If you plan to make a classic Gin cocktail based on a London Dry Gin, Beefeater Gin is one of the natural options. It's one of the most-respected and best-selling London Dry Gins worldwide. Like major competitors like Tanqueray and Gordon's, it's a classic option in many mixed drinks.
The brand's name - Beefeater - is a reference to the guards of the British Monarchs, also called "Beefeaters". That's why you can also find an illustration of a royal guard on the bottle.
Despite its low price point, Beefeater is a great Gin. -Especially when used in traditional Gin cocktails. So, here's our in-depth guide to Beefeater London Dry Gin.
- Produced by: Pernod Ricard
- Distilled at: Beefeater distiller in Kennington, London
- Style: London Dry Gin
- ABV: 44% ABV (US), 40% (UK & Europe)
- Spirit base: 100% Neutral grain spirit
- Taste: Piney, juniper, citrus, licorice, and coriander
- Best served: Gin and Tonic
Beefeater has been produced with the same recipe since 1876. This original London Dry recipe includes nine botanicals, all quite common ingredients in classic Gins. That includes:
- Angelica root
- Angelica seeds
- Coriander seeds
- Lemon rind
- Licorice root
- Orris root
- Seville orange peel
The alcohol content of Beefeater in the UK, Europe, and the rest of the world except for the US is 40% ABV which equals 80 proof. In the United States, the amount of alcohol in Beefeater Gin is slightly higher at 44% ABV. It used to be 47%, but Beefeater dialed it down to 44% in 2020.
According to their Twitter account, this was a measurement taken to make the brand experience of Beefeater more consistent around the globe. See also the official tweet from Beefeater about this topic on November 17th, 2020.
The intention of the ABV change is to provide a more consistent brand experience globally for our consumers. Our Beefeater London Dry Gin at an ABV of 44% recently won a Gold medal at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2020.— Beefeater Gin US (@BeefeaterGin_US) November 17, 2020
The nose of Beefeater Gin is standard for a London Dry Gin: Strong notes of piney juniper and hints of citrus and licorice in the background.
On the palate, you first get lemony citrus notes, quickly overpowered by juniper flavor. Juniper remains the predominant flavor in the Gin and is merely accentuated by hints of citrus, coriander, and licorice.
The finish is nice and warm, with a variety of flavors mingling, like ground coriander, lemon, and piney juniper. Both versions, 40% and 44% ABV, are relatively mild for being an old and classic London Dry. That makes the product more approachable for people trying a traditional Gin for the first time when comparing it to other options like Tanqueray or Gordon's.
The Founder of Beefeater Gin, James Burrough, was born in 1835. In 1862 he bought the Cale Street Chelsea distillery to make his own Gin. By 1863 Burrough had produced various types of Gins, and one of them was Beefeater in 1876.
Yet, looking at the bottle of Beefeater Gin, you can find a note saying "since 1820". That doesn't make much sense considering the founder was only born fifteen years after that. But James Burrough was a clever lad and had bought an established distillery, which had been operating since 1820. Thus, the brand uses this year to promote the age of the brand.
The brand remained a family business until 1987 when then-director Alan Burrough sold the company to a brewing company called Whitbread and Co for a total of $286 million (174.5 million GBP).
It was acquired by Pernod when they took over Allied Domecq in 2005. They invested in the brand, modernized their marketing, and ultimately solidified Beefeater as one of the biggest Gin brands by rejuvenating it.
Different versions of Beefeater Gin
Besides their classic London Dry expression, Beefeater produces some interesting upscale takes, like Beefeater 24, Burrough's Reserve, and Beefeater London Garden. They have also jumped on the flavored Gin trend and offer a fine selection.
Beefeater London Dry Gin
One of the best-selling and most important Gins in the world. Beefeater London Dry is found in bars across the globe and is among the most versatile affordable Gins you can get for your home bar.
Beefeater 24 is an upscale product that uses 12 different botanicals steeped in neutral grain spirit for 24 hours before distillation. The botanicals include rare sorts of tea like Japanese Sencha and Chinese green tea.
Beefeater London Garden
London Garden is a twist on the classic Beefeater recipe and uses the same nine botanicals but extends the list of ingredients with herbal ingredients like lemon verbena and thyme. The result is a significantly more herbaceous taste which works great in a Gin Tonic made with Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic water.
Beefeater Burrough's Reserve
Burrough's Reserve is a special upscale Gin named after the brand's founder, distilled in an old copper pot still and aged in wooden casks. It's called Burrough's Reserve for a reason: Not only does it use James Burrough's original recipe from 1963, but it is also made in the exact same copper pot still he used to produce his first batch of Beefeater Gin.
The flavored Gins produced by Beefeater include some widespread flavors like "Lemon" and "Blackberry" but also more unconventional flavor combinations like "Peach & Raspberry" and "Rhubarb & Cranberry". Here's the complete list of the current selection:
- Beefeater Pink Strawberry
- Beefeater Blood Orange
- Beefeater Zesty Lemon
- Beefeater Peach & Raspberry
- Beefeater Rhubarb & Cranberry
How much is Beefeater Gin?
The classic bottle of Beefeater London Dry Gin is comparably cheap and sells for $21 per 750ml bottle. That's about the same price competitors like Tanqueray and Gordon's charge. Here's a complete overview of prices for Beefeater Gin.
|Beefeater London Dry Gin||750ml||44%||88||$21|
|Beefeater Burrough's Reserve||750ml||43%||86||$54|
|Beefeater London Garden||700ml||40%||80||$68|
|Beefeater Zesty Lemon Gin||700ml||37.5%||75||$15 (UK)|
|Beefeater Blood Orange Gin||700ml||37.5%||75||$15 (UK)|
|Beefeater Blackberry Gin||700ml||37.5%||75||$24 (UK)|
|Beefeater Pink Strawberry Gin||750ml||37.5%||75||$22|
|Beefeater Peach & Raspberry Gin||700ml||37.5%||75||$19 (UK)|
|Beefeater Rhubarb & Cranberry Gin||700ml||37.5%||75||$19 (UK)|
Use in Cocktails
Beefeater is one of these versatile spirits that work in a huge variety of Gin drinks. You can make exquisite Dry Martinis with it, a tasty classic Negroni cocktail, or a refreshing Gin and Tonic.
Other recipes you should try making with Beefeater Gin include the Gin Gimlet, Aviation cocktail, and classics like Gin Sour and Gin Fizz.
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