Beefeater Gin 44%

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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.

Cocktails

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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23 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.

  11. My opinion centers on two cocktails: Martini and Gin and Tonic.
    Martini: my Martinis are mixed only with extra dry Noilly Pratt
    French white vermouth at the ratio of 10 parts of gin by 3 of Noilly Pratt. Or 12 sprays of vermouth from the atomizing bottle for a double martini. Gin should be Stirred or gently rocked back and forth in a cocktail bar shaker; Gin should NEVER be shaken. Shaking the gin will bruise the gin. Bruised gin is a colossal offense to the palate. It tastes like dish cleasing sink water with dead flowers in it.
    I apply the vermouth at room temperature (not higher than 70F through an atomizer bottle directly sprayed on the Martini glasses with a spritzer bottle. Room temperature for the Martini glass not higher than 85F. )And not below 78F. ) This will allow the vermouth to breathe. It is the first thing I do as I start doing Martinis. Noilly Pratt in contact with air and the room temp Martino glass will open like a flower. Believe you me this is important. Every nuance in the Noilly Pratt will blend gloriously with the character of Beefeater gin.
    Then after gently rocking the gin over ice, or gently stirred, pour gently on the sprayed Martini glasses. Being Beefeater no lemon peel garnish is necessary. Some still like it though. Olives are optional. Sip gently and slowly. Your senses will let you know what Paradise is all about.

    Gin and tonic: 3 ounces of Beefeater Gin in a tall cocktail glass. Reversed osmosis water or the purest still water you can get ( my choice is Malvern) or Saratoga or the other one in a blue bottle which name escapes me.
    Now here is the thing: if using still water it should be carbonated in a carbonation bottle, The one I use is an old school carbonation water system that uses compressed CO2 metallic cartridges and has a metallic netting over it. NO plastic involved.
    Pour the gin over ice in the cocktail glass. Then add the carbonated water. A long slice of cucumber if desired.

    I am a purist and like my drinks dry not sweet. Tonic I don’t use as the addition of sugar to water hides away the profile of the other ingredients. Sugar is unnecessary and perverse. The use of plastic DOES change the character of the final product.
    A cocktail is a formulation in which the careful artisan attention to detail and ingredients is paramount.
    Enjoy slowly and responsibly.
    When I was working internationally I used to mix the cocktails for the flight attendants on BA flights to London from Logan International, Boston. That was before the ugly people decided to fly the pretty airplanes into pretty buildings. As a First Class or Business passenger, Martini in hand, I even stepped into the cockpit as we flew over the Artic Circle. Those were the days!
    Circa 1989 to 1992.
    To your health.

  12. Very disappointed at the lowered percentage bottling; again a conglomerate comes in and safe, proven tradition goes out the window. I suppose it’s either Tanq or Brokers moving ahead. I will say for those who are frugal, Gordons in the G&T is fine even at the 40%. Nothing exciting mind you but certainly passable.

  13. I only drink gin, exclusively Beefeater, and usually as a gin and tonic. Recently I was unable to purchase half gallons from my usual liquor store – they say there is a supply shortage – so I went to another store across. the street and purchased two half gallons for (two dollars less than my usually store0. It tasted awful – like gasoline. I opened a liter bottle that I had bought at my usual store, and it tasted as I expected. After I finished the litter, I tried the half gallon again and it tasted awful. What is going on? I suspect this has something to do with the reason why my usual store cannot acquire half gallons. Would love to hear your thoughts.

  14. Tastes like swamp water now..I opened a 1/2 gallon and was awful..I wrote Beefeaters with lot numbers ..no reply. I bought a fifth and it was fine. I finished that and it was fine so I bought another 1/2 gallon..terrible too. Over $80 of useless product. Guess it’s time for a change

  15. I have noticed that the latest Beefeater gin has more floral flavor and not suitable to my taste. Is it just me?

  16. Dilution does/can have an impact on flavor. I’ve heard a few people mention that they’re not as big of a fan of the flavor at the new ABV.

  17. I’m attempting to find out whether recall has been initiated by Beefeater. I’ve purchased monthly 1.75 bottle, for years.
    I e always/ always enjoyed taste, flavor, and smell.
    I opened my bottle over the Holidays, and it’s not right.
    Metal taste, and smells different.
    It’s not at all enjoyable to sip or drink.
    What recourse do I have ???
    I open another bottle, day and night difference, this new bottle awesome. I bought both bottles same time, couple months ago.