24. Frankly, this gin is extremely mixable and makes great cocktails. I am very impressed!

In the Throat 13.5/15

The finish is just as crisp and clean as the entry, with trailing notes of juniper and citrus zest, and a soft but delightful fade of orange liqueur. There is no burn that I could discern, and is a great example of a sipping gin.

The Afterburn 9/10

Beefeater 24 is an outstanding gin. The flavours are fresh and firm, crisp and delightful. This is a gin I could sip on my back porch on a warm summer’s evening, and one which I can mix into a Lime Fizz on a hot summer afternoon. It is winter now, but that is okay, because for me, the gin and tonic with Beefeater 24 is a great evening drink any time of the year.

You may read some of my other Gin Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Suggested Recipe:

Gin and Tonic

1 1/2 Oz Beefeater 24
1/4 Tsp Sugar Syrup
ice
Tonic Water (Q Tonic Rocks!)
Squeeze of Lime

Add the Gin and Sugar Syrup into an ice filled glass
Complete with Tonic Water
Add a squeeze of lime and garnish with lime slices

Serve and Enjoy!


________________________________________________________________________________________

My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret that score as follows:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing spirit.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

 
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