A Muddled Thought

Category: Gin

A Look at Beefeater Summer Edition

Released in June by Pernod-Ricard, the company behind Beefeater London Dry Gin, Beefeater 24, and Plymouth, Beefeater Summer is the 2nd ever variation of the centuries old Beefeater recipe.

After Master Distiller, Desmond Payne released Beefeater 24 in 2009 and built on the original Beefeater recipe with the additions of botanicals such as grapefruit peels, and Japanese Sencha Tea.

Desmond went back to the drawing board or in this case the still and took the original Beefeater recipe, added the botanicals of elderflower, hibiscus and black currant which he then bottles at eighty proof for a softer finish than that of the ninety proof Beefeater London Dry

Beefeater Summer Edition starts off with soft floral notes, and is expected with the lower proof, is less forward than traditional Beefeater London Dry. Once you get past these introductory floral notes, you’re greeted with touches of sweet orange, subtle seductive juniper, followed up by just barely there spice that ends in a slightly fruity finish.

Beefeater Summer Edition has a slightly limited run, so if you see on the shelves of your local liquor store, grab it before it’s gone.

West 12th Fizz

Beefeater Summer 2oz
1oz simple
1/2 oz Lemon
1/2 Campari
2 Dashes The Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
Top with Club Soda

West 12th Fizz. A combination of Beefeater Summer Edition, Campari, Aromatic Bitters, Eggwhite topped with Club Soda.

Twisted Point of View

1 ¾ oz beef summer
¾ oz Gran Centenario Rosangel
3 Dashes Yellow Chartreuse
¾ oz Rosemary Anise Syrup
Tbsp Dolin Blanc Vermouth

Twisted Point of View. A combination of Beefeater Summer Edition, Gran Centenario Rosangel Tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, Dolin Blanc Vermouth and Rosemary Anise Syrup.

A Look at the Gins of Berkshire Mountain Distillery

I had the pleasure of first tasting Greylock Gin, during the summer of 2009 at a visit to PDT in New York’s East Village. The first time I tasted it, I knew I was tasting something truly unique in the gin category.

After speaking with Chris Weld, the master distiller and owner of Berkshire Mountain Distilleries( otherwise known as BMD) he gave me the short but quaint story of how Berkshire Mountain Distillery came to be. The origins of which can be traced back to a nearly completed 8th grade project in which young Chris was attempting to build a working model of a still. Something he would have accomplished, had his mom not stopped him after finding out it was a bit of a federal offense.

Years later Chris went on to become a emergency room physician’s assistant and migrated from New England to the West Coast, a place he called home with his wife up until several years ago when the Weld family decided to move back to New England. During the search for a new home, they came across an old, slightly neglected apple farm that housed about 400-500 apple trees. After restoring the farm back to its original glory, the Welds had the idea of opening a distillery. Initially Chris had planned to create an apple brandy, until the realization that one cannot survive on apple brandy alone. This brings us to the year 2007 when Berkshire Mountain Distilleries came to be. With some assistance from fellow distillers who advised Chris, he began distilling Ragged Mountain Rum, Ice Glen Vodka and Berkshire’s first gin, Greylock, which was followed roughly a year later with Ethereal Release One.

During our conversation, Chris mentioned that Berkshire will be releasing both a corn whiskey and a bourbon later this year. For now we’ll be taking a look at both of Berkshire’s Gin offerings.

With Greylock Chris had a gin meant to be sipped on its own or to be used in classic cocktails such as a Gin and Tonic, Martini or Gimlet A year or so later, came Ethereal, a limited edition bottling whose botanicals change slightly with each new bottling and is targeted directly at the mixology community.

As with all of Berkshire Distilleries Spirits, both Greylock and Ethereal start off with natural spring water located on the same land as the distillery itself and is fed from a nearby mountain range.

This natural spring water along with botanicals including juniper, coriander, angelica, orris, cinnamon, orange peel and licorice give life to Greylock Gin a gin that upon that first introductory sip, greets you with notes of citrus teasing the forefront of your palate before leading the way into hints of vanilla, butterscotch(yep you heard that right), the occasional hint of orange, coriander and black pepper. Greylock finishes with hints of spice before leaving a final soft citrus sensation on your palate.

Taking the botanicals used in Greylock, Chris adds lemon, cubeb root, pepper, spearmint, nutmeg, rose hips and elderberry to produce the limited release Ethereal. A recipe that changes with each release, during our conversation Chris mentioned the third release of Ethereal will feature grapefruit.

The combination of these new botanicals to Greylock’s formula leads to a gin that opens with nutmeg, very forward notes of orange, fresh grass, and crème de menthe. Light touches of lavender and nuances of sweet rye and harvest spice make an appearance before the spirit finishes with touches of floral, additional subtle characters of crème de menthe and a final caresses of your palate by smooth hints of vanilla.

A Short Journey
1 ¾ oz Greylock Gin
Bar Spoon Orange Marmalade
½ oz Vanilla Syrup
¾ oz Sombra Mezcal
2 Dashes West Indian Orange Bitters

A Short Journey. A combination of Greylock Gin, Sombra Mezcal, Orange Marmalade, Vanilla Syrup, and West Indian Orange Bitters.

The Gineva Convention
1 oz Greylock Gin
1 oz Bols Genever
¾ oz Maraschino
¾ oz Green Charteuse
¾ oz Cinnamon Syrup
2 Dashes West Indian Orange Bitters

The Gineva Convention. A combination of Greylock Gin, Bols Genever, Maraska Maraschino Liqueur,Green Chartreuse, Cinnamon Syrup, and West Indian Orange Bitters.

Breaking The Barrier
1 ¾ oz Ethereal Gin
Bar spoon Vieux Carré Absinthe
Muddled Peppercorns
½ oz Crème Y’vette
½ oz Orange Juice
2 Dash Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters

Breaking the Barrier. A combination of Ethereal Gin, Vieux Carre Absinthe, Muddled Peppercorns, Creme Y'vette, Orange Juice and Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters.

Just Passing Through

1 ½ oz Ethereal Gin
½ oz Lillet Rouge
½ oz Allspice
½ oz Demerara Syrup
2 Dash Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters

Just Passing Through. A combination of Ethereal Gin, Lillet Rouge, Allspice Dram, Demerara Syrup and The Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters.

A look at Hayman’s Old Tom Gin

As luck would have it, after covering all things Gin, here at A Muddled Thought for the past several weeks, we’ve had some time to take a look at another gin or two. As mentioned in our coverage of Old Tom, a sweeter styled gin, there are currently only two Old Tom offerings available in today’s market. Ransom, hailing from Ransom Distilleries of Oregon and Hayman’s Old Tom imported into the US by Haus Alpenz, the same people that helped make Batavia Arrack, and Crème De Violette available to use in today’s cocktails.

One of, if not the first Old Tom style Gin available, Hayman’s a gin that originates circa 1820 via James Burroughs; Mr. Burroughs also happens to be the same man behind Beefeater London Dry. While the Beefeater brand was sold off in 1987, the Hayman family led by Chairman and James Burroughs’s great grandson Chris Hayman retained partial ownership of the business. Based on a family recipe, Chris continues to oversee production of this magnificent spirit that has influenced imbibing from past into the present and thanks to Haus Alpenz will continue being part of our spirits culture far into the future.

Using a column still along with botanicals that include juniper berries, coriander seed, angelica root, along with orange and lemon peels among others, leads to the end result of a gin that grabs you from start to finish.

From that first second of that first taste, Hayman’s throws it all at you. A sweet seductive opening with hints of juniper waltz across your palate with nuances of sweetness. These notes of sweet lead into the minute touches of pepper, coriander, sweet orange and teases of cinnamon. As that last drop hits your palate you’re left with hints of vanilla, and perfectly defined touches of citrus.

A Bit of Time
1 ½ Haymans Old Tom Gin
1 oz DH Krahn Gin
Barspoon Allspice Dram
½ Cinnamon Syrup
½ Lime Juice
2 Dashes of The Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters

A Bit of Time. A combination of Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, DH Krahn Gin, Allspice Dram, Cinnamon Syrup, Lime Juice and The Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters.

Bungalo Bay
1 ½ oz Haymans Old
½ oz Batavia Arrack
½ oz Vanilla Syrup
Peach Bitters
Sprinkle Cinnamon on Top

Bungalo Bay. A combination of Haymans Old Tom Gin, Batavia Arrack, Vanilla Syrup, Peach Bitters, and Eggwhite.