Part of the reasons for it being among the most common vintage spirits is that it was once simply everywhere. Like that common sparrow, or more appropriately the Passenger Pigeon, Booth’s was once a name with an esteemed history. Closer to Gordon’s then even 19th century old-timers like Tanqueray, Booth’s Gin has ties back to the 1740′, and the Booth family had ties in wine going back two centuries prior.
But now it’s gone, and to try, you must either meet or be a collector yourself to try some.
Booth’s Finest Dry Gin was Booth’s flagship dry gin, and was distilled entirely from grain; bottled at 40% ABV and rested briefly in wood. The spirit has a faint, but discernible golden hue to it. Very subtle, reminiscent of Seagram’s, particularly when it was barrel rested as well.
The nose is very mild, but predominantly juniper forward. Quiet and rather straightforward overall.
The palate is again, rather subtle especially compared to some of the bold botanical forward palates of many gins. It’s noticeably milder than Gordon’s, Tanqueray or even Beefeater.
The mouthfeel is rather thin. Juniper up front and mid-palate, primarily, while the finish is quietly earthy with a gentle oak roundness. I get a slight hint of tannic oak in the finish that I didn’t expect owing to its slight color.
Booth’s Finest Dry Gin is an interesting curiosity for collectors and even today in vintage status, it’s clear that Booth’s Distillery did a good job of producing a gin suitable for everyman at a reasonable price, it doesn’t do anything so exciting or unusual to command the exceptional collectors’ prices (on taste alone).
If you’re seriously considering a purchase for Booth’s Finest Dry Gin, there’s little that I can say here that should deter you from owning a piece of gin history. But for everyone else who’s living vicariously through tasting notes, you’re missing a perfectly acceptable gin, and nothing more.
Special thanks to David T. Smith, creator of Summer Fruit Cup and author of Forgotten Spirits & Long Lost Liqueurs has been a friend of The Gin Is In for nearly as long as we’ve been around. David shares samples of curious and rare spirits from his travels that might be difficult to obtain stateside. Thanks to David for the sample.