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Beefeater Rustles Up a New Expression

Jack Bettridge
Posted: April 23, 2009

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The Web site lists a number of different concoctions that Beefeater's contracted mixologists have created. Of course, tea- and grapefruit-flavored drinks are among the efforts, but they also reach into some unusual combinations like The Everest, which includes coconut. Even the standards are updated: the Gin & Tonic is made with orange, lemon and lime slices and shaken and strained; the Martini is paired with Lillet instead of Vermouth (3:1) and includes Regan's No. 6 bitters and a twist of grapefruit.

On tasting it is easy to see the 24 as a bartender's darling. Payne certainly achieved his goal of creating a balanced gin. The expected juniper and citrus notes come on the front of nose and are trailed by the hint of tea. The mouth feel is particularly soft, giving a glycerin sensation even though the gin isn't sweetened. The tea is more forceful on the palate, but still not dominating, allowing all the typical Beefeater notes—fruit, bitterness and licorice—to come through. The finish is long and full of sweetness, and is also where you get the grapefruit taste.

An early-twentieth-century flask found in the James Burrough Company archive inspired the bottle design, with its leafy art nouveau motif. The bottle's base is colored in the signature Beefeater red, which is based on the uniform of the Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London, nicknamed Beefeaters and used as the symbol for the gin.

The spirit is 90 proof (45 percent alcohol by volume) and retails for about $32 for a 750 milliliter bottle.

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