Monthly Archives: March 2013
After tasting the Crown Jewel we wanted to try the replacement, Beefeater 24. Of course our gracious host had a bottle on hand.
Beefeater 24 is infused for, wait for it, 24 hours, then distilled for seven hours. The website describes that the cut for Beefeater 24 is taken in the middle of the distillation an ‘Artisan Cut’ which makes for a ‘more citrusy, softer, contemporary style of gin.’
The first thing that struck me about the Beefeater 24, as compared to the Crown Jewel, is that it’s much softer. That’s partly because it’s 45%ABV rather than 50%ABV, but possibly also because of the Artisan Cut process. It’s also much more complex. A heavy juniper base, but the grapefruit is much more distinct. I could also taste notes of black pepper. I’m not sure where the pepper flavour comes from and the only difference in botanicals is the addition of Japanese Sencha tea and Chinese green tea.
The thing I found really interesting in tasting these two Beefeater premiums, as well as the regular Beefeater, is the distinct flavour palate across the three gins. They certainly have a very consistent house flavour which is very identifiable in each version.
Chinese green tea
Japanese Sencha tea
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We were lucky to be invited to a housewarming party over the weekend. The host is a passionate spirits enthusiast. He has custom built shelves with down lights to house his collections. He even brews his own bitters.
My first gin sample of the evening was St George’s Terrior gin. I’m not going to write up full notes on this gin as it is very strongly flavoured with coriander, which I absolutely cannot abide. Coriander and its root a quite common ingredients in gin, and as long as I can’t taste or smell it, that’s fine, but it was so over-powering in this gin that I really couldn’t do it justice. Aaron at The Gin Is In has a very favourable review of it here.
Towards the end of the evening, in fact I think we were the only guests left, our gracious host dug out a bottle of Beefeater Crown Jewel. The Crown Jewel was the Beefeater premium before the Beefeater 24. It was discontinued it 2009. Our host found this bottle at the back of a dusty shelf in a Wellington bottleshop and snapped it up.
As this gin is discontinued it’s very difficult to find out exactly how it was made. Being familiar with the Beefeater process, I’d assume it is macerated and infused then distilled, in true London Dry style.
At 50%ABV this is a firey alcohol hit, spicy and warming. The flavour feels heavy on spice, but I think that is the interaction between the juniper and the very strong alcohol. There is also a slight metallic tingle at the front of the tongue. I tasted this late at night, so these are not my most detailed notes, but there isn’t a lot of subtly in this one, I guess it’s hard to be subtle when working with 50%ABV.
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