A classic gin with sencha tea and a few other new ingredients.
Notes: Founded in 1820 by James Burrough, a pharmacist in London. The distillery moved around a bit for a number of years and now resides in the ex- Haywards Military Pickle Factory in Eddington (suburb of London). After forty two years of doing the exact same gin with no changes, Beefeater has let their Master Distiller Desmond Payne off leash for a bit to try something new again.
As usual, the ingredients are macerated for 24 hours in grain spirits prior to distillation (not a compound or bathtub type gin), made in steam heated swan necked copper pot stills and with a distillation time of seven hours. The difference is this is the newly launched version which uses . There is also last years secha tea infused ( among other new ingredients) Beefeater 24 and of course the original, iconic Beefeater.
Appearance: Crystal clear, scalloped edgeline (meniscus) on swirling then long delay before long legs, which then become droplets on the side of the glass.
First Impression: Nicely aromatic juniper, slightly more subdued by the grapefruit and seville orange with witchhazel, angelica, coriander, cassia, licorice, almond, orris root and the other usual suspects providing the nicely complex bouquet Beefeater is known for. Also the spirit itself is more muted by the leser proof.There is also a new floral and berry like components, from the elder and hibiscus flowers and the addition of elderberrries.
Taste: A interesting if thinner body to it to it .The grapefruit and juniper play off each other well but there is a distinctly woody twiggy almost bark like tail to it and rather sharp alkali astringency to the finish even after three or more sips. It hits after the juniper and grapefruit nicely fade. Maybe it is over extraction of the elderberries seed. Not sure really. Strangely enough this passed after the first ounce of so (no, not later that day – a couple days later) where that taste almost completely disappeared (thankfully).
Bottle: Clear rectangular shaped bottle with “Made in London” stamped in the glass on the sides and 1820 on the front shoulder – gold-on-red neck seal. Large colored (think arts and crafts movment meets modern) paper label which has graphics of some of the new botanicals and is marked “Summer Edition” in script. Bottle body, pommel, and texture are down right boring compared to last years Beefeater 24 bottle.
Final Thoughts: While this version costs about the same as its regular version but the proof is marginally lower (80 vs. 94) it is still at or below the price of many of the newer artisanal gins and the only artisanal gin in the world made by someone of Desmond Paynes vast experience and expertise – in our mind that counts for a bit.
This is a link to the original Beefeater site. Sadly they have yet to create a page for this gin. Guess they figure it may be gone soon.