Booth’s Finest Dry Gin (1980s)

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Booth’s Finest Dry Gin is no longer produced today, but bottles of it come up rather frequently on vintage spirits markets such as Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange.

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.

Tasting Notes

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.

Thanks To…

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.

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18 thoughts on “Booth’s Finest Dry Gin (1980s)”

  1. This is still in production in the US and apparently still made to the same recipe. The company that took over Booth’s also owns Gordons Gin and they decided to only keep one based in the UK. So if you are in the US ,,, try it. And if you are feeling kind … bring me back a bottle and I pay whatever it costs!!

  2. At last I have managed to fnd some history of Booths gin.When I was at sea some 60 odd years ago on prettywell every ship I sailed on there would be a supply of the necta in the suposed
    wardrobe,? When I came ashore to work the mere word,,Booths seemed to identity me as a space traveller..Until now when what happened was clear.Even now bar men and hoteliers look at me as if really am fom space! I am now 9o years old and
    much sea and Booths have passed since would be very nice to see the name
    behind the bar of British pubs agaqin !!!!!

  3. I have an unopened bottle of Booths finest dry gin – must be 30 years old – does it have a value or is it too old to be consumed?

  4. We have an unopened bottle of Booth’s Gin – pre metric not sure of age. (Doesn’t say dry on the label). Can it be consumed and does it have a value ?

  5. I’ve got a 1957 bottle of Booth’s dry gin which is unopened and in excellent condition. Does it have any worth? It says 70% proof on the label and the bottle itself is embossed with ‘Booth’s Distillery London’

  6. i have a miniature Booths dry gin to sell. I am not sure how old it is but it as been in my possession for at least fifty years

  7. Need some help I have a bottle of booths gin unopened bought from a shop in the 1980. How much is it worth today ?

  8. It largely depends— how good is the seal? Is there any evaporation evident in the bottle? And what part of the world you are in. “Vintage” gin acquisition is bigger in the UK than it is stateside.

    80’s and 90’s are in lower demand— and tend to fetch prices on the open market at not much more than twice retail (maybe ~60). If you were to sell to a buyer, you might expect close to current retail price as your cut. The market has cooled, especially for one-off bottles. If you had a case, you could likely expect a higher price from a bar or company interested in making cocktails with it.

  9. It is now being produced again by its new owners Sazerac and is available online in the UK from a few sites. And I think it’s very good!

  10. Generally if you’re in the UK, there’s no evaporation, and the seal is good— it might be worth a little bit (~50-100). However, if you had 6x, you might attract a higher price from bars who are looking to put a “vintage” gin on their cocktail menu.

    But truthfully, the old gins collectors market is rather small.

  11. The slight yellow tinge was caused when an excess amount of gin was stored in some old ex sherry or whiskey wooden casks and then left awhile…forgotten!! When re-discovered and then tasted the gin had taken on a very smooth and extremely good palate. Booth’s also made High and Dry gin…another very nice brand and Cossak vodka, but they did experience production problems. Also at the distillery we made the base for Tanqueray Gin and a couple of other brands and we supplied Pimm’s with the gin/orange and sugar mix prior to Pimm’s adding another ingredient and water before they bottled their Pimm’s No1. On occasions the distilling team from Gordon’s would drop by at lunch time and they would be offered a glass each….comment was “Ah, now for a proper gin”. Booth’s was a very delicate refined gin and High and Dry in my opinion was the very pinnacle. Such a shame that Distillers ever got hold of the company…they screwed it into the ground with virtually no advertising or trade promotions of Booth’s for years and only heavy marketing of Gordons. Reading others comments….unfortunately, US made gin back in the day tasted totally different and we had ti=o make the allowance at the distillery that the starting alcohol was not the same…made from grain whilst Booths made from Molasses…came from John Watneys distillery I was told, also owned by the Distillers group.