Last the night, the Gintender attended the Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve (barrel finished gin) launch party. The event was hosted by Nick Van Tiel who is the ambassador for Beefeater and Plymouth (and an all around great guy.) The event was held at Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown-which was a great venue for it. The most notable point is that Beefeater chose to launch their new Reserve first in Washington DC before distributing in other parts of the country–finally, DC’s bar scene is coming of age!
James Burrough founded Beefeater Gin in 1863. This new ultra-premium gin was named in honor of the founder and crafted by Master Distiller Desmond Payne. Desmond Payne has over 45 years of distillation experience and is one of the most respected names in the world of gin. Desmond mixed old and new traditions for the Reserve: “I wanted to create something truly unique that celebrated the distilling heritage of Beefeater. I expect Burrough’s Reserve to appeal to free thinking individuals who enjoy challenging convention and exploring new sensory experiences with gin.”
It is based off the original Beefeater recipe and made in James Burrough’s original 268L tiny copper still. The still was brought out of retirement for the Reserve in order to create a truly unique, hand-crafted small batch gin. After distillation the gin is rested in handpicked French Oak barrels, formerly used for aperitif wines and small batch fruit liqueur.
I was initially skeptical about barrel aging gin-a brand new trend that seems to be growing in the gin category. Traditionally gin is never aged, and I was worried it would be moving the spirit into the Geniever flavor profile or even the whiskey world. After a taste (and then several more) I was sold. The spirit has a light golden-pale hue and is bottled at 86 proof. The palate is complex yet soft, with subtle citrus notes (characteristic of the standard Beefeater Gin) mellowed out but still dominant juniper and a spice finish. I believe this is the first gin I have ever encountered that I think stands as a sipping gin. If mixing would only recommend subtle components–you do not want to crush this unique expression. Wisdom will have one of the first shipments in the US early next week.