Editor’s note: We’re republishing this review from our archive as part of a reorganization of the site’s content. Those looking for a review of Bombay Dry Gin should click here.
Bombay Sapphire Gin- Astonishing!
by F. Sot Fitzgerald
This is some gin!
“Plymouth Gin doesn’t whack you with the piney juniper taste. No, it gives you hints of citrus, lemon or perhaps orange, and coriander and then a mild juniper flush. As you let it slide down your throat you sense a softness and certain, well, earthiness.”
And here we have Bombay Sapphire gin, perhaps the classiest and most elegant and complex gin of all. This shouldn’t be surprising, as the folks at Bombay Spirits Company, Ltd. have been cooking up gin since 1761.
Bombay Sapphire is famed for its smoothness and its nuance. They use ten different herbs and botanicals to produce Bombay Sapphire, including juniper berries, almonds, lemonpeel, liquorice, coriander, orris, cassia bark, and some peculiar stuff called “cubeb berries” and “grains of paradise.” While I haven’t so sharp a tongue to taste all these things, I can tell you that this is a very tasty gin that pricks the tongue and puts the whole of it through some extraordinary calisthenics. And despite being 94 proof, it finishes smooth and clean and without a nasty alcohol burn.
In terms of dry vermouths to pair it with, stick with something dull, like Martini & Rossi’s Extra Dry Vermouth. You don’t want a wildly herbal vermouth that will drown out Bombay Sapphire’s fireworks. And don’t even bother with an olive or lemon twist- it just isn’t required.
Those looking to try gin for the first time are urged to stay away from the rotgut that bars serve from the well and instead go for something smooth. Start at the top. Start with Bombay Sapphire. If you must, have some mixed with grapefruit juice or with tonic and lime. But by all means, have some. (Rating *****) To order a bottle, click here.