Beefeater Gin 44%

Flavor Profile

Gin Flavor Visualization for

In 2020, Beefeater Gin was reformulated and bottled for sale at a lower proof than it had been previously. Previously, Beefeater Gin was bottled for the states at 47% ABV. For historical purposes, our review of the pre-2020 strength remains. This review is for Beefeater Gin 44% ABV, which is the new strength for the American market.

Beefeater Story

When James Burrough bought out the Cale Street Distillery in Chelsea in the 1860’s, he essentially bought forty years. That is, he bought a date that now preceded the launch of Charles Tanqueray’s eponymous gin; putting Burrough’s spirits in rarefied Regency Era territory, earning a historicity more akin to Gordon’s than Seagram’s. Though the gin bottle says 1820, the Beefeater Gin recipe we know today is an 1860’s creation.

Since its launch, Beefeater has gone on to become one of the world’s best selling and most iconic gins.

The botanicals are macerated for a full 24 hours, just as it was in Burrough’s original recipe, and then distilled. Beefeater is among a small handful which essentially defined the “London Dry” flavor profile. Unsweetened, juniper led, and crystal clear. When you think London Dry, this may well be the gin that comes to mind.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Even at the lower proof, robust pine-forward juniper with hints of Seville Orange, angelica, and a touch of licorice. Beefeater Gin 44% isn’t too different from its 47% ABV sister at first nose.

Flavor: Mild lemon with pine facets builds into an aggressive, but not overpowering pine-forward juniper heart. Spice builds towards the end with swells of gentle coriander, chewy licorice root, and a bit of bitter orange.

It is well established that proofing your spirit down can have dramatic changes in flavor profile. At different ratios of ethanol to water, different volatiles stay in solution. Beefeater Gin 44% is rather hard to tell apart from Beefeater Gin 47%, especially without tasting the two strengths side-by-side. It is mildly less warm on the finish, but with slightly more citrus coming through. Differences are present, but not enough for me to suggest that the lower proof makes Beefeater a “different” gin.


A lower strength cocktail gin does mean less flavor (in the absence of a tweaked botanical recipe, which I have no evidence has occurred) when mixing.

I stand by many of my initial recommendations. It’s great in a gin and tonic. The lower proof might even be superior and make a more accessible Martini. However, it is worth stating that Beefeater is compromising one of its formerly greatest assets by bottling at a lower ABV. It is less bold and therefor less present in cocktails.

Further, and although marginally, it does mean less bang for your dollar at both the bar and the store.

Overall, Beefeater 44% ABV

In terms of value, the change is a downer.

For bartenders who are used to mixing with Beefeater as their house pour, the change may warrant a closer look at the cocktails built around it to ensure they still hold up. My bet is that they will.

While the change has been met with generally negative reception by the cocktail community and gin community writ large, in terms of the spirit— Beefeater 44% ABV is still a good gin. The differences are small and unless you are doing a side-by-side you likely might not even notice.

Beefeater at 44% ABV is still the same Beefeater Gin you loved before, just with less bang-for-your-buck. While that’s not something to celebrate on its own, as a spirit it still holds up.


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13 thoughts on “Beefeater Gin 44%”

  1. It is a shame Pernod is buying a lot of fancy gin brands and en passant destroying their traditional assests…

  2. I’ve been drinking Beefeater for 40 years and started noticing a change in the flavor last fall and I’m not happy! It wasn’t until Christmas that I figured out they had lowered the ABV. It definitely changes the flavor profile. I couldn’t return the two cases i bought at that time so I guess they will gather dust as I search for a new go to brand.

  3. London dry gin should be at LEAST 90 proof! To see one of history’s iconic gins get watered down is nothing less than disgraceful— FOR SHAME, Pernod!

  4. When I heard about this travesty I was fortunate enough to run down several magnums of REAL Beefeater. When they’re gone other Juniper forward 47%+ gins like Broker’s, Junipero, & Tanqueray 10 will take the place of Beefeater for me.

    I won’t be supporting yet another conglomerate that takes over a brand I love and then wrecks it. I will also take a hard look at replacing other Pernod brands I might currently be using.

  5. 1crappy bottle with none of the easy handles
    2 terrible labeling, you saved a fortune on that did you.
    3finally and most important the drink. No this is not the drink I sold my soul to. This is the crap sold by many with star backing. I’m changing my brand. J M Seddon.

  6. Is Beefeater your favorite gin that’s basically everywhere? Seems to be the best of the cheaper, mass produced gins

  7. I noticed the 88 proof rating on the bottle right away and thought that it was a mistake. I started shopping at several different stores and all the bottles were 44% alcohol. I only drank Beefeaters because of the classic bite it gives a martini. Now it’s ruined and I will change to another higher proof brand. They have lost a loyal customer as well as the many friends of mine also.

  8. Have been a Beefeater drinker for over 40 years. I drink classic martinis. Recently, could sense that something was amiss with the product. Then noticed that the proof strength was lowered (but no lowered price). The product has been negatively compromised for a few cents worth of alcohol. I hope that you are happy with this recipe modification — I’m not! I guess nothing is forever and corporations must always measure success by the bottom line, the profit margin. Color me GONE! Edward Miller

  9. The flavor profile of Beefeater changed dramatically after they lowered the ABV.

    What on earth were they thinking??

    Some Gins are are actually better with lower ABV. For example, I think the Tanqueray in Europe at 43% taste better than the 47% version sold in America. Gordon’s at 40% or even 37.5% is still fantastic.

    But Beefeater at 44%? Not good.

  10. I have consumed and sold Beefeater Gin for many years. I couln’t at first understand at Total Wine why it was so much “CHEAPER” in price to “OTHER” 94v proof “PREMIUM GINS. What a cop out to save tax money on the proof. It has now become a “COMMODITY” GIN. It is no better than the run of the mill “GINS” that are out there.