Beefeater Gin 47%

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Beefeater Gin was reformulated in 2020 for the United States market. Formerly bottled at 47% ABV, it was re-launched at 44% ABV. This review is for the pre-2020, 47% ABV strength.

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 Gin has gone on to become one of the world’s best selling and most iconic spirits. The proud Yeoman of the Guard on the bottle was the nineteenth century equivalent of a giant eagle on an American gin bottle; it aroused quite a sense of patriotism.

The botanicals are macerated for a full day, just as it was in Burrough’s original recipe, and then distilled. The resultant flavor and gin 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.

As far as my palate is concerned, Beefeater Gin is one of the finest gins of the nineteenth century that we’re still drinking today. This is among my go-to classic style gins that I think goes well in nearly everything, especially if you’re drinking the U.S. 47% ABV version that we’re reviewing in this article. In other places, Beefeater gin is diluted to 40% ABV, and I think that’s quite a difference, especially in terms of it’s potency in cocktail-craft.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Classically London Dry and classic style, with pine forward juniper and a touch of light citrus zest. A close nose will pick up on just this slight touch of sweet licorice hidden in the back as well.

Flavor: Hint of lemon zest, then juniper builds. Mid-palate, it’s nearly all about juniper. Later though, the complexity and earthiness that rounds things out comes through. Darker, bitter citrus rind notes, coriander and licorice add the roundness.

The finish is medium length with clean freshly ground coriander, lemon zest and pine-tinged juniper note. There’s a delicate warmth that persists on the palate as it fades. At 47% Beefeater Gin is assertive, but still mellow and mild. I think perhaps it is the most accessible of the gins from its era, and I’d certainly bring out Beefeater to someone looking to try on a classic gin for the first time.


Among my favorites are the Martini (5:2), and a Gin and Tonic. It’s nearly the platonic ideal, the blueprint even, for what these cocktails should taste like. But as I said before, it’s Beefeater’s versatility that wins out here, as it makes for good cocktails as diverse as the Negroni (only at 47% IMHO), the Aviation, or even a Gimlet or Gin and Soda. I suppose I might be in the minority, but I actually also enjoy Beefeater Gin Neat; however, I also drink way more neat gin than most people and may have cultivated a peculiar taste for it.


Juniper lovers rejoice. This is a gin that you’ll enjoy. But you’ve probably already heard about it, unless you’ve just arrived on earth*. To fans of contemporary gins, this may still be a bit too old-school for you; however, I recommend you give it a chance because aside from being a good history lesson, it’s actually a remarkably accessible gin that subtly nodded to the citrus, coriander, and licorice tropes that we now see being done so prominently. I’m not sure I’ll change your mind, but for all of those who might disregard this as “grandpa’s gin,” you might just need to come to terms with the fact that he may well have had pretty good taste.

Recommended in its category.


*To our alien gin drinkers, I say welcome!


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36 thoughts on “Beefeater Gin 47%”

  1. Love the product but have spilled so much good product on top of my bar, my floor, over the side of my glass, on my shoes because the genius’s at Beefeater can’t figure out how to keep the ‘pourer’ in the 1.75 liter jug. Today, after 20 years of this problem I see a redesigned 1.75 liter bottle. Thanks Mr. Beefeater for making a simple fix that should have been done years ago. Wrote to your customer relations person years ago but she was so arrogant that she told me to get sober before I poured another drink and all would be good. Drank Tangurey for the next two years but have come home. Thanks for the ‘jug’ improvement and your customer relations staff sucks!

  2. Beefeater is one of my favorite gins for all the reasons described above. However, I keep coming across people with the perception that it’s bottom shelf gin. I don’t get it. It is never actually on the bottom shelf. Perhaps it’s the price. $18/750ml (at least local to me) is relatively inexpensive, especially when compared with the cost of many of the newer gins. Old school perhaps, but Beefeater is not bottom shelf.

  3. One of my favourite gins out there!! I would really love to see your review for the more premium Beefeater 24! It has been more than 3 years since I last tried it, but I remember that it was awesome!

  4. Yes. This is the proper, tieless old stuff.
    Fashions have their place, but they are forgotten in the moment a 64 Jaguar Mk II pulls up to the curb.

    I enjoyed your subtle nod to Thomas Jerome Newton in the review. At least one alien visitor appreciates the reference!

  5. The reason people think it’s bottom shelf is because they are young and ignorant. They think Vodka (which is a grain “NEUTRAL” spirit) is somehow wonderful. The reason they think this is they are afraid of taste. They want something that doesn’t challenge them yet gets them drunk. Gin is special … it is also a grain neutral spirit but is infused with real steamed botanicals, a very unique tipple.

  6. I have been on a “Gin Odyssey” for about 3 years – I try every new gin I can find and almost always go “neat”. Itʻs been a great journey of ongoing discovery. Of course, I pretty much only bought into the “boutique gin” gin concept in the $30-50 range. A while back I tried Beefeater 24 and was blown away at the quality / the value & the “story”. Tonight, for the first time I tried “Standard” Beefeater neat. I bought it to mix but was astounded at how good it is on itsʻ own. WOW. I still prefer Monkey 47 / Noletʻs / 209 / Bluecoat / Bulldog / Botanist / St George / etc / etc – BUT at 2-3 times the price they are no where the value of Beefeater!

  7. Frequently found at $13-16 bottle, Beefeater is arguably the best value liquor available. Love that strong juniper flavor. Makes a fantastic gin and tonic. In fact, I’m enjoying one right now.

  8. Had this debate with a friend this weekend who mocked me for ordering my martini with Beefeater. I in turn mocked his lack of singular perspective and instead just aligning his tastes to whatever the marketing gods tell him to like.
    I’ve never looked into it, as I drink it for the simple reason that when I started enjoying gin 15 years ago I tasted around and found my go-to, with no regard to price. That was and remains beefeater. So I did a quick search to see if my view of beefeater was shared. I was pleased to quickly find this review and the accompanying comments. Cheers to having our own taste that is based on…. our own taste.
    But yes, the stopper comes out in my cap too – very frustrating 🙂

    (Btw, if you’re looking for a very good rum that betrays it’s economical price, try Flor de Cana from Nicaragua).

  9. For me the pour control insert goes into file 13. It slowdown the flowing of this glorious nectar. Been drinking this Gin for over 60 years NEAT at room temperature.I like my (great) grandfathers gin!

  10. Beefeater martini chilled up with olive a little bit dirty. Wish I had a dime for every time I’ve ordered that!

  11. marlene biddle,
    Not very long. I seem to use it up very quick, LOL. I think you mean shelf life and if kept out of high temps and light it should last years and years. If you have an old bottle open it up and taste it, I’ll bet it will be great.

    This is my go to gin for martinis and G&T which are my two favorite gin drinks. I’ve tried dozens of others and this is clearly my favorite. My wife much prefers Tanqueray for G&T. I get that in that we all like different things.

  12. Beefeaters is the best and at 70 I’ve tried many. A dirty Beefeater martini up with as many olives as the bar tender will grant me is great before, during and after dinner. An on the rocks Beefeater gin and tonic is great on a hot afternoon at the beach or grilling out but the tonic has to be fresh and bubbly.

  13. Tried all the Gins. Beefeater still the one! Perfect Gin and Tonic at a piazza in Italy on warm day Or a dry Martini at 5pm somewhere!!

  14. A surprisingly enjoyable gin at a very modest price point. Enjoying it in a 5/1 Martini with Dolin dry vermouth right now!

  15. I also noticed the change to 44% from 47%. I noticed the difference in my drink and then looked at the bottle and saw the change. I remember years ago it was only 40% in Melbourne. Now that really tasted different. I wonder if this is regional or U.S. wide.

  16. I also noticed the change to 44% from 47%. I noticed the difference in my drink and then looked at the bottle and saw the change. I remember years ago it was only 40% in Melbourne. Now that really tasted different. I wonder if this is regional or U.S. wide.

  17. This new gin at 44% 88 proof is nasty. Beefeater gin is stupid for changing the proof the product in my personal opinion is not the same the bold 47% had better flavor I feel 44% has way more citrus notes but I really hope they see a cut in sales and boost the abv back up

  18. Probably the best and most classic G&T. Highly recommended tonthose one who like sharp, crisp and net drinks.

  19. I am enjoying Beefeaters on ice. The predominant taste is sweet. My accompaniment masks all else, as its flavor panel of jalapenos, onions, dry mustard, and cayenne peppers cancels out all other nuances of the gin. It is sweer!

  20. I recently devised a taste test. In alphabetical order: Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, Nolet’s. In a Martini. The winner in blind tasting was Nolet’s. Then Beefeater and Bombay. I must continue with my Beefeater; I admit to being an old Tightwad.

  21. Been drinking Beefeater gin for over 20 years. Absolutely don’t like the new formula. Will switch to something else😢.

  22. Sadly, unless you find an old bottle on a store shelf somewhere— a store that doesn’t move a high volume of gin. You won’t be able to find the old 47% ABV.

  23. I have been drinking Beefeater gin for over 25 years without issue. About a month ago I bought a bottle in Minneapolis. This week I tried it and it was undrinkable due to a chemical taste. I returned the bottle and took a replacement. The liquor store said a few had been returned lately for the same reason. Assuming the problem was one of a small batch, I took a replacement. Same bad taste. This time I traded it for a bottle of another brand.

    I hope to return to Beefeaters soon.

  24. I thought something was a bit off, but figured it was the tonic. Having grown up with a Beefeater drinking father of the 50’s and 60’s, and me continuing the family tradition into my 70’s now, just like Schweppes, the bean counters have won out once again! Really, a lower alcohol for the US to make it more drinkable! For who? All the 25 to 34 yr olds they’re trying to market to? Typical attitude, the marketing dept is always smarter than everyone else. It’s never good enough! Just look at that bottom line!

  25. Interesting post by Tom legg. I bought a bottle in Eagan, MN, in May 2023, and it also has a bad chemical taste. I’ve been drinking Beefeater for many years and never tasted anything this bad. The number on the bottle is this: LKH S5077 2022/07/27 19:17. I interpret this that it was made on July 27, 2022. Anyway, I would avoid purchasing any bottle with a similar number, and perhaps this is only a problem with bottles shipped fairly recently to the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

  26. My wife and I recently did a side by side taste test of Gordon’s and Beefeater. The Beefeater tasted like some random chemical brew, without character really. The Gordon’s, at half the price, was superior by a mile. I don’t know why so many bars seem to feature Beefeater as their default.

  27. Beefeaters, has been my gin of choice since I was introduced to it in 1966. I started with the traditional dry martini and journeyed on to the gin and tonic. I have tried many others who have been said to be the newest and the best, But knew right away that it was the flavor that kept me coming back, which was Beefeaters.
    Today it is still my favorite drink and I too enjoy it and most always prefer it neat.

  28. Scratching up on my research for a new cocktail menu and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece.

    traveling the world through spirits, with Spirit,
    Kay Scott