Following my recent review of the new Beefeater London Garden (Distillery Exclusive Edition) and the bonus tasting notes of the 40% and 47% Classic Expressions, I have now reviewed all of the Beefeater range (at least of the 21st century) except for Beefeater 24. So it was rather fortuitous when an unexpected bottle arrived last week!
But this was no ordinary bottle of Beefeater 24 this was the new ‘Quintessentially British’ limited edition gift pack, designed by the winner of the 2013 Beefeater 24 Inspires competition, Glenn Hin, which will be sold at the Beefeater visitor centre and distillery in Kennington, London, priced at £56. Hin’s design evokes images of the quintessential British summer; with secret gardens, sophisticated summer parties, cocktail glasses, tennis rackets all portrayed in the packaging.
Beefeater 24 builds upon the original 9 Beefeater botanicals and to that adds Sencha Tea, Green Tea and Grapefruit and is bottled at 45.0%ABV.
On its own
Nose: Rich, with plenty of citrus, including lots of orange, as well as some light, floral notes. Overall, a delicate and intriguing aroma.
Taste: The most notable feature of this gin, at least initially, is its rich, full and smooth texture. The taste consists of a mix of citrus and floral notes, as well as a touch of spice and a dry finish of juniper, angelica, and a touch of tea. This is a rather sippable gin and, as you explore its flavours, more of the delicate and subtle tea notes become apparent. Well-worth more than one visit.
Gin & Tonic
A bright and very dry Gin & Tonic with sweetness towards the end, followed by a lovely bitterness on the finish. It is a drink that I enjoy most when it is ungarnished, in order to better appreciate the more delicate notes of the gin. Refreshing, delicious and rather juicy.
This makes a very clean Martini with a little spice and a touch of saltiness. The main, bold flavours are floral citrus; again, plenty of orange, but some grapefruit, too, leading onto a long, clean, and dry finish.
A very classic Negroni. This gin really hold its own against the other ingredients. Flamed orange or a simple orange peel twist are typical garnishes for this cocktail, but this version already contains sufficient notes of rich, slightly bitter orange marmalade. So much so that I would argue that a Beefeater 24 Negroni is best enjoyed naked; that is, without garnish.
I’ve always thought that Beefeater 24 is a rather sippable gin and when served over ice it becomes even more refreshing. Served with a wedge of orange or lemon (or even both, what I like to call the “U.D.” serve), it’s rather continental and sophisticated. Superb; if you think “You can’t sip gin neat!”, try this.
Gin & Tea
A great drink, the trick to perfecting it is to use fresh ice tea (to find out how to do this check out our guide here) and make sure the tea is not stewed. The result will then be complex and light with small hint of tanin, tartness from the lemon which adds freshness and sugar to balance. The gin provides a subtle but provocative base and is in harmony with the other ingredients.
It was great to revisit Beefeater 24 and formally review it and I had forgotten how much I enjoy it and I have certainly found a new appreciation for it. The Gin & Tea was superb as was the gin served simply over ice.