I mean, even the name is terrible. Boodles. I’m embarrassed saying it out loud. This gin comes in a squat square bottle with a plastic screw-top cap. The label is a dark navy and red with gold lettering, stating things like “Cock, Russell & Co. Ltd.,” “imported,” and paradoxically, “bottled in Fort Smith, AR.”
The only reason I picked this gin up is because I thought I read somewhere that it was decent, despite outward appearances. This, of course, will be a lesson to all about taking gin advice from unmemorable sources.
Drinking this gin neat is an exercise in futility. There is absolutely no sense in it at all. A glass of Boodles is a glass of tasteless burning. Although the gin does have a bit of an astringent, witch hazel scent to it, but I highly doubt that was intentional. It goes down tasteless and then hits you in the nasal cavities with an overwhelming amount of stinging and irritation.
Any sort of juniper or coriander flavor comes off as an afterthought. It’s as if the distillers forgot to add the botanical, so they hurriedly tossed them in at the end of the process, chuckling nervously to each other and hoping that no one will notice. I will say that there is a slight pine flavor that arises in the nose once one’s nostrils stop burning, but not more than you would get from a glass of water, were they drinking it near a spruce.
Mixing it with tonic water proves just as futile. It just tastes like bitter, tainted, watered down tonic. The quinine definitely drowns this extremely weak gin, so one might as well be drinking lower-proof Everclear with tonic.
But apparently there are people that actually like this stuff, actually think this has a flavor profile. There’s another review online spouting praises of Boodles. Under the Pro’s & Con’s section of the review, the writer listed the only Pro as, “Possibly the best English dry gin.” Later on they even go as far as likening it to beautiful music:
To make an analogy, the herbal notes of Bombay note are more percussive; Boodles is more melodic. Bombay is more festive; Boodles is more conservative.
Another very legit looking website for a liquor store has this grammatically butchered bit to say about the gin:
The Crisp dry taste of Boodles Bristish Gin, coupled with full-bodied strength,makes it a favorite among gin drinkers worldwide.
And of course, you know you’re a respected gin when your products Wikipedia entry states, “Due to the high alcohol content and strong proof Boodles can and will knock your socks off.”
How professional, and what an absolute crock. What they all mean to say is that Boodles has no flavor whatsoever. “Best English dry gin?” Countless other English gins stomp this flavorless hospital disinfectant into the ground without ever batting an eye.
That all being said, would anyone like a 3/4 full bottle of Boodles I just so happen to not be using? Barely used.
First photo from that very legit website. The Boodles ad is from this flickr page.