I first tasted Boodles many years ago when I was club hopping in South Hampton in my late teens, with my best friend and roommate at that time named Jonathan. Having a roommate with the same name has its good and bad points, at least he had good taste in gin. Up until then I tended to order a Tanqueray and tonic when I was out, but Jon had just been served a Boodles and tonic and convinced me to try it as well. For the rest of that summer Boodles was my gin of choice. Of course back then there weren't many gins available like there are now, so Boodles was also exotic in the extreme. I found it had a more refined and elegant taste than other gins and eventually started to order it plain on the rocks. This was the gin that taught me to appreciate gin in and of itself, and the heck with tonic.
The aroma is a nice, slightly sharp blend of juniper and spice, with hints of citrus and a light floral note. As I cupped the snifter to warm it up and bring up the aroma I started to notice the floral notes increasing dramatically and a much bigger hit of spices. The citrus started to grow as well, and became much more complex. This gin smells like a classic gin should, with the juniper and other botanicals very well balanced. Other aroma notes appeared as well, but as to what they specifically are I couldn't completely tell; since it was a complex blend of spices and herbs, with some slight spearmint, and even sweet red fruit scents similar to warm red plums. The nose was just absolutely lovely, and I sniffed the aroma for quite a while until my nostrils started tingling, which told me it was time to start tasting the gin.
The taste starts out smooth, soft, and mellow but rapidly expands into a complex symphony of tastes including soft juniper, sharp and sweet spices, citrus, and those hints of spearmint and ripe fruit. Then a sharp, herbal astringency appears that lingers nicely, as the gin fades in a long, slow finish of juniper that enjoyably lasts for an extended period. It is very interesting how the gin comes on slightly sweet and then finishes very dry. It's a great showing of flavor development. Many minutes later I still have this great flavor washing through my mouth and over my tongue in waves.
A great many memories flooded back as I remembered the taste of Boodles. My first apartment and making my way for the first time on my own and becoming an adult. the fun of summer weekends spent in the Hamptons on Long Island; dancing to punk, new wave, and heavy metal in the enormous, circus tent sized clubs. Working hard during the week trying to develop a career. Life feeling like it was this great big experience that I was finally enmeshing in fully. And the good friendships that were formed, and lasted until everyone eventually moved on over the decades since.