Review: Booth’s Recipe No. 1 Finest Dry Gin Cask Mellowed

Booth's Finest Dry Gin Cask MellowedBooth’s is a British gin brand that dates back to the 1740s — so venerable it is considered the oldest brand in continuous production. The company calls it “The King of Gins.”

While Booth’s standard edition bottling is laregely seen as a budget brand, the company has revived this barrel-mellowed version as a push upmarket, an old expression that was said to be born when some of its new-make spirit was accidentally stashed in some sherry casks. There’s no information on how long this expression spends in sherry casks (not long, in my opinion) or any data on the recipe (traditional London Dry, it would seem), but let’s give it a try anyway.

Pale yellow in color, the nose offers modest juniper first, followed by notes of rosemary, grapefruit peel, and a little camphor. Kind of a curious start, but cask-aged gins can go in unpredictable directions, so let’s reserve judgment. On the tongue, the gin is extremely mild — “mellowed” here isn’t wrong. It takes a few seconds before anything registers at all, really, at which point the gin evokes more evergreen notes, lemon, chamomile flowers, and a little brown sugar character. The finish is clean but sticks with fairly sharp juniper and a slug of sweetness that tempers the herbal character, the only real remnant of its barrel aging regimen.

There’s nothing offensive here, and if you are looking for a very mild gin, Booth’s Cask Mellowed may do the trick. That said, my thought is that gin that goes into a barrel ought to elevate itself above “harmless.”

90 proof.

B / $47 / no website

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