Beefeater is one of the classic London Dry gins, with a juniper-driven, crisp dry style enhanced by citrus and exotic aromatics. A consistently reliable full-flavoured gin.
Beefeater’s history can be traced back to 1862, when James Burrough, born 1835, bought the Cale Street-based Chelsea distillery from Rectifier & Compounder, John Taylor, for the sum of £400 and started to produce his own distinctive style of gin by 1863. At first, the distillery continued with the production of liqueurs started by its previous owners, further establishing its reputation and extending its customer base.
The 1876 company stock lists showed an increasing portfolio of gins with brand names such as Ye Old Chelsea and James Bourrough London Dry, as well as Old Tom styles. By spending time experimenting, inventing and using new processes he discovered that blending a particular recipe of botanicals produced a bold, full-flavoured gin, which he named Beefeater Gin.
After the almost instant success of the gin, it was soon made the James Burrough Company’s flagship product. The original Beefeater recipe book dated 1895, specifies that nine botanicals are essential (juniper, angelica root, angelica seeds, coriander seeds, liquorice, almonds, orris root, seville oranges and lemon peel) to create the full-bodied and robust flavour so distinct in this gin.
As the James Burrough's Company went into rapid expansion, there was a requirement to increase distilling capacity and in 1908 a new larger Beefeater distillery was built in Lambeth.
The Beefeater production moved in 1958 to Kennington, London. English still manufacturer John Dore was commissioned to create a new larger set of copper stills mimicking those of the former Chelsea Distillery.
In February, 2013, Pernod Ricard announced that the company would begin construction of a visitor centre at the existing Beefeater Distillery site.
The method of steeping and distilling devised by James Burrough in the 1860s along with the secret recipe he created remains virtually unchanged.