Spirits & Liqueurs Gin

Beefeater London Dry Gin Review

This clean, classic London Dry gin demonstrates what balance is all about.

Beefeater London Dry Gin Review
Image:

Liquor.com / Laura Sant

Beefeater is a clean and classic expression of London Dry gin packed with balanced flavors of juniper, coriander, and citrus.

Fast Facts


Classification:
London Dry gin

Company: Pernod Ricard

Distillery: Kennington, London

Still Type: pot still

Proof: 88
MSRP: $20

Awards: Gold, 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Pros: 

  • Works as well in a classic Martini as it does in a Gin & Tonic.
  • Beautifully balanced botanicals


Cons:

  • The recently decreased ABV might be a turn-off for London Dry loyalists.  

Tasting Notes

Color: Clear 

Nose: Trademark juniper laced with floral, coriander, and citrus notes, and a hint of almond

Palate: Gently sweet and spicy, with a nice woody and floral balancing note from the angelica and licorice root, and gentle juniper freshness

Finish: Citrusy and pine-y, with just a little bit of spicy, savory heat

Our Review

Beefeater has been making its classic London Dry gin the same way since 1876 (although its origins likely date several years prior), when pharmacist-turned-distiller James Burrough officially began selling the product using the same nine botanicals that are part of its delicate-yet-spicy flavor today. In addition to juniper, these botanicals are orris root, angelica root and seed, coriander seed, almond, licorice root, and lemon and Seville orange peels. And it’s good they haven’t messed with Burrough’s pharmacist’s precision too much: Beefeater’s botanical balance is on point, as delicious to sip solo as it is to mix with. 

The world of gin has exploded in the last few years, with many distillers trying their hands at combining all sorts of flowers, fruits, herbs, roots, and berries, only to find that the wrong combination yields liquid drugstore potpourri. It’s not as easy as one might think to get each of the components macerated (or distilled) to good harmonious effect. Beefeater teases out the best parts of its bevy of botanicals, macerating for 24 hours in neutral grain spirit and then re-distilling in its ancient pot stills to get the resulting aromatic gin. 

Interesting Facts

In 2020, the company decreased the spirit’s ABV from 48% to 44% in the United States, to the chagrin of some devotees who preferred the higher proof and believe it’s essential to the London Dry style (which, actually, need not be made in London, although Beefeater is). In Europe, however, the proof has remained at 40%. Go figure. 

The bottom line: Juniper-forward but gently so, the just-right punch of versatile Beefeater’s classic botanical components complement this gin’s fresh, pine-y pop.