Beefeater 24 is excellent gin. I am already a pretty avid fan of Beefeater as it is (I would say that it is my favorite gin of what I have had so far), so my thoughts on their more premium artisan cut might be a bit biased. But sometimes that is okay, especially when the product is just undeniably good, anyway.
The first thing that I noticed about Beefeater 24 was its unexpected smoothness. While Beefeater's regular London Dry Gin is already fairly smooth, it still has a fairly strong kick. Beefeater 24, however, is not quite as strong. At first, it seems like it will be, as the alcohol tends to sting the lips and the front of the mouth. But the bite is very quick, and the sting dissipates almost immediately without moving on to the back of the palette. All of the bite remains in the front of the mouth, allowing the aroma to settle unprohibited in the back of the throat. And this is a good thing, because the taste is very pleasant. The flavor is mild yet intricate, and Beefeater's mix of botanicals blends very well with the juniper-rich spirit.
The mildness of Beefeater 24 stems from the slow distillation process after which the blend was named. The 12 botanicals used in Beefeater 24 are steeped together with the spirit for a full 24 hours before distillation, which gives the gin a uniquely smooth and homogeneous flavor. Although this process is used for all Beefeater gin, what really sets Beefeater 24 apart is the inclusion of three extra botanical ingredients that are not found in the standard product: Japanese sencha tea, aromatic Chinese green tea, and grapefruit peel. While Beefeater 24 is not wildly different from regular Beefeater, these three ingredients do give the premium cut a more unique and robust flavor profile.
Beefeater 24 is very, very good. The flavor is pleasant and interesting, and the more mild taste and less powerful sting is likely to make this one a much easier sell to those who do not normally drink gin. It is clear that the selection and proportioning of the added botanical ingredients was considered very carefully, as the extra flavors are present and evident without standing out, and they contribute to the taste without taking anything away from the original formula. It feels like the three new ingredients belonged in the formula all along, and I definitely think that Beefeater 24 is worth the extra money.
And it certainly doesn't hurt that the bottle is absolutely gorgeous.
Verdict: Highly recommended
Purchased: Total Wine and More [Greenville, SC]