- Food & Drink
Beefeater London Gin
At Sister Number 1’s Christmas mull party this weekend, she unexpectedly came up to me with a bottle of Beefeater Gin. “You haven’t reviewed this on G&C and it was on offer, so I bought it. Review it!” This is unusual. At parties most people lock their drinks cabinet up, rather than force me into it. But I rose to the challenge, not least because Beefeater is a South London gin.
Beefeater has been distilled in Kennington since 1958 (we’ll ignore the distillery’s original 1860s North of the River location in Chelsea and concentrate on it’s proud South London past: “Distilled in sites around Lambeth since 1908”). The chintzy white and red bottle with its hackneyed Beefeater on the front makes it look like a gin for Nanas, who probably opt for it over Gordon’s because it’s stronger. I’m shallow, so the bottle normally puts me off but I’m prepared to be corrected.
Day or night gin? 40% at last! It’s a night gin.
Smell? Cold, in the sense of icy (no, there wasn’t ice in the glass. It really does have a hint of winter about it). Sister Number 1 takes a sniff and says: “Blimey, that’ll burn your nostril hair off.” She’s right, it is strong, with a touch of Copydex, but it develops notes of lemons and juniper.
How does it taste? The first mouthful tastes minty, warming and spicy, like a nice mouthwash. It’s got plenty of juniper in it and each taste starts off fresh and zingy, hits a moment of warming spice and then fades smoothly to happiness. It’s much more satisfying to drink than Gordon’s, that simpleton of the gin world, but it’s not a complex march through your tastebuds either.
Buy it? Yes. Previously I said that you should buy Gordon’s as your bog standard gin to dole out to friends and relatives in gin and tonics. I was wrong. Ditch the Gordon’s and drink this instead.