Tough to win guys like this over.
Part of the joy of Scotch is that it's simple. You put it in a glass with some ice, maybe water, and you're done. Ready to enjoy.
So when Desmond Payne, head distiller at Beefeater Gin, offered to let Business Insider taste test a new gin he was brewed up called 'Burrough's Reserve'; he pulled us in with this quote:
"We don't expect to see this on every bar up and down the street, It's a high end gin. We recommend it for sipping."
Shots fired — Gin without a twist, not dirty, not with tonic. Neat.
The 'Burrough's Reserve' gin (named for Beefeater founder James Burrough) follows the same recipe the distillery has been using since the 1800s except for one thing — after the gin is steeped with 9 botanicals and then distilled, it is placed in a wood cask. Bottles hit American stores this fall.
To get the taste just right, Payne played with the size of the cask (think:the more surface area the gin touches the more the wood seeps into the taste) and the type of wood its made from. It gives the gin a slightly golden brown tint.
Now, it's impossible not to notice that there are distilleries popping up everywhere these days, and there are even other gin distilleries doing the cask thing — St. George Spirits in the San Francisco area has one, so does Few Spirits in Chicago, and Citadelle Reserve to name a few — but no one has been more open about how their casked gin is supposed to be served than Beefeater.
"Rather than just have a high end, high priced in a nice bottle, I wanted to explore the occasions in which people drink gin," said Payne.
It's his polite way of trying to say that he's trying to disrupt the occasions in which you drink gin.
As for the taste after our test? Yes, Burrough's Reserve is unquestionably sippable. Citrusy and light, it's obviously not the same taste as scotch, but that's not the point — it goes down so smoothly you won't be reaching for tonic at all.
If you do dare to try it, there's a chance you might be converted. Very scary.
And here's what it'll look like in U.S. stores:
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