Booth’s Gin was back in the news in late 2018 when the once esteemed brand was unloaded by parent company Diageo. Nineteen brands including Seagram’s and Parrot Bay to name a couple— were sold for over half a billion dollars to Sazerac.
Whether fair or not, Booth’s and many of the other brands involved in this sale are not seen as premium products. With sales in the late 2010’s flagging for “lower end” brands, the move makes business sense for Diageo. However, the fall of a brand, who along with Gordon’s are the only two extant gins that can trace their story authoritatively back to the mid-18th century, is unusual in an industry where brands desperately jockey for historicity and early founding dates.
Booth’s Gin is distilled in Plainfield, Illinois “under the supervision of Booth’s Distileries Ltd.” Bottled at a robust 90 proof, the modern day gin marks a stark contrast from some of the older offerings under this name (which are still routinely traded on the Vintage spirits market).
Booth’s Gin is a by the numbers classic style gin. Juniper dominant on both nose and palate with hints of classic gin botanicals in background notes.
It’s heavy with the juniper notes on the nose. Very classic at first nose. Hints of citrus and licorice root hover on the edges.
Booth’s Gin is clean and very classic on the palate. Juniper is the predominant note. It has a pine and slightly waxy, herbaceous character to it. The finish is rather dry with hints of the aforementioned licorice root, angelica root, and dry coriander. There’s little here that’s surprising botanically or taste-wise.
The entry on the palate is rather smooth, especially for a gin perceived as a “value” product. The warmth at the end never reads as hot or cheap.
At its price point, Booth’s Gin is designed to be a work horse mixing gin. And it’s amazing to me that it’s not more common in wells. You see Crystal Palace, Carnaby’s, and other gins getting far more air time. It’s a shame by my opinion, but this classic gin flavor is superior to many other “value” gins. It works well in a Gin and Juice, Gin and Tonic, or standard issue Negroni for that matter.
While I think there’s better gins for a Martini (for example), Booth’s Gin isn’t bad in this situation either. Some of its simplicity in presentation and lack of complexity on the finish might not warrant the highest-of-price points, it works well with a simple twist, even here.
Overall, Booth’s Gin
This is probably the best classic-styled gin you can get in a plastic handle. There’s certainly more inexpensive offerings on the bottom shelf— and if you’re looking to cut corners, you can certainly go lower. But for this category where you’re looking for an under $20 gin— Booth’s Gin is probably one of the best values in gin.
It’s not great, but it’s solid. And if you’re a fan of classic-style gin, you’re sure to find that this will satisfy your gin craving.
Recommended at its price point.
10 thoughts on “Booth’s Gin”
Discovered Booth’s gun while in Fla. and love it. Where can I find it in Michigan? Am in Traverse City.
We are Booths Gin fans. We have been drinking it for years. We have tried other gins and always come back to Booths. However our local suppler tells us they are having great difficulty in finding it..I have read that the parent company has sold it to another company so hopefully we will be finding it again.
Thanks for the review. My local ABC (here in Virginia) store has it for $19.99 for the 1.75 jug. Was intrigued in the past, but maybe not will try it for the price, though I have always been a fan of domestic (US, now made in Canada) for the cheap workhorse gin, which is a tad cheaper.
I used it in a Martini and found it a bit rough, with lots of heat in the finish. I have to get used to it. My go-to gins for Martinis are usually Boodles, Bombay London Dry, and Lord Astor. Booth’s tasted much more fiery, definitely not smooth. Not exactly a cheap taste, but not refined either.
Years ago there was a wonderful English gin in a hexagonally shaped bottle, Booth’s House of Lords. Alas, it no longer exists. Widely available now is a modestly priced American gin, Booth’s London Dry Gin. Except for the name Booth’s, there is no similarity between the two gins. The extant gin is straightforward with no lateral floral flavors that I can detect. It is forceful, even to the point of being disagreeably raw. As such it is most unsatisfactory sipped straight or by itself in a martini. However it occupies an important place in my home because of its singular raw quality. It is hands-down ideal for a gin and tonic (Canada Dry tonic preferred) because it cuts marvelously through the sweetened tonic water. It showed promise in the Negroni, but only mastered its role after I had drastically altered various Negroni recipes (here at 3 parts Campari, 2 parts Stock French vermouth, 4 parts Cinzano Italian vermouth, 10 parts Booth’s gin). Booth’s gin is used here in a Singapore Sling , and whenever gin will be in combination with citrus or other sweet liquids. A decade ago I developed a simple recipe for an eminently worthy and inexpensive cocktail that I called, a Martini for Recessionary Times: 6 parts Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin (it’s not extra dry, not even dry, yet pleasingly wet), 3 parts Booth’s gin, 2 parts Stock French vermouth. Don’t worry, I do a better martini with pricier ingredients.
Booths is another example of the traditional dry juniper flavored gin being denigrated for its low price. Why is necessary that price be a factor? This is the Hendricks phenomenon in my opinion. People that never drank gin aspire towards Hendricks and its ilk based on marketing. What about taste? If you like a good dry gin…Booths is as good as the “best”.
gin snobbery is legion and growing, ever since sapphire came out (I prefer bombay reg)
hendrick’s has made it all worse
and now the crafted twee orange creamsicle and floral generations, eesh
lovely gins like beefeater and esp tanqueray get denigrated for no reason
and superb values like booth’s and gordon’s even moreso
Can I buy from you booth London dry gin?
I live on pa. Can you ship me a case of booths gin?
Nothing at all like the old Booth’s sold in the hexganonal bottles, which happens to be one of the best gins ever made.
That being said, this is not a bad gin. Actually it is quite good, but VERY similar taste profile to Gordon’s at 10 proof higher strength.
At my location Booth’s costs nearly double per handle compared to Gordon’s. Is it worth double the price for 5% more ABV?
However, still a good deal compared to Beefeater, Tanqueray and other similar juniper forward London Dry’s.